Tag: fire

Water Damage, Fire Damage, Mold Restoration Services #water #damage, #restoration, #cleanup, #flooding, #flooded, #fire

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SERVPRO of South Miami
Faster to Any Size Disaster

Residential and Commercial Restoration and Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of South Miami provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (305) 269-8900

Residential Services

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Whether you need help with emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on SERVPRO of South Miami. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services :

Commercial Services

There’s never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of South Miami has the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services :

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of South Miami is locally owned and operated —so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

We are proud to serve our local communities:

  • South Miami
  • Coconut Grove
  • Coral Gables
  • Key Biscayne
  • Coral Terrace

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VESDA-E by Xtralis: The Next Generation of Aspirating Smoke Detection: Products: Xtralis #asd,aspirating #smoke

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VESDA-E by Xtralis: The Next Generation of Aspirating Smoke Detection

For years, the VESDA range of Aspirating Smoke Detectors (ASD) has been recognized as the best in the world. New VESDA-E range, featuring VESDA Smoke+, offers dramatically increased sensitivity up to 15 times greater than previous models. VESDA Analytics allows for targeted detection of the most common fire threats, in particular WireTrace allows specific detection of burning wire at even higher sensitivities without nuisance alarms. Completely backwards-compatible and with VESDA Flex, field upgradeable, the new VESDA-E ASD system reduces the Total Cost of Ownership of the system

Protect your Investment

With up to 40% greater coverage in high airflow environments, the VESDA-E range of aspirating smoke detectors represent considerable CAPEX savings. Easier servicing and field replaceable architecture further reduce system OPEX. And of course, VESDA-E is completely compatible with existing VESDA systems.

VESDA Stax, a range of hardware expansion modules, add additional functionality to VESDA-E at or after installation, futureproofing your aspirating smoke detection investment. VESDA Stax include automated pipecleaning, power supplies, gas detection with many more in development:

  • Ultra-high sensitivity for greater coverage in high airflow environments
  • Inherent Absolute calibration = Calibration for life
  • Contamination resistance for lower TCO in wider range of applications
  • Particle classification to reject nuisance alarms enable targeted response
  • Detection of very small particles for earlier detection in a range of applications

  • Future-proof expandability field programmability for maximum flexibility
  • StaX Modules allow for hardware expansion without disrupting the aspirating smoke detector installation or pipe network
  • Integrated gas detection provides a superior solution at half the cost of competing solutions
  • Xapps available through the Xtralis Xchange allow for rapid remote field-programming of detectors with VESDA analytics
  • DieselTrace Analytics: Environmental Monitoring Reduction of Nuisance Alarms
  • WireTrace Analytics: Extremely early detection of electrical faults with instant alerts hours before adaptive-based ASD detectors
  • DustTrace Analytics: Dust Rejection. Dust Monitoring. Dust Alerts

  • Provides unprecedented situational awareness that drastically reduces verification time and delivers more efficient effective response without nuisance alarms
  • Addressability: VESDA Offer Different Addressability Solutions For Different Applications
  • Different Solutions to Pinpoint Location of Fire Incident results in quicker and more efficient response
  • ADPRO SmokeTrace : Visual verification of Smoke
  • Flexible networking programming options that reduce maintenance monitoring costs by up to 50% through extensive connectivity options remote diagnostics
  • Enables connectivity with Xtralis VSC, VSM4, Xtralis EMS as well as providing an embedded
    webserver and E-mail alerts
  • VESDA WiFi: Integration of wireless 802.11n enables connectivity with hand-held iOS and Android devices
  • VESDA USB: Easily connect to a PC for configuration and maintenance or USB flash drive for data collection
  • VESDAnet Relays: Connect up to 200 VESDA-E devices on a single loop

  • VESDA-E provides lifetime of value, reliability, protection with VESDA-E you can reduce Total Cost of Ownership by 15%!
  • Plug play installation provides improved installation experience reduced installation cost
  • Design-less pipe networks offer the fastest time to VESDA protection ever!
  • Vast monitoring options allow efficient integration to business process and emergency response plans
  • Backward compatible. easy upgrade while protecting your investment


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Public Protection Classification (PPC) Frequently Asked Questions #state #fire #marshal, #public #protection #classification #frequently

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Public Protection Classification (PPC) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Public Protection Classification (PPC) system?

It is the countrywide classification system used by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to reflect a community’s local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes. The public fire protection of a city, town or area is graded using ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule to develop the community’s classification.

Where is the PPC system used?

The PPC system in some form is used in all 50 states. All of the top insurance groups use ISO’s PPCs except for State Farm. State Farm developed its own classification system, based on subzones. The subzone rating tracks very closely to the PPC.

ISO is a New Jersey-based advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry by providing inspection services, insurance coverage form development and statistical services. ISO has Texas offices in Dallas and Austin.

How does the PPC system grade local fire protection?

ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades such features as water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower and fire alarm facilities. ISO field representatives use the schedule when surveying a community’s fire protection capability. The score that is determined from applying the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is translated into a public protection classification. A perfect score in Texas is 104.26. It consists of 50 points for fire department capabilities, 40 points for water supply and distribution, 10 points for receiving and handling fire alarms and up to 4.26 points for “Texas Exceptions” that give extra credit for compressed air foam systems, certified volunteers and attending or teaching at the annual firemen’s training school at Texas A M University.
Texas Exceptions to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule .

How does a community’s score translate into a PPC rating?

The following table shows the number of points required for each PPC Class:

Points Required for Each PPC Class

What does a dual PPC like 7/9 mean?

In some communities, a split classification is developed. An example of the split classification is 4/4x or 4/4y. The first number refers to the classification of properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1000 feet of a creditable water supply. The second number, with either the “x” or “y” designation, applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1000 feet of a creditable water supply.

Does ISO automatically penalize communities for having volunteer fire departments?

No. Canyon’s all-volunteer fire department, for example, has a rating of 3.

What does the PPC system mean to me?

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) program recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire protection services. Some insurance companies use the PPC information to help establish fair premiums for insurance. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the PPC program provides additional incentives for improving and maintaining public fire protection.

The PPC program also provides help for fire departments and other public officials as they plan, budget and justify improvements.

The most signicant benefit of the PPC program is its effect on fire losses. The better the fire protection, the lower the fire losses. This results in lower insurance rates.

Do PPC ratings vary from company to company?

Yes, it can, because some insurance companies do not use ISO.

In general, how do Texas communities stack up?

Larger cities, which tend to have the best fire protection, generally are rated 1 or 2. A few are rated 3. Small towns tend to cluster in the 4-to-7 range. A number of previously un-inspected areas that returned ISO questionnaires about their fire fighting capabilities are rated 7 or 9.

Does my community’s Public Protection Classification significantly affect my homeowners’ insurance premium?

Although homeowner s insurance rates are driven mainly by your area s claim experience, your community s PPC can also be important.

Some companies may not use ISO, but for those that do, they assign a rating factor to each classification. If a community s PPC improves, in general, the premiums insurers charge will decrease; if the PPC deteriorates, then premiums will increase. Insurers determine how much each PPC affects premium based on their own experience, so rating factors vary by insurer. To find out how your community s PPC affects how much you pay for insurance, contact your insurer or several insurers within your community if you are shopping for insurance.

Can you give examples of how differences in PPC ratings affect individual homeowners’ rates?

Insurer’s writing homeowners insurance policies in Texas are not required to use the PPC factors from the Texas Personal Lines Manual. Insurers may file and use their own factors.

What about homes in remote locations?

Any building more than five road miles from a fire station or outside the boundary of a fire protection area, such as a city or volunteer fire department service area is rated 10. An exception is an area that has an “automatic aid agreement” with a recognized and rated fire department to respond to fires in that area. In such cases, ISO assigns the area a rating after evaluating the agreement. Use of the assigned rating will depend on the distance of individual buildings from fire stations.

How can I learn my community’s PPC rating?

How can my community get a better PPC rating?

By asking ISO for a re-evaluation based on improvements since last inspection. If your community has never been inspected, it needs to start by returning ISO’s questionnaire if it has not already done so. City officials can make inquiries by calling ISO Customer Service, 1-800-444-4554 or TDI’s PPC Oversight Representative at 512-676-6784. For a re-evaluation, ISO requires a letter from the fire chief or city official.

If my town makes improvements and seeks a re-evaluation, how soon will the improvements affect my homeowners’ insurance rate?

ISO publishes evaluations quarterly. For several reasons, including the fact that homeowners policies are written for a year at a time, it may take a year or longer for a re-evaluation to affect an individual homeowner’s premium.

Does TDI oversee ISO to assure that PPC ratings are accurate and fair?

Yes, TDI has a PPC Oversight Representative that reviews each proposed new classification rating. This review ensures the accuracy of the survey, and will take no longer than 30 days. If the new rating appears reasonable, TDI authorizes ISO to publish it for use by insurance companies.

Are ISO inspection reports and lists of PPC ratings open records?

Yes, inspection reports may be viewed at ISO’s office in Austin (8911 N. Capital of Texas, Westech 360, Bldg. II Suite 2110, telephone (800) 444 4554, option 2). The current ratings list and certain other documents such as grading sheets and inspections summary sheets are on file with TDI as open records. The Public Protection Classification Office also has copies which are available upon request.

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 07/24/2015

Contact Information and Other Helpful Links


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Water Damage Clearwater, FL – Water Damage Restoration and Extraction, Fire, Mold and Wind

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Flooding from external sources, plumbing failures or water leaks could result in mold or water damage in your home. Master Restoration, a leading water damage restoration company with many years of experience, will repair and clean up the problem fast! We guarantee your satisfaction!

Our water damage restoration service includes a team of mold remediation specialists that will provide mold removal and restoration services from water damage of any kind in your home or commercial building.

Need a fire damage restoration contractor? We are your repair and clean up solution for fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage.

If you experience a disaster due to wind damage from a hurricane, tornado or tropical storm, we are your first choice in wind damage repair companies, prepared to take on any type of storm damage.

Why We’re Different

We aren’t some huge company or
fancy franchise with limitless
marketing budgets. We are big
enough to handle any emergency
and small enough to care. We
believe that our industry should be
more about helping people than
maximizing shareholder profits.

I had a terrible leak. Master Restoration
was very good. They said what they were
going to do, then they did it. They were
very pleasant and I felt comfortable with
them in my home. They answered every
question and kept me informed. I had
confidence in them. They were very polite
and loyal to me and I was very pleased
with them.

Patricia Sjeime – Clearwater, FL

Large Loss and Residential Services:

  • 24-hour disaster response with a response time of 60 minutes or less
  • Certified in fire, smoke, plumbing failures, water leaks and mold remediation
  • Water extraction, mildew removal, drying and dehumidification
  • Complete carpet cleaning services
  • Board-up and security fence services
  • Smoke and organic odor removal due to fire damage
  • Demolition and debris removal specialists
  • Chinese drywall removal services
  • Contents clean up, repair and restoration
  • Secondary damage prevention specialists
  • Insurance Claims

You’ll breathe easier knowing we can solve the problem, fast!

By employing the latest technology and innovation,
you are assured the best possible results.

Water Extraction Services Why is time of the essence?

Standing water creates mildew, stimulating mold and other bacterial growth, leading to asthma and other health issues.

Master Restoration’s water extraction services and water damage dryout services eliminates the hazards associated with leaks, flood waters and other types of water damage.
If your home or business has recently had any type of water damage it is important to have a professional water damage restoration company, check to make sure there is no hidden moisture and the dryout process was done correctly to prevent future problems with mold and bacteria growth.

Fire Damage Restoration.

Fire creates smoke and soot, causing cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, headache and even mental status changes.

Smoke and soot can travel and penetrate into other rooms of a residential home or commercial building affecting paint, carpet, upholstery, drapes, clothing and other personal belongings.
If your home or business has sustained fire damage and you are seeking the services of a fire damage repair contractor. You have come to the right place, with Master Restoration’s professional fire damage services you can rest assured you’re in in good hands.

Do-It-Yourself solutions.
Can backfire.

Incomplete or non-professional remediation can lead to more damage, and your insurance company may deny your damage claim.

In todays world the internet provides information about all subjects, however when it comes to damage restoration it is always best to hire a professional damage restoration company for any clean up needs.
At Master Restoration we take great pride in providing our clients with the best and newest techknowlogies possible for their restoration needs. We provide services for water damage, fire damage, storm damage and mold remediation.


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Franklin, Cooper – Marcus, PLLC, Chattanooga Area Attorneys and Counselors at Law #chattanooga #attorneys,

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PRACTICE AREAS:

Franklin, Cooper Marcus PLLC, Lawyers in Tennessee

Regardless of the type of legal issue you are facing, unfamiliarity with the legal system can leave you confused and anxious. You want an experienced attorney, one with a comprehensive understanding of the law, and who will keep you continually informed about the options and the likelihood of success.

At the law offices of Franklin, Cooper & Marcus, PLLC. all of our attorneys have many years of experience. One of our attorneys has represented clients for over 40 years, two have over 30 years and the forth over 20 years of practice experience.

Because we understand the stress that uncertainty can cause, we place a high priority on communication and responsiveness. We work hard to make ourselves available when you need questions answered and to keep you continually updated regarding the status of your legal issues.

We offer experienced and accessible legal counsel in matters involving civil litigation, including:
Insurance defense:
We represent insurance companies and their insureds in the areas of automobile, premises, commercial, construction, workers’ compensation and products liability claims.

Business disputes:
Our attorneys represent individuals and companies in business disputes, including contract and other issues.

Medical malpractice defense:
Whether you are a physician, a medical group, or a hospital or other medical care facility, we provide medical malpractice defense.

Mediation and arbitration:
All of our attorneys have years of experience with alternative dispute resolution. Three of our attorneys are Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediators.

Personal injury:
We protect the rights of individuals and companies under a variety of circumstances, from motor vehicle accidents and defective products to negligently maintained property.

Insurance law:
Whether you need a coverage opinion or are facing a first party claim, our experience allows us to guide you through insurance law issues, insurance claims and insurance related litigation.

General civil litigation:
Our attorneys are experienced with civil litigation covering a wide variety of subject areas and issues, insurance claims and insurance related litigation.

Our offices are open from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

At the law offices of Franklin, Cooper Marcus, PLLC, in Chattanooga, we represent individuals throughout southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia, including Cleveland, Charleston, Madisonville, Sweetwater, Benton, Tellico Plains, Athens, Decatur, Dayton, Pikeville, Dunlap, Jasper, Winchester, Tracy City, Manchester and Tullahoma.

Hamilton County | Bradley County | Monroe County | Polk County | McMinn County | Meigs County | Rhea County | Bledsoe County | Sequatchie County | Marion County | Franklin County | Grundy County | Coffee County | Whitfield County, GA | Walker Co. GA |
Catoosa Co. GA | Murray Co. GA


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Fire Ants Go Global: Mapping an Invasion #red #imported #fire #ant


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Fire Ants Go Global: Mapping an Invasion

A colony-founding queen of the invasive species of fire ant that is believed to have spread to California, China and Australia from the southern U.S.

Credit: Kenneth Ross

In the past century, imported red fire ants have traveled the world and established colonies in far-flung places like Australia and China, oceans away from their native range in South America. Now a genetic study has retraced their routes, pinpointing the southern United States as the likely source for these invasions.

The stinging ants, a fire ant species known as Solenopsis invicta . arrived in Mobile, Ala. from South America about 80 years ago before rapidly spreading throughout the South.

It s not clear exactly how they hitched a ride, since the ants require very little to survive a long time, said Kenneth Ross, an entomologist at the University of Georgia and one of the study s researchers.

They can survive for long periods under very unnatural circumstances, Ross told LiveScience. Their only requirements are shelter soil is a possibility, but not necessary and moisture, he said.

Once established, they are blamed for disrupting local ecology by displacing native ants and other species, interfering with agriculture and stinging people who happen to step on their large mounds. [Lizards Dance Avoids Deadly Ants ]

These colonies have often half a million workers you don t get stung just once, Ross said.

Ross and his colleagues sampled 2,144 colonies from 75 sites in the ants native range in South America, the southern United States and newly invaded areas in California, China, Taiwan and Australia.

The researchers performed multiple types of genetic analyses, including one that looked at mitochondrial DNA. which is found in the energy-producing centers of cells. Using this analysis, they identified 322 different types of the stinging ant species. However, nearly all of these were confined to the ants native range in Argentina. Three predominant types that were found throughout the U.S. sites were rare in the native range. Meanwhile, those three types were the only ones to appear in the newly invaded areas, Ross told LiveScience.

This sequential loss of diversity as the ants filtered from South America to foreign lands is typical of colonizations, he said.

An additional analysis indicated that the ants had been introduced independently to the new areas from the southern United States, rather than spreading from one new area to another.

All told, they found that the South was the source of at least eight introductions, the one exception being the ants arrival in Taiwan from California. The California ants also originated in the southern United States, wrote the researchers (led by Marina Ascunce, who did most of the research while working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture s Agricultural Research Service).

There is also evidence that fire ants in Trinidad and New Zealand, which were not included in this analysis, also originated in the United States, they wrote.

Secret to their success

The findings did not surprise Walter Tschinkel, a professor at Florida State University and author of the book, The Fire Ants (Harvard University/Belknap Press, 2006). He was not involved with the study.

The dispersal of fire ants from the South around the globe was inevitable, Tschinkel said. I made the prediction in my book, page 72.

The source of all these migrants is almost certainly the huge North American population rather than the original South American homeland, Tschinkel wrote on that page of the book. As world commerce surges upward, S. invicta will find even more chances to hitch rides to foreign places, repeatedly demonstrating its prowess as a traveler and invader.

Tschinkel describes the fire ant as a weed, the animal equivalent of the dandelion, because it thrives in landscapes disturbed by humans.

Fire ants aren t the primary source of ecological disruption, including the loss of native ants; the real culprits are human beings, who alter the landscape in the first place, Tschinkel said.

That is why humans are the fire ant s best friend, he said.

Editor s Recommendations


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Types of Fire Extinguishers – The Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association #classes #of #fire #extinguishers


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Types of Fire Extinguishers

Water and Foam

Water and Foam fire extinguishers extinguish the fire by taking away the heat element of the fire triangle. Foam agents also separate the oxygen element from the other elements.

Water extinguishers are for Class A fires only – they should not be used on Class B or C fires. The discharge stream could spread the flammable liquid in a Class B fire or could create a shock hazard on a Class C fire.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers extinguish fire by taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle and also be removing the heat with a very cold discharge.

Carbon dioxide can be used on Class B C fires. They are usually ineffective on Class A fires.

Dry Chemical

Dry Chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Today’s most widely used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical that is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.

Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B C fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel! Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished succesfully.

Wet Chemical

Wet Chemical is a new agent that extinguishes the fire by removing the heat of the fire triangle and prevents re-ignition by creating a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements.

Wet chemical of Class K extinguishers were developed for modern, high efficiency deep fat fryers in commercial cooking operations. Some may also be used on Class A fires in commercial kitchens.

Clean Agent

Halogenated or Clean Agent extinguishers include the halon agents as well as the newer and less ozone depleting halocarbon agents. They extinguish the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Clean agent extinguishers are primarily for Class B C fires. Some larger clean agent extinguishers can be used on Class A, B, and C fires.

Dry Powder

Dry Powder extinguishers are similar to dry chemical except that they extinguish the fire by separating the fuel from the oxygen element or by removing the heat element of the fire triangle.

However, dry powder extinguishers are for Class D or combustible metal fires, only. They are ineffective on all other classes of fires.

Water Mist

Water Mist extinguishers are a recent development that extinguish the fire by taking away the heat element of the fire triangle. They are an alternative to the clean agent extinguishers where contamination is a concern.

Water mist extinguishers are primarily for Class A fires, although they are safe for use on Class C fires as well.

Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical

Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

Like the stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers, the multipurpose dry chemical is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.

Ordinary dry chemical is for Class B C fires only. It is important to use the correct extinguisher for the type of fuel! Using the incorrect agent can allow the fire to re-ignite after apparently being extinguished successfully.


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Clean windows gutters fireplaces chimneys High Pressure cleaning services Cheerful Cleaning Garden Route Western

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Comprehensive cleaning services in GEORGE and the Garden Route

Cheerful Cleaning is a dynamic young company established to meet the growing need for specialised cleaning services in George and the Garden Route area of South Africa. Cheerful Cleaning provides cleaning services to the prestigious Fancourt Hotel Estate and has managed Fancourt’s car wash facility since 2007 (see Fancourt’s recommendation here). Cheerful Cleaning also provides specialised cleaning services to residential areas, as well as a number of businesses, banks and schools.

As a company we place the customer’s needs first and endeavor to provide excellent and professional service at all times. Specialised cleaning services, including high-pressure cleaning jobs (for both commercial and residential clientele) is where our expertise provides excellent value for money.

SERVICES
Intensive high- and low-rise exterior and interior window and frame cleaning
Waterfed Poles with purified water for exterior window cleaning
Tiles, ceilings, carpets and upholstery
Chimneys and fireplaces
Exterior washing of buildings and houses
High pressure cleaning of all surfaces and roofs with Anti-fungal treatment
Signage
Gutters

GROUP BOOKINGS
As an additional service to our clientele we have introduced a Group Booking system. Introduce at least 3 of your friends or businesses close-by to our services and receive a reduced rate on combined transport costs. We divide travel expenses between the participating parties to offer unrivalled value for money.

For example: we can offer four residential homes in Knysna a great price on window cleaning, or any of our other services. We offer custom solutions to residential and holiday homes, factories, hotels, shops or office buildings for once-off cleaning work or set up a cleaning cycle to fit your requirements. For a fixed cleaning cycle we can confirm a fixed price for 1 year.

REQUEST A QUOTE VIA EMAIL
If you would like a quote on, for example, window cleaning, simply take pictures from 4 angles around the house. Be sure to include all windows that require cleaning. You can e-mail pictures or send it via WhatsApp to help us save costs, and allow us to give you a fair price.

DID YOU KNOW?
Authorities and insurance companies in South Africa prefer chimney / fireplace cleaning once every two years.

Cheerful Cleaning


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Smoke Alarms – UK Fire Service Resources #smoke #alarm, #smoke #alarms, #smoke #detectors, #smoke

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Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms

Every year the fire and rescue service is called to over 600,000 fires which result in over 800 deaths and over 17,000 injuries. About 50,000 (140 a day) of these are in the home and kill nearly 500 and injure over 11,000, many which could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time. In fact you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has no smoke alarm than a house that does.

Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.

What are smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms are self-contained devices that incorporate a means of detecting a fire (smoke detector) and giving a warning (alarm), usually a very loud beeping sound. They are about the size of a hand and are normally fitted to the ceiling. They can detect fires in their early stages and give you those precious minutes to enable you and your family to leave your house in safety.

What type of smoke alarms are available?

There are mainly four types of smoke alarm currently on the market – ionisation, optical (also described as photo electronic), heat and combined.

Ionisation : These are the cheapest and cost very little to purchase. They are very sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by fast flaming fires, such as paper and wood, and will detect this type of fire before the smoke gets too thick. They are marginally less sensitive to slow burning and smouldering fires which give off larger quantities of smoke before flaming occurs. They can also be too over-sensitive near kitchens.

Optical : These are more expensive but more effective at detecting larger particles of smoke produced by slow-burning fires, such as smouldering foam-filled upholstery and overheated PVC wiring. They are marginally less sensitive to fast flaming fires. Optical alarms can be installed near (not in) kitchens, as they are less likely than ionisation alarms to go off when toast is burned.

Heat Alarms : They detect the increase in temperature from a fire and are insensitive to smoke. They can therefore be installed in kitchens. They only cover a relatively small area of a room, so potentially several heat alarms need to be installed in a large kitchen.

Combined Optical Smoke and Heat Alarms: Combinations of optical and heat alarms in one unit to reduce false alarms while increasing the speed of detection.

Combined Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Alarms that combine both smoke detection and CO alarm protection in one ceiling-mounted unit. This reduces costs and takes up less of your living space.

Each type looks similar and is powered either by a battery, or mains electricity (or a combination of both, with the battery being the backup for the mains power, which could be interrupted). Some are interlinked so that any smoke detected in one room can raise the alarm at all others. This interlink can be achieved at the least cost with radio-interlinked smoke alarms.

Most smoke alarms now have hush buttons, for use where false alarms can be a nuisance e.g. when cooking. The alarm lets you know it’s been silenced by “chirping” or by displaying a red light – while a real fire producing lots of smoke will set it off anyway. Another helpful technology is the ‘Sleep-Easy Function’ which allows you to silence the alarm if a low battery beep starts in the middle of the night.

In a standard smoke alarm, the battery will need to be replaced every 12 months. You can buy alarms fitted with sealed 10 year batteries. The advantage is that you don’t have to replace the battery every year.

Mains-powered alarms have to be installed in all new buildings and after a major refurb. Make sure that the chosen mains powered alarm has a battery back-up. These can be alkaline batteries (need annual changing) or the alarm can be supplied with re-chargeable lithium batteries, which will last the lifetime of the alarm. Mains alarms need to be installed by a qualified electrician.

Some people find their alarms are frequently set off when they are cooking or when the toast burns. An alarm installed inside the kitchen must be a heat alarm rather than a smoke alarm. Just outside a kitchen (eg in hall or dining room) an optical smoke alarm or, even better, a combined smoke and heat alarm should be installed, as these are less sensitive to false alarm.

Alarms can also come with an escape light. When the alarm sounds, the light comes on. The light can help you see your way out, and it is good for alerting people whose hearing is not perfect.

In addition, for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, there are smoke alarm systems for the deaf. When the alarm goes off, a pad below the pillow vibrates (if you are asleep), and a strobe light flashes – alerting you or waking you up instantly.

Which smoke alarm should I choose?

The general rule is quite easy

We recommend that you buy your smoke alarms from Safelincs as detailed at the bottom of this page. Always buy an alarm which has been certified to the British or European Standard.

How many should I fit in my home?

The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.

For maximum protection an alarm should be fitted in every room (except bathrooms) You should choose the type most suited to the risk in each room. For minimum protection the number to be fitted will depend on the type of home you live in:

If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably of the optical type, may be enough to provide you with early warning of a fire.

If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level. In this case a combination of optical and ionisation alarms, preferably interconnected, will give the best protection.

Do not fit an alarm in the bathroom, as steam may trigger the alarm.

Where do I fit my smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms are usually screwed onto the ceilings, although specialist sticky pads can be used, and should be fitted as close to the centre of the room as possible, but at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting. You should always make sure that your alarm is fitted in a place where it can be heard throughout your home – particularly when you are asleep.

If your home is on one level, you should fit the alarm in the hallway between the living and sleeping areas. If you have only one smoke alarm and two floors, put it where you can hear it when you are asleep – on the ceiling at the top of the stairs leading to the bedrooms.
If you have a TV or other large electrical appliance in your bedroom, you should fit a smoke alarm there.

Looking after your smoke alarm

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – smoke alarms need very little maintenance. A few minutes of your time during the year will ensure that your alarm is working and could help save your life and the lives of your family. You should:

  • Test your smoke alarm when the clocks are changed and vacuum it gently using the soft brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors
  • Once a year change the battery (unless it’s a ten-year alarm)
  • After 10 years it’s best to get a whole new alarm.

Do you keep forgetting to check your smoke alarms, help is at hand. Let us remind you to check them here .

Where can I buy them?

We recommend you buy your smoke alarms from a reputable company such as Safelincs who are able to cater for all your fire safety needs with their extensive range of products.

Remember:

Buying and fitting smoke alarms, and ensuring they are carefully and properly maintained, could give you those precious few extra minutes in which to make your escape safely.

Plan an escape from your home in advance and talk about it with your family. If a fire occurs you may have to get out in the dark and difficult conditions. Escaping will be a lot easier it everyone knows where to go. Make sure your routes remain free of any obstructions and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you.

Always check the battery regularly, replacing it when necessary, and never remove it for other purposes.

Purchase Smoke Alarms

UK Fire Service Resources recommends Safelincs Safety Products for Battery and Mains Smoke Alarms .


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