Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How We Approach Restoration Differently | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & Roselle

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO van in front of a yellow house If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 24/7 so we can address your damages quickly.

There is a lot that goes into choosing a restoration company as a homeowner. Not only are you picking someone to restore your home, but you are also forced to make a big decision during a stressful time in life. Choosing the right company will give you peace of mind and make your experience a positive one, but it’s important to pick one that is trustworthy.

Because there are so many types of damages that can occur from a disaster, it is important to choose a company that can handle a variety of situations.

When water damage turns into structural damage or a small kitchen fire releases toxic soot particles into the air, homeowners will want a company that can handle the entire situation. Seeking a company that can handle complications is essential for a positive experience.

Our Approach to Restoration

Our restoration jobs are just as much about providing excellent service as they are restoring your home. These are the ways in which we approach restoration differently:

With a Guaranteed Quick Response Time

Emergencies do not have respect for anyone’s schedule, which is why we do not have business hours. Our emergency service line is an around-the-clock service, meaning you can call us 24 hours a day to report the damage. Once we receive the call, our technicians will spring into action in order to get to you ASAP.

With an Experienced Team

Our restoration technicians are industry leaders with proven results. Trained according to IICRC standards, they will ensure the most up-to-date methodology is used in your restoration for any type of damage.

With a National Network

Our franchise locations are located across the country with over 1,800 locations. This means that we have a national network to utilize for resources. Therefore, we can treat a large-scale disaster with the same care and efficiency as we would an isolated spot of thunderstorm damage.

Contact us at 908.650.8611 for all of your restoration needs.

We are Cleaning Experts | | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

picture of the SERVPRO logo against a building saying we are under one roof We are available for specialized cleanup and disinfection services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Contact us Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today. 

Can't call right now? Please visit our contact us page and we will get in touch with you. 

SERVPRO of Central Union County | SERVPRO Of Western Essex County.

Make Sure Your Business Is Ready for Potential Disasters | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

man standing under umbrella looking out at fire in dark stormy sky Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Central Union County & Western Essex County is here to help.

When you are a business owner, one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness.

Disaster are going to happen, and while having a plan in place cannot stop all disasters, it can still offer a certain sense of security and at least ensure that your employees are aware of what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

What’s Your Plan?

Please take the time and make it a priority to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations that could affect your business!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

When disaster strikes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a man-made incident or natural, if no emergency plan is in place for your business, things could get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By encouraging your employees to familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where to Begin

In beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, start by evaluating which scenarios are most likely to occur—and go as far as considering the longshots that could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

If you have a business impact analysis (BIA) done, it will help predict potential effects a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, be sure to review it and practice it with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® Professionals Adhere To The Highest Cleaning and Sanitation Standards |SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

living room of an interior home We are available for proactive cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SERVPRO of Central Union County| SERVPRO of Western Essex County offers cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your home or property back to business.

About Coronavirus

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Scope of Cleanup Protocol

Our professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving and Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19.

SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more.

Porous surfaces that are not water-sensitive, such as carpet and other fabric material, cannot be disinfected but can be sanitized using SERVPROXIDE™.

Contact Us

If you need us, we’ll be there – no matter the time or day, contact us at 866.361.3400. The team of highly trained restoration and cleaning experts at SERVPRO of Central Union County & SERVPRO of Western Essex County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How We Approach Restoration Differently | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress.

There is a lot that goes into choosing a restoration company as a homeowner. Not only are you picking someone to restore your home, but you are also forced to make a big decision during a stressful time in life. Choosing the right company will give you peace of mind and make your experience a positive one, but it’s important to pick one that is trustworthy.

Because there are so many types of damages that can occur from a disaster, it is important to choose a company that can handle a variety of situations.

When water damage turns into structural damage or a small kitchen fire releases toxic soot particles into the air, homeowners will want a company that can handle the entire situation. Seeking a company that can handle complications is essential for a positive experience.

Our Approach to Restoration

Our restoration jobs are just as much about providing excellent service as they are restoring your home. These are the ways in which we approach restoration differently:

With a Guaranteed Quick Response Time

Emergencies do not have respect for anyone’s schedule, which is why we do not have business hours. Our emergency service line is an around-the-clock service, meaning you can call us 24 hours a day to report the damage. Once we receive the call, our technicians will spring into action in order to get to you ASAP.

With an Experienced Team

Our restoration technicians are industry leaders with proven results. Trained according to IICRC standards, they will ensure the most up-to-date methodology is used in your restoration for any type of damage.

With a National Network

Our franchise locations are located across the country with over 1,700 locations. This means that we have a national network to utilize for resources. Therefore, we can treat a large-scale disaster with the same care and efficiency as we would an isolated spot of thunderstorm damage.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

Learn More About Our “Restore First” Mentality | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

window boarded up after disaster strikes A quick response from SERVPRO of Central Union County | Western Essex County ensures your Damage Restoration needs are professionally completed.

When disaster strikes, we get there fast, but that is not the only reason why we need to be first on your list of calls if the worst should occur.

What sets us apart—our team of technicians have a “restore first” mentality, complemented by specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. By making this our mission, we are able to minimize potential disruptions to your home and life and get you back into your home as quickly as feasible.

How It Works

When a fire has damaged your property, it’s a scary time, but once you reach out to our team, we’ll take some of the weight off your shoulders.

No two fires act the same, so it’s logical that the damage they inflict would also be different. That’s why we believe in starting with a standardized process, but adding onto it and enhancing it to meet your individual needs.

1. You call us. When you reach out via our 247 Emergency Line, we will spring into action. Our first step is to ask you questions about the fire and your home’s unique space and needs. That set of questions helps inform our strategy.

2. We inspect and assess the fire damage. Our next step is to visit your home. During this visit, we will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. Based on what we see and determine, we will take immediate next steps.

3. We board up windows and tarp the roof. Because fire damage often compromises windows, walls and roofs, we will make sure that your property is secured and protected from further damage. This will involve boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp over the top of damaged roofs.

4. We remove water and begin the drying out process. When we think of fire, we don’t think of water damage. But we should, because water is a necessary component of fighting fires. So our next step is to remove any standing water and start drying out objects and spaces when possible.

5. We remove smoke and soot from all surfaces. We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces in your home.

6. We clean and sanitize your home. This is another place where the “restore first” mentality comes into play. We will attempt to clean objects and surfaces whenever possible, rather than removing and replacing them. We also use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to help remove odors.

7. We complete the restoration. This is our final step, bringing your property back to the condition it was in before the fire. Restoration may involve minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also involve major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Reducing the Risks of Disasters at Your Business |SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

preparedness and readiness sayings in bold lettering with red background Having a disaster plan in place is crucial for any business. SERVPRO of Central Union County is your full service commercial restoration company.

Owning a business is all about making strategic decisions in order to achieve your short- and long-term objectives, and planning for disasters is an often overlooked way for businesses to do this. The frequency with which natural disasters occur continues to increase, and because they can strike at any time, it is important to be prepared should one occur.

Evaluating your personal risk for natural disasters and formulating an action plan are valuable ways to help protect yourself and your business. Additionally, making a plan for the aftermath of a disaster can ensure you can recover quickly and get your business back into operation as quickly as possible.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Disaster

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Though general business policies are typically enough for small-scale occurrences, there are many instances where damage from a natural disaster will be beyond what a base policy will cover. It is wise for business owners to talk with their insurance company to explain the specific disasters that are a concern and consider purchasing supplemental insurance for your business to gain coverage.

2. Create Your Action Plan
Having a plan for what you will do the moment a natural disaster is set to strike is extremely important, as evacuation time is often limited. Be sure to take note of anything around the building that will need to be addressed before leaving to mitigate damage, and keep emergency supplies handy. It is also best to know the local evacuation routes and shelter locations as well.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
By sharing your emergency action plan with your staff, you are helping to prepare them for a disaster as well and creating a safer workplace for everyone. Make sure to perform emergency drills at least twice a year, providing different scenarios and obstacles so that staff is prepared for any issues that might arise.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Following an emergency, the cleanup will begin. Getting your building’s restoration started quickly will have a big impact on how fast you are able to resume your operations and begin to recover, which is why it is important to find a certified commercial restoration professional you can trust to respond quickly and help you recover.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Increases of House Fires During Winter | SERVPRO® of Central Union County & SERVPRO® of Western Essex County

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

snowy tree If your home experiences any flooding or other water issue, SERVPRO of Central Union County is here to dry, clean and repair any damage.

Though winter is best known for cold weather and festive events, it is also a prime time for fires to occur. There are many factors in winter that can increase the likelihood of a fire occurring, including an uptick in kitchen use, heater use and the installation of holiday decorations. Understanding the risks and prevention strategies is key to having a safe winter.

Why Winter Sees an Uptick in House Fires

An Increase in Cooking
Fires are caused by many things, but fires related to cooking incidents are always the most frequent. Because of the increase in kitchen usage, baking and holidays that are celebrated with food in the winter, the rate of cooking fires only increase as the temperatures drop.

The Risk of Heaters
Heating your home safely during the cold months is an important part of fire prevention. Heating incidents due to improper safety precautions are another leading cause of fires during colder weather. Ensuring that all of the safety features on personal heaters and fireplaces are put into use is important, as many heat sources can light other objects on fire.

Candles and Decorations
Decorative candles and electrical components are a way to get in the winter spirit, but it also brings forth new risks for fires. Any time an open flame is present, even if it is as small as a candle flame, the risk for fire increases. For electrical decorations, they should be thoroughly inspected before use in order to check for any fraying, wear or other fire hazards that may pose a problem.

How to Practice Winter Fire Prevention

By putting preventive practices into place, you can greatly reduce your risk of experiencing a fire both during winter and year-round. Here are some ways to be safe against the common occurrences of winter fires:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

We are Your Mold Damage Specialists

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

When there is water damage in a home or commercial property, mold growth will likely follow. Mold can begin to grow within 48 hours after moisture exposure.

If you are ever facing a mold issue, knowing what steps to take is very important, which is why we have chosen to use this blog to discuss the subject of mold remediation.

Mold Remediation, Not Removal

Mold remediation and mold removal ads are everywhere, and you’ve probably seen ads for these services, but the truth is there is no such thing as mold removal. Removing all mold from a home or business is simply impossible. Instead, a qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation, which in turn brings mold levels back to a normal and natural level.

Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both inside and outside. The issue arises only when a minor mold problem is left untreated and then turns into a major mold issue.

During mold remediation, the contaminated areas will be isolated by technicians. Depending on the amount of remediation required, this would be done by either closing all doors and windows or sealing off all doorways and openings with polyethylene sheeting. The technicians will use a method called “misting” to suppress the dust in the contaminated areas.

Materials that are wet and mold-damaged are removed and discarded in plastic bags. Any areas that have been exposed to and affected by the mold are then thoroughly cleaned and dried. A HEPA vacuum may be brought in at sometime during the remediation process to help remove contamination and debris.

Then, the mold-affected area is treated with a biocide and left overnight to start killing the mold spores. The following day, the mold remediation crew will return and encapsulate the affected area and beyond.

When to Contact a Professional

If you believe your home or business may have been affected by mold, you’ll want to act quickly. Upon evaluation of the size of the problem, and if the moldy area is more than 10 square feet, you will want call in the professionals.

The professionals you hire for mold remediation should be highly trained and certified in areas such as:

  • Applied microbial remediation
  • Water damage restoration
  • Applied structural drying

While some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, it is always safest to talk to professionals and get the remediation process started quickly before further damage sets in.

At SERVPRO® of Central Union County, our mold damage specialists are trained and certified experts in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.

SERVPRO is There for You & Your Business | Disaster Plan

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes? The most important key to surviving these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations.

Being prepared for these situations involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business. This blog will lay out some aspects to consider when designing that very important disaster plan.

Where to Start With Your Disaster Plan

There are many things you will need to consider, including your employees, your material assets and equipment, when developing a disaster plan for your business.

Some of those considerations should be:

  1. How to protect your employees
  2. How to secure your assets
  3. How to get business up and running again

Many checklists have been made available through sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can offer information that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.

Don’t Neglect Employee Safety

If a disaster should strike without warning, your plan must lay out clear and concise procedures and safety measures for the protection of your employees and visitors. Your evacuation routes and exits from your facility should all be properly and clearly marked, have an area designated that will serve as a shelter space, consider emergency light installation, and ask for volunteers to serve as designated “safety wardens” properly trainedand ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.

When choosing a place for shelter, ideally this space would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement available, select a small interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a closet or interior hallway.

How to Protect the Assets

In a brick and mortar location, you’ll still need to make careful decisions when it comes to protecting the assets inside the building. You have thousands of dollars tied up in equipment and/or merchandise that will be at risk should a natural disaster strike.

Be sure to have a complete and up-to-date inventory of all equipment and assets. Having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is also always helpful if insurance claims need to be made. If your assets are computer data-based and kept on a server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is making regular backups and that the storage system cannot be damaged, such as a cloud storage option.

If you own the building that you conduct your business in, get with a contractor to uncover areas that could be structurally strengthened. This contractor should be able to suggest possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not make the grade in certain weather situations.

Getting Back to Business

When—and if—a natural disaster does occur, it may be entirely possible that your business will have to be closed for days or months due to the damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to set up a disaster fund to help cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.

Keep a list of contractors handy who will make themselves available for repairs, and know which cleanup and restoration service will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.

With SERVPRO® of Central Union County, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.

Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Central Union County to be there for you.

We Are The Experts & We Are Here To Help | Identifying Floodwaters

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

If you think all water that causes water damage is the same, think again! There are three classifications for it: clean, gray and black.

By gaining a better understanding of the differences in these types of water, it will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.

Whenever there is a water damage situation, it doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage because a cleanup and restoration process will always follow. First, and most important, is removing all moisture and damp items as quickly as possible to hinder the growth of mold, which begins to flourish in this ideal environment.

Clean Water

The name says it all; clean water is considered “clean” and not likely to be the type that would pose an immediate threat to your health. This water contains no contaminants and is the result of:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

Clean water is the easiest type of water damage to work with because there are fewer microbes living in the water. But remember, it only takes 48 hours and contact with the surfaces of a building for clean water to become a category two, becoming gray water.

Gray Water

Damage from gray water makes water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more serious. This is water that may pose a health risk because it will most likely contain chemical or biological contamination. This slight contamination means that gray water would need to be thoroughly treated before it is safe for consumption.

Water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. is considered gray water, and the 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, as it will become black water if it is not quickly and property treated.

Black Water

A black water damage situation is considered the most serious of the three classifications as this water is highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, which include bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Any water involved in a flooding situation should be considered dangerous and assumed to be black water since it will pick up contaminants along its path.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, recognizes these three classifications of floodwater. Our highly trained technicians have all studied IICRC’s standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Central Union County is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

SERVPRO of Central Union County Cares About Your Family

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Today, we are fortunate to have advance warning for some types of severe weather, but there are also times where Mother Nature manages to catch us by surprise.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take and safety tips to follow that will guide you in preparing for your family’s safety in various severe weather occurrences.

Where to Start

One of the best ways to ensure your family’s safety is to have an established family emergency plan at the ready.

Be sure to go over your plan together as a family at the beginning of each weather season if there is an emergency plan in place so everyone knows exactly what to do.

Here are some things to take into consideration when creating your family emergency plan if you have not yet done so:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

Thanks to technology today, emergency alerts and warnings are at our fingertips with our smartphones that are equipped with a weather app or Google. We can quickly receive emergency alerts, that provide us with valuable time in severe weather situations. Warnings and alerts are also still broadcast over radio and TV.

2. What type of storm shelter do you have?

Where tornadoes are a common occurrence, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement, or if there is no basement, use an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that require a form of storm shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.

3. What are the evacuation routes?

Have you mapped out multiple evacuation routes because hurricanes, flooding and fires can force you from your home at a moment’s notice. It’s wise to have multiple routes in the event one is impassable, and be sure you find places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members involved in your evacuation.

4. How will everyone stay in touch?

Cell phones are the easiest way to keep in touch with your family, but in some circumstances, that just will not be possible. Cell phone towers can be damaged and phones could be lost or left behind; not to mention batteries will not last forever and there will be no power to recharge them.

Your family should have an emergency communication plan in place as well as a safe meeting place so that you can all meet there if separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Central Union County to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Protect Your Business From Fires | What Could Cause it?

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners have many responsibilities, with one of them being safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks that needs some extra consideration is planning for and working toward preventing fires.

Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In more recent studies, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires at office properties per year. Those fires were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

Protect Your Business

By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can take steps to protect your business from a fire risk and help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the fire hazard risk. Fire marshals are often offered in some areas by the local government. During a visit, the fire marshal can offer advice and help identify your business’ risks, providing guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure you have chosen the right fire protection equipment. This should include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, and more importantly, consider your employees and visitors. By creating a fire prevention and evacuation plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct regular fire drills at least annually to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and routes and also the location of first-aid kits.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Central Union County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Trust SERVPRO of Central Union County to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know water damage can be one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience? Anything from a burst pipe to a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage are some of the countless ways water could cause damage in your home.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your home. Read on as we take a look.

Learning How to Protect Your Home

Besides dealing with the damage from the water itself, there is also the potential for long-term impacts on your home. Mold is one of the most common and dangerous side effects of water damage, as mold begins to grow within 24–48 hours of exposure to moisture.

As you consider ways to protect your home from water damage, it can be a less daunting task to break it down by areas of impact. These areas would include basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.

Water damage in the basement can be prevented by checking for and remedying water seepage by resealing vulnerable areas of the basement, making sure water is draining away from your home and installing a backwater valve.

Plumbing issues and appliance failures are the major causes of water damage in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Be sure that you regularly:

  • Inspect all appliances, watching for issues with hoses and faucets
  • Check the seals and caulking around your showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
  • Never leave your home while the washer or dishwasher are in use

Protecting the possessions in your home from water damage is a different story and not always possible, but there are things you can do to at least decrease the amount of loss. It is advisable to use waterproof bins to store items and to store your possessions on shelving off of the floor—especially in the basement.

Knowing Where to Start

If your home does fall victim to a water damage situation, you can stand a good chance at salvaging items that can be dried out within 48 hours.

Be sure to contact your insurance provider first thing and evaluate how much water damage has affected your home as well as identify the type of water that is involved.

The three types of water are:

  1. “Clean” water. Can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.

  2. “Gray” water. Slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.

  3. “Black” water. Water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water can cause serious health problems.

It is important that, following a water damage disaster, you get your home dried out, dehumidify the area, remove wet objects and disinfect remaining materials as soon as it is safely possible.

Pro tip: Books, photos and papers can be placed in a frost-free freezer to allow some extra time, which prevents mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once you are able to do so, remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of Central Union County, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened"