Maintain your Fire Stop System

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Part of a Fire Stop System is to prevent fire from spreading through different areas of a building or property. Before reviewing a fire stop system you must ask yourself if all fire and life safety components are up to date? Has your sprinkler system in your building been maintained regularly? Are fire and smoke dampers in good condition and operating according to standards? These are a few simple questions that should be put into consideration to keep occupants safe. For instance, a fire stop system should be maintained where there are many individuals and that can include places like college dorms, hotels and hospitals.

According to the total fire protection plan the protection includes compartmentation, alarms and detections, and sprinklers. All these items need to be included in the fire stop system. Managers also need to check that the fire and smoke dampers are in good condition to maintain air flow through the building and in an emergency prevent fire from spreading elsewhere. Another fact, is that maintaining a fire stop system in your building also affects the HVAC system. Doing this, can allow managers to control costs and maintain those costs without driving up the costs of maintaining an HVAC system. If your property needs any of these services, Air-Tek offers Fire Life Safety services that include, Fire Damper Inspections and Fire Wall Penetration Repairs and overall Fire Life Safety Management. If you need any assistance in any of our Fire Life Safety Services or other indoor air quality services you may contact your local Air-Tek office. To join our social media community, you may follow us on our Facebook Community Page and send us a tweet on Twitter.

January: National Radon Action Month

National Radon Action Month

Radon Action Month is here. Have you tested your home for Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless gas that emanates from the decay of radioactive minerals in the soil under your house. Radon can be found anywhere but some places have more than others. Here is a map of California’s radon levels by region:

Radon regions in California

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers and the first cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Lung cancer kills over 150,000 Americans every year and lung cancer is the most common form of cancer overall.

Radon enters your home through cracks in your foundation and stays there because the air pressure inside is less than it is outside, keeping contaminants from escaping naturally.

What if you find Radon in your home and how can you take Radon action? A contractor will put in a system to collect the Radon and pipe it up to the roof, where it can escape into the outdoor air. If you are building a new home in a Radon area, there are safe building practices to prevent Radon from being a problem for you.

At AirTek, we are concerned about your indoor environment, your health and your indoor air, including taking action on Radon. If you need any of our services, including kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and duct cleaning for residential and commercial buildings, please contact us.

Previous posts about Radon:

RADON: #2 Cause of Lung Cancer

VIDEO: Radon Gas

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

Increase better Indoor Air Quality by doing a Building Check Up

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Buildings should get regular check up to maintain good indoor air quality. Just like when a person goes to a doctor for a regular check up to see whether or not one is healthy, a building needs regular maintenance. Increase better indoor air quality by doing a regular building check up. The Indoor Air Quality Association YouTube videos, the channel recently shared a video about the importance of regularly checking the building’s air quality. Any building that has an HVAC System in their perimeter should check these specific items. Whether it is restaurant, a retail store or a multi-family building using these tips provided by IAQA will give you an idea of what to fix if the indoor environment is not healthy. According to the video there are 6 specific items to check. The 6 items that need check up in a building according to the video are as followed:

  • Ventilation: Check if the building is bringing in the proper quality and quantity air into the building. Proper ventilation will create a comfortable environment and will reduce moisture to build up.
  • Chemicals/Pesticides/Personal Care Products: If these are used inside the building you are in check that these sources are not degrading the indoor air quality. In addition, VOC sources and gases can be released in the air and often released in the air from building materials, furnishings, office equipments and adhesives.
  • Dampness:Signs of water in a building are signs that lead to water stains, mold and microbial odors.
  • Combustion Appliances:Check these type of appliances to make sure that they are properly venting their combustion gases
  • Check Humidity and Temperature: Condensation on the inside of windows or glass surfaces indicate a build up of moisture. Low levels of humidity in a home can lead family members with dry chapped lips and scratchy throats and noses. Check that both humidity and temperature are at a comfortable levels.
  • Check for specific contaminants:Check for radon or allergens in a building

If you would like professional help or have any questions regarding indoor air quality, you may contact us for any questions. AirTek offers several services for many industries. AirTek is an industry leader in commercial and residential duct cleaning, kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, dryer vent cleaning and power washing. With a focus on achieving a cleaner, healthier and more energy- efficient indoor environment.You may also contact us through our social media sites that include Facebook and Twitter.

Indoor Air Quality Management Plan for Schools

The main purpose of an HVAC system are to help maintain an indoor environment comfortable and maintain good air quality through out a building or home. Students will be going back to school soon and it a great opportunity for school districts to decide to do maintenance on their HVAC systems. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a great tool kit for schools. Part of the kits are designed for the Indoor Air Quality Coordinator at the school and district levels. Different areas from schools such as kitchens, locker rooms, laboratories rooms, art rooms and storage rooms are areas that contain pollutants that can make an environment for students and staff uncomfortable and unhealthy. The Coordinator Guide will give those in charge of an IAQ Plan to easily create an IAQ Management Plan and a memo to be distributed to all school personnel. The kit also includes tips while starting the IAQ Management plan. Below are example of start up hints:

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You may read more in detail about starting a plan by clicking here. One of the latest projects that AirTek worked on is a project that included kitchen exhaust and hood cleaning for the Compton Unified School District in Los Angeles. If you have any questions concerning indoor air solutions that include air duct cleaning, kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, HVAC Cleaning and other indoor air solutions you may contact us. You may contact us through our social media sites that include Facebook and Twitter.

25 Spare the Air Alerts So Far This Season

Today marks the 25th Spare the Air Alert in the Bay Area for this winter season. The season runs from November through February. The last season that was this bad for air quality was 2006-07, when there were 30 Alerts. We have two months to go. Think we will beat it?

Spare the Air Alerts began in 1991, but there were almost no alerts between 1992 and 2005. There were only 4 Alerts during the 2010-11 season. This is a bad year. Wood smoke is dangerous.

According to Sparetheair.org, “From November 1 through the end of February, under the Air District’s wood-burning regulation, when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called, burning wood, firelogs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove, or other wood-burning device is illegal.”

Wood burning produces one-third of the particle pollution on a given winter night.

Where else do particles come from?

Sources of Bay Area Particles

Looks like we could choose to have a big impact on our environment, doesn’t it?

If this season continues on the way it has begun, 2013-14 will be a record-setting one, but not in a good way. Please do not ignore the Alerts. How to keep track? You can:

• Call the hotline at 1-877-4NO-BURN
• Check www.sparetheair.org – The current status is in the upper left corner of their homepage
• Listen for Alerts on local media outlets
• Sign up for e-mail or phone alerts

Even on non-Alert days, you can help particulate levels in your area. Check before you burn, burn dry wood in short, hot fires, and keep your chimney clean and maintained. As tempting as it might be, don’t burn anything but wood in your fire. Wrapping paper is not appropriate fuel and is never allowed.

If each of us changed our habits and paid close attention to the state of our air quality every day, we could make those Alerts go away and be able to have a cozy fire in the fireplace more often instead of less.

We hope you had a very Happy New Year!

State of the Air 2013

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While the last few months we have heard news about how unhealthy the air is in several parts of the country and the world and as well as “Spare the Air” alerts, the American Lung Association shares the State of the Air 2013 report. According to their website, for 14 years the American Lung Association has analyzed data from air quality monitors to compile the State of the Air report. This is a great tool to use to learn about the air you breathe and take action to make the air you breathe healthier and protect your health. You can see what grade your area received. You may type in your zip code or search by state. For instance, if type in a zip code that is in the Los Angeles area, most likely the grade is an F. Although, we here how bad the air in Southern California, it is still not a great feeling to receive an F on the air we breathe. The report will give you information about:

  1. High Ozone days

  2. Particle Pollution (24 hours)

  3. Particle Pollution (annual)

  4. Groups at risk

An example of groups at risk are people with asthma, people with Cardiovascular Disease and children and teens. This is just an example of the groups who’s health is at risk. In total, more than 9 million who live in the Los Angeles County health is at risk. This is a great tool to use to see how you can take action and learn more about the air you breathe. To learn more about air quality news you may follow our Facebook Community Page and Twitter page.

Air Quality Concerns in 2013

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The year is ending and many social media sites are doing a collage and video recaps of 2013. This year, many individuals have been more aware of environmental issue and it has mainly been air quality issues. This past two months China’s air quality has been trending in every social media site and have been on the news. In Southern California, the air quality has also been news for a long time. However, we have come a long way and the air quality has been getting better and better every year. But how is air quality measured?

Air particulates less than 2.5 micrometers. PM 2.5 pose the largest health risks when inhaled because the air particulates are small enough to travel through your lungs and bloodstream. We have also talked about in previous blogs about the Air Quality Index. With all this information, clean air should be a priority for everyone. Other facts about the air quality in the United States, is according to the American Lung Association Report State of the Air 2012, 2% of people living in the United States live in an area with unhealthy year round levels of particle pollution and 16.2% Americans live in counties with too many unhealthy spikes in particle pollution levels. These are just a few of many facts that we have blogged about in previous blogs. Below is a documentary film about the air quality issues in Southern California. It’s a great informative film to watch and share.

Holiday Season Highlights

As Christmas rapidly recedes into memory, we are taking a look back at the last few weeks of holiday fun!

We started collecting toys for our Toy Drive in November and ended up with over 600 toys and 10 bikes for We Care East LA:

Customer Donations to the Toy Drive

Customer donations to our Toy Drive

The parties came on quickly starting with the SCCA Holiday Mixer:

SCCA Holiday Mixer

Followed by our own party with ServiceMASTER Complete Restoration, Master Plumbing, and Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services:

Holiday party flyer

Last week brought us the actual We Care East LA event, which was fantastic:

Bicycles for We Care ELA

And last but not least, the IFMA Holiday Party:

IFMA Holiday Party

If you would like to see more photos of our holiday fun, please visit us on Facebook!

It’s been quite a year! What does 2014 have in store? Who knows! But we do know that it will be busy!

See you next week and Happy Boxing Day!

Wendy

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