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Be Safe This Thanksgiving!

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Be Safe This Thanksgiving! Kitchen Fire!

nfpa.org

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So, keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers:

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths. 

Safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button. 

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business

8 Flammable Liquids Lying Around Your House

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know these common household items could cause a fire? David Arv Bragi

Look around your house, including under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and in your garage. Do you see hair spray, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner or linseed oil? Chances are, if you're an average homeowner (or renter), you have a wide variety of flammable liquids under your roof.

Flammable or combustible liquids cause more than 43,000 home fires each year, resulting in 200 deaths, 2,500 injuries and $469 million in property damage, according to estimates by the National Fire Protection Association. The chances that they'll set your house on fire are slim — if you take the right precautions. The Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires that all flammable or combustible household products carry a precautionary label alerting consumers about the danger of fire or explosion. “But consumers have a role to play as well,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL, which develops product safety standards. “Make sure that you put on the cap and, if it spills, clean it up properly.”

Here are eight flammable liquids that may be lying around your home.

Nail polish remover. The liquid you rub over your fingernails is composed of acetone, which is highly flammable. Recently, in Cypress, Texas, a woman's body caught fire when a nearby candle ignited her nail polish remover.

Flammable and combustible liquids don't actually catch fire themselves. It's the vapors they give off that burn, according to Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s East Side Fire Department. In the Cypress case, vapors from the nail polish remover migrated to the candle flame, then ignited.

Fortunately, such incidents are rare. “It's in tiny bottles. It's a small amount,” says Drengenberg. “You're not generally doing your nails near a fire that can cause it to ignite.” Just be sure you aren't.

Rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol you keep in your medicine cabinet is flammable and vaporizes quickly. The Environmental Protection Agency says numerous home fires have started when people poured it over fabrics to get rid of bedbugs (the agency calls this treatment method illegal).

Gasoline, paint thinner and turpentine. One of the most dangerous liquids in the home, gasoline starts approximately 8,000 home fires annually. One reason is that people often store it improperly in their garage. “I've heard many stories about glass jars filled with gasoline falling off a shelf and breaking,” says Drengenberg. “The metal lid, for instance, can create a spark." Store it in a UL-approved container at room temperature away from heat sources like your hot water heater or furnace. Also store flammable solvents like paint thinner and turpentine in tightly sealed containers away from heat sources.

Lighter fluid. Many backyard grill masters rely on charcoal lighter fluid to fire up the coals in a jiffy. But it's easy to create an out-of-control flame on the grill, burning a lot more than your pork chops.

Some tips from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control: Douse the coals before, not after, lighting them (that is, only when the briquettes are cold). Never spray anything but recognized charcoal lighter fluid on the grill,

And don't go overboard. “Many people are hungry when they light the charcoal, and the temptation is to spray more fluid into the fire to speed up the cooking,” says Drengenberg.

Aerosol cans. Many aerosol spray cans use a flammable propellant, such as propane or butane, according to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. “If you have a candle or a fireplace in a room, don't spray near it,” says Drengenberg. In addition, the pressurized cans themselves might explode when overheated, so keep them away from heat sources. An explosion also could occur if a pressurized can is accidentally punctured. Last year at Montana State University, two students were reportedly playing with a lighter and an aerosol can when the can exploded. One of the students was hospitalized with burns to half his body.

Linseed oil. Instead of evaporating vapors into the air, certain liquids used in staining or finishing work, such as linseed oil, dry up on exposure to air, according to the Bend, Oregon Fire Department. That drying process, called oxidation, generates heat that can cause cleaning rags soaked in linseed oil to spontaneously ignite. Regardless of the chemical processes involved, many products used to strip, stain or paint contain hazardous liquids. In Wheaton, Illinois, authorities suspect that a house fire started when stripping solvents ignited during a remodeling job. Furniture polish and other cleaning products are also potentially hazardous if they are oil-based.

Handling spills. If you spill a flammable liquid, open windows immediately. But don't use fans or other electrical devices, which can be a source of ignition, according to the Pasadena, California Fire Department.

After cleaning up a spill, “take the rag or towel out of the home and dispose of it,” says Drengenberg. “If it is really saturated with oil, it might be good to use a zip-lock bag. Otherwise, getting it out of your house and into a garbage can would be good.”

If you get liquids on your hands, don't wipe them on your clothes or your pants or shirt may become flammable, advises the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If your clothing does become contaminated, spot-wash it by hand, then dry it on a line. Avoid using a washer or dryer, which can sometimes ignite the clothing.

Fortunately, modern packaging has made most flammable products safer to use. “If you drop it, these days they are sold in plastic containers, so the chance of a spill is reduced,” says Drengenberg.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

                                                                                                                        EPA.gov

  1. Mold can cause various health issues.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

To eliminate an existing mold problem, call the experts at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores (586) 741-5050.

What Are Mold Spores? Why is Treatment Important?

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

What Are Mold Spores? Why is Treatment Important?

Mold is challenging to eliminate due to its ability to grow in wall cracks, carpet fibers and other difficult-to-reach areas. The answer lies in mold information about spores, which are the reproductive unit of molds and other fungi.

Are you puzzled how something so minute can cause building damage and health problems? Here is some helpful mold information explaining what spores are and the role they play in home and building infestations.

Characteristics of mold spores

You might not realize it, but you're surrounded by spores, both indoors and outdoors. They range in size from three to 40 microns, less than half the width of a human hair, allowing them to float in the air sight unseen.

Mold acts as nature's "recycler", feeding on dead and decaying organic material such as trees and plants, so spores often come from farm land, parks and other places rich in vegetation. Spore counts are higher after extended rainfall or in areas of high humidity.

How spores cause the spread of mold

As mold spores drift through the air, they eventually come to settle on a surface. Mold information indicates that it requires nutrients, moisture and the right temperature to grow. If the conditions are right, the spores begin generating thread-like cells called hyphae, which absorb nutrients allowing mold to grow.

Importance of treatment

According to mold information from the EPA, eliminating spores altogether is impossible, so you need to control the conditions that create mold growth. The easiest and most effective method is to reduce the amount of moisture in your home or business.

If you do find a mold infestation, it's best to have it treated professionally. You can find mold information about cleaning with over-the-counter products, but it often serves only to disperse mold spores so mold can become established in another area.

The best mold treatment is clean-up and prevention

Effective mold treatment is a two-step process. The existing mold needs to be eliminated, and methods have to be implemented to protect against future infestations. Non-toxic removal followed by application of a polymer sealer that repels mold is fast and highly effective. Call us today for a free inspection at (586) 741-5050. 

Accidents Can Happen!

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Accidents Can Happen! Accidents can happen!

Accidents Can Happen!

An accident can happen when you least expect it. Recently a car crashed into a metro Detroit building causing major damage to the business. A catastrophe like this can be disastrous to your business. First of all, review your insurance policy to make sure it would cover the entire loss - structural and contents, before something like this happens.

After protecting and securing the structure, professionals at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores can begin the restoration process. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when as emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Remember SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help @ 586-741-5050. Save our phone number in your phone so that you can be Hero Ready if disaster strikes your home or business.

Need Help Removing Fire Damaged Contents?

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Need Help Removing Fire Damaged Contents? Fire Damaged in Roseville

Need Help Removing Fire Damaged Contents?

A large office building in Roseville recently had a fire. The fire was contained to a small portion of the building, but smoke damage was throughout the entire building. Our customer had offices in the majority of the building with smoke damage. Everything in their offices was covered with soot. Unfortunately, their insurance policy  did not cover the damage to the contents in the building. In three days, we emptied their portion of the building and disposed of all of the contents in order for the repair work to begin.

If your business property has been affected by a fire, our team of fire damage specialists can help. As a locally owned company, we can respond quickly to your request for assistance with fire damage repair services. Contact SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores today at (586) 741-5050 for assistance. We are always Here to Help!

What Can Vandalism Cost a Business?

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial What Can Vandalism Cost a Business? Need help cleaning up vandalism?

What Can Vandalism Cost a Business?

by Blyss Cruz

Vandalism, the criminal act of willfully destroying or defacing property, can create an unpleasant and unsafe atmosphere within your business for employees and customers alike. Graffiti, broken windows, landscape sabotage, destroyed signage and defaced property are widespread forms of vandalism affecting commercial properties. Vandals can cost businesses thousands of dollars in damage to property, image and reputation, not to mention the costs associated with preventing further destruction.

Property Repair and Replacement

Repair and replacement costs may be substantial, depending on the extent of the vandalism. Paint must be bought to cover graffiti, windows have to be ordered to replace those that are broken, and new landscaping materials will have to be purchased and installed if necessary. If you are unable to complete these tasks on your own, you will have to hire someone to do so, adding to the overall cost. Signage may have been bent or scratched beyond repair; therefore, new signage will need to be designed and purchased. In the meantime, your business may be unidentifiable by potential customers.

Loss of Revenue

Vandalism may create the impression of an economically depressed area causing a significant reduction in new and existing customer traffic. Vandalism also discourages business within an affected area, by creating a feeling of diminished safety and security. For instance, graffiti is often associated with gang activity, and a fear of violent criminals can deter customers. This reduction in customer traffic directly affects the amount of sales revenue your company generates. Some companies feel the effects of vandalism so deeply they are forced to move to a different neighborhood just to remain in business.

Tarnished Image and Confidence

Vandalism may tarnish your company’s image and reputation in the eyes of your customers and employees. Customers may associate a lack of caring about the exterior condition of your business with reduced quality or inferior customer service. Employees may lose confidence in the safety of their work area, for fear of encountering the criminal who conducted the vandalism. This could lead to workplace turnover, and all the costs associated with hiring and training new employees.

Increased Crime Potential

The amount and type of vandalism, combined with the length of time before it is removed or repaired, may encourage further vandalism in the area. For example, if graffiti is the chosen communication method between two rival gangs, it will be applied in highly visible areas. If your business is the chosen location, quickly covering the graffiti is recommended to curb the amount of time the message is displayed, as additional, rebuttal graffiti may appear. Neighborhoods rife with graffiti and other vandalism may be attractive to other criminals, as they may perceive it as a lack of caring within the community. For these reasons, simply being located in an area with other vandalism puts your business at risk.

Crime Prevention

Measures may be taken to improve security and reduce access to your property. Installing visible surveillance cameras and an alarm system can provide a significant deterrent against criminal activity. Erecting fences with ID card access controls and installing better lighting can prevent unwanted individuals from entering your premises. Various types of landscaping can assist with keeping vandals away, such as prickly shrubs or closely planted hedges. While costly, implementing one or more of these measures may save you considerably in the long run.

Need Vandalism and Grafitti Cleanup Services? Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores (586) 741-5050.

Sewage Backup - Detroit

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Sewage Backup - Detroit Sewage Backup

Sewage Backup - Detroit

Sometimes city storm sewers cannot keep up during a heavy downpour. Flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage. During the holiday weekend, this property had 10-12 inches of water containing sewage in the basement. Our flood damage professionals extracted the water in a timely and cost-effective manner.

SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building, big box store, or smaller property, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

Call SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores if you experience storm damage to your property – our experts are standing by @ (586) 741-5050.

Examine Your Business Insurance Policies

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Examine Your Business Insurance Policies Does your insurance cover this?

Examine Your Business Insurance Policies

When you own a business, you have a lot to protect, and the right small business insurance coverage can be important to your continued success.

Imagine if your business had a fire or flood, and equipment, office furniture, supplies, inventory – basically everything was damaged. Then you find out your business only has liability insurance. So not only do you have to pay to have everything removed and discarded, you have to replace everything. You may have been saving money on insurance premiums, but the replacement costs could far outweigh any savings and the expense could actually make your business go under.

Insurance coverages and policies change all the time.   Your business may have changed during a coverage year and your policy may no longer be adequate. It’s important to review your policy with your insurance agent annually to make sure you are fully covered in case of a disaster.

 At SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores we are always Here to Help! (586) 741-5050.

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace Safety first!

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace by Alarm.org

No matter what type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be a main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.

Fire Prevention

  • Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire. 
  • Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
  • Don't overload your circuits. 
  • Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day. 
  • Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.   

In the Event of a Fire

  • Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don't hang up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
  • Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
  • Never use elevators during an evacuation.
  • Follow the escape plan and meet at a per-determined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.
  • The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about fire safety in the workplace today. 

SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores is always Here to Help. Our experts are standing by 24/7 (586) 741-5050