Recent Community Posts

How to Drive Safely in Snow

1/2/2024 (Permalink)

Snow covering streets & buildings in Downtown Dallas Snow covering streets & buildings in Downtown Dallas

Snow-covered landscapes hold a certain magic, but they also present unique challenges for drivers. Fear not, winter warriors! Navigating snowy roads doesn't have to be a white-knuckle experience. With a little preparation and some key driving tips, you can conquer the white road and reach your destination safely.

Before You Hit the Road:

  • Gear Up: Equip your car for winter conditions. Swap out your regular tires for snow tires or all-weather tires with a good tread depth. Check your tire pressure regularly, as cold temperatures can cause it to drop. Ensure your windshield wiper fluid is topped up with a winter-grade mixture to combat freezing temperatures.

  • Pack Smart: Prepare an emergency kit for your car, including a shovel, jumper cables, flares, a first-aid kit, blankets, non-perishable food, and bottled water. A portable phone charger can be a lifesaver too.

  • Plan Your Route: Choose main roads that are more likely to be plowed and sanded. Check traffic reports and weather updates before you leave to avoid potential trouble spots.

Hitting the White Stuff:

  • Slow Down: The golden rule of snow driving is to adjust your speed. Roads become slippery, and stopping distances increase significantly. Take it slow and steady, even if the roads look clear. Remember, it's not a race to your destination.

  • Gentle Touches: Avoid jerky movements with the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes. Sudden changes in direction or speed can cause you to lose control. Apply the gas and brakes smoothly and gradually.

  • Increase Following Distance: Leave plenty of space between your car and the vehicle ahead. Double or even triple the normal following distance to give yourself ample time to react and brake safely.

  • Pump the Brakes: If you don't have anti-lock brakes (ABS), don't slam on the brakes! Instead, pump them rapidly to prevent the wheels from locking up and skidding. ABS will do the pumping for you, so just apply firm and steady pressure.

  • Mind the Turns: Take corners slowly and wide. Avoid sharp turns that could send you into a skid. Ease off the gas as you approach a turn and maintain a steady speed while navigating the corner.

  • Beware Black Ice: This invisible enemy lurks on shaded roads and bridges, appearing deceptively like wet pavement. Be extra cautious in these areas and adjust your speed accordingly.

  • Turn On Your Lights: Even during the day, turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers. Fog lights can also be helpful in low-visibility conditions.

  • Stay Calm and Collected: Panicking behind the wheel is never helpful. If you do get into a skid, stay calm, ease off the gas and brakes, and steer gently in the direction you want to go. The car will eventually regain traction.

Bonus Tips:

  • Avoid using cruise control in snowy conditions.
  • Clear all snow and ice from your car before driving, including the roof, hood, and mirrors.
  • Don't park your car on an incline, as it can be difficult to get started again.
  • If you get stuck, stay with your car and call for help. Running the engine for short periods with the heater on can help you stay warm while you wait for assistance.

Remember, the key to safe winter driving is preparation, caution, and common sense. By following these tips and adapting your driving habits to the conditions, you can navigate the snowy roads with confidence and reach your destination safely. So buckle up, stay alert, and enjoy the winter wonderland!

Happy and safe winter driving!

Christmas Decoration Safety Tips

12/4/2023 (Permalink)

House with Christmas lights & decorations House with Christmas lights & decorations

Decorating your home for the holidays is a fun and exciting way to get into the festive spirit. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind while doing so. Here are some tips to help you decorate your home safely for the holidays:

  1. Inspect all holiday light cords: Before hanging up your lights, check all cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken. Damaged cords can cause electrical fires, so it’s important to replace them if necessary. You don't want to have to call in a professional fire mitigation company!

  2. Don’t string too many strands of lights together: To avoid overloading your electrical outlets, don’t string more than three strands of lights together per extension cord.

  3. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house: This will help prevent electrical fires from occurring while you’re away.

  4. Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use: If you’re decorating the outside of your home, make sure that all decorations are designed for outdoor use. Additionally, fasten lights securely to your home or trees to prevent them from falling.

  5. Look for the fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree: If you’re buying an artificial tree, make sure it has a fire-resistant label. Keep it away from fireplaces, radiators, and other sources of heat.

  6. Never use electric lights on metallic trees: Electric lights can cause metallic trees to become charged with electricity, which can be dangerous.

  7. If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered: A dry tree can easily catch fire, so it’s important to keep it watered. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.

  8. Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings on the mantel: Stockings can easily catch fire if they’re too close to an open flame.

  9. Check the labels of older decorations: Some older tinsel is lead-based, which can be harmful if ingested.

  10. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation: Angel hair can be irritating to the skin, so it’s important to wear gloves when handling it.

  11. Avoid breathing in artificial snow: Artificial snow can be harmful if inhaled, so it’s important to avoid breathing it in.

  12. Have good, stable placement when using a ladder and wear shoes that allow for good traction: When hanging decorations, make sure your ladder is on a stable surface and wear shoes that allow for good traction to prevent falls.

Halloween Safety Tips for 2023

10/23/2023 (Permalink)

Pumpkin patch with hay and pumpkins Pumpkin patch with hay and pumpkins

Halloween is a fun and exciting time of the year, but it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable Halloween:

  1. Costume Safety: Choose costumes that are made of flame-resistant materials and are not too long to avoid tripping. If you’re wearing a mask, make sure it doesn’t obstruct your vision. Opt for nontoxic makeup instead of masks. Test the makeup on a small area of skin before applying it to your face to avoid any allergic reactions.

  2. Trick-or-Treating Safety: Always accompany young children while trick-or-treating. If your older children are going alone, make sure they have a mobile phone and agree on a specific time for them to return home. Teach your children to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross the street at crosswalks or intersections. Make sure they carry a flashlight or glow stick and wear reflective clothing or tape.

  3. Candy Safety: Inspect all candy before allowing your children to eat it. Discard any candy that is unwrapped, has torn packaging, or looks suspicious.

  4. Home Safety: Keep your home well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to trip. Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles in jack-o’-lanterns. We don't want to call a fire mitigation company!

  5. Driving Safety: Be extra cautious while driving on Halloween night as there will be many pedestrians on the road. Slow down and watch out for children who may dart out into the street.

These tips will help you have a safe and enjoyable Halloween with your loved ones!

Fall Clean Up Is Important For The Safety Of Your Home

10/6/2019 (Permalink)

A Residential Gutter Filled With Leaves Fall Is the Time To Clean Up Outdoors And Get Ready For The Winter

As fall leaves begin to fly and temperatures begin to fall, it is essential to make sure that your fall clean-up starts, so they do not make way to future disasters. Enlist the help of your entire family and make it fun. 

Check weather stripping and caulking around doors. Cracks and missing stripping can cause heat loss and allow the fall and winter weather to intrude into your home. This can cause damage to your windows, doors, and floors. Make sure that the proper repairs and replacements are made. 

Check and clean your gutters and downspouts. When they become clogged or loose, they can create water damage in and around your home.

Patio furniture should be cleaned covered or stored away, so it remains in tip-top condition for next spring and summer

Garden hoses should be drained and unsecured from outdoor water spickets. This will prevent the hose and the outdoor water source from freezing thus potentially causing pipes to burst and creating a water disaster

Check out exterior paint. Does your home need a touch-up? Cooler weather allows you to complete any outdoor painting activities. 

If you have a swimming pool, it is time to close it for the season. 

Busy schedules sometimes give way to the opportunity to season proof your home. Should you forget and be faced with a flood, water, or fire emergency, contact SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas (214) 463-5880. We are here to serve the communities of the Greater Dallas Area, including Dallas, Oak Cliff, Kessler, Cockrell Hill, the Bishop Arts District, and Wynnewood.