What Type of Smoke Alarm Is Best for My Home?
Smoke alarms save lives.
There are few more frightening experiences than a house fire. While this is the last event Huntsville residents likely want to think about, it is important to think about and be prepared. Protecting your home and the lives of everyone in the household is top priority, so look to the following different types of equipment to choose the best smoke alarm for your home.
While some fire alarms pick up heat, the effectiveness of these models can pale in comparison to a smoke detector. There are three basic types of such detectors to choose between:
1. Ionization Alarms
An ionized detector is generally cheaper than other types of alarms. These alarms use miniscule amounts of radioactive material to ionize the air in a small chamber in the device, allowing the air to carry an electric charge. When smoke passes through this chamber, it causes a disruption in this electrical current, which then sets off the alarm.
2. Photoelectric Alarms
According to most smoke alarm experts, photoelectric alarms have a smaller chance of making false alarms than their ionization counterparts. This type of fire safety device uses a light beam and a photoelectric sensor to detect smoke. While ionized alarms are usually better for spotting fast fires, photoelectric alarms typically best detect smoldering fires.
3. Smart Alarms
Most smart alarms use photoelectric sensors, and some even have a split-spectrum sensor for greater accuracy. Although identical to non-smart detectors in terms of basic function, a smart detector has more customized options and can send alerts directly to phones and tablets.
If you're like most homeowners in Huntsville, you've probably wondered which device is best. Whether you're well-versed in the world of smoke detectors or are just getting started, expanding your knowledge on product options is never a bad idea.
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
During this time of year, the Huntsville area may experience a lot of rain, which can leads to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan.
Protect your electronics. Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protectors to avoid damage during a storm.
Prepare for power outages. Have battery operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disgarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored.
Stay away from power lines. Don't go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines.
Go inside when you hear thunder. If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightening is also occurring. Lightening can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs.
Seek shelter. There are many different nature elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is in the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement, or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes.
Keep an emergency kit ready. Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio and a first aid kit.
Water Damage Timeline
SERVPRO of North Madison County provides emergency 24 hour fire & water damage restoration service in Huntsville & surrounding areas!
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of North Madison County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services to the Huntsville/Madison County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of North Madison County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage, cleaning duration and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of North Madison County
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of North Madison County
SERVPRO of North Madison County specializes in the clean-up and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Calling SERVPRO for professional water removal is a smart move.
After a water damage that floods a home or business, the last thing that most people want to deal with is a bill for cleaning up the damage. This is what leads many homeowners to attempt water damage cleanup on their own instead of calling a professional.
If you're in need of water removal in Huntsville or Madison County, you may be tempted to save money by trying to get rid of the excess water on your own. However, going this route typically has more consequences than benefits and will result in greater losses of time, money, and your possessions in the long run. Here's why calling SERVPRO for professional water removal is a smart move.
More thorough water removal
While some homeowners resort to opening windows and doors, turning on ceiling fans, and blotting towels around the house, SERVPRO has powerful equipment that ensures efficient and thorough water removal. We're also often able to restore documents, books, furnishings, and electronic devices affected by water damage. We will also get your home's humidity back to an appropriate level.
Many water emergencies are hazardous
If your house has been flooded with gray or black water, such as that from a natural disaster, backed up sewer line, or a leaky toilet, expert attention to the problem is best. These types of water are risky for untrained persons to handle because it involves disease causing waste and debris. This is the type of material that can't simply be put out with the week's garbage and needs proper and safe disposal. We're knowledgeable about how to get rid of contaminated waste during water extraction, so there are no lingering health risks to your family or pets.
Mold and mildew risks
One reason that so many homeowners who attempt DIY water removal eventually end up calling a pro is unseen damage caused by mold and mildew. Your flooring and possessions may look and feel dry. But without proper water extraction and controlling humidity, mold and mildew will thrive and damage your home's structure along with your possessions and furniture. SERVPRO technicians are skilled at protecting against the growth of mold and mildew and have effective strategies to combat it.
At SERVPRO of North Madison County, we know how important it is to get your home back in order as quickly as possible. We'll help you mitigate the costs of any water emergency by restoring your possessions and preventing future damage to your home. For more information about our water removal services or to receive a quote, call us 24/7.
Managing Humidity In Your Bathroom
A hot shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. But while you’re relaxing, the steam causes the humidity level in your bathroom to rise, which can create an ideal environment for mold and mildew.
Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bathroom is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.
Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that the exhaust fan comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hard wire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity, invest in a humidity sensor.
Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.
Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of North Madison County. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.
Crawlspace Moisture Problems
Do you have problems with moisture in the crawlspace of your Huntsville home? Has a water leak caused mold, mildew or wood rot?
Call SERVPRO of North Madison County and we can handle that for you. Our trained and certified mold remediation technicians can diagnose your crawlspace moisture problem and get your crawlspace dried out in no time. Our technicians will remove any wet insulation in your crawlspace, treat the mold and mildew with an anti microbial solution, dry the wet floor joists or subfloor, and remove and reset the vapor barrier so that you have no more problems of moisture damaging your home environment.
If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
Don’t forget to call your local SERVPRO of North Madison County to get a free estimate!
SERVPRO Specializes In Flooded Basements
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall which is common in Huntsville and Madison County during springtime. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - (256) 261-3266
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of North Madison County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use S500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (256) 261-3266
Lunch & Learn With SERVPRO!
Call for a Lunch & Learn today!
Do you work for a real estate office or insurance agency? Are you part of a company that could benefit from having a quick knowledge of restoration and commercial cleaning options for your clients?
We can offer you and your coworkers a great opportunity for to learn all of SERVPRO's services that are relevant to you and your industry.
But wait...why not do it over coffee and donuts? Or maybe lunch? Or fresh, homemade cookies?
Are we getting your attention yet?
Our SERVPRO marketing representatives would love to chat with you and your coworkers and let you know about all that SERVPRO of North Madison County has to offer you. Whether you find yourself dealing with a disaster situation or you just need to have some general cleaning or mold testing done, we want you to know that SERVPRO is here to help.
There is no cost for a Lunch & Learn, just give us a call and make an appointment and our marketing representatives will come to you! It is only approximately 15-30 minutes in duration, and participants are free to ask questions and chat as long as is needed.
If you are interested in setting up a SERVPRO Lunch & Learn for you and your coworkers, call us and we will schedule a date and time that works best for you! All you'll have to do is be present and hungry to eat good food and learn a little more about how SERVPRO of North Madison County can help with your cleaning and restoration needs.
Vandalism and graffiti on your property can be very frustrating and upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to mischievous destruction of property. Simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can often cause significant water and mold damage issue if not addressed in a timely manner.
Here are some tips in case vandals do strike your property.
- Hose or wash egg or other residue damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
- Carefully vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.
- Save containers revealing the ingredients of products used in vandalism damage.
- Record all damage and photograph when possible.
- Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
- Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
- Discard broken or damaged pieces from porcelain, furniture or other contents that may be used for repair.
Preventing Frozen Pipes for Businesses
Cold temperatures can reach areas of your facility that you cannot see or seldom visit, such as:
- Crawl spaces
- Enclosed spaces (e.g., attics, lofts, roof spaces)
- Isolated storage areas
Cold weather preparedness is important to help reduce potential business interruptions and related losses resulting from cold temperatures.
Domestic Water Piping
In severe cold, water pipes have the potential to freeze and break. If safe to do so, make sure pipes that are located in isolated and/or poorly heated spaces are shut off and drained or protected with a supplemental heating source.
Protect Your Fire Protection Sprinklers
Fire protection sprinkler systems are dependent on the ability of water to flow freely when needed. Ensure that wet piping systems, which may be subject to cold temperatures, are sufficiently heated to prevent freezing.
Severe cold weather can also delay the response time of the local fire department; therefore, it is imperative to properly maintain your fire protection systems.
Lastly, if heating is lost in a building protected by wet sprinklers, it should be restored immediately. Only after exhausting all options to re-establish sufficient heat, sprinkler systems should be shut off and completely drained.
Some prevention strategies to consider:
- Properly insulate and/or provide approved heat tracing for water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces.
- Drain any piping that is not required during the winter months, if possible.
- Maintain a minimum temperature of 40° F (4.4° C) in building areas with processes susceptible to freezing, wet-pipe sprinkler systems, fire pump houses and dry-pipe valve enclosures.
- Ensure that anti-freeze sprinkler systems have sufficient concentration (appropriate specific gravity readings) of antifreeze to withstand freezing weather.
- Inspect dry systems to help ensure air settings are correct, air maintenance systems are in good operating condition, and any pipe closets are well insulated. If any heat tape or heating systems are being used, ensure that they are UL-listed for this specific purpose and are in good operating condition. Dry-pipe sprinkler systems low points and auxiliary drains should be opened and drained of any water or condensation.
- Any branch lines on wet sprinkler systems exposed or subject to extreme cold weather should be insulated and heat traced. Electric heat tracing should be UL-listed for this specific purpose.
- Fire pump test headers should be checked to ensure they have been properly drained.
- Fire pump and dry-pipe sprinkler system equipment rooms should be checked routinely to ensure the heaters are in good operating condition.
- The use of low temperature supervision can help to ensure rooms are being properly heated.