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Safety Tips

How to Safely Use an Electric Blanket

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

bed with blanket

Few things are cozier than curling up under an electric blanket, but did you know that this wonderful comfort item can also turn into a fire hazard? Modern electric blankets are very safe when used correctly, but there are still a few dos and don’ts that you should follow to avoid becoming one of the 500 or so house fires caused by electric blankets and heating pads every year:

DO Check Your Blanket’s Lifespan

Every electric blanket has a projected lifespan that is noted in the user manual or tag. Always check that when you pull the blanket out for the season, and replace the blanket if it’s aged out of safe use.

DO Check for Signs of Damage

Dark or charred spots, a damaged or frayed cord, or a control unit that doesn’t work properly are all signs it’s time for a new blanket. Also, if your electric blanket isn’t endorsed by Underwriter’s Laboratory, you might suddenly find yourself making use of Parker Young’s services.

DON’T Run the Cord Through Any Pinch Points

A pinched electrical cord is a fire hazard, so don’t use your electric blanket on adjustable beds, recliners or pull-out sofas. Here’s another pinch preventor: Don’t run the cord between the mattress and the box spring.

DON’T Leave the Blanket Alone

Feel free to get up for a glass of water or a quick trip to the bathroom, but if you’ll be away for longer than that, turn off and unplug your electric blanket before you go.

Follow these rules and you’ll enjoy years of safe warmth from your electric blankets. But if the worst does happen, give disaster repair services in Ellijay a call and we can help you put things back in order following any home fire, flood or other disaster.

5 Serious Signs You Might Need an Electrical Wiring Upgrade

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

hanging light bulb

Unless you’re an experienced electrician, you might not be sure when it’s time to upgrade wiring or call in a pro for needed repairs. Keeping wiring up-to-date can prevent potentially hazardous disasters such as a fire that can put people at risk, or even wipe out your entire structure. Here are five indications that your wiring needs immediate attention.

1. Age and Condition of Current Wiring

Wiring inspections are recommended for older homes, during restoration projects and when homes change ownership. The latter is important in case previous owners used the services of any unlicensed electrical contractors. However, warning signs of issues can arise at any time.

2. Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Potential for Fire

If you see smoke, sparks or signs of charring near wall switches or outlets, or smell something burning, immediately turn off electrical access. Often caused by old, frayed or improper installations, all of these signs indicate the need to upgrade electrical wiring and can present a serious danger.

3. Snaps, Crackles and Pops

While commonly associated with a beloved breakfast cereal, hearing any of these noises around outlets is not a good sign. When you activate switches or plug into outlets and sense a tingling sensation in your hands or hear sudden sounds or humming, your wiring is crying for help desperately before disaster results.

4. Dimming or Flickering Lights

These can be signs of faulty fixtures or faulty wiring. Discover which is the cause by testing fixtures on different outlets. If the outlet is the source, check to see if the circuit is overloaded before recruiting a professional.

5. Tripping Circuit Breakers

If breakers frequently trip with no apparent cause, it’s likely your circuits are overloaded, or there is a short in your wiring. Both are significant fire hazards and shouldn’t be ignored.

Need Macon Disaster Repair Services?

If you’ve suffered structural damage due to faulty wiring or connections, contact the pros at Parker Young Construction and Disaster Repair Services in Macon.

Disaster Preparedness for Those with Disabilities

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

dark clouds

Being prepared for an emergency is important for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities and the families who care for them.  Follow these guidelines to create a preparedness plan that keeps everyone in the family safe.

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters for Those with Disabilities

Build a preparedness kit. In addition to the usual items, include prescription medications and extra parts or batteries for necessary medical equipment. Include familiar, comforting items for children or adults who may be particularly upset about a change in routine.

Collect the names, addresses—including email addresses—phone numbers and social media contacts for friends, family members and health care providers you may need to call on in case of emergency. Make a hard copy of the list and place it in your preparedness kit. 

Know your neighbors. Make sure the people in closest physical proximity to you know you may need extra help in case of disaster. Have at least one person you can call on who is available to provide support quickly.

Know your limits and your strengths. Can you exit your home quickly or drive yourself to a shelter? Do you know how to turn off your utilities?  Discuss your list of needs with your support team.

Plan a safe space. If you’re caring for someone whose disability requires constant medical care, where would you go in case of evacuation? If you must shelter at home, is the safest place in your house accessible to all? Everyone should be able to reach shelter if a disaster occurs.

Plan to recover. Recovering from a disaster can be a long and stressful experience. Researching which disaster repair services in Macon provide the special services you may need, before you need them, will help life get back to normal as soon as possible.

Safety in an emergency is important for everyone, and every individual has their own unique set of capabilities to share during stressful times. Being honest about your needs and your skills should be a part of your plan. Call Parker Young today for more information about disaster preparedness and recovery! 

9 Tips for Safe Grilling this Season

Monday, August 21st, 2017

grill with food

Summer’s in full swing and grilling is a fine way to cook flavorful cookout favorites. Here are nine tips for safe grilling this season to keep you safe, compliments of Parker Young Construction, providers of trustworthy disaster repair services in Atlanta.

Tips for Safe Grilling this Summer

  1. Keep kids away from the grill. If you know your kids are likely to run amok, invest in barrier gates to guard your grilling area.
  2. Maintain a good distance. You should keep your grill a safe distance from your house—at least 10 feet away.
  3. Grill only under approved canopies. Make sure you’re grilling under safe, fire-resistant canopies and not under wooden overhangs, tents, or inside a screened porch. You should definitely not grill indoors, either.
  4. Keep your grill away from deck railings. Positioning your grill directly against deck railings can cause a fire that could spread to the rest of your home.
  5. Turn on your gas grill properly. For gas grills, you should open the lid before turning on the grill. If the lid is closed, you can accidentally create a fireball! If it somehow doesn’t ignite, you need to turn off the gas, wait five minutes, then try again.
  6. Clean your grill often. Leftover fats and grease make conditions ripe for flare ups and unsafe fires.
  7.  For gas grills, check for leaks. Check your grill’s hoses for leaks to make sure your grill is working properly.
  8. Declutter. Remove flammable decorations from your grilling area to prevent fires.
  9. Keep firefighting tools handy. A fire extinguisher and spray water bottle can serve you in the case of fire emergencies. Spray bottles are good at calming down flare ups from old grease, while fire extinguishers can handle unexpected explosions.

If you need disaster repair services in Atlanta, then contact the professionals at Parker Young Construction. We can handle repairs from fires, floods, storms, and mold.

The Dangers of Ungrounded Outlets in Your Home or Business

Monday, August 14th, 2017

electrical outlets

You likely don’t give outlet plugs much thought until you need to use one. However, outlets can present a hazard if they are not grounded. All it takes to identify whether or not an outlet is grounded is a few seconds of observation. Grounded outlets have two vertical holes and a larger round one centered beneath them. While grounded outlets have been a mandated electrical safety feature since the ’60s, older structures may lack that protective third hole and present a very real danger.

The Importance of Grounded Outlets

Essentially one vertical slit represents a ‘hot’ wire and the other is ‘neutral.’ The large hole is also neutral and serves as a failsafe should the outlet short. This ‘grounding’ hole redirects renegade electricity through the grounded wiring to prevent it from channeling into people and other materials that may encounter the outlet.

What Makes Ungrounded Outlets Dangerous?

While they may have seemed harmless so far, ungrounded outlets can drastically increase personal and property risks. Electrical fires can be prevented with grounded outlets, as ungrounded ones can spew sparks when electricity misfires,  damaging items nearby or even causing a major flare-up. Ungrounded outlets can also cause plugged-in equipment to short out when electricity goes awry, and this can spell disaster for costly appliances and gadgets. Last but not least, the unfortunate person who touches an ungrounded shorted outlet will have a real shock coming to them. Overall, it’s worth the small investment to get grounded outlets to prevent serious incidents that can become costly.

Call Parker Young for Disaster Repair Services in Macon if Catastrophe Strikes

If you’ve suffered from a mishap due to ungrounded outlet fires or any other type of home or business incident that has damaged your property, we can help you recover your space within compliance of local codes and regulations. Contact Parker Young Construction for disaster repair services in Macon, GA at (478) 757-9032 today.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Garage

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

tools in garageMost Atlanta homeowners consider their kitchen as the part of the home most likely to catch fire. Though the kitchen certainly poses risks for fires, the garage is especially prone to devastating fires. The United States Fire Administration reports garage fires cause more than $450 million in property losses per year. Here’s how to prevent a fire in your garage.

Store Flammable Fluids in a Protected Area

Gasoline, oil, paint and other flammable liquids should be stored in a backyard shed. If you absolutely need these fluids in the garage, store them in small amounts in a sealed, fireproof container. Label these containers so you and others know exactly what type of fluid is inside.

Get Rid of That Clutter

Garages laden with clutter are more vulnerable to fires. Boxes, trash and various sundries stored in containers are a form of potentially lethal kindling. Remove the clutter from your garage every six months. Clean those cobwebs and dust buildups as they have the potential to compromise electrical systems.

Be Mindful When Plugging Items Into Garage Outlets

Some people leave their appliances plugged into garage outlets, sometimes overnight, for a thorough charge. Do not plug several cords into a garage outlet. Also, avoid using an extension cord when charging appliances. Extension cords dramatically boost the odds of a garage electrical fire.

Clean up After Working in the Garage

Plenty of homeowners use their garage as a work space. Do not let sawdust, wood scraps, plastic wrappings or paper accumulate. These materials can easily turn into tinder with a simple spark.

Fire Damage? Contact Parker Young Construction Today

If your Atlanta property has endured a fire, lean on us in your time of need. Our fire damage restoration service will help you bounce back as quickly as possible. Give us a call at 1 (888) 303-9288 to learn more about our Atlanta disaster repair services.

Tips for Hosting a Safe Outdoor Party

Monday, July 17th, 2017

summer backyardSummer is the best time of the year for outdoor parties. Invite your friends, family and neighbors over for a party with cool drinks and hot eats. Most outdoor parties end up being an absolute blast. However, the combination of people, campfires and barbecues has the potential to induce harm. Here’s how to keep everyone safe.

Be Mindful of Fire Sources

Most parties have flammable items of some sort. Gather everyone before the party commences and point out fire sources like candles, tiki torches and portable outdoor fireplaces. Each has the potential to spread fire across your yard and into your Ellijay home.

Supervise Kids and Pets

Dogs, cats and children are especially vulnerable during parties. The parents are usually busy cooking, setting the table or socializing. Supervise the little ones throughout the entirety of the event. Keep them at least five feet away from fire pits, barbecues and outdoor fireplace flames.

Mind the Grill

Most outdoor parties involve grilling meats. The grill should be a minimum of 10 feet away from your home and other structures. Make sure the lid is open when turning on the gas.

Water Should be Readily Available

Stock up on water for your outdoor party. It will keep guests hydrated on a hot summer day. Water will also prove quite helpful if the campfire flames spread.

Sweat the Small Stuff

If your party features burning candles, use heavy and reliable candle holders that hold the candles upright. The last thing you need is for a gust of wind to knock down your burning candles and create a fire.

Bounce Back From a Fire With the Help of Parker Young Construction

Our fire damage restoration experts are here to help you regain a sense of normalcy following a home fire. We will restore as much of your fire-damaged Ellijay home as possible. Contact us by dialing 1 (888) 303-9288 to learn more about our Ellijay disaster repair services.

5 Most Dangerous Household Chemicals

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

hazard

Household chemicals can absolutely make our lives easier, but it’s important to remember that many of them are dangerous when used improperly. And when disasters strike, household chemical spills can be a major source of injury and property damage. Make sure these five chemicals are always stored safely in your home or business to maintain safety.

Ammonia

Ammonia fumes are a powerful irritant, potentially harming your skin, eyes, nose, lungs and throat. When working with ammonia, wearing heavy-duty gloves, goggles and a face mask are smart precautions to protect your health.

Bleach

Another useful but dangerous cleaner, bleach also has strong corrosive properties that can do serious damage to the human body. Ammonia and bleach are a particularly dangerous combination, creating potentially deadly gases when mixed. Never store these two chemicals in the same place.

Antifreeze

Swallowing antifreeze can cause serious damage to your internal organs. Its inoffensive, sweet taste makes antifreeze especially dangerous for children and pets, who may readily ingest the substance when spilled or improperly stored.

Drain Cleaners

The purpose of drain cleaners is to break down organic material that builds up and obstructs pipes. As such, most chemical drain cleaners contain powerful alkaline compounds, including lye, that can cause serious damage when it comes into contact with your skin or eyes.

Air Fresheners

This one probably comes as a surprise, but the truth is many commercial air fresheners contain formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous chemicals. Even “all natural” options aren’t totally safe: Essential oils are powerful solvents that can strip paint.

Unfortunately, even the most carefully stored household chemicals can be spilled when disaster strikes, causing major damage to your home or business. If you’re dealing with such a situation and looking for disaster repair services in Macon, be sure to call our offices at Parker Young today.

Tips for Testing Your Smoke Alarm

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

smokeWhen you offer Atlanta disaster repair services, you see the worst that can possibly happen. While we take great pride in helping people rebuild their lives, there’s nothing better than using prevention to avert the disaster from ever happening. When you make sure that your smoke alarm is in full working order, you’re taking one of the most important steps to protect your property from catastrophe and keeping the lives that you care most about safe. Here’s how to make sure that your smoke alarm is working perfectly.

5 Steps to Make Sure Your Smoke Alarm is Fully Functional

  1. Be sure everyone knows your testing the system. When you make tests a regular practice, it’s important to let people know about a drill beforehand. That way when it’s the real thing, people will know to act accordingly. If your alarm is tied into the home security system, be sure to let them know as well.
  2. Have someone stand far away from the alarm while still inside the house. How well can they hear it? If it’s not loud then it’s time to increase the number of alarms. The alarm should also be able to be heard from outside the house.
  3. Get up on a chair or ladder to reach the alarm and press the test button. If it does not immediately emit a loud alarm noise, you can troubleshoot by replacing the batteries or have an electrician take a look for hardwired models. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to replace the unit for one that’s fully functional.
  4. The test button isn’t enough. Make sure that the sensors are fully functional by spraying aerosol near the alarm or lighting a couple of matches and holding them a couple of feet below the alarm.
  5. Regardless of how well your unit is working, it should automatically be replaced every ten years.

Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, misfortune can’t be avoided. If you’re currently in the process of dealing with damage to your home or business give us a call. We’re happy to provide the best disaster repair services in Atlanta.

How to be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

storm cloudsMeteorologists predict that Georgia’s hurricane season can last up to six months. From June 1 to November 30, it’s important that you remain prepared for extreme weather. At Parker Young, our trained professionals provide disaster repair services in Atlanta and hope these tips about being prepared and staying safe prove helpful.

Emergency Disaster Kit

Having an emergency kit in place will allow you to ride out the storm and its aftermath. Be prepared, and have these items in place in advance. When a storm hits, you may be cut off from supplies. The kit should include:

  • Three days of drinking water based on one gallon per person
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Complete first aid kit including prescription medications
  • Battery-operated radio and cell phone
  • Flashlights and battery-operated lanterns
  • Whistle or horn to signal for assistance
  • Shelter-building supplies such as plastic sheets, duct tape, etc.
  • Tool set

Weathering the Storm

Anytime an extreme weather event strikes your area, it’s imperative that you take safety precautions to avoid injury and property damage. Here are some things to keep in mind that are not always common sense.

  • Go inside as the storm approaches. Flying debris can cause injury.
  • Stay clear of windows and skylights during the storm.
  • During extreme weather, remain in a safe space such as a bathroom or basement.
  • Do not use electrical appliances during a storm. Wiring may become damaged and result in a fire.
  • Homeowners in flood zones should turn off their main electrical circuit breaker.
  • Do not use the shower or bathe during a storm. Lightning strikes are common.

Many hurricanes have an eye. When that passes over, it can make you think the storm has stopped. Get a credible weather report before resuming normal activities.

Parker Young is committed to helping the people of Georgia repair and rebuild properties. If you need disaster repair services in Atlanta, contact us today.

Call us now! 770-368-1000