Protect Your Home Against Space Heater Fires
Space heaters can be very convenient, especially if you have one room in your home that never seems to get enough heat from your central HVAC system. Whether you use a space heater regularly or you only pull it out on the coldest winter days, here are four important steps you should always take to prevent a space heater fire.
1. Clean It Thoroughly
Before you use your space heater for the first time, make sure you clean all visible surfaces thoroughly. Dust and other small particles tend to build up on the heater’s surface and could potentially cause the unit to overheat or catch fire if not removed regularly.
2. Leave Plenty of Empty Space Around Your Heater
Never put your heater up against a blanket, piece of furniture or any other item. If you do, you’re likely to have a burned space heater before long. Space heaters should always have at least three feet of empty space around them, free from furniture, carpets and other items.
3. Keep Heaters Away From Kids
Don’t operate a space heater in an area where kids frequently play. To reduce the risk of fire if a child does accidentally knock over the heater, make sure you purchase one that has an emergency shut-off mechanism. You should also keep pets away from heaters whenever possible.
4. Never Leave a Heater Unattended
Never leave a space heater unattended. If you plan to leave the room for a few minutes or a few hours, turn the space heater off beforehand. You can easily turn it back on when you return.
Following these preventatives steps will minimize your chances of fire damage while warming your home. If you experience a burned space heater or fire damage even after taking these preventative steps, a fire damage restoration professional can help with your smoke cleanup and restoration needs.
For more information, visit us at https://www.facebook.com/SERVPROLBLNorth.
Fire Extinguisher Tips & Tricks
Fires and fire damage are common tragedies among homeowners. But, there are ways to lessen the damage. SERVPRO® of LBL North is Here to Help so fires don’t ruin your summer. One is having a proper fire extinguisher --especially, during grilling season. Make sure you follow these rules from our friends at the American Red Cross when it comes to having a good extinguisher:
- Always have more than one working extinguisher in your home.
- Install extinguishers high on the wall and away from any heat sources.
- If an extinguisher doesn’t work on a fire immediately, drop it and get out. Most portable extinguishers empty in 8 seconds.
- Make sure the gauge on your extinguisher is properly charged.
Once you have the right fire extinguisher, always remember PASS:
P- Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
A- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
S- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
S- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
We hope these tips keep fires and fire damage from your homes. But, if you have fire damage and need SERVPRO, we are always Here to Help. Call SERVPRO® of LBL North at (270) 753-116
Dealing With Water Damage
SERVPRO of LBL North is an emergency team here, available to you 24 hours a day for storm, fire, mold and water emergencies. For our team, there is no job too large or small. The first step one needs to take when they realize they may have water damage is to take immediate action. Our crew is very experienced and have all witnessed numerous water damage jobs. If there is one word of advice is would be to call as soon as you notice a leak/water damage. Waiting just a couple of hours can increase the severity of the water damages.
SERVPRO of LBL North has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We understand that when something like this happens, you may be overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions. Let us take the stress and worry off your hands. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
SERVPRO of LBL North
National Preparedness Month 2020
September 4th, 2020
National Preparedness Month 2020
September of each year is National Preparedness Month in the United States. SERVPRO promotes this month in an effort to get our friends and local patrons to understand the importance of be prepared for any disaster that could strike. As 2020 has brought upon numerous situations for most, if anything, it has stressed the very importance of being prepared. Natural Disasters could include Flooding, Wildfires, Extreme Heat, a Pandemic, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Lightning Strike, Blizzards, Hurricanes and much more. While we are not immune to some of these because we live in the Southeast, we are vulnerable to most.
Ready.gov, a federally funded website helps with the planning for when disaster strikes. According to Ready.gov, a standard Disaster Supple Kit includes but is not limited to:
- Water (at least one gallon per day per person for no less than three days)
- Food (again, three-day supply)
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio
- First Aid Kit
- Extra Batteries
- Dust Mask
- Plastic Sheeting by which to build a shelter
- Duct Tape
- Trash bags and Moist Towelettes
- Manual Can Opener
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup batter
Additional supplies would also include any pet supplies, prescription medicine, insurance information, face coverings (during a pandemic or in the event of a biological disaster), feminine supplies, paper and pencil, and more.
Have a plan. Communicate the plan to family members. Rehearse the plan routinely with them and ensure everyone knows communication plans, phone numbers, evacuation plans, meet-up locations and more. Rehearse these so often that everyone knows them by nature, and in the event the worst happens, you and your family will be #ready!
If your home suffers damage from a storm, give SERVPRO of LBL North a call at (270) 753-1160. We are #HeretoHelp!
Recommended Supplies List: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ready_emergency-supply-kit-checklist.pdf
Storm Damage? Now What?
September 4th, 2020
Storm Damage? Now What?
Unfortunately, it does happen, hopefully not often. With the changes in our current weather patterns, it seems heavier rains, stronger winds, and overall severe weather seems to be getting more, well….. severe. So what do you do when severe weather strikes your home? Most severe weather damage is a result of wind, which in turn exposes your home to the subsequent rain which enters the interior of the residence. Here are some recommended steps to take immediately if this occurs:
- CALL SERVPRO of LBL North! While the damage may be minimal “looking” early on, you have no idea where the watered entered, nor where it had traveled before it became noticeable to you. It is best to call the professionals who are available 24 hours a day.
- Gather insurance documents and prepare to have those for when SERVPRO of LBL North arrives. It is not mandatory that you have this information in order to call us, however, it helps us to understand how we can assist as we move through the initial inspection process of your home or business.
- Listen closely to the Crew Chief as he/she explains the process, and this is the time to ask any questions as it pertains to the process. Our Crew Chiefs are happy to explain the drying science, as well as how each piece of equipment functions to help restore your home to its normal level of dryness.
- BE PATIENT! Our job as the premier restoration company in the nation is to ensure your home is dry following storm damage. We know the fans and dehumidifiers may be a touch loud, and you may be tempted to turn them off to catch your favorite television series. Do not alter the equipment left behind by a company. If there is an issue with the equipment, please consult with your Crew Chief.
- Be prepared to contact a construction company to replace the materials removed from the home that were affected by the storm. While SERVPRO of LBL North does have a construction team that can restore your home like new, the mitigation process goes much faster than the replacement process. While a standard water damage mitigation can take up to seven days, the restoring of a home following storm damage can take days or even months depending upon the level of damage. It is best to consult with the Crew Chief, AND the Construction Manager on your options as it relates to the restoring of your home.
SERVPRO of LBL North is #HeretoHelp following any storm damage your residence or business may incur. Our emergency line is open 24 hours a day and we may be reached at (270) 753-1160.
Your Business and COVID-19
August 14th, 2020
These are most certainly unprecedented times. In January, news of COVID-19 was barely a footnote. In February, the US began seeing a slow rise in cases in a small handful of states. The CDC and the federal government began taking steps to control the virus, indicating it would be under control in a few weeks if all steps were followed. Here we are now six-months later, and the virus lingers on with just north of 5-million cases and over 167,000 deaths and climbing by the day.
With this, however, the US economy continues to try and push forward, implementing the best policies and procedures possible in order to give employees and customers the best opportunity to work or shop in an environment which has been professionally cleaned. But there are some steps you can take as a business owner and/or manager that will help our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program be a supplement to your current cleaning procedures. Here are some elements of consideration when reviewing your current policies and procedures:
- What are some bottleneck areas in your facility where employees and/or customers could get congested? Can a modification of the flow of traffic help mitigate this issue?
- Are tables, counter spaces, kiosks, etc., spaced enough so as to ensure maximum accessibility while keeping close consideration of social distancing.
- Are the current cleaning procedures and products being utilized in line with EPA and CDC guidelines? If not, what needs to be modified by which to align or exceed those guidelines?
- What are other facilities similar to yours doing?
SERVPRO of LBL North has led the way in this area for meeting with business owners, bank managers, and public officials in our area to discuss some of the best ways to combat this ever evolving situation. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is a great addition to any organization, as it comes with the exchange of information and consultation as to how to best navigate these times, along with the confidence that once our team leaves your facility, your environment has been cleaned by the best in the business.
For more information, please refer to the CDC website for additional guidance, and the EPA for a list of approved products available by which to effectively limit exposure to COVID-19.
August 5th, 2020
Several weeks back our area experienced a significant amount of rainfall which brought the wettest on record according to the National Weather Service. In receiving this significant amount of rainfall, aside from the flooding (water damage) that comes as a result of rising rivers or other bodies of water, we began also receiving calls from customers that had unexplained mold growing on their ceilings as well as outside walls on their homes or businesses. Since one of the key factors in properly mitigating a water damage is identifying the source, naturally we began with a roof inspection, which in every case to the date of this blog posting, has produced no findings which would indicate a raised nail, missing screw, or shingle tab is the culprit. Following a flood of questions to the homeowner, which generally reveal no prior history of brown stains or leaks from the ceiling or walls, some may not know to look at or inspect the gutter system.
Gutters play a significant role in a number of things which protect the home. They keep water from running directly off of a roof and onto a deck, into your flower bed, and through the proper design/installation/operation of the gutter system, also diverts water away from the foundation of the home. According to our friends over at Erie Insurance, failing to annually inspect your gutter system can result in Foundation Problems, Broken Gutters, Wall and Ceiling Damage, a Wet Basement, and Insect Infestations.
Our customers were all found to have the same issue, easily avoidable clogged gutters which permitted the gutter system to become backfilled with water, further permitting that water to intrude into the home. Following a brief inspection of the gutters, debris was found in the downspouts, in some cases with plants growing out of them, which prevented the water from properly draining.
As their article properly suggests, gutter damage is expensive to mitigate, but inexpensive and easy to prevent. Take the proper precaution to inspect your gutters, ensuring you have the proper tools, ladder, and equipment to mitigate any issues you find. Taking the time to do this will allow you to also better inspect your homes roof for any damage from the previous season, as well as other areas you may need to focus on moving forward.
If your home has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of LBL North to assist you in mitigating this damage! We are always happy to help!
Metz, J. (2018, October 17). 5 Common problems caused by clogged gutters. Retrieved from Erie Insurance: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/clean-gutters
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. (2020, August 5th). National Climate Report - June 2020. Retrieved from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/202006
Trust the Service Professionals
Why SERVPRO? Trust the Service Professionals
June 26th, 2020
It never fails. You come home from work, it has been a long day, and just when you think it would not get any worse, you open the door into your home and water trickles down over your feet. That washer you placed on a delayed start before you left for work kicked on and during the operation a hose or fitting failed resulting in water flooding your laundry room……….. which migrated into the hallway………which further expanded into your bedroom and living room. Your cat is standing on the back of the couch looking at you for an explanation because her food bowl has floated off down the hallway and well, cats don't swim. She's hungry!
You find yourself looking at a dozen scenarios, none of which are pleasant. Maybe this is your first water loss, or your first ever insurance claim on a home. Then come the questions:
Who do I call because it’s after hours and everyone is closed?
What does my insurance policy cover?
Will my stuff be able to be saved?
Is my house a total loss?
Will we be able to live here while the repairs are being made?
WHAT DO I DO?
The answer is too easy! Call 1-800-SERVPRO or visit our website at www.SERVPROLBLNorth.com and simply Request Help ONLINE by finding the “Get Help” section on the right side of our website. You will receive contact from a SERVPRO professional regarding your emergency within one hour, and within four hours you will have a mitigation team on site to begin evaluating and beginning the process to restore your home. Because we are the #1 Fire, Water and Restoration Company in the nation, we are generally able to immediately begin working on your emergency. Our team of professionals will evaluate your loss, and step by step go over with you the elements of the restoration process as well as provide you with an understanding of what you can expect throughout. We understand this can be a very difficult and stressful time in your life, and our team will work to walk you through everything. Rest assured, our #1 priority is you, and getting everything back “Like it never even happened.” We're also pet friendly!
Why SERVPRO? Because We're Truly "Here to Help"
June 17th, 2020
When I was made aware of SERVPRO and the opportunity to serve a local franchise as their Sales and Marketing Manager, the first thing I did (as many do, or should do) is conduct some brief research on the organization. I had observed the bright green trucks buzzing around in the community, and I recognized the orange house as well as the name SERVPRO. As someone on the outside of the organization who had never utilized them before, I was not aware of what exactly the company did.
What I saw was a Mission Statement and Vision which was very customer centric, which, any company that provides a service should be. Where the line between a standard company and service versus an exceptional company and service differs, is the ownership in the language provided in the Mission and/or Vision of the organization. In other words, the language is more than just words on piece of paper, it is lived and/or practiced from the top down.
Shortly after accepting the position and the completion of the training program, it was time to hit the road and begin introducing myself to the communities in which our franchise services. Just as I was getting to know our customers and agents by name, COVID-19 set in, and as it has for anyone who relies on a face to face continuous relationship by which to keep the wheels turning, this disrupted that routine, forcing all of us in the SERVPRO organization from the top down to adapt and evolve.
From a marketing standpoint we are taught in college to look for ways to capitalize on an opportunity. Naturally for a professional cleaning organization, the knee jerk reaction to a viral pandemic is to recognize that the services we provide are a (not necessarily THE) solution to the problem. Naturally, a marketer would understand and see that through this, the organization has the potential to not only be a solution to a problem, but also see an uptick in cleaning service opportunities.
During a sales forum weeks into the pandemic as shutdowns began to increase across the nation, the question was raised as to why there were no television advertisements communicating the message that SERVPRO has a potential solution to the question of disinfecting facilities. The response given was simple, but strong. As the national leader in cleaning and restoration, there is an ethical responsibility to recognize the depth and severity of the national crisis. Instead of flooding the airwaves with advertisements which could be viewed by many as a means to capitalize on what continues to be a tragic and uncertain time in our nation’s history, SERVPRO turned to its dedicated team of marketing professionals to approach their respective areas based on the needs of the community, and from a sense of personal compassion. In other words, there is no better way to say “We’re Here to Help”, than to do it in person, from a position of genuine care.
SERVPRO’s Mission Statement reads “To develop a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.” From this, and a position of recognizing the uncertainty many families and businesses in our community are facing, we can assess each situation and request for help on an individual basis, and the sense of compassion that comes along with this, can only be done by living up to the final three factors of excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.
SERVPRO of LBL North understands that each of our customers are trying to balance the safety of both their employees and their customers, and the ability to lend a hand during a time of need is a genuine gift. Our organization has been able to mobilize crews on a moment’s notice when the call comes in that assistance is needed to deep clean and/or disinfect a facility to help minimize the chances that members of our community may have in contracting the virus. When our production teams have been stretched thin with other projects, our sales and marketing team as well as our office staff have stepped up to ensure we are able to help our community. It isn’t necessarily enough to say “we’re all in this together”, but SERVPRO is most certainly “Here to Help”.
Sales and Marketing Manager
SERVPRO of LBL North
Spring Severe Weather 2020 Awareness
Prepare for Spring Severe Weather
April 29th, 2020
With the unusually warm weather upon us, and the heavy amount of rain that has fallen over the course of the Winter, it is imperative to understand the implications this combination of weather events could potentially bring, mainly severe weather and flooding.
Severe Weather in and of itself can consist of high winds, torrential rains, tornadoes and flooding. The part most concerning is flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flooding is the most common natural disaster. While flooding from a broken pipe, faulty dishwasher, or other household appliance presents clean water into the home, water from a flood poses significant concern when it comes to what’s “in” the water.
The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) explains that water from a flood, or outside source could potentially contain disease, chemicals, bacteria, human waste and other contaminants that could bring about long-term health risks if exposed to for extended lengths of time. When your home is exposed to outside flood water, it is imperative that you contact SERVPRO of LBL North immediately so that we can minimize the effects of this damage. Our offices can be reached at (270) 753-1160.
Brooks, K. (2020, March 16th). SERVPRO encourages property owners to prepare now for severe spring weather. Retrieved from Global Newswire: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/16/2001201/0/en/SERVPRO-Encourages-Property-Owners-to-Prepare-Now-for-Severe-Spring-Weather.html