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Insurcomm Fogging To Protect Against COVID-19

Fogging or spraying is the application of a high-grade EPA and CDC approved disinfectant which has proven effective against many communicable viruses. Combining a deep clean with a fogging solution is a sensible method for combating the spread of COVID-19.

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Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

The following article was initially published on the CDC Website.

Please visit our cleaning and disinfection page to get in touch with us to discuss the next steps. 

Background

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. The transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus, in general, occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.

Purpose

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas of those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 have visited. It is aimed at limiting the survival of novel coronavirus in key environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, community centers) that do and do not house persons overnight. These guidelines are not meant for cleaning staff in healthcare facilities or repatriation sites, households, or for others for whom specific guidance already exists.

Definitions

  • Community facilities (e.g., schools, daycares centers, businesses) comprise most non-healthcare settings that are visited by the general public outside of a household.
  • Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility

Timing and location of cleaning and disinfection of surfaces

  • At a school, daycare center, office, or another facility that does not house people overnight:
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize the potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
  • At a facility that does house people overnight:
    • Follow Interim Guidance for US Institutions of Higher Education on working with state and local health officials to isolate ill persons and provide temporary housing as needed.
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize the potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • In areas where ill persons are being housed in isolation, follow Interim Guidance for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection for U.S. Households with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019. This includes focusing on cleaning and disinfecting common areas where staff/others providing services may come into contact with ill persons, but reducing cleaning and disinfection of bedrooms/bathrooms used by ill persons to as needed.
    • In areas where ill persons have visited or used, continue routine cleaning and disinfection as in this guidance.

How to Clean and Disinfect

Surfaces

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
    • Otherwise, use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are suitable for porous surfaces 

Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry

  • Do not shake dirty laundry; this increases the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to the guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene:

  • Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
    • Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products being used.
    • Additional PPE might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of a splash.
    • Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean your hands after removing gloves.
  • Gloves should be removed after cleaning a room or area occupied by ill persons. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • Cleaning staff should immediately report breaches in PPE (e.g., tear in gloves) or any potential exposures to their supervisor.
  • Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Follow normal preventive actions while at work and home, including cleaning hands and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child)

Additional Considerations for Employers:

  • Employers should work with their local and state health departments to ensure appropriate local protocols and guidelines, such as updated/additional guidance for cleaning and disinfection, are followed, including for identification of new potential cases of COVID-19.
  • Employers should educate staff and workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up activities to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and provide instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus. At a minimum, any staff should immediately notify their supervisor and the local health department if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. The health department will provide guidance on what actions need to be taken. When working with your local health department check their available hours.
  • Employers should develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff on-site prior to providing cleaning tasks. Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
  • Employers must ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200external icon).
  • Employers must comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030external icon), including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE (29 CFR 1910.132external icon).

At Insurcomm, we have the experience and understand what is involved with environmental cleaning and disinfection. If you have questions we are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 844-424-9283 or our dedicated cleaning and disinfection webpage.

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12 Generator Safety Tips

12 Tips For Generator Safety - Insurcomm

There are times that you must use a generator for power at your home or business, so it is essential to have this equipment available when you need it. Here are the most common reasons for using a generator: 

  • Requiring power for essential medical devices 
  • Requiring power for space heaters or an air conditioner 
  • To provide power for security equipment 
  • Preventing food spoilage 
  • Removing water from a basement 
  • Coping with power outages 

If you are going to use a generator, then safety has to be a top priority. Here are 12 tips to follow when using a generator. 

Tip 1: Keep a Generator Outside 

Never use a generator inside because it emits dangerous fumes. Avoid using a generator on a covered porch or close to trees where there isn’t enough ventilation. 

Tip 2: Plug the Generator into the Inlet Box or Transfer Switch 

You can’t plug a generator into a regular wall outlet because it won’t have any protection from surges. Doing so can both damage your generator as well as the electrical system in your home. It is always best to have a licensed electrician perform all hookups and walk you through how to operate the unit.   

Tip 3: Turning On the Generator 

Make sure to turn on the generator first before plugging in other equipment or appliances. Don’t overload the generator with too many devices because it can harm the equipment. 

Tip 4: Keep the Generator Dry 

It is dangerous to use a wet generator, so you must place the equipment on a dry surface, and also, protect it from rainwater or snowmelt. 

Tip 5: Add Fuel to the Generator Correctly 

If you have a fuel-operated generator, then turn the machine off until it cools completely. Add the proper fuel carefully to avoid any problems from explosions or flames. 

Tip 6: Read the Generator’s Manual 

Always read the generator’s operating manual before using the equipment, and also, make sure to read it again if it has been a while since you last used the device. 

Tip 7: Turn the Generator in the Proper Direction 

Make that the exhaust gases from your generator are not entering a home or any other structure. These gases are often lethal for animals and people. 

Tip 8: Choose the Right Type of Extension Cord for Your Generator 

When you need an extension cord for your generator, make sure to buy the right type. A flimsy extension cord that you would use for a lamp at home isn’t suitable for a generator. Instead, make sure to get a higher gauge extension cord. 

Tip 9: Stay Near the Generator 

Don’t leave a generator alone while it is in operation, especially when you have children or family pets. Teach your children to stay away from the generator at all times. 

Tip 10: Wear Gloves While Working with the Generator 

A generator gets hot quickly, so you should make sure to wear gloves while handling the device. Look for gloves that have heat-resistant material. 

Tip 11: Store Generator Fuel Safely 

When you use fuel for a generator rather than using electricity, you must store it safely. Use the proper containers for the fuel and place the containers in a proper storage area. 

Tip 12: Don’t Use a Grill or Cookstove Near the Generator 

The flames and gases from a cookstove or barbecue grill can combine with the heat and exhaust from the generator, leading to dangerous fumes or potential explosions. 

When you need emergency services due to inclement weather conditions or a disaster such as a flood, call Insurcomm. Our knowledgeable staff understands proper generator safety. Insurcomm is available 24/7 for any emergency situation to help you when you need it most. 

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Summer 2019 Top Fire Safety Tips

The summer months raise the risk of fire and the dangers that go along with fires rise. We get our share of questions, especially from homeowners, centering around fire safety. Below we answer some of the more frequent questions we receive in the hope of keeping your summer safe.

Grilling & Propane

Top Fire Safety Tips

It’s grilling time! But please, before you spark up the grill, stay safe by wearing loose-fitting clothes; never use a grill in any type of enclosed location; if using a gas grill, check the connections on the propane tank between the fuel line and the tank; and watch where you place your lighter fluid, as a stray flame can ignite this liquid in an instant.

Smoke Detectors

Even though the warm weather diverts your attention to the outdoors, remember to test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. We suggest having at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector on every floor, including one in an attached garage and one in your basement. The more detectors, the better…placing them in bedrooms, kitchens, hallways, stairways, laundry rooms, and furnace rooms makes for better coverage and means better protection for your home and family. We also suggest changing the batteries twice a year, once when you “Spring ahead” your clocks and once again when you “Fall behind” on your clocks.

Air Conditioners

House fires can also be caused by air conditioning units. During the hot summer months, air conditioners can become overworked, overheated, and easily overlooked. Regularly cleaning the filter, occasionally changing the filter, avoiding extension cords or power strips, making sure the unit is clear of any surrounding combustible material and having your conditioner checked over at least once a year by a certified HVAC technician, will help ensure that your home and your family remain safe.

Appliances & Electronics

Consider that your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, computer, and fan generate heat and pose a potential fire hazard. Look around these devices for loose connections, frayed wires, overtasked extension cords, and combustible material. A fire inside your home is anyone’s worst nightmare, and by simply being observant and proactive regarding your appliances, you can help avoid such a tragedy.

Fire Extinguishers

Fireproof your home by keeping fire extinguishers handy, by properly disposing of flammable material in your basement or garage, by having your furnace checked by a qualified professional, and by simply using good common sense and making good choices when it comes to candles, matches, and, once again, all electrical appliances.

Insurcomm Is Your One Point Of Contact

The bottom line is that these summer months present a wonderful and exciting time to bond with family, especially after our long New England winter! To get in touch with the Insurcomm fire team and learn more about fire damage cleanup and repair please visit our fire page. If a fire does occur please call us 24/7 at 844-424-9283.

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How To Prevent & Remove Ice Dams

How To Prevent & Remove Ice Dams | Insurcomm

An ice dam can develop on the roof of any home when snowy or icy conditions are present. The damage from an ice dam can be significant, but the good news is that these dams can be prevented when proper precautions are taken. By learning more about what ice dams are and how they are formed, you can understand what it takes to prevent them and to deal with them if they do develop on your roof.

What Is An Ice Dam?

Ice Dam Picture

When you think about snow or ice accumulating on your roof, you may think about a relatively even layer of frozen precipitation over the entire surface. However, several factors may cause uneven heating on the roof. For example, internal heat from the home may not penetrate through the roof evenly. Sunlight and shading from trees, the chimney, and nearby structures may also result in uneven heating on the roof. Uneven heating may result in snow or ice melting in some areas of the roof and not in others. The water will run down the roof until it hits a colder space, and it may re-freeze. When this happens, thick ice will accumulate, and this creates pooling water just above the ice dam. Unfortunately, a roof is designed to be impermeable to water that is flowing downward. It is not impermeable to water that pools on the roof. Water leaks are one of the most significant types of property damage associated with ice dams. They may also result in damaged gutters, fascia, soffits and more.  

Preventing an Ice Dam

The good news is that you can prevent this type of damage from occurring if you take a few steps. Ideally, your entire roof will remain cold, and no internal heat will impact its surface temperature. To accomplish this, you need to have high-quality insulation evenly spaced throughout the attic. You may also need to reseal some areas. Improving attic ventilation can also be helpful. Before winter arrives, take a closer look at trees near the home. Trees can grow substantially during the warm weather season, so branches and limbs that were not a problem last year may result in uneven roof heating this year. Pruning and trimming before winter arrives is a helpful preventative step.

Removing an Ice Dam

If you notice signs of an ice dam forming, you may be inclined to grab an ice pick or another sharp tool and start chipping away at the ice. However, that can result in tremendous damage to the roof. Salt may be helpful, but it can fall off of the roof and harm your vegetation. There are a few safer and effective ways to deal with an ice dam. For example, you may place a box fan in the attic to promote improved circulation. You may also use a special raking device that is made specifically for this purpose. This special rake may change the temperature of the roof almost immediately. Another idea is to use calcium chloride as a deicer. Or, cat litter! An easy way to apply the calcium chloride or cat litter to the roof is to stuff it into a pair of nylon pantyhose.

Dealing with Water Damage

If you remove an ice dam quickly, you may not have to deal with the effects of water damage from a roof leak. However, if you are like many others, you may not realize that an ice dam has formed until it is too late. Insurcomm is your leading source for water damage repair from ice dams and other issues throughout New England. We provide our clients with a fast response and effective remediation and restoration services. Water damage may become more problematic over time, so it is best to address this issue head-on.

The best time to prepare for an ice dam is well before cold winter weather arrives. Spending time improving ventilation, and insulation throughout the attic and pruning tree branches are essential before each winter season arrives. You also need to be observant throughout the winter so that you can take pre-emptive steps if an ice dam begins to form. Reach out to Insurcomm immediately for restoration services if your home is damaged by water.

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How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes - Insurcomm

When water freezes it expands. When this occurs pipes are likely to burst which can mean disaster for your home or business. Rarely, the best outcome from frozen pipes is the loss of water. More likely, once pipes freeze they split and burst – causing severe flood damage.

Water loss is a headache. Flood damage is a disaster. The best way to avoid the problem is prevention. A few easy tips can prepare your water pipes for the frigid weather to come.

6 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

If you’ve heard the quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” it definitely applies to water pipes. Use these tips to protect your pipes from the winter weather freeze.

1. Keep your temperature up.

It’s not unusual to be away from your home or your business during winter holidays. If outside temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes are at risk. Keeping indoor temperatures above 55 degrees can make all the difference. When you are at home, don’t turn down the heat at night. A consistent temperature will help keep your pipes at a safe temperature.

2. Let the Faucet Trickle.

Fast flowing creeks and rivers don’t usually freeze. When they do, freezing begins where water moves slowly. The same thing applies to the water in your pipes. A slight trickle usually prevents your pipes from freezing. If ice does form, the open faucet will relieve pressure build-up. Water pressure is what usually causes pipes to rupture.

3. Open Cabinet Doors.

Most sinks have cabinets below them that hide water pipes. Open these cabinet doors when temperatures are colder than usual. This action can allow extra heat to reach the pipes. It’s also a good idea to leave all inside doors open to allow heat to circulate freely throughout the building.

4. Insulate Pipes.

Before the temperature gets too cold, consider adding insulation to your exposed pipes. Foam or other types of insulation can be fitted to pipes to help them stay closer to the temperature of the water. Pipes inside walls are often more protected from the existing insulation. Exposed pipes may be found in the basement, attic, or crawl-spaces beneath a home.

5. Seal the Gaps.

Gaps may occur around where pipes come into the building. Cracks and gaps let in cold air which may be restricted to the area where your pipes are most vulnerable. Seal these spaces with foam insulation or caulk. Repairs on both interior and exterior sides of the wall will ensure no cold air can enter the building. If there are cracked or broken windows in the attic or basement, they should be repaired as well.

6. Locate Your Main Water Valve.

Before frigid weather occurs, find your main water shut-off valve. If a disaster occurs, you will need to turn off the water as quickly as possible. When you are out of town, you will need to be able to tell others where to locate the valve.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If your pipes freeze, there are things you can do to get water flowing again. Turning on a faucet to only see a trickle of water can be worrisome but don’t panic. There is likely ice somewhere in the pipes. It’s important to be careful when thawing pipes. If a line has already burst, water can flood the home as pipes thaw. When you know a pipe is broken, shut off the main water valve.

Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using a hair dryer or heating pad. (Never use an open flame since pipes could be damaged or a fire could result.) Apply heat until full pressure is restored. Don’t forget to check other faucets to ensure more pipes are not frozen.

Sometimes, the most careful planning cannot prepare you for what mother nature has in store. In the event you experience frozen and burst water pipes, it is important to take action immediately. Water damage begins quickly and continues long after the event that caused it. The professionals at Insurcomm will respond immediately to your water emergency to assess the damage and begin necessary repairs. As New England’s leading restoration company, we provide emergency services to commercial and residential clients in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

 

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Veteran’s military mementos replaced after fire

SOMERSWORTH — A veteran whose home was nearly destroyed by fire, received a very meaningful gift Wednesday because someone asked the right question.

Willie Little lost his three dogs in a fire on Oct. 9, 2015. The two-alarm blaze nearly destroyed his home and all of his possessions.

Members of the 1-800-BoardUp team that came to the scene that day learned that Little was a veteran and called on New Hampshire Vet to Vet for help.

Ken Stanley, of NH Vet to Vet, is also an outreach specialist for “Ask the Question,” an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services to help veterans get the services they need.

Stanley said the program urges emergency responders, medical personnel, and human services professionals on intake to ask, “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?”

According to Stanley, that one question can open the door to much-needed services.

In Little’s case, it led to an emotional reunion with a fellow unit member from his time in Iraq and replacement items for those lost in the fire.

Dennis Cote and John Cunningham of 1-800-BoardUp asked Little if he was a veteran, then contacted Stanley. At the time they had no idea that Stanley and Little had served together.

Please see the full article on Fosters.com: http://www.fosters.com/news/20160601/veterans-military-mementos-replaced-after-fire 

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Insurcomm empowers young people to shape positive futures through music


Insurcomm’s financial support of Classics for Kids empowers young people to shape positive futures through music. School music programs, and particularly strings programs, have been a primary target for budget cuts over the past two decades. Classics for Kids Foundation was founded in 1997 in response to this challenge in education. CFKF strengthens strings programs through our matching grants, which encourage partnership with local philanthropy. Students with beautiful new instruments are more engaged, tend to practice more, and participate longer in their strings programs.

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Insurcomm hits a home run with building for Portsmouth Little League

Insurcomm Construction of Portsmouth donated the materials and labor to build a clubhouse and announcer’s booth for the Portsmouth Little League organization. The league offers an organized baseball experience for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 12 who reside in Greenland, Newington, and Portsmouth. The league is divided into four divisions of play: majors, AAA minors, AA minors, and Challenger. The Challenger program provides an organized baseball experience for children aged 5 to 18 years with disabilities that preclude participation in the regular program. Portsmouth Little League, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer run organization. All adults participating in the league, at all levels, are volunteers.

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ICI supports Child Advocacy Center

Insurcomm Contruction donated to support the mission of the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County, an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance. The CACRC has provided professional services to over 3,800 local children and their families at no cost to them or the taxpayers.

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