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Protect Your Home by Knowing Common and Lesser-known Fire Hazards | SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Protect Your Home by Knowing Common and Lesser-known Fire Hazards | SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville Candles are very pretty and smell great too, but left unattended, they can cause a very serious house fire. Use caution when using candles.

In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common causes of household fires.

Nobody likes to think about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire. However, it’s a harsh reality for far too many Americans.

One way you can be proactive in protecting your home is to educate yourself about fire hazards and how to identify them.

Use Caution With Candles

According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period that covered 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires per year that were started by candle usage. All totaled, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage reported.

Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December topping out as the prime time of the year for home fires caused by candles. These fires caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries.

Be sure the candle is kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep—and never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.

Smoking Is the Leading Cause of Home Fire Fatalities

Smokers caused fires that resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes. While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, cigarettes, pipes and cigars caused an estimated 17,200 home structure fires.

One out of four smoking-material fire fatalities is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire. It is the innocent bystander.

The safest place to smoke is outside. Most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms.

Try using fire-safe cigarettes. A deep, sturdy ashtray should be used. Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand before throwing them away.

Watch for Lesser-known Fire Hazards

While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.

Did you know that some kinds of glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated beam could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to keep glass accessories out of direct sunlight.

Another possible fire hazard is dust bunnies collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Regularly vacuuming and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.

Watch for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the connected wires and create dangerous arcing sparking.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes. Water damage from firefighting efforts can also cause significant damage. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville is here for you and to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Fire Safety Basics

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Basics Protect your Family With These Fire Safety Basics

Protect Your Family With These Fire Safety Basics | SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville

In the United States, more than 350,000 house fires happen every year, totaling over $5.5 billion in property damage. Beyond the financial loss, these fires also lead to nearly 3,000 lives lost and another 10,000 injuries.

It is best to be sure your family is prepared in the event of a fire. The importance of everyone knowing how to prevent fires and how to respond if one occurs cannot be stressed enough.

Start teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines at an early age. Let’s explore three fire safety practices you can practice as a family:

Finding Fire Hazards in Your Home

Take time to inspect your home. You will be surprised at how many fire hazards you will spot! Make time to go through every room and outdoor space to uncover any fire hazard.

  • Make sure your appliances are running properly.
  • Check electrical cords and make sure they are not frayed or broken.
  • Do not overload outlets and/or extension cords.
  • Ensure you are using the correct wattage of light bulbs.
  • If electrical wiring is covered by rugs or carpet, uncover it.

Be Aware in the Kitchen

Home fires are often caused by cooking. That’s why it’s important to be especially careful in the kitchen.

Anyone who’s cooking needs to familiarize themselves with basic cooking safety:

  • If you are tired or unable to pay attention, don’t cook.
  • Stay with kids and teens when they are cooking.
  • Always keep a lid on the counter when cooking on the stove. If a small grease fire occurs, the lid can be used to smother the fire.
  • If a fire occurs inside the oven, turn it off and do not open the door to the oven.
  • Leave the room and close the door if a kitchen fire is beginning to spread.

Design a Fire Safety Plan

If a fire occurs, every person in the family must know what to do—including how to get out of the house and where the safe meeting spot is once they’re out.

Once you create a plan, have practice drills.

You know how the saying goes: “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of what to do makes you more likely to remember the steps if an actual fire were to occur.

If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of North Colllin County/Greenville is ready to help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.  SERVPRO® of North Colllin County/Greenville is currently performing Fire restoration and complete home re-construction services in Fairview, McKinney and Murphy Texas.

When Water Damage Strikes

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Water Damage Strikes When Water Damage Strikes

When Water Damage Strikes.... | SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville

Did you know that flooding is the most common disaster affecting the United States? And with flooding comes water damage—and potential effects on health and wellness.

Mold growth is among the health hazards attributed to water damage. There are negative symptoms of mold exposure. Once water damage occurs, whether from a flood or a leak, mold can set in within 24 hours.

But mold growth doesn’t have to be inevitable following water damage. There are some steps you can take:

Consult a Professional Immediately

You may think you’d notice an odor if mold was present, but that’s not always the case. That’s why calling in a professional team after water damage is essential.

While you may be able to salvage carpet following water damage, experts recommend at least a replacement of the carpet pad in most situations.

This is a more cost-effective option than replacing the entire carpet, but it’s not always a safe choice. A professional can help you make the best decision for your home.

Tread Carefully

  • Do NOT re-enter your home or office until water has completely receded and officials have declared doing so safe.
  • Document damage for insurance purposes, using photos and video.

Starting Drying Things Out

  • Bring in fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to help speed up the drying time.
  • Keep windows and doors open to allow air in if weather allows.
  • Before the professional cleanup crew arrives, vacuum up what you can with a heavy-duty wet/dry vacuum.

Sort Through Items

  • Porous materials like wood, upholstery, and paper of any kind, can trap mold and should be tossed out.
  • Metal, plastic and glass, on the other hand, are not absorbent and can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
  • While you can dry out carpet and rugs, keep in mind that doing so may not stifle mold growth.

If you need help after water damage and/or mold growth, SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville can help you restore your home back to normal.  SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville is currently servicing our clients in Melissa, Princeton and Parker Texas that have recently had water damage to their homes.

The Importance of Understanding Storm DamageTexas is no stranger to devastating storms. There’s no better way to prepare for a storm is to know what e

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Importance of Understanding Storm DamageTexas is no stranger to devastating storms. There’s no better way to prepare for a storm is to know what e The Importance of Understanding Storm Damage

Texas is no stranger to devastating storms. There’s no better way to prepare for a storm is to know what exactly is coming. There are ten different types of storms with unique causes and that cause create mostly, water damage.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville knows the importance of keeping a home and business safe before, during, and after a storm. Continue reading to learn more about different storm types and storm and there resulting water damage.

The 10 most common storms are hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, snow storms, hail storms, thunderstorms, lightning storms, tropical storms, ice storms, and Derecho storms.

Depending on where a person lives in the state, they likely won’t experience each type of storm in a lifetime. You may even be wondering what a Derecho storm is. (Simply, it’s one monster storm made up of many smaller but still large storms. To be considered a Derecho, these multiple storms must rage at over 58 miles per hour and cross 240 miles. Suffice to say, they are vast.)

Some storm damage effects are obvious, like how hail breaks a window or lightning and thunderstorms cause power outages.

But since hurricanes can have such far-reaching effects (like how Hurricane Sandy impacted 24 states), it’s particularly important to be informed on the damage they can cause. It’s important to be educated on all types of storm and the damage they cause, but this blog will focus on hurricane damage - whether you experience a hurricane’s immediate effects or the aftermath.

These are Most Common Causes of Storm Damage from Hurricanes:

Storm Surge

Storm surge is generally felt most by those who live on the coast that is directly hit by a hurricane. Storm surge happens when wind drives so much water to the shore that it causes the water to pile up far past the predicted tide level. The force of this water is so powerful that it can cause tremendous water damage and destroy buildings and other structures.

Flooding

Floods from a hurricane often are directly tied to storm surge. Storm surge can force extra water past the normal tide levels, onto the shore and even far inland. The accompanying heavy rainfall also contributes heavily to flooding. Rainfall caused by hurricanes can impact an area even 100 miles from where the hurricane landed, causing widespread flooding. But a tropical storm does not have to reach hurricane levels to cause heavy rain and floods.

Wind

Wind caused by hurricanes can often reach speeds between 74 - 155 miles per hour. The powerful speed and force of storm winds can uproot trees, fell power lines, and hurl debris. Objects moved by wind can cause damage like broken windows or damaged roofs. The wind during a storm can also be powerful enough to lift the roof off your house. Often, these damaging winds are caused by tornadoes that form because of the hurricane.

The damage caused by storm surge, floods, and strong winds can be unexpected. This is why it is important to take necessary precautions like packing an emergency preparedness kit, installing storm-resistant features on your home, and following any official warnings at the onset of a storm.

Water damage and the other types of damage in the aftermath of a storm can be excessive and overwhelming. Cleanup can also be dangerous. SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville is the leading expert in storm damage restoration.  SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville is currently servicing clients in Anna, Farmersville and Murphy Texas, due to the recent rainfall in the North Texas area.

SERVPRO re-construction vs. Home Town Remodeler

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Re-Construction vs. Home Town Remodeler

If you find yourself in need of re-construction services after a house fire or water damage, you might want to reconsider before you hire that contractor you found in the latest flyer left on your door.  I’m not here to bash other contractors.  Some of them are quite good.  What separates a SERVPRO qualified re-construction company and the normal contractor is that we understand insurance work and how insurance companies operate.  You see, we use the same estimating software that the insurance companies use to estimate the damage to your home.  We understand things like, what should be replaced verses cleaned.  There are young/inexperienced adjuster that might want to try and save money for their company by cleaning something verses replacing it.  We understand the rules and can make a case for you with your insurance company to make the most of your claim and put your home back together the way it should be.  We understand things like depreciation, structure verses contents claim, textile/electronics/art and documentation cleaning.  We can, as one company take care of all these things for you, taking a lot of the worry and stress off your back.  We would never ever wish a fire or water damage on anyone.  We just hope that if it does happen to you, you will call us.  We are SERVPRO, and we are here to help.

Keith Atkins

SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville

SERVPRO Re-Construction vs. Home Town Remodeler

If you find yourself in need of re-construction services after a house fire or water damage, you might want to reconsider before you hire that contractor you found in the latest flyer left on your door.  I’m not here to bash other contractors.  Some of them are quite good.  What separates a SERVPRO qualified re-construction company and the normal contractor is that we understand insurance work and how insurance companies operate.  You see, we use the same estimating software that the insurance companies use to estimate the damage to your home.  We understand things like, what should be replaced verses cleaned.  There are young/inexperienced adjuster that might want to try and save money for their company by cleaning something verses replacing it.  We understand the rules and can make a case for you with your insurance company to make the most of your claim and put your home back together the way it should be.  We understand things like depreciation, structure verses contents claim, textile/electronics/art and documentation cleaning.  We can, as one company take care of all these things for you, taking a lot of the worry and stress off your back.  We would never ever wish a fire or water damage on anyone.  We just hope that if it does happen to you, you will call us.  We are SERVPRO, and we are here to help. 

Keith Atkins

SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville

Document Restoration Services

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Document Restoration Services Let your Friends at SERVPRO help save all those important documents as well! Call us today at 972-548-6044

SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville offers many services, but one that many may not realize is the Document Restoration that we offer! If you ever need to have documents saved from water damage call your friends at SERVPRO! We have access to scientifically proven methods to dry, clean, sterilize and deodorize your documents. The documents are inventoried and kept secure, with appropriate Chain of Custody tracking and HIPPA Certifications for all personnel in the Drying Chamber.

THE DRYING PROCESS

  • Drying - process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
  • Cleaning - we offer onsite cleaning. This is cleaning each document front and back to remove debris and any surface particulate. 
  • Sterilization - Gamma Irridation is a process that is used for disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. 
  • Deodorization - once paper has been wet, an odor can begin to form. Letting us deodorize your documents will reduce the odor and sometimes almost completely eliminate it. 

In the Know:

Drying Includes:

  • Packing
  • Freezing
  • Chain of Custody / HIPAA
  • Inventory
  • Shipping / Receiving

Document Recovery Includes:

  • Receiving
  • Inventory
  • Processing

If ever you are in need for document restoration do not hesitate to call us. We’ve got your back in making it "Like it never even happened.”

Handling Mold: Containment

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Handling Mold: Containment oh you know, we are just containing this area for safety.

When performing mold remediation work it's essential to have good containments. You want to ensure no spores are spread throughout other areas of the home or business that were not previously affected.

Containment is a large part of our job when dealing with mold jobs. As you can see in the picture, we have contained the area so keep the mold spores from spreading. Our goal is to keep the affected area as small as possible to get you back into your home or business as fast as possible!

If you require mold remediation services in your home or business give SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville a call! (972) 548-6044. We will return your home or business back to “Like it never even happened.”

*SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville are Highly Trained Restoration Specialists*

Our SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville Professionals are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. The SERVPRO training program includes the follow:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

Storm Warnings: What do they really mean?

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Warnings: What do they really mean? Storm warnings are coming. Do you know what they mean?

Storm Warnings can pop up anywhere: TV, cell phone warnings, radio, etc., but do we really understand what these warnings mean? Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Tornado Watch Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.

Texas weather can get crazy! Make sure you know what’s going on! If disaster does strike your home or business, call SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville at (972)548-6044.

Preparing for a Thunderstorm

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparing for a Thunderstorm Storms can be beautiful, but they are also dangerous!!! Make sure you are prepared!

In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Before Thunderstorms and Lightning To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

The following are guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:

  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.

Avoid the following:

  • Natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area
  • Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water
  • Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas
  • Anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicyclesIn a forest:  Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

During a Thunderstorm if you are:

  • On open water: Get to land and find shelter immediately.
  • Anywhere you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike) squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet.  Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees.  Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact to the ground.  DO NOT lie flat on the ground.
  • In an open area:  Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.  Be alert for flash floods.

In the event you experience storm damage please contact your restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville.

10 Common Causes of House Fires

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Common Causes of House Fires Don't let this happen to you, but if it does call your friends at SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

Home fires can happen at any time. You never know what can cause it, but here is a list of the 10 most common causes of house fires!

Cooking equipment:

Lets be honest here, we have all walked away from the stove at one point or another without double checking everything was ok. Pots and pans can over heat quickly and can cause a fire very easily when they are left unattended! Always make sure you are in the room or have someone watch over it for you!

Heating:

Space heaters are need exactly what they say, SPACE! Always keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that can catch fire (furniture, curtains, clothing, even yourself!) Always be sure to do regular inspections on your heating equipment (fire places, central air, furnace) to make sure it is working safely.

Smoking in the house:

We aren’t saying you can’t do it, but we do suggest going outside to do it. A cigarette that is not properly put out can cause a flame, as the butt may stay lit for a few hours! If they encounter any flammable material, such as furniture or curtains, it can cause a fire. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?

Electrical Equipment:

electrical appliances, such as toasters or hair straighteners, can cause a fire if faulty or left unattended. If a power point is overloaded it can also cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. An extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Always double check the appliances and power sources in your home.

Candles:

We are sure many would expect this to be higher up on the list, but they are still a huge cause for being such a small item. Keep candles away from any flammable material such ass books and tissue boxes. Always blow out a candle before leaving a room! Never leave them unattended!

Curious Children:

Yes, our little angels are a cause for concern when it comes to causing a fire. Children are curious about things and will cause a fire but just trying to see what happens when they burn an object! Keep all lighters and matches out of reach of children to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice an escape plan with your children and family incase of a fire.

Faulty wiring:

Improper wiring is an electrical hazard and a huge cause for concern! Signs of bad wiring can include 1) Lights dim when using another appliance; 2) having to disconnect another appliance to use a different appliance; 3) blown fuses or tripped circuits frequently. Have a licensed electrician come out and inspect your house or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences!

Barbeques:

barbeques are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Regularly maintain your barbeque station and clean with soapy water! Check the propane bottle for any leaks before every use!

Flammable liquids:

If a bottle on a product says FLAMMABLE keep it away from all heat sources! Be sure to check the label carefully and always use caution when pouring the liquids!

Lighting:

Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are close to the light globes. Check around the house to make sure they are not getting too hot! Lamp bases also become a hazard if they are easily knocked over. Make sure lights are insulated properly from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.

If a disaster happens and a fire does break out, please don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO of Northeast Collin County/Greenville to help clean up the mess! We strive to make it “Like it never even happened.”