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Faster to any size disaster

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of our office in Union, MO Whatever the disaster, SERVPRO of Franklin County is there when you need help.

The teams at SERVPRO® are ready for any disaster, big or small.

And they understand what may be small in the grand scheme of things may be huge to you, and they’re ready to help you put your life, business, or property back together “Like it never even happened.”

What can you do to be READY? Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of nonperishable foods Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well.

For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov.

Whatever the disaster, SERVPRO® of Franklin County is there when you need help, 24/7/365.

Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters and SERVPRO technicans outside of a fire damaged home. SERVPRO of Franklin County responds quickly to your fire or water damage emergency.

SERVPRO of Franklin County - Fire Damage Restoration Specialist Offers Franklin County, MO Families Tips on Cooking Up a Safe Holiday Season

Startling statistics underscore the need for caution in the kitchen.

Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) 11/06/2019 -- Holiday party planning begins now for many families, and Jerry Alvey of SERVPRO of Franklin County, MO offers some important reminders to Union, MO residents to help ensure this season glows with the warmth of good food and good friends, and not with the glare of a devastating home fire.

“The holiday season is a time when many families plan big and elaborate meals for large groups of people,” says Alvey. “But all that cooking creates an extraordinary risk of fire. For a safe and festive holiday season, it’s important to understand that risk and take steps to minimize it.”

Cooking Fire Safety NFPA research reveals that in 2016, on average, U.S. fire departments responded to a home fire every 90 seconds. Cooking fires were the leading cause of these home fires and related home fire injuries and the second leading cause of related home fire deaths. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in these fires.1

“Union, MO families should keep these statistics in mind as the holidays approach. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve2,” says Alvey. “Families should also be aware that frying poses the greatest risk of fire, in fact, the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.3 This video graphically illustrates the danger these devices can pose.” https://youtu.be/j3rF8F0JQRQ.

Alvey offers these additional cooking safety tips from FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration.4

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry: If you see any smoke or the oil starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  2. Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  3. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
  4. Wear short sleeves or pull sleeves up: 18 percent of cooking fire fatalities in 2016 were caused by ignited clothing.2
  5. Keep a pot lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if it catches on fire.

“Taking common sense precautions like these and keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen during meal prep can help keep your holiday celebrations safe,” says Alvey. “The precautions you take could help prevent a devastating home fire, a tragic injury, or even the loss of life. While SERVPRO disaster response professionals are fire damage restoration specialists, they know how important it is to keep the focus on fire prevention, because for some types of loss, there is no remediation.”

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com.

For more information on SERVPRO of Franklin County, please contact Jerry Alvey at 636-583-5200 or jerry@SERVPROoffranklincounty.com.

Citations

  1. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics/Factsheets/FireLossFacts.pdf
  2. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics/Factsheets/CookingFactSheet.pdf
  3. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Turkey-fryers
  4. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

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About SERVPRO® Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

Flood Damage Restoration Recommendations for Uninsured Losses

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technican and customer in front of customers home. SERVPRO of Franklin County is here to help with your water damage, please give us a call 24/7.

It is never too soon to start to consider what steps need to be taken especially when you don’t have adequate insurance for water damage.

The following recommendations assume a flooding situation with horizontally traveling Category 3 (unsanitary) water containing silt and other contaminants have infiltrated into homes and businesses to a depth of a few inches or feet and remained for multiple days.  When structures are completely submerged or remain substantially flooded for several weeks, more elaborate procedures may be required.

  1. Foremost, consider safety:
    1. Evacuatepotentially respiratory or immune-compromised, or non-essential persons (e.g., children, the elderly, pregnant women; those recovering from extended illness or surgery, or those on regimens of prescription drugs or chemotherapy). When medical questions arise, consult with public health professionals.
    2. Before entering a heavily flood-damaged structure, open windows and doors and air it out thoroughly. Ventilation must be maintained during and following the restoration effort. This reduces but does not eliminate, the potential for inhaling pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms.  Also, allow as much sunlight into the structure as practical, since fresh air and ultraviolet light help inhibit microorganism growth.
    3. Consider the structural integrity of a damaged building before entering. Wear protective clothing, boots with steel or fiberglass shanks, and a hard hat.  Have the building checked by a qualified builder or structural engineer when in doubt.
    4. Ensure that electrical shock hazards have been eliminated. Consult a licensed and qualified electrician when questions arise.
    5. Protect yourself from pathogenic microorganisms.Wear protective gloves before handling contaminated materials.  Splash goggles should be worn to protect and prevent microorganism entry through the eyes.  A vapor respirator (paint respirator) should be worn to prevent inhalation of most microorganisms or spores.
  2. Remove quantities of debris(silt, vegetation, floating objects) with shovels, rakes or any safe means practical. Clean and sanitize all tools when complete.
  3. Remove and dispose of drywall (Sheetrock®), paneling or other wall materialsup to a point 15-24″ inches above the visible water line. If practical, stay within four feet of the floor to salvage as much wall material as practical since drywall is usually installed horizontally in 4’x8’ or 4’x12’ panels.
  4. Remove and dispose of insulation materialsexposed during wall removal. Look for evidence of moisture wicking up insulation materials.  Leave only materials that are durable, dry and minimally porous, and which can be cleaned and decontaminated with relative ease.
  5. Remove and dispose of carpet, cushion, pad, felt and sheet vinyl, or laminate flooring materials. Porous materials may absorb considerable quantities of water and contaminant, and non-porous materials may trap moisture to prolong drying.  The inevitable result will be rapid microbial growth, along with associated odor and potential health hazards.  Solid wood flooring should be removed since contaminants and moisture collect underneath in hollow areas between the wood and subfloor. The following procedures may require the assistance of a professional water-damage restorer, who has specialized biocides, and application and extraction equipment, if available.
  6. While maintaining ventilation and respiratory protection, liberally spray durable salvageable materials (e.g., studs, decking, joists) with appropriate biocides.Household chlorine bleach (e.g., Clorox®) mixed 1 part bleach to 11 parts water (½%) may be used on durable, colorfast surfaces.  Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or strong acids!
  7. Following application of properly diluted biocides, brush agitate all areasto remove visible soils and to encourage biocide penetration into cracks and crevices. Professional restorers use pressurized spraying to accomplish this step.
  8. When fresh water is restored within the structure, flush contaminants from salvageable surfaces with a water hose or pressure washer.Work from top to bottom and from walls to flooring.
  9. Wet vacuum or mop up excess rinse water from flooring materials immediately.Thoroughly flush all contamination from wall frames.  Pressure washing, if available, is specifically recommended to flush contaminants from hard-to-access areas, following contaminated water removal with industrial wet vacuuming equipment.
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 as necessary, until all surfaces are clean and contamination is physically removed.
  11. Lightly spray a final application of an approved non-chlorinated disinfectant to all salvageable surfaces.
  12. Dry structural components with plenty of air circulation, while maintaining constant ventilation (weather conditions permitting). If practical, take advantage of low outside humidity (check local weather reports).  Use oscillating or box fans, moving them around the structure every few hours.  Avoid temperature extremes that might slow drying or promote microorganism growth (68-86oF/20-30oC is ideal for growth).  Rent high-volume professional drying equipment (airmovers and dehumidifiers) if available, especially in areas where ventilation is not possible (sealed buildings, security issues).  All electrical components that were below the water line should be checked for operational safety by a qualified contractor.
  13. Leave cleaned structural surfaces exposed for several days or even weeks, or until you are sure that they have returned to within four percentage points of normal moisture content (generally the normal moisture content of structural wood is around 10%). Otherwise, subsequent structural damage and health hazards can result after wall and flooring materials have been replaced or painted.
  14. Durable, colorfast contents (e.g., washable clothing, dishes, glassware, furniture) might be salvageable if washed in warm detergent solutions. Common sense and caution should be used in determining contents salvageability.

Where financial resources permit, comprehensive restoration should be accomplished by trained, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Technicians.  To prevent mold growth on structural materials, property owners should consider hiring a professional restorer to evaluate moisture levels in structural materials before reconstruction.

From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings

Please call us for more information regarding floor or water damage cleanup.

Is Duct Cleaning Worth It?

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A photo of our office in Union, MO. Call SERVPRO for your air duct cleaning needs.

Did you know, that investing in regular air duct cleaning can reduce indoor allergens like dust, pollen and pet dander? Air duct cleaning is vital to the cleanliness of the air you breathe in.

Why Is Duct Cleaning Important?

The ducts in your furnace / air conditioner constantly collect dirt, dust and danger while in operation and even while idle. When you turn your system on, the particles can spread around in your home or business.

SERVPRO of Franklin County provides residential and commercial air duct cleaning that can improve the air quality in your Franklin County, MO home or business.

How Often Do I Need My Air Ducts Cleaned?

It is recommended to get your air ducts cleaned evert three to five years. However, if you have elderly family, young children, pets, or allergies it may be beneficial to clean your air ducts more often. Typically, if you see a lot of dust gathering on furniture items after just cleaning them, it can be a sign that your air ducts need cleaning.

Signs You Should Clean Your Air Ducts

If you are still uncertain if your air ducts need to be cleaned, here are some signs that you can look for:

  • Mold
    • If you see mold in or near your air ducts, you should immediately call SERVPRO of Franklin County for an inspection. We can seal and clean your air ducts as well as mold remediation to take care of any issues you may have.
  • Dust
    • As previously stated, if you find yourself constantly dusting your home, dust and debris in your ducts could be to blame. This can be a sign that your ducts need to be cleaned soon.
  • Pets
    • While pets are a great addition to any family, they leave dander and fur in your home. The duct system draws in this dander and allergens each time you use your air conditioner or heater. This can cause your air duct system to require cleaning more often.
  • Pests
    • If you find pests in your home, they could be using your duct system to get around. Air duct cleaning can remove the waste that pests leave behind.

Call SERVPRO of Franklin County for Your Air Duct Cleaning Needs

If you have additional questions about air duct cleaning services for your Franklin County, MO home or business, please give us a call (636) 583-5200. We are here to help!  We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

When they call you, call SERVPRO®

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO fire damage technician removing tile ceiling from a fire damaged restaurant in Union, MO. When they call you, call SERVPRO. We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists.

Mitigation requires quick action.

The faster SERVPRO of Franklin County arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results— including lower claim costs.

Within four hours of a loss notification, SERVPRO of Franklin County will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO® will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure.

Contents Cleaning

All the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of Franklin County can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® of Franklin County provides specialized services that rid your insured’s home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.  

If your business experiences fire or water damage, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call.

We’re here to help 24/7, 7 days a week: (636) 583-5200.

Every Second Counts

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicans at work on a commerical fire loss in Union, MO. A fire can happen at any time. Every second counts, so be READY and make a plan today.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.* In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.

A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan.

The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it.

The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

  • Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped.
  • Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.

 *Tips and statistics provided by the American Red Cross

Halloween Safety On and Off the Road

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Pumpkin with text "Halloween Safety On and Off the Road" Stay safe this Halloween season with these safety tips!

Kids love Halloween! It’s a fun time of year for trick-or-treating, parties and trip to a neighborhood haunted house. For parents, often there is a fine line between fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

In 2017, 7,450 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents, according to Injury Facts. Non-traffic incidents include those occurring on driveways, in parking lots or on private property.

NSC research reveals almost 18% of these deaths occurred at road crossings or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these deaths.

Here's a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.

Costume Safety

To help stay safe during the holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of safety tips. Before Halloween comes, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause any safety hazards.

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won't cause safety hazards.

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
  • When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
  • Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
  • When They're on the Prowl
  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
  • Agree on a specific time the kids should return home
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street

Safety Tips for Motorists

NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/halloween-safety.aspx

What is Dry Rot?

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Photo shows an example of dry rot Do you have dry rot in your home?

Would you know if your home had dry rot?

Dry rot can happen to any time or wood and in any climate. It can ruin the structure of your home, and is most commonly found in attics, basements, and under sinks.

What causes dry rot?

Despite the word “dry” in its name the fungus that causes dry rot grows when the moisture in the wood exceeds 20% or when the wood is exposed to sitting water and extreme humidity. Dry rot can leave wood weak and brittle.

The primary clues to look for in dry rot:

  • Yellow tinge to the surface
  • Deep cracks in the wood
  • Wood will crumble

Since moisture is necessary for the fungus to grow, you can typically find dry rot when:

  • After a flood or natural disaster
  • After a plumbing accident or water damage
  • In humid climates
  • When wood is not properly dried

How can I protect my home from dry rot?

  • Have a roofing company inspect your roof annually to check for leaks or holes that can let water in and cause dry rot.
  • Make sure your gutters are installed properly and are directing water away from your home.
  • Check your plumbing to make sure you don’t have any noticed leaks.
  • Make sure your ventilation in bathrooms, kitchen and attics is working properly and can remove excess moisture from your home.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Franklin County?

Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (636) 583-5200

Keep Fall Fire Free

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Pumpkin with SERVPRO carved into the side. Keep fall fire free with these safety tips from the NFPA.

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jacko-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

Information provided by the National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org. Visit their website for more information on being safe this season.  

Fire Prevention Month

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

"Not every hero wears a cape" image from the nfpa. Visit www.nfpa.org for more information on fire prevention and preparation.

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan.

  • Do you have a fire escape plan?
  • Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?
  • Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!"

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm.

Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy.

Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.

How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire.

When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community. SERVPRO of Franklin County wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way. Give us a call to learn about our Emergency Ready Profile. (636) 583-5200.