What To Do After A Fire
A fire in your home is a life changing experience. Whether it is a small fire, or a whole house event, it is important to understand what to do and who to call for help. The first step is to attend to your family and your pets. It is important not to re-enter your home unless the fire department says it is safe. According to FEMA, you should then contact your insurance company/agent to make them aware of the situation. Next, you should contact SERVPRO of Mobile County. We are highly trained and IICRC Certified in Fire, Smoke and Soot Restoration. We utilize cutting edge technology and cleaning methods to restore and salvage your smoked damage contents. Each item is carefully catalogued into our iCAT electronic inventory system ensuring accurate tracking as we move contents to our facilities for cleaning. Once cleaned your belongings are carefully repackaged and stored in our climate-controlled warehouse facility to await delivery once your structure cleaning/repair is complete. We will also coordinate with your insurance company every step of the way to ensure the restoration process runs smoothly. Once cleaning is complete, our Construction Services division can immediately step in to perform necessary repairs and make it truly “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Fire Damage FAQ's
When it comes to protecting your business from fire damage, knowledge is your best defense. Here are some common facts regarding commercial fire damage that can better help you protect your investment and prepare for the unexpected.
What is the most common cause of fires in commercial structures?
- Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of commercial fires is human error. It is important to ensure employees are properly trained and that safety measures are frequently covered.
- Improperly maintained, water heaters and furnaces are another common cause of fire.
- Electrical systems should also receive routine checks and maintenance to ensure they don’t contribute to a potential blaze. (Make sure that you use a licensed electrician or electrical company to prevent liability issues and code violations.)
What steps should I take immediately following the fire?
- As a property manager, your first step should be to contact your insurance company and report the incident. You should discuss coverage and ask questions at that time.
- Next, contact an IICRC Certified restoration company like SERVPRO of Mobile County to evaluate the damage and discuss the restoration process.
What does the fire restoration process look like?
- At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we know that getting your business back to normal operation as quickly as possible is the most important priority. We will be there fast to begin the initial evaluation.
- Our IICRC Certified Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician will develop a plan that gives an estimate as to the restoration costs and the time to complete the restoration.
- We will assign a dedicated Job File Coordinator (JFC) to handle your loss and communicate directly with your insurance company to expedite the process even further.
How long will the process take?
- The length of the restoration process depends on the individual circumstances for each situation.
Be sure to have an emergency plan in place before disaster strikes. You can protect your facility and your employees by testing smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers frequently. Should you ever need us, SERVPRO of Mobile County will be Here to Help.®
Fireworks Safety Tips
This diagram shows you the most common locations of fireworks related injuries.
Fireworks and holidays such as New Years Eve and 4th of July go hand in hand. While enjoying the festivities it is important to always take safety precautions when handling fireworks. Each year nearly 9000 people are treated for some type of fireworks related injury according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Nearly 62% of those injuries occur in a one-month period running from June 22-July 22. If you do plan on lighting up the sky at your holiday party, here are some tips you can follow to avoid injury:
- Never let young children play with, or light fireworks.
- Avoid fireworks packaged in brown paper.
- Make sure that there is always adult supervision when using fireworks.
- Exercise caution when using sparklers. (Sparkles can burn at temperatures up to 2000 degrees)
- Never attempt to relight a firework that did not fully ignite.
- Keep a bucket of water close by while shooting fireworks.
- Light fireworks one at a time and move away quickly.
- Don’t carry fireworks in pockets or shoot them from glass or metal containers.
- After shooting fireworks, make sure to cover any remnants/smoldering embers with water.
The most common areas injured are the face, hands and legs; accounting for over 50% of all injuries. In addition to bodily harm, fireworks cause roughly 18,500 fires each year. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are always Here to Help should your home or business ever be affected by fire. We are always just a phone call away at 251-343-0534.
Preventing Commercial Water Damage
When you own a building, the brick and mortar building is your biggest asset, and vital for day to day operation. When a water damage occurs, it means lost revenue and productivity. From fire suppression systems to emergency plans, you have taken every precaution to protect your business. Still, there are always unforeseen disasters that can occur. From frozen pipes to clogged drains and even storm events, there is a chance that the unexpected will strike your business. One more way you can protect your investment is to be informed. Here is some handy information that can help you be even better prepared for “whatever happens”.
- Preventative Maintenance – making sure to regularly inspect roofing, HVAC and plumbing systems can help you spot problems and make repairs to prevent damage
- Inspections – routinely checking for signs of water damage can prevent a small loss from becoming a much larger issue
- Emergency Plan – having an emergency plan in place detailing what steps should be taken in the event of fire or water damage to your facility
At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we have helped hundreds of commercial clients with water and fire damage, mold remediation, construction and cleaning services. We have the tools, training and experience to handle any situation. Our team members are IICRC Certified and we follow all OSHA guidelines. We also offer a free Emergency Planning service to help your business be prepared. Give us a call today at 251-343-0534 for more information.
Saharan Dust - What is it?
The Saharan Dust Plume is actually an annual occurrence that takes place each summer. This cloud of dust known as the Saharan Air Layer develops off the coast of Africa when powerful winds from thunderstorms push dust and sand from the vast Saharan Desert up many thousands of feet into the atmosphere. The dust gets caught in the trade winds and travels up to 4,000 miles making its way to the U. S. The most significant effects will be seen here along the Gulf Coast as the dust plume is pushed into the Gulf of Mexico. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are always ready for the catastrophic effects of hurricanes and other weather events. Luckily, the Saharan Dust Plume doesn’t bring with it any dangers of property damage. Impacts are mostly seen along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico and include a whitening of the sky during daylight hours, redder sunsets and decreased air quality.
When there is a hurricane in the Gulf, all eyes are watching the path that it takes. We make our preparations and follow the track as it sets sights on its target. However, did you know that some of the roughest weather and destruction may not fall on the bullseye, but rather to the east of it? While the structure of the hurricane can be broken down in to three parts (eye, eyewall, outer region), the storm is broken out into quadrants. When looking at a storm and drawing a line directly perpendicular and horizontally through the eye you have the left front, right front, left rear and right rear quadrants. Each quadrant has unique characteristics regarding the type and strength of storm conditions it brings with it. The front left quadrant sees the largest storm surge while the front right quadrant brings the most significant impact. The back left quadrant is the weakest but still dangerous, while the back right quadrant will see the strongest winds and gusts. No matter what portion of the storm your area falls into, it is important to be prepared. Nature is unpredictable and having your emergency kit together could minimize damage and protect your property and your family. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are experts in storm cleanup and we will always be ready should the unexpected strike. After the storm clears, we are Here to Help® when you need us!
Heat lightning is not "safe" and can cause just as much damage as cloud to ground bolts.
As we head into the hot days of summer here along the Gulf Coast, we know that inevitably the warm weather brings heavy summer storms. Many storms seem to light up the sky without the typical “bolts” you often see. Have you ever heard someone say it’s not dangerous, it’s just “heat lightning”? Have you ever asked yourself if that’s a real thing? And if so, what exactly is it? Well, according to the National Weather Service, heat lightning occurs when a thunderstorm is just too far away to see the actual cloud to ground strike. This means that it is just as dangerous as any other type of lightning, despite common myths to the contrary. And exactly why is lightning so dangerous? Well, according to NOAA lightning can carry anywhere from 100 million to 1 billion volts of electricity. The energy produced by lightning can heat the surrounding air to a temperature of anywhere from 18,000 degrees up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit! In addition to causing injuries and deaths each year, lightning also causes extensive property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are roughly 22,000 fires started by lightning each year, totaling over $450 million in property damage. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we have helped many homeowners who have experienced fire damage as the result of lightning strikes. If you should ever need us, we are always just a phone call away at 251-343-0534.
Common Types of Carpet Damage
You can see here that the glue adhering the back of the carpet has come loose allowing it to separate from the carpeting.
Home carpeting is a big investment and it requires regular maintenance and care to keep it looking (and smelling) its best. Pets, kids and typical wear and tear can take its toll. It is important that you call an IICRC Certified Company like SERVPRO of Mobile County to come out and perform regular cleanings. Our Certified Carpet Cleaning Technicians have the knowledge and training to provide outstanding results. We recommend that you get your carpets cleaned at least once a year, or every 6 months for high-traffic, high-soil areas. When trying to keep your carpet in the best shape possible, it is also extremely important to understand the most common causes of carpet damage:
- Stains – From red wine and juice boxes to oil and ink, there are a million different ways your carpeting can get stained. It is important to address spotting as quickly as possible and use solutions for the specific type of stain.
- Burns – Although most carpet burns are the result of careless smokers, falling irons are also a common cause of damage. It is important to avoid ironing over carpet. Once carpeting is burned, the only solution is to cut out the affected area and replace it.
- Bulging and Rippling – This is a common issue for older carpeting and occurs when the carpeting is no longer pulled tight. You should call a qualified carpeting expert to come in and re-stretch your carpets.
- Tufting – This is when loose fibers are stretched out and may be longer than the rest of the carpet fibers. Resist the urge to pull on the fiber and simply clip with scissors.
The best way to protect your carpets is to prevent damage from occurring. Although all carpeting has a limited lifespan, following proper maintenance guidelines can help you significantly extend the life of your carpet.
Fogging Myths - Coronavirus Cleaning
As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept through our nation and the number of cases grew, so did the need for qualified cleaning companies. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are IICRC certified in the cleanup of biohazard pathogens. Although this virus is new, we already had the products, experience and knowledge to understand this type cleaning process. We are familiar with OSHA, EPA and CDC guidelines and have been following them regularly in our biohazard cleanups. As the need for COVID-19 cleaning has grown, we have seen many companies expanding their service lines to take advantage of the new market. Many of these companies are offering fogging only services as an effective method to fight the virus. Don’t be fooled by these claims! The CDC guidelines recommend wipe down (cleaning) and disinfection of all high touch non-porous surfaces. The virus is spread by droplets released into the air, which then settle on surfaces and fogging alone will not properly disinfect the affected area. At SERVPRO of Mobile, we take no shortcuts when it comes to Coronavirus cleanup. You can rest assured you are receiving the highest standard of clean. Don’t settle for less than Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Is it Flood Damage?
When it comes to a water loss, we are ready to help no matter the source! We are IICRC Certified and highly experienced in flood damage.
With the start of Hurricane Season here along the Gulf Coast, now is a good time to take a closer look at your insurance coverage. It is important to have an in-depth conversation with your insurance agent regarding what is covered under wind and water exclusions to see if you may need additional riders. When it comes to storm water, “flood damage” requires additional coverage. At SERVPRO of Mobile County, we are often asked what the difference is between water damage and flood damage? The answer is actually very simple. The categorization of the water loss depends on the source of the water. Flood damage is caused by rising waters from a natural source and typically affects multiple residences. Often in storm situations the water may come in through roof damage; however, it is easy to make the differentiation if there is no rising water in the area. It is best to have an in-depth discussion with an insurance professional to get more details and answers to your questions. And remember, if you experience any type of water loss, no matter the source, SERVPRO of Mobile is always Here to Help.®