If your HVAC has been operating for some time, without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates.
As spring allergy season approaches, you may hear companies make bold promises to improve your health by reducing allergens in your home. Such boasts may appeal especially to the nearly 25 million American adults and children with asthma and the approximately 50 million who have allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, because the symptoms of both can be triggered by dust mites, mold, and other allergens often found in air ducts and elsewhere in the home. Allergies, according to the CDC, are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.
But should you believe the hype? Will air duct cleaning help you breathe more easily?
Common Allergy Triggers
1. Your Overactive Immune System Many things can trigger an allergic reaction. It happens when your body's defenses attack something that's usually harmless, such as pollen, animal dander, or food. The reaction can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. In the US, about 30% of all adults and 40% of children have allergies.
2. Pollen It comes from plants such as grasses, trees, and weeds and can trigger hay fever or seasonal allergies. You might sneeze and have a runny or stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. Treat these with over-the-counter products, prescription drugs, and allergy shots. To help prevent symptoms, stay inside on windy days when pollen counts are high, close windows, and run the air conditioning.
3. Animal Dander You love your pet, but if you're allergic, you react to proteins in his saliva or in his skin's oil glands. It might take 2 years for that to start. Luckily, you may still be able to live with him. Make your bedroom a pet-free zone, opt for bare floors and washable rugs instead of carpets, and bathe him regularly. A HEPA filter and allergy shots may help, too.
4. Dust Mites These tiny bugs live in bedding, mattresses, upholstery, carpets, and curtains. They feed on dead skin cells from people and pets, as well as on pollen, bacteria, and fungi. They thrive in high humidity. To cut down on problems, use hypoallergenic pillows, cover mattresses, pillows, and box springs, and wash sheets weekly in hot water. Keep the house free of dust-collecting items such as stuffed animals, curtains, and carpet.
5. Insect Stings These could cause swelling and redness that may last a week or more. You might feel sick to your stomach and tired and have a low fever. In rare cases, insect bites trigger a reaction that can be life-threatening, called anaphylaxis. If you're severely allergic, you'll need medicine called epinephrine right away. Your doctor may recommend allergy shots to prevent reactions.
6. Mold It needs moisture to grow. You can find it in damp places such as basements or bathrooms, as well as in grass or mulch. Get air moving in moist areas of your home.
7. Food Milk, shellfish, eggs, and nuts are among the most common foods that cause allergies. Others include wheat, soy, and fish. Within minutes of eating something you're allergic to, you could have trouble breathing and get hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling around your mouth. If your reaction is severe, you will need emergency medical help. So call 911, and use your epinephrine pen if you were prescribed one.
8. Latex Found in some disposable gloves, condoms, and medical devices, latex can trigger a reaction ranging from itchy, red skin to anaphylaxis with trouble breathing. Symptoms can include a rash or hives, eye irritation, runny or itchy nose, sneezing, and wheezing. If you’re allergic, wear a medical alert bracelet and carry an epinephrine kit if you were prescribed one.
9. Medication Penicillin, aspirin, and other drugs can cause hives, itchy eyes, stuffiness, and swelling in your face, mouth, and throat. If you're allergic to a drug, it's best to not take it. Your doctor can talk to you about other medicine options or treatments that may allow you to take a medicine if it's necessary.
10. Cockroaches A protein in their droppings can be a trigger. Roaches can be tough to get rid of, especially in a warm climate or if you live in an apartment building where they can move back and forth between neighbors. Treat them with bug killer, and keep a clean kitchen. Repair cracks and holes in floors, walls, and windows to keep them out of your home.
Montanaro, a professor of medicine and chief of the allergy and clinical immunology division at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, often talks with patients about their heating systems as he investigates the possible environmental triggers of their allergies.
“If they have forced air, that’s part of the conversation,” he says.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems push air through ducts that run throughout your house in walls, ceilings, and floors. Mark Zarzeczny, who sits on the board of directors of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), calls ducts the "lungs of the home."
How can you tell whether your air ducts need attention? Visual clues, like signs of mold and excessive dust around the air vents, can point to a need for cleaning. But when there’s no evidence in plain view, allergist Tania Elliott, MD, advises people to ask themselves the following questions:
If your house is more than 10 years old, have your ducts ever been cleaned?
Does your house constantly collect dust no matter how much you clean it?
Do you notice allergy symptoms when you turn on your heating/cooling system?
Do you have asthma that’s not well controlled even though you’re taking your medicine?
Answering YES to any of these questions should encourage you to consider cleaning your ducts.
“It’s better safe than sorry for people who have underlying asthma or allergies or breathing issues,” says Elliott, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and chief medical officer of EHE International, a healthcare management company that focuses on preventive medicine.
Time, Cost, and What to Avoid
Zarzeczny says a typical job on a 2,000-square-foot home will take about 3 to 5 hours and should be done every 3 to 5 years or if the signs described above return. Expect to pay at least $500 to $600.
“Anybody who offers to do a job for less than a few hundred dollars is not going to deliver to you what you need to have done,” says Zarzeczny, who chairs NADCA’s anti-fraud task force. “You don’t want a company that advertises at prices like $79.95 because they’re either going to be in and out in half an hour or they’re going to upsell you and walk out with $4,000.”
In fact, a rushed, inadequate job can do more harm than good. According the EPA, “an inadequate vacuum collection system can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if you had left the ducts alone.”
Some Quick Tips to Help You Breathe Better Inside
Outside Air Most home heating and cooling systems simply recirculate the air that’s already in the house, including all the dust, dirt, and pollen. When the weather’s nice and pollen counts are low, open windows and doors to freshen things up. This is especially important if there are fumes from painting, cooking, kerosene heaters, or hobbies like woodworking.
Simple Cleaning Products Some cleaners have harsh chemicals that can cause breathing problems or trigger an allergy or asthma attack. Read labels carefully and stay away from ones that have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fragrances, or flammable ingredients. You can make your own cleaners with plain soap and water, vinegar, or baking soda.
Houseplants These can be more than nice to look at, especially if your home is energy-efficient or not well-ventilated. In addition to getting rid of carbon dioxide and boosting oxygen levels, some can even help clear the air of chemical vapors. Of these, the easiest to grow and keep healthy include English ivy, ficus trees, peace lilies, and certain types of palms.
Your HVAC A dirty filter on your heating and air conditioning unit can keep air from flowing the way it should and lead to mold growth if it gets damp. Change it at least every 3 months and make sure it fits well. If you have asthma or allergies -- or you have pets or a large family -- you might want to check it once a month. It’s also a good idea for a professional to inspect the unit once a year.
Bathrooms If there’s mold in your house, the tiny spores can float into your nose and even your lungs. That can lead to allergy symptoms, like coughing or sneezing, or other breathing issues. The fungus loves damp areas, so keep bathrooms dry. Turn on a fan or open a window to help move air after you shower, and hang up wet towels and washcloths. If you see mold in the tub or other areas, you may need to clean more often to help keep it at bay.
Air Fresheners Even pleasant smells can cause problems. Some air fresheners have VOCs in them that may bother your nose and throat. Other aerosol sprays, including some health and beauty products, have VOCs, too.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables If you keep them too long, mold can grow on them. Check stored fruits and vegetables often, and toss anything that has mold or slime on it. To keep them fresh longer, don’t wash them before you store them -- do that just before you eat them. If you’re not sure if something is fresh, throw it away.
Cockroaches These bugs can cause problems even after they’re dead. When they die, their bodies break down into small bits, and those can get into the air. The same can happen with their poop. Those bits can get into sheets, pillows, and other fabrics, and may trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions. If you know you have a roach problem, use roach baits instead of sprays.
Leaks These can happen with sinks, toilets, showers, dishwashers, or refrigerators -- even your roof. Pooled water can lead to issues with mold and cockroaches, so any leak needs to be taken care of quickly. Call a plumber if you can’t find where it’s coming from or don’t know how to fix it.
Leftovers The only thing cockroaches like more than water is food. When dinner’s over, put anything that’s left in airtight containers. And if you throw food away, make sure it’s into a trash can that has a lid on it.
Pets Dander and other allergens that Fido and Fluffy bring in from outside can cause trouble for your lungs. As hard as it might be, it’s a good idea to keep them out of bedrooms and off beds. If that’s not an option, bathe them regularly and vacuum the areas where they spend time.
Forgotten Areas Cabinet tops and vent hoods are a couple of places people sometimes forget to clean, along with behind toilets and under bathroom sinks. Wipe them down every so often with warm, soapy water. Give your pets’ dishes a daily wash, too, and check around for other areas that might collect grease, food, grime, or water.
Linens and Rugs Wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and area rugs once a week in 130-degree F water to help get rid of dust, mold, mites, and other things that can affect your breathing. And get rid of throw pillows that don’t have zip-off covers. They collect dust mites and pet dander and can be hard to clean.
Furniture Fabrics can trap dust, pollen, and other allergens. The next time you give the living room a new look, consider leather or vinyl furniture instead of cloth. If you have issues with allergies or asthma, you also might want to hang blinds instead of curtains, and dust them regularly.
Flooring Hard surfaces, like wood, don’t collect things that affect your breathing the way carpet can. If you need some soft areas, use throw rugs you can clean in a washing machine or sink. If you can’t take up your carpet, vacuum it weekly with a cleaner that has a HEPA or small-particle filter. When it needs to be professionally cleaned, be sure to use a certified “asthma & allergy friendly” service.
Read more about Cleaning and Sanitation in our Blog
One of our Sanitation Experts cleaning a high touch area during the COVID19 pandemic of 2020
Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
2. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often
Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items.
Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.
Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against whatever you are trying to clean.
If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA-registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time (e.g., letting it stand for 3 to 5 minutes).
Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.
4. Use products safely
Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions.
Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death.
5. Handle waste properly
Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying waste baskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying waste baskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.
We have compiled a list of additional local restaurants and restaurants with multiple locations that are still operating.
13 Bones is a food truck offering take-out and curbside options.
Barney's Cafe is offering take-out options.
Chase and Charli are offering take-out options.
Coach's is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Libby Hill Seafood is offering take-out options.
O'Dell's Sandwich Shop is offering take-out and curbside options.
Old North State Winery is offering take-out options.
The Loaded Goat is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Thirsty Souls Community Brewing is offering take-out options, as well as selling beer and growlers.
All Sauced Up BBQ is offering take-out and curbside options.
Southern on Main is offering take-out and curbside options, as well as bottles of wine.
The Tilted Ladder is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Angry Troll Brewing is offering take-out and curbside options.
Cagney's Kitchen is offering take-out options.
Mazzini's Family Restaurant is offering curbside options from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Prime Thai is offering take-out options.
Skull Camp is offering take-out options, as well as beer and wine.
Coach's is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Sue's Kitchen is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Restaurants with locations in multiple communities:
Applebee's is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Cracker Barrel is offering take-out and curbside options.
Duck Donuts is offering take-out and delivery options.
Dunkin' Donuts is offering take-out options.
East Coast Wings and Grill is offering take-out and delivery options.
Five Guys is offering take-out and delivery options.
Jersey Mike's Subs is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Jim’s Grill is offering take-out and curbside options.
K&W Cafeteria is offering take-out options.
Krispy Kreme is offering take-out and delivery options.
Long Horn Steakhouse is offering take-out and curbside options.
Little Richard's BBQ is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options. Delivery is available within 10 miles of restaurants. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. until further notice.
Moe's Southwest Grill is offering take-out and delivery, as well as continuing to offer catering.
Olive Garden is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options. Delivery is free for orders more than $40.
Panera Bread is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Subway is offering take-out options and curbside options.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is offering take-out, curbside and delivery options.
Zoe's Kitchen is offering take-out and delivery options.
Proper Personal Protection Equipment is a must in most biohazard clean up jobs.
Here to Help® and Ready to Respond
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to respond to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection has been termed COVID-19.
COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.
Need Specialized Cleaning Services? Call Us Today 336-744-5104
Illness from COVID-19 is wide ranging, from mild to severe symptoms and death. According to the CDC, symptom may appear two days to two weeks after exposure:
Shortness of breath
It is important to consult your medical provider if you develop any severe or concerning symptoms.
Expert Level Cleaning Services
SERVPRO of Winston Salem North is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
Carpets and Rugs
Need Specialized Cleaning Services? Call Us Today 336-744-5104
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.
Checklist for Individuals and Families
As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. Use this checklist to help you take steps to plan and protect the health of you and your family.
Engineering Controls reduce exposures PLAN AND PREPARE Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials Create a household plan of action.
On Monday, 2nd of March my boyfriend Tom and I decided to explore downtown Winston-Salem and try a local bar called, ‘Tate’s Craft Cocktails’. If you look them up on Google, they have 4.6 stars and are described as a “Lively watering hole whipping up artisan cocktails in a warm, contemporary environment with live music.” They are located at 279 W 4th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, only a 4 minute walk from the Millennium Center. When my boyfriend and I walked in, it was filled with light and color. Although we didn’t come on a day where they had live music, the staff was more than able to impress and entertain us with their knowledge of the local area, but where they really wowed us, was with their cocktail making skills.
We were first greeted by their bartender, Nicholas Hedge. He was friendly and very informative, explaining to us that we were lucky to come that evening, because they had $7 Classic Cocktails among other specials they had that evening. Nicholas was on the tail end of his shift and we were later introduced to Garrett Ring, another very knowledgeable bartender. I looked among the Classic Cocktails they had listed, and was delighted that they offered a Negroni. This particular cocktail has slowly become a favorite of mine ever since a trip Tom and I took to Europe a couple months ago. The Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel and is considered an apéritif. A properly made Negroni is stirred, not shaken, and built over ice in an old fashioned or ‘rocks’ glass and garnished with a slice of orange. The one I had at Tate’s tasted exactly like the one I had in Europe. After I had that first sip, I was instantly transported back in time and knew I had picked a top notch bar. Negroni’s are regarded as an aperitif that serves to whet the appetite and prepare the taste buds for future courses.
After the success with the Negroni, we each decided to try a cocktail of our own. Tom had never had a Manhattan before and when Garrett asked, “On the rocks or straight up?” Tom replied with, “whichever way is the most classic”. Garrett then explained that “up” is the most classic way, because we didn’t always have ice readily available. I was impressed that I had found a bar and bartender that would bother to ask, let alone explain why one would want to have it one way or another. I personally was unsure of what to get after being blown away by the Negroni, but expressed how I was intrigued by the cocktails he was making that had egg white in them. After making a round of five cocktails, he offered to make me a cocktail that was off the menu and that he only makes once in a blue moon. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t remember the ingredients or how he made it, but it was a sight to be seen and a work of art. I snapped a picture of the finished product, but am disappointed I can't share the video footage of how this incredibly delectable cocktail was made as it literally reached new heights. As Garrett slowly poured soda water down the spirals of the cocktail spoon, the cocktail slowly, but steadily rose like a push pop and at that moment I realized this was the infamous cocktail a friend of mine had recently been raving about. It was absolutely as delicious as it looked.
By the time we finished our cocktails, I was thoroughly impressed and glad we had made the journey out to downtown. I have been attempting to keep up the European lifestyle up since our trip overseas and walk to more places downtown, so keep a lookout for more downtown adventures.
street view of Jeffery Adams restaurant with silver car to the left and pedestrian with back pack on the right
On Tuesday, February 11th 2020 I talked my significant other into taking part in “The Big Eat '' promotion for local restaurants in Winston-Salem and decided to check out what 'Jeffery Adams’ had to offer. My Boyfriend and I decided to make the most of the evening and made plans to go on a double date after work with some co-workers. Unfortunately, I did not heed the warning on ‘The Big Eat” website, and made the classic mistake of not making a reservation ahead of time. When the four of us arrived, the whole restaurant was buzzing and soon learned that ‘Jeffery Adams’ would be able to accommodate us, but not for another 30-60 minutes . So we decided to “make lemons into lemonade” and kill a bit of time and explore downtown a bit more and try a local Bar called, ‘Bull’s Tavern’. We were able to walk to it in just a matter of minutes. The other couple that joined us, is in the process of choosing their signature cocktails for their wedding reception and decided to take this opportunity and sample some of their options while we waited for ‘Jeffery Adams’ to text us back to let us know that our table was ready. After taking in the Downtown scene we were shortly notified that our table was ready so we made our way back to the restaurant and got the ‘Big Eat” special for that particular week. It was a delicious 12 ounce Black Angus New York Strip grilled over a wood fire, with mashed potatoes, and asparagus for only $14.50. They were also offering half off select wines that evening as well. Overall, we had a wonderful night exploring what downtown Winston-Salem has to offer with friends at a great price.
In the Event of an Emergency always call 911 FIRST
In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
Learn About Fires
Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.
Before a Fire
Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.
Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan. Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:
Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
Teach children not to hide from firefighters.
A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.
Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
Test batteries monthly.
Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake.
Smoke Alarm Safety for People with Access or Functional Needs
Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.
More Fire Safety Tips
Make digital copies of valuable documents and records like birth certificates.
Sleep with your door closed.
Contact your local fire department for information on training on the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
During a Fire
Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.
Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs
Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.
After a Fire
The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
Try to locate valuable documents and records. Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
Prevent Home Fires
Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
Portable Space Heaters
Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
More Prevention Tips
Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.
Local Monday with Whit's Frozen Custard Made Fresh Daily in Mount Airy
Whits Frozen Custard *Made Fresh Daily* in Mount Airy, NC
I had the pleasure of visiting Whit’s Frozen Custard Made Fresh Daily in Mount Airy on their grand opening, February 3rd 2020. I accompanied our Marketing and Social Media representative April Rhodes-Tillery to follow up on a job we had recently finished for the building. Not bad for my first day with SERVPRO of Winston Salem North as their new Events and Marketing representative, not bad at all.
When I walked in, the owner’s of Whit's remarked on how much they appreciated SERVPRO of Winston Salem North coming in and making it "Like it never even happened.”
The owner’s of Whit's informed me that as stated in their name, that they make their custard “fresh daily” with a variety of flavors. I was offered a sample of their Vanilla and Butter Pecan flavors. Although both were creamy and delicious, I decided to go with their Butter Pecan custard on one of their small cones and it was delicious
If you visit their website, they will tell you that three flavors is all anyone needs to create an endless variety of flavor combinations when you consider all their fruit toppings, nuts, and candies that can be blended into custard to make their famous Whitser. And you can't go wrong with their hand-dipped waffle cones and all their other delicious treats.
Come check out their weekly rotating flavors on their website for tasty new treats. This week's flavor is Chocolate Covered Strawberry. It has Strawberry custard with fresh strawberries and dark chocolate flakes. This delightful dessert would be perfect for you and your Valentine or honestly, anyone who wants a delicious treat this week.