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Reduce the Chances That a House Fire Will Start | SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help.

We can all realistically say we hope to never experience a house fire, but hoping one does not happen and doing what you can to prevent it are two different things. Fires can spread from a single flame in under a minute, but doing what you can to ensure one never starts can go a long way.

Thankfully, fire safety is something everyone can implement around the house through some planning and some prevention. Though you can never get rid of your chances of experiencing a house fire, you can significantly reduce them to keep your household safer.

How Can I Lessen the Chances of Experiencing a House Fire?

Check your smoke detectors. Having smoke detectors installed throughout your home is so important, as they will alert you if there is a fire in the home. Make sure yours are operational by checking them on a monthly basis, and replace them according to your manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any defects from occurring.

Create a fire escape plan. It is important for the safety of everyone in the household that you have a comprehensive fire escape plan that is regularly practiced. It should only take two minutes to exit the home, and every room should have two ways to get out so no one will be trapped in the house depending on where the fire starts.

Limit your fire risks. Whenever you practice good habits around the house, you are reducing the chances a fire can start. Simple things are extremely effective in house fire prevention—never leaving the room while cooking food, not leaving open flames unattended and never running wires under rugs or behind furniture are great tips to reduce your house fire chances.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. While you should only use a fire extinguisher if it is completely safe to do so, it is good to have one handy in case the need arises. Any time you cook, grill or use an open flame, ensure you have an operational fire extinguisher nearby and are informed on how to use it.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 24/7 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at 770-496-1976 to report your damage and receive a quick response.

Plan for the Worst Case Scenario When It Comes to Storms

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Stormy Weather Ahead Stormy Weather Ahead

Though it is often the case that a storm will threaten an area and then pass through without disruption, all it takes is one bad storm to cause severe damages to your home and property.

There is no way to predict when storms will cause damage, which is why we always recommend having a safety focused mindset, including preparing in advance for severe weather. If a severe storm does happen, knowing you have done all you can to prevent damage will provide valuable peace of mind.

Do All You Can to Prevent Storm Damage

Prepare your home as much as possible. There are many types of damage storms can cause, many of which are unpredictable—but some can be mitigated with a bit of preparation. Tree branches are some of the biggest culprits of storm damages, so simply maintaining your trees can go a long way, as can securing any loose objects in your yard that the wind could pick up. In case of a prolonged power outage, you may want to consider installing a house-wide generator as well.

Create a family communications plan. Hopefully, you and your family will all be safe at home when a storm begins to threaten the area. All the people and pets can proceed to your designated shelter room of the house and wait out the worst of it well out of harm’s way. However, if this is not the case, it is important that you have a plan regarding communications and reconvening when it is safe to do so, so everyone is accounted for at all times.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. Having a at home emergency kit is always recommended  as the first step for any disaster preparations. Not only will they come in handy while you shelter from a storm at home, but in case the power goes out, having access to food and water will be extremely valuable. Make sure you take the needs of each family member into account as you pack yours so that nothing is forgotten.

Consider getting a weather radio. Because of the prevalence of cellphones, many of us do not have any analog options for getting information. In case your phone dies and the power is out, we highly recommend having a backup information source such as a weather radio so you can still get emergency alerts and updates from local weather officials during a storm.

If your home is damaged by a storm, you can depend on us to take care of any damages. Contact us any hour at 770-496-1976 to report damage and receive a rapid response.

Grill Safety to Lower Your Chances of a Fire | SERVPRO® of Stone Mountain/Clarkston

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Grilling is synonymous with summertime, both because it is an enjoyable reason to get outside and because grilled food always seems to turn out extra delicious. If you are like us and love to use your grill often, we recommend brushing up on your grill safety skills to avoid any harmful fires from popping up at your next cookout.

While this may seem like a minor concern, the U.S. Fire Administration’s research tells a different story, where nearly 6,000 fires are caused by accidents during grilling sessions annually. Making sure you know how to prevent this is key to grilling safely every time.

Brushing Up on Your Grill Safety Skills

Create a safe zone around your grill. Of course, convenience might be the factor that comes to mind when deciding where to place your grill, but do not forget about safety concerns as well. A sudden flare-up can ignite anything in its path, which is why a minimum of three feet of clearance is advised for wherever you set up your grill station. 

Clean your grill grates often. Having food caked onto your grill grates is not just bad for your cooking experience—it is also a common cause of grill fires. Leaving grease and crumbs to accumulate on the grates can lead to a sudden fire if they become too hot, so cleaning your grill after each use is a good habit to get into.

Never leave the grill unattended. A grill flare-up can be sudden, and even if you are just walking away for a moment, it can lead to a fire that quickly turns out of hand. Never walk away from the grill without designating another person to watch it, and be sure you have an operational fire extinguisher nearby in case a flare-up does occur.

Inspect the grill regularly. Before you turn on the gas and get to cooking, inspect your grill carefully for any defects, wear or tear. Gas connection lines that run from your propane tank can fail with time, leading to a gas leak that can explode when a flame is applied. Instead of chancing it, a quick visual inspection will tell you everything you need to know.

If you have a grill fire that does damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us anytime at (770)496-1976 day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Fire and Smoke Deodorization

6/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and Fire Deodorization

Strong smells often linger after having a fire.  The type of smells that develop are determined by the type of material that was on fire or smoldering.  A hot fire that burned natural building materials will smell different than that of a protein fire from frying or a slow smoldering fire that burned plastics and rubber.  These odors can cause years of problems if they are not handled by a professional.  At SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston we employ a multi-step approach to deodorization.

Source Removal

The first step in deodorization is to find the source.  In the case of a fire the area may be obvious, however there are many causes of odor that may not be easily noticed.  Once the source is found by our trained technicians we must remove it. 

Cleaning

The next step in the process is to clean the effected areas.  Many of the soot particles are deposited both on and often inside certain building materials depending on how hot the fire was.  Our technicians are trained on different cleaning strategies dependent on the surface to be cleaned and the soils deposited.

Deodorizing

We employ a combination of pairing and masking deodorization techniques depending on the situation.  Hot fires open the pores of building materials where foul smelling soot can be deposited.  When the fire is extinguished and the materials cool down, the pores of these material shrink, thus trapping odor molecules inside.  In such cases we will use a pairing agent along with a Hot Thermal Fogger to reopen the pores.  The pairing agent will attach to and change the odor molecule so that it no longer smells.

Sealing

While sealing of wood is not always required, we will often do this on studs and structural members.  One of the reasons for sealing is because these building components are often covered up by drywall, or they are located in hard to reach areas.  Summer brings hot weather and as building materials heat up, these materials are capable of releasing odors.  Sealing ensures that any soot not completely eliminated from cleaning remains trapped.

Large Loss Commercial Clean Up

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Water damage to your commercial building can be as simple as outside flood water entering the front lobby of your building or as complex as a fire sprinkler discharging on the tenth floor of an office building.  We have extensive experience on all different types and sizes of commercial water losses in the greater Atlanta area.

Developing a Plan

As soon as we arrive onsite our number one priority is learning your main priority.  After all, nobody knows your business better than you do!  Our technicians understand that you need to have your business up and running as soon as possible.  We also understand that as a business owner or manager you are having to deal with dozens of needs during a crisis: employees, inventory, technology, customers.  We need to understand your priority so that we can develop a plan that works for your business.

Large Loss Response Team

SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston is a qualified Large Loss Response Team (LLRT).  Being named an LLRT team member means that we have been vetted for having the resources and experience to handle large commercial losses.  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we will be on our way with the help you need!

Candle Safety in your home

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

open flame candles Be aware of the potential dangers that candles can cause

Candles can put a nice touch on a freshly clean home or be used during power outages. No matter how you use your candles, they can potentially become a danger to your home.

While flashlights and battery-powered lamps are safe sources of light during lengthy power outages, candles are also reliable alternatives if used safely. It’s important to remember that a candle is an open flame, which always runs the potential risk of a fire-related accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20% of candle fires involving fatalities occur during a loss of power.

Here are some safety precautions to follow when the lights go out:

DO pay attention to proximity. It’s important to make sure that you’re not burning a candle on or near anything that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, or any other flammable objects. Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another so they don’t melt one another or burn improperly.

DON’T leave burning candles unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to one room in the house so the location of family members can always be accounted for and you can keep an eye on open flames. Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving a room.

DO place candles on a fire-resistant surface. Place a handle in its holder on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan or ceramic plate.

DON’T light a candle if you smell gas. If you smell gas inside or outside your home, immediately put out all open flames, shut off your gas supply, leave the area, get to a safe place, and call 911.

DO use pillar or container candles. Broader-based candles are a suitable option for power outages, as these are less likely to be accidentally knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass hurricane holders or globes.

DON’T use candles as a search guide or night light. Avoid walking around with a candle. Dark rooms can increase the chance of tripping or brushing against a flammable item. Use a flashlight instead.

DO keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Place candles up high to avoid the risk of pets, children, or adults accidentally bumping candles over in the dark.

If you have any questions on candle safety or need any fire mitigation services, contact our franchises SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at (770)496-1976. We are available 24/7 to assist.

Tips to Improve Your Safety in Severe Weather

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

dark cloudy sky, storm sign Always be prepared for severe storms

Because of how regularly severe storms and weather events can occur during the warmer seasons of the year, every single storm should be revered as a possible threat. Every storm has the potential to cause significant damage and pose a serious threat to unprotected people, so before one strikes, make sure you are doing what you can to boost your household safety efforts just in case.

Being aware of what watches and warnings mean, having ample emergency supplies stored and having multiple ways to tune into emergency broadcasts will help you be certain that you are as prepared as possible.

Be Aware of What Watches and Warnings Mean

When severe weather is on the way, local officials will generally issue watches and warnings to keep the public informed about the current conditions, so it is important to know what they mean. A storm watch is issued if conditions are particularly favorable for a storm to develop, but one has yet to occur in the area. A storm warning is more serious, as it means storms have been spotted on the ground and are a threat to the area. During a storm watch, you can simply stay alert, but during a storm warning, you should take cover immediately

Have Ample Emergency Supplies Stored

If a storm is nearby, it is important to seek shelter and stay put until the threat passes—which is why having everything you need at home is so highly recommended. Be sure you have enough food and water packed for everyone in your family in case utilities go out, as well as flashlights and extra batteries so you have a light source. You should also have a “safe zone” in the home—somewhere you can go that is sheltered from external walls as much as possible where you can wait out the worst of the storm.

Have Multiple Ways to Tune Into Emergency Broadcasts

While most of us rely on our smartphones to get information about the weather, this method can have some drawbacks and is not reliable during severe weather. Because cell reception can be spotty during severe storms and electricity is often unreliable, make sure you have multiple ways to get alerts that do not depend on the traditional power grid. A non-electrical weather radio powered by batteries or manually is often a good solution for this.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at (770)496-1976 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

Water Loss in Commercial Buildings

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.   However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.  

1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.  

3. Broken pipes and plumbing Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result.   

4. Backed up sewer lines This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.   

If your business has suffered commercial water damage, our franchises SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at 770-496-1976 for fast help.

Water Damage in a commercial building

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage can be caused by an amount of different issues. Anywhere from rainstorms, broken pipes, or humidity to faulty appliances or slow leaks. Any of these incidents can lead to microbial or bacterial growth if it is not cleaned up properly. A full-service property restoration company like us, SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston can help your business recover from water damage, no matter how big or how small the loss may be. We understand that the damage needs to be mitigated as quickly as possible to minimize the downtime your business may experience, and here at SERVPRO, we have 24-hour emergency response, every day of the year in Stone Mountain/Clarkston and the surrounding areas. Our technicians will work alongside utility companies and commercial plumbers to make sure your building is secure against any secondary water damages or loss. If you experience a loss that is considered a Category 3, i.e. sewage water, our professionals, who are IICRC-certified, will decontaminate your property working under specific standards. Our techs can work alongside certified environmental hygienists to give testing and clearances so you and your staff can have a peace of mind. Part of this process includes our technicians using special treatments to avoid mold growing in your building. In cases of long-term moisture where mold is already found, our certified mold remediation specialists will clean and get rid of as much mold growth as is possible.  Our team has the equipment and the staffing to take care of a commercial water loss of any size. We can help you recover from industrial plumbing failure and major floods to any other loss your commercial building might face If you’ve experienced a commercial water loss, speak with us at our franchise, SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston by dialing 770-496-1976 for a prompt 24/7 response.

SERVPRO is Equipped for Commercial Losses in Stone Mountain

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

When you're a business owner and you run into an unexpected commercial disaster, you should call our franchises SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976. We can immediately dispatch technicians to come assess any situation that is stopping your business from operating. SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston will do everything in our power to help you and your business when trouble arises. 

Tips until SERVPRO arrives:

  • Shut off the water source, if identified.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
  • DO NOT use regular vacuum to remove water
  • Locate insurance information
  • When we arrive we will do a very thorough dry out and complete it in a timely manner. We practice the science of drying...and we specialize in restoring your property. We are a "One Stop Shop" – Which means we are a company that can dry out your property, take care of your contents, and rebuild if necessary. Call our franchises SERVPRO of Stone Mountain/Clarkston at 770-496-1976, we are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all your commercial needs.