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Knowing what type fire extinguisher to use could save your property

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Knowing what type fire extinguisher to use could save your property If a fire is small and you can get it under control you can minimize the damage.

There are 5 main fire extinguisher types – Water, Foam, Dry Powder, CO2 and Wet Chemical. You should have the right types of fire extinguisher for your premises, or you may not meet current regulations.

The various types of fire extinguisher put out fires started with different types of fuel – these are called ‘classes’ of fire.  The fire risk from the different classes of fire in your business premises will determine which fire extinguisher types you need.

Whilst there are 5 main types of fire extinguisher, there are different versions of both the Water and Dry Powder extinguishers, meaning there are a total of 8 fire extinguisher types to choose from.  The 8 types of fire extinguisher are:

– Water
– Water Mist
– Water Spray
– Foam
– Dry Powder – Standard
– Dry Powder – Specialist
– Carbon Dioxide (‘CO2’)
– Wet Chemical

There is no one extinguisher type which works on all classes of fire.

Below is a summary of the classes of fire, and a quick reference chart showing which types of extinguisher should be used on each.  We then provide a detailed explanation of each type of fire extinguisher below.

The classes of fire

There are six classes of fire: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, ‘Electrical’, and Class F.

 –    Class A fires – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric
 –    Class B fires – flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint
 –    Class C fires – flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane
 –    Class D fires – combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
 –    Electrical fires – electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class
 –    Class F fires – cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire

Types of fire extinguisher – a detailed guide

Water Extinguishers

Water extinguishers are the most common fire extinguisher type for class A fire risk. Most premises will require either water or foam extinguishers.

Label Colour:
– Bright Red

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal

Do not use for:
– Fires involving electrical equipment
– Kitchen fires
– Flammable gas and liquids

How water extinguishers work:
The water has a cooling effect on the fuel, causing it to burn much more slowly until the flames are eventually extinguished.

Types of premises/business who may need water extinguishers:
– Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
– Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
o Offices
o Schools
o Hospitals
o Residential properties
o Warehouses

In fact most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers.

Where to locate water extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A fire risk has been identified

Water spray extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Water spray extinguishers are equipped with a spray nozzle, rather than a jet nozzle, meaning a greater surface area can be covered more quickly and the fire put out more rapidly.

Water mist extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Water mist extinguishers have a different type of nozzle again which releases microscopic water particles. These particles ‘suffocate’ the fire and also create a wall of mist between the fire and the person using the extinguisher, reducing the feeling of heat.

Foam Extinguishers

Foam extinguishers are most common type of fire extinguisher for Class B fires, but also work on Class A fires as they are water-based.

Label Colour:
– Cream

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol

Do not use for:
– Kitchen fires
– Fires involving electrical equipment
– Flammable metals

How foam extinguishers work:
As with water extinguishers, foam extinguishers have a cooling effect on the fuel. On burning liquids, the foaming agent creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel, extinguishing the fire.

Types of premises/business who may need Foam extinguishers:
– Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
– Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
o Offices
o Schools
o Hospitals
o Residential properties
o Warehouses
– Buildings where flammable liquids are stored

In fact most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers

Where to locate foam extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A or Class B fire risk has been identified

Dry Powder Extinguishers

Standard dry powder extinguishers are also called ‘ABC’ extinguishers because they tackle class A, B and C fires, however they are not recommended for use in enclosed spaces. This is because the powder can be easily inhaled, and also the residue is very difficult to clean up after. ABC powder extinguishers can also be used on some electrical fires. Specialist dry powder extinguishers are used for flammable metals.

Label Colour:
– Blue

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
– Flammable gases, like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and acetylene
– Fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000v

Specialist dry powder extinguishers are only used on flammable metals, such as titanium and magnesium.

Do not use for:
– Fires involving cooking oil
– Fires involving electrical equipment over 1000v
– or in enclosed spaces, such as offices or residential properties

How dry powder extinguishers work:
Dry powder extinguishers smother fires by forming a barrier between the fuel and the source of oxygen.

Types of premises/business who may need Dry Powder extinguishers:
– Businesses using flammable gases for chemical processes
– Premises where welding and flame cutting takes place
– Garage forecourts
– Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) dispensing plants
– Premises with large, commercial boiler rooms

Where to locate Dry Powder extinguishers:
– Place dry powder extinguishers near to the source of the fire risk.

Specialist Dry Powder extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Specialist dry powder extinguishers work in the same way as standard dry powder extinguishers but are for use with flammable metals only. There are 2 types of specialist dry powder extinguishers – ‘L2’ which only tackles lithium fires, and ‘M28’, for all other flammable metal fires.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers

CO2 extinguishers are predominantly used for electrical fire risks and are usually the main fire extinguisher type provided in computer server rooms. They also put out Class B fires (flammable liquids, such as paint and petroleum).

Label Colour:
– Black

Use for:
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
– Electrical fires

Do not use for:
– Kitchen fires – especially chip-pan fires
– Combustible materials like paper, wood or textiles
– Flammable metals

How CO2 extinguishers work:
CO2 extinguishers suffocate fires by displacing the oxygen the fire needs to burn.

Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
– Premises with electrical equipment, such as:
o Offices
o Kitchens
o Construction sites
o Server rooms

All work vehicles should also carry a smaller 2kg CO2 extinguisher.

Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
– Place near to the source of the fire risk and/or near the fire exits.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers

Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for use on Class F fires, involving cooking oils and fats.  They can also be used on Class A fires although it is more usual to have a foam or water extinguisher for this type of fire risk.

Label Colour:
– Yellow

Use for:
– Cooking oil/fat fires
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal

Do not use for:
– Flammable liquid or gas fires
– Electrical fires
– Flammable metals

How wet chemical extinguishers work:
Wet chemical extinguishers create a layer of foam on the surface of the burning oil or fat, preventing oxygen from fuelling the fire any further. The spray also has a cooling effect.

Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
– Commercial kitchens
– Canteens

Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
– Place near to the source of the fire risk.

Remember safety first.  Always have a safe escape route planned and get out before its too late.

Even a small fire could put you out of business

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Even a small fire could put you out of business A fire could ruin a business you spent a lifetime building

Cleanup from fire damage in a commercial building needs to be done by professionals. Let SERVPRO of Midland and Gladwin Counties handle it.  We are trained in the proper procedures and challenges dealing with a business space.  We understand that your business being closed does not make you any money.  Also your employees are going to be out of work so getting you up and running again is very important.  We have a national support network of over 1700 franchises we can call on to make things happen very quickly.   

We are "Here to Help" if you need us.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Emergencies don't happen at convenient times.  Give us a Call at (989)835-5015

You had a house fire, now what?

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage You had a house fire, now what? We can help put your life back in order

In the event of a house fire SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties should be near the top of your call list.  We have trained professional who know how to deal with everything that comes along with a fire.  We can handle everything from board up to getting you back home.  Even the smallest fire can produce soot and contaminants throughout your whole house and you should not have to deal with that alone. How we proceed depends on how much damage there is.  We will deal directly with you adjestor and guide you through the process of getting your life back together.  We understand that this is probably the worst thing you have ever had happen and we have been through this many times before.  

So if you need our help call us at (989)835-5015

Is your Basement full of water

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is your Basement full of water Leaving your basement wet can lead to way bigger problems.

SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties is always ready to answer the call when you have water in your basement.  Getting started as soon as possible can minimize secondary damage and save money.  If the cause is known and repairs have been made we can start right away.  We can begin by getting the remaining water out and drying the structure.  At this time we would begin any demolition that needed to be done.  All wet carpet pad would be removed along with any dry wall or paneling.  Basically everything that was wet would be stripped down to the structure.  When the tear out is complete we bring in large fans and dehumidifiers to dry it all up.  It usually takes a minimum of three days for drying.  Once it is dry repairs can start immediately. 

Sump pump's fail if they are not properly maintained

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sump pump's fail if they are not properly maintained You should always keep your sump pump and crock free of dirt and debris

If your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement.A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snow melt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings.Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include:

  • Checking the discharge line to make sure it is not stopped up or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
  • Checking the inlet screen to ensure that it’s not clogged with residue and debris. Do this three or four times per year.
  • Making sure the float component is unobstructed and can move smoothly.
  • Scanning the pit and removing any visible debris, mud, or stones.
  • Testing the pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The float should rise with the water level, triggering the unit to start pumping. If pumping doesn’t begin, check to see that the unit is plugged in. Your float switch or check valve might also be at fault.
  • Going outside to see that water is discharging and flowing where it’s supposed to go – well away from your home.

Once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush it thoroughly with water to remove impurities and debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris from the sump pit.  Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source.  Test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.Always refer to your pump’s instruction manual for specific information about maintenance and operation. More information about sump pumps is available from the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.

If your sump pump does fail  Call (989)835-5015 and a crew from SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties will come out and dry your basement and any other areas that are wet.  

Here are some flooding safety tips for you

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding in Midland county is very common.  Here are some tips to help keep you safe.

  • Do not attempt to cross flowing water which may be more than knee deep.
  • During threatening weather listen to commercial radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio for swatch and warning bulletins.
  • Never try to walk, swim,drive, or play in flood water.  You may not be able to see how fast the water is moving, or see holes or submerged debris
  • Beware of low spots such as underpasses, underground parking garages and basements as they can become death traps.  
  • Beware that flash flooding can occur.  If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.  Do not wait for instructions to move.  
  • Beware of streams, drainage channels,canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly.
  • Do not walk through moving water.  Six inches of moving water can make you fall.

The Following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions

  • Do not drive into flooded areas.  If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.  You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.  
  • Do not drive around a barricade.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.  
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of water can carry away most vehicles including Sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pickup trucks.  

Remember nothing you own is worth your safety in an emergency situation.  The best thing to do is get to higher ground until the water recedes and Call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties to clean up the mess and dry out the structure.  

There are many places Mold can appear in your Sanford home

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation There are many places Mold can appear in your Sanford home Mold of any type should be handled by a professional

Here are some of the most common.



Unless a dishwasher stops working or needs replacing or servicing, most of us don’t think about it as a potential source for mold. There are two connections under each dishwasher that have the potential for mold and mildew to get started–the water supply and the discharge connection. The water supply needs to be lubricated with the right sealant and properly tightened  periodically. The discharge connection involves a rubber hose and clamp, and installing the hose before the dishwasher is installed ensures it is done properly. Hoses wear out over time. If you’re buying an older house, it doesn’t hurt to check the dishwasher connections — especially if there’s an odd smell when you open the door.

Hot Water Heater

“Many states have laws regarding the installation of hot water heaters, and most of them involve overflow pans that are piped to drain outside the house. The pan must be tilted ¼ inch to ensure the water does drain. Newer heaters with quick connect connectors should be properly lubricated and tightened so the shut-off valve doesn’t leak,” Hoffman said.

Icemaker Connections

Refrigerators often get moved, either for cleaning or other projects. This can weaken or break the water line connection to the ice maker, causing leaks behind the refrigerator.

“It seems like a simple job, so in the real world the plumbing contractor doesn’t install the water line, another contractor does,” Hoffman said. “The connection is a compression fitting and it must be installed properly to ensure there are no leaks.”

Washing Machine Connections

When installing a washing machine, always install a brand new washing machine hose, using the rubber washers the manufacturer recommends. Also, use Teflon tape and make sure to tighten the connection with vice grips so there are no drips or leaks. After all, it doesn’t take many drips to create an environment for mold.

Plastic P-Traps

Under every sink in your home is a “P-Trap,” almost always made of PVC pipe, which expands, and contracts. This process eventually loosens the connection and allows water to leak onto the base of the cabinet. If you look under sinks in every room you’ll easily spot the stains and discoloration commonly caused by leaking P-Traps. Use Teflon tape to seal every P-Trap and check them periodically, tightening them by hand to ensure their connections don’t loosen and leak. Over tightening PVC can cause it to crack, so be careful.

Toilet Connections

“I’m amazed at how many steps the DIY home improvement shows leave out when they explain about how to install a toilet,” Hoffman said. “The base of the toilet is where most mold grows. Toilets should be installed with a horned wax ring, and then the base of the toilet grouted in with tile grout,” he said. “The grout serves as a filler between the bowl and the floor to keep the bowl from rocking. Rocking bowls are the number one reason for the wax ring being compromised, which then allows mold to get a foothold.”

Shower Doors

Shower doors should probably be installed by plumbing contractors, Hoffman said. “They know how to keep them from leaking.” Mold growing at the base of the tub may be from leaking or improperly installed shower doors. Shower doors need caulking on all three rails — the two side rails as well as the bottom rail.


A properly caulked tub isn’t just nicer looking. It keeps water and moisture from dripping down under the tub and causing mold issues. Slab floors can create more problems — especially if installed by a DIY’er. The hole(s) in concrete slabs under tubs should be filled with a liquid tar, or expandable foam insulation to ensure moisture does not wick up from the ground through the slab.

Exterior Hose Bib

If you have a home, you have an exterior hose bib — a place where the water connection sticks out from the house. If you’ve used a hose, you know a poor connection or missing rubber washer, or loose hose can result in water spraying the house. This uncontrolled spray allows water to enter the space between the sidings, or into the wall, leading to mold growth. Make sure all holes, gaps and areas around every outdoor water connection are properly caulked and sealed.

Outdoor Water Sprinklers

Siding is engineered to shed rain falling down, not sprinklers shooting water up. Make sure your sprinklers are well away from the house when turned on. If you have children or teens that are watering the yard or garden, make sure they know not to spray the house with the hose. If power washing your home, hire a professional, or take care that water is not forced up under the siding as you wash.

As a homeowner, if you take the appropriate precautions and are vigilant about upkeep, you should be able to avoid mold, or catch it at it’s outset. While mold can be a huge problem in homes, even causing health issues, it is easily preventable.

Any mold issues should be handled by trained professionals so if you suspect you have a problem call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties. @(989)835-5015

If your Gladwin county Home has a wet basement call Immediately

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage If your Gladwin county Home has a wet basement call Immediately An air mover are used to dry a basement in Sugar Springs

The restoration process begins when you call us. SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. Even a delay of a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (989) 835-5015

Water damage can be chaotic and traumatic. When you call us, we understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Just because it feels dry does not mean it is.

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Just because it feels dry does not mean it is. This is on of the many tools we can use to tell how much moisture is in your wall.

Did you know, you cannot use your hands to adequately determine if something is dry because skin has a moisture content of 25 percent. Dry wood for example, has a moisture content of about 10 percent. If you feel wood that has moisture content of 20 percent, your skin tells your brain the wood is dry because it is drier than your skin. In actuality it is twice as wet as it should be. Just because it feels dry to you it might be saturated with water and not drying it properly could cause even more damage.

The Franchise Professionals here at SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties are equipped withspecialized equipment to help ensure a structure and contents are quickly and thoroughly dried after water damage.

A puff-back can deposit soot all over you home.

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A puff-back can deposit soot all over you home. Soot webs are usually left behind in a fire or puff-back

What is a puff back you ask?  It is a misfiring in the furnace that, at its worst, can send soot throughout your home, covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls, and everything in between. It requires expensive cleaning and restoration in addition to repairs on your heating system. It is basically like having a small fire in your home.  

So what should you do if this happens to you? First limit movement in the house to avoid spreading the soot.  Then call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties at (989)835-5015.  We will come in and clean every square inch of your home using industry standard as our guideline.  Depending on how bad the contamination is some areas may need to be repainted after the soot is removed.