Recent General Posts

SAFETY FIRST: Before the Feast

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires.

Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended–stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything flammable–pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup. n Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

SERVPRO of Franklin County wishes you a safe and happy holiday season

Are you “Ready for whatever happens”?

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Are you “Ready for whatever happens”?

September is National Preparedness Month. So it’s a great time to make sure you’re prepared in the event of a disaster.


SERVPRO ERP

There are many ways you can prepare, but did you know SERVPRO offers a completely FREE readiness plan?


By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.


To learn more you can visit: ready.SERVPRO.com

Just ask Bella or Mike to set up an appointment or call our office 636-583-5200


Ready.gov

This is a great website helping becoming prepared in the event of a disaster and includes plans family Emergency plans. Visit it here: Ready.gov


Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

New SERVPRO First Responder Bowl to be played at Cotton Bowl Stadium

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

DALLAS – In a joint effort to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s First Responders, the annual college football bowl game played at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas has been renamed the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.  Kickoff for the newly christened SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is set for December 26 at 12:30 p.m. CT (1:30 p.m. ET) and will be televised by ESPN.  The agreement between ESPN Events and SERVPRO was brokered by Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment.

"We are truly grateful for all first responders’ sacrifice and service,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. “It is a tremendous privilege to honor these brave men and women who protect our communities 24/7/365. As this game continues to grow, so do our ties with first responders. Additionally, having a sponsor like SERVPRO who works along-side and supports these community heroes reinforces our goals of recognizing our first responders.”

"We are proud to present the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl dedicated to honoring some of the hardest working men and women in our country" said Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. "We recognize the dedication and selfless acts of our First Responders and are honored to help highlight and celebrate the commitment of these everyday heroes."

The 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is the ninth edition of the bowl game, formerly known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and part of the 89-year history of games being played at Cotton Bowl Stadium on the grounds of Dallas’ Fair Park, which features 227 acres of museums, attractions, history, art and performances located in the heart of the ninth largest city in the United States.

First responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.

“This is an exciting change, and we are humbled by the fact that an actual bowl game has been named exclusively for the first responders of this country,” Dallas Fire-Rescue Fire Chief David Coatney said.

“We are truly honored to have a bowl game here in Dallas named after the hard working men and women serving and protecting communities across this country.  It always feels great to be recognized, and I know our officers and firefighters are touched by this overwhelming show of support, “said Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall.

The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl tickets will go on sale in September.  Tickets for First Responders will continue to be underwritten by our corporate sponsors. Planning for the First Responder Fan Fest in Cotton Bowl Plaza will begin immediately.  Anyone wanting more information on the bowl game can visit www.firstresponderbowl.com.

The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is one of 14 owned and operated bowl games by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 32 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada);   New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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.

About Impression Sports & Entertainment

Impression Sports & Entertainment (Impression Sports) specializes in providing clients with full-service sponsorship sales representation, sponsorship consulting and venue naming rights services. Founded in 2011, Impression Sports has established itself as one of the leading firms in the industry by working with top brands, including USC, the San Antonio Spurs, Auburn University, the Fiesta Bowl organization, USA Swimming and ESPN Events among others. Its management team provides in-depth experience and results-driven success in venue naming rights, title sponsorships and high-profile sales and sponsorship platforms.

Based in Denver, CO, Impression Sports is owned by Home Team Sports (HTS). HTS is a sales unit of FOX Sports that offers advertisers one-stop shopping for TV and digital media sponsorship of every MLB, NBA and NHL home team across the U.S., reaching 90+ million homes with its platforms.  For more information on Impression Sports, including a complete client roster and testimonials, visit www.impressionsports.com

9th Annual NFL Pool

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

How it works:

Each week pick winners from all NFL games for the week. Pick total points from the Monday night tie breaker.

On Mondays we will email your next week's pick sheet. Each week we will email out the standings. Each correct pick is awarded 1 point.

The cost is $20 per team. You can have as many teams as you like.

  • 1st place winner receives 70% of the pool plus a free air duct cleaning.
  • 2nd place winner receives 20% of the pool plus 2 rooms of carpet cleaning.
  • 3rd place winner receives 10% of the pool.

What you need to do:

  • Sign up by Tuesday, September 4th. To sign up, please call us at 636-583-5200 or email Bella iking.spfc@gmail.com or Mike malvey.spfc@gmail.com.
  • Get your money to us as soon as possible. Drop if off by the office or we can send someone to collect.

Have fun! It was a blast last year!

Call the cleanup team that's "Faster to Any Size Disaster"

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

General Call the cleanup team that's "Faster to Any Size Disaster" Call SERVPRO of Franklin County for disaster restoration

Faster to any size disaster.

This is not just another tag line for SERVPRO®—it is a commitment to be there when you need us most.

Whether you are a small business or home owner facing minor fire or water damage, or a property manager dealing with a widespread disaster, the SERVPRO® System has the resources needed to respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner help arrives, the sooner restoration begins and the sooner you can resume business as usual.

Our SERVPRO of Franklin County franchise is just the tip of the iceberg. Should a major disaster such as a flood or wildfire occur, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is always poised and ready to go where they are needed.

If a fire, water or mold damage strikes, no matter the size, call SERVPRO of Franklin County. Backed by a system of more than 1,700 Franchises strong, we’ll help make your property disaster “Like it never even happened."

Extreme Heat

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

General Extreme Heat Stay safe in extreme heat

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight.

Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect. According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

April showers bring you May flowers

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

General April showers bring you May flowers Be prepared. You never know when disaster may strike. We offer Fire and Water Damage Restoration 24/7

Hopefully the April showers brought your May flowers!

May is a very busy month as school is coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. The same is true for preparedness planning in May.

The following preparedness events take place this month and offer a great chance to educate yourself:

  • Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (May 5, 2018)
  • National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 6-12, 2018)
  • National Dam Safety Awareness Day (May 31, 2018)
  • National Building Safety Month

May also brings two weeks to show appreciation for first responders:

  • National Police Week  (May 13-19, 2018
  • National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week  (May 20-26, 2018)

Be sure to visit ready.gov for more information and resources.

We at SERVPRO of Franklin County want you to be as prepared as possible since you never know when disaster may strike.

In the event of a fire or water emergency in your home, business, or property, make SERVPRO® your first call to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

April Showers bring May flowers

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

General April Showers bring May flowers Spring Cleaning Union, MO

April showers bring May flowers, and also a good chance to get in some spring cleaning! Spring is a great time to sweep those winter blues away and freshen up your environment.

SERVPRO® of Franklin County can help. In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO® is trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal.

Other services to help with your spring cleaning include upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and deodorization. A clean environment is a healthy environment. 

Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t worry! Your local SERVPRO® has all the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

A Salute to FIRST RESPONDERS

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” This famous Mr. Rogers quote comes to mind when we celebrate first responders: those who arrive first on the scene of any disaster or emergency. In the event of a disaster or emergency, there are many different agencies and people in your community who are ready to respond. Whether it’s a house fire or a hurricane, we are thankful every day for these first responders.


Firefighters, EMTs, and Police

Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), are often first on the scene of an emergency. In the U.S., there are more than 29,700 fire departments with 1,160,450 total firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2015 U.S. Fire Department Profile. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are almost 245,000 EMTs and paramedics in the U.S. In the U.S. there are about 18,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 750,000 fulltime sworn officers, according to
the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the FBI.


Military

When events such as natural disasters strike, different branches of the military are often a first line of response. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, with over 342,000 soldiers, respond domestically when deployed by their state Governor, often during states of emergency from weather-related events. They can also be called upon during terrorist attacks or civil unrest, or called overseas by the President of the United States. Active duty soldiers can also be called upon for certain domestic events as well.


FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

As a part of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), these volunteers are trained to be prepared for any disasters that may affect your local area in an effort to support professional responders. CERT volunteers are trained in “basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations,” according to FEMA. With more than 2,700 CERT programs, over 600,000 individuals have been trained nationwide. Teams are managed locally, but supported nationally by FEMA.


SERVPRO® recognizes these and the countless other first responders in our communities for keeping our communities safe.

SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster Be READY with help from SERVPRO

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.

You can be ruined, or you can be READY, with the Help of Technology

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

General You can be ruined, or you can be READY, with the Help of Technology SERVPRO® will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.


Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.


Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where
communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.


Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.


Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.


Get an Emergency READY Profile®

SERVPRO® is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App.

Get in touch with SERVPRO of Franklin County today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO® will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

General FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster

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.  

New Year, New Disaster

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

General New Year,  New Disaster Vos family pipe water loss

The new year did not get off to a great start for the Vos family. Just like many in Missouri, the family experienced a pipe breaking in their house in early January.


Their kitchen and basement had water damage, with the basement getting an inch and a half of water. The water also got up about six inches on the walls.


“No one ever wants that,” said Joyce Vos. “The temperature had been so frigid that it wasn’t a huge shock. But it’s still not something you want to have happen.” This was the first time the Vos family had experienced a pipe freezing before. Having moved from California, the temperatures don’t get cold enough there to freeze.


“We’ve never had to deal with anything like this before,” she said. “It never gets cold enough in California to get frozen pipes or anything like that.” 


Joyce and her husband Rodney were thrilled at how quick SERVPRO was able to get to their house and begin drying.


“They took charge,” Joyce said. “They were courteous and professional. I really felt comfortable that they would get the job taken care of.”


The job took a lot of equipment to get the house dried. The house required 31 air movers and three dehumidifiers to get both the kitchen and basement dried.


SERVPRO came over the weekend to monitor the job and pick up equipment to move them to other jobs.


“Nate was just awesome,” Joyce said. “It’s amazing how he was here with his crew for the entire day. We weren’t the only ones going through this that week. He said he would be back every day, and I didn’t believe him because I knew how busy you guys were, but he was back every single day.”


Joyce said she has recommended other people to use SERVPRO already, and would tell anyone who has a disaster give SERVPRO a call.


“The service and professionalism is great, and they are so fast getting out to the job,” she said. “The team worked fast together and everything went really well.”

Worries of WINTER WEATHER

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

General Worries of WINTER WEATHER Frozen pipes can be a huge concern during extreme cold.

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property. 

FROZEN PIPES

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage.

A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross: 

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night

ICE DAMS

Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com.

To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.

If winter weather causes water damage to you or your business, SERVPRO of Franklin County is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition. 

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

Fighting the Flu

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

The winter months bring family celebrations and holidays, but it also brings the flu. Though the timing of the flu can vary from season to season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in January or February.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the single best way to prevent the flu. Flu vaccinations are available throughout flu season.  Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone six months or older. It is especially important people at high risk of flu complications like young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and anyone 65 years or older receive a flu vaccination. If you have questions about getting a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.

What can you do to stay healthy this flu season?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. n Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

General Are You Winter Weather Ready? Be Winter Weather Ready

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage.

While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask SERVPRO of Franklin County about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Franklin County to strike back.

Holiday Safety & Preparation

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Lights, candles, action – it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.

“Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home,” says Gerald Alvey of SERVPRO® of Franklin County. “There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.”

Alvey says that homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

·Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.

·The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

·Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.

·Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.

·Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

·Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.

·On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

·Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.
·Use flameless candles.
·If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.

Christmas Tree Fire Facts:

·50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
·31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
·14% involve decorative lights.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

·Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
·Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
·Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

“We hope these tips will be a reminder to Union area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations,” said Alvey, “so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact Gerald Alvey with SERVPRO® of Franklin County at (636) 583-5200 or jalvey9662@aol.com.  For more information about SERVPRO®, please visit www.SERVPRO.com.

Statistics used are based on National Fire Protection Association data (http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/project-holiday)

Happy Holidays from SERVPRO

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

General Happy Holidays from SERVPRO Happy Holidays from SERVPRO of Franklin County

As the weather outside gets frightful and your cozy homes become warm and delightful, the holiday season’s aglow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. According to climate.gov, on February 12, 2010, there was snow present in all 50 states, including Hawaii! Five years later in 2015, it almost happened again, when every state but Florida experienced snow. While it is generally unlikely for certain states to encounter snow, it is still important to know how to be prepared if winter weather strikes at your home, business, or while traveling. We are dedicated to helping you keep the holidays merry and bright, and keeping your property safe. But what happens if disaster does strike during the most wonderful time of year? Easy—Call SERVPRO of Franklin County, even if it is the night before Christmas.

SERVPRO® is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, ready when you need help the most. 636-583-5200

Thanksgiving Dinner Safety Tips

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

 

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment, with 3 times the average number?

 Here are some tips to help keep your family and home safe this Thanksgiving:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.

  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.

  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.

  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Remember, if the unthinkable does happen: We understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and more than a little vulnerable. Our technicians will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care. Until help arrives, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO of Franklin County is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of Franklin County, MO. We are also part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

General Faster To Any Size Disaster Cooking safety

November—when cooler temperatures arrive, the leaves change, and family-oriented get-togethers, like Thanksgiving, begin the holiday season.

While you are busy whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen, it is also important to take time to remember safety. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports “Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires...and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.”

You can help ensure your holiday plans don’t go up in smoke by taking a few precautions! Staying in the kitchen while cooking and if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove-top. Be alert!

SERVPRO of Franklin County wants you, your family, and your property to stay safe. If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, they can help you make it “Like it never even happened."

Drive safely as it gets darker

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

General Drive safely as it gets darker Take Extra Care on the Road

Daylight Saving Time ends every year on the first Sunday in November. This means it starts to get darker earlier. As we set our clocks backward by one hour in most areas of the country, here are some tips for driving at night.

As we 'Fall Back' to Shorter Days, Take Extra Care on the Road

Fatigue, lack of light, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than during any other time of day. In fact, the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night, according to National Safety Council research.

Fatigue

A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving.

The reasons are many – shift work, lack of quality sleep, long work hours, sleep disorders – and it doesn't only happen on lengthy trips.

These staggering numbers are backed up by a report by NHTSA that 100,000 police-reported crashes are a result of driver fatigue. Most crashes or near-misses happen at the times you would expect drivers to be tired: 4 to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., according to NSF.

Nov. 6-13, 2016, is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice:

  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night
  • Don't drive if you've been awake for 24 hours or more
  • Stop every two hours to rest
  • Pull over and take a nap if you're drowsy
  • Travel during times you are normally awake

Darkness

When Daylight Saving Time ends many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver.

Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.

What should you do to combat darkness?

  • Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they're clean
  • Dim your dashboard
  • Look away from oncoming lights
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they're anti-reflective
  • Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
  • Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time

Compromised Night Vision

Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions. As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult, according to the American Optometric Association. Some older drivers also may have compromised vision due to cataracts and degenerative eye diseases.

The AOA recommends older drivers:

  • Have annual vision exams
  • Reduce speed
  • Take a driving course; even experienced drivers can benefit from a refresher course, and some of the rules have probably changed
  • Minimize distractions, like talking with passengers or listening to the radio
  • Check with your doctor about side effects of prescription drugs
  • Limit driving to daytime hours if necessary

Rush Hour

Evening rush hour (between 4 and 7 p.m. weekdays) is a dangerous time to drive due to crowded roadways and drivers eager to get home after work. In winter, it's dark during rush hour, compounding an already dangerous driving situation.

How can you make it home safely during rush hour?

  • Don't be an impatient driver; slow down
  • Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
  • Even though the route may be familiar, don't go on autopilot; stay alert
  • In unfamiliar areas, consult a map before you go and memorize your route
  • Don't touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting

Impaired Drivers

Nearly 30 people die every day in crashes that involve a driver impaired by alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drivers impaired by prescription medicines and other drugs increase that number significantly. Impaired drivers are most frequently on the road after dark – particularly between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends.

While drunk driving has declined by about one-third since 2007, the number of drivers under the influence of drugs has increased. Between 2013 and 2014, 22% of drivers tested positive for a drug that would cause impairment, according to a roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA also found that the prevalence of THC (found in marijuana) among drivers on weekend nights increased 48% since 2007, from 8.6% of drivers to 12.6%. Many states have not yet updated their impaired driving laws to address this growing problem.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive

While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous.

More than 35,500 people were killed in car crashes in 2013, according to Injury Facts 2016. By taking some extra precautions, we can all contribute to reducing these numbers.

Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-driving-at-night.aspx

Antique Books? Here’s how to care for them

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

General Antique Books?  Here’s how to care for them How to care for antique books

If you want to keep your vintage books looking better longer, these tips will help:

  • Environment -- Books need to be out of direct sunlight and away from moisture or high humidity. They need a stable temperature (65-70 degrees) and good air flow to prevent mold growth. Attics and basements are not good places.
  • Shelving -- Choose glass or baked enamel shelves over wooden shelving for display. Wood not sealed with epoxy can transfer damaging acids to the paper and bindings.
  • Spacing –  Books that are crammed together will rub against one another as you remove and replace them, damaging the covers and spines. Use bookends.
  • Keep tall books flat -- Protect the bindings of large books by keeping them flat on a stable surface rather than upright.  If stacking large books on top of one another, avoid tall piles, and gently remove top ones first when viewing them.
  • Light – And especially ultraviolet light, can damage old books. To keep printed material vibrant, maintain light levels at a minimum and place ultraviolet filters on windows and fluorescent fixtures
  • Storage -- Antique books are best kept in protective boxes or sleeves made from acid free materials. Look for containers designed to store antique books safely
  • Preservation --If your book needs repair, consult a professional before trying to fix the problem yourself.

Many books produced in the late 19th and early to mid-20th century were made using inexpensive wood pulp paper. Paper made from untreated wood pulp releases acids over time. Acid accumulation yellows and deteriorates the paper, eventually destroying it.

You can extend the life of books made with acidic paper through deacidification. At home, you may find spray-on products that neutralize the acid in wood pulp paper. If you think a book may be valuable, though, it's probably a good idea to consult an antique book conservator before treating it yourself.

How To Clean a Shower Head With Vinegar

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

General How To Clean a Shower Head With Vinegar Clean shower head with vinegar

Pour the vinegar into the sandwich bag and place the open end of the bag over the shower head so that the shower head is submerged in the vinegar.


To keep the bag from falling off the shower head use the large rubber band or bag tie to secure it around the shower head.


You should let the shower head soak for at least an hour, but preferably over night to let the acid in the vinegar do its job, and dissolve the hard water build up.


Once you remove the bag you can just wipe off the shower head with a soft cloth, and all the remaining particles of hard water build up should come off easily.


I’ve found that while the little particles of grit and hard water come off easily, to get in the small holes a gentle brushing with an old toothbrush can also be helpful.

We had excellent results on the shower head we tested!

Source:
http://www.stain-removal-101.com/how-to-clean-shower-head-with-vinegar.html

FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

General FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER We can help during National Preparedness Month

Did you know September is National Preparedness Month? In recent years, the United States has been affected by many different types of disasters including flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards, and more. These natural disasters can threaten your home, business, and community.

During National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Franklin County wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for Mother Nature’s worst.

For more information on disaster preparedness, visit  www.ready.gov, or call SERVPRO of Franklin County. We can help your business prepare for the unexpected by creating an Emergency READY Profile® for your facility. The Profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation. The time to prepare for a disaster is now. Call SERVPRO of Franklin County to make sure your business is “Ready for whatever happens."

Cleaning A Kitchen Range Exhaust System

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning A Kitchen Range Exhaust System
The ventilation system above or next to your stove top serves several important functions in the kitchen. It helps remove moisture, smoke and odors, helps improve indoor air quality, and most importantly, helps trap flammable, aerated grease that is creating during the cooking process. Some states or cities require a ventilation hood to be present in the kitchen but even if your area doesn’t require one, you’ll want to make sure one is installed in your kitchen. Regularly cleaning and maintaining this ventilation system will help it function better, remove bacteria and mold, and reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.

Why your kitchen needs an exhaust system
In addition to whisking away odors, steam and smoke, a good ventilation or exhaust system will suck in and trap tiny grease and oil particles that would otherwise end up drifting throughout the kitchen and into rest of the home. Additionally, if you cook with natural gas, understand that a certain amount of nitrogen dioxide may be produced when cooking. These chemicals are bad for the lungs and can aggravate people with asthma or respiratory issues. When cooking, always turn on the exhaust system to help improve the indoor air quality.


How to clean the hood, filters and ventilation system
The exhaust system filters act as a trap for grease and oil and should be cleaned or replaced often. How often depends upon the type of filter system as well as how often you cook. If you wok fry food weekly, for example, a monthly cleaning will be necessary. But most find that a regular schedule of cleaning the filters every 3 months is the best way to keep a routine that you can stick to. Recirculating hoods use charcoal disposable filters and should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Check with your manufacturer for more specific replacement or cleaning instructions.
To clean the wire mesh filters first remove them from the hood or ventilation system. You can either wash them by hand with warm soapy water (some find that baking soda works great too) or you can place them in an empty dishwasher and run a full cycle. You may need to repeat these methods if they are particularly greasy. Once they are clean, inspect them to insure there is no rusted or broken parts. Let them dry completely before placing them back in the ventilation system.
The rest of the ventilation system, like the hood, should also be periodically cleaned. Most hoods are made from stainless steel so use a cleaning product designed for this material. You’ll want to remove dust, grease and debris and always rub the stainless steel in the direction of the grain.
Commercial kitchens regularly have the entire exhaust system cleaned to remove grease and prevent dangerous fires. Most of the time these need to be handled by a professional.

What happens if you don’t clean the stove ventilation system
The three biggest reasons for keeping the filters and ventilation hood clean are better indoor air quality, reduction of bacteria and mold, and fire risk reduction. As mentioned above, having a functioning and clean ventilation system will help with indoor air quality. This is especially important in the cooler months of fall and winter when many homeowners are cooking inside more and have the windows closed.
The warm and moist environment directly above a hot stove top is perfect for growing bacteria and mold, especially when there is a steady supply of food particles and oils. Dust can also stick to this grease buildup and create a nasty mess, not to mention a bad smell.
Kitchen fires are a very real hazard that you need to be aware of. When cooking on the stove, high heat mixed with oil can create a flame. If this flame is high enough, or near enough a grease-soaked filter, the flames can catch and spread. A grease or cooking fire can be very scary, spread quickly, and is responsible for 50% of reported residential house fires every year. Always keep a fire extinguisher labeled “for cooking fires” or with a “K” to put out a kitchen grease fire. 

Source: http://porch.com/advice/cleaning-a-kitchen-range-exhaust-system

De-Stink Old Smelly Jars with Two Simple Ingredients

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

It’s so nice to be able to reuse old glass jars for food storage. Occasionally, though, even the sturdiest container has to be recycled because it retains the smell of its previous contents. There is, however, a quick and easy way to get that old stink out of your jar and make it usable again.

You just need two things...

Mustard & Water

Yes, mustard! Turns out basic yellow mustard (no need to get the fancy Dijon or whole-grain kind) or mustard powder (if you’re truly old school) mixed with hot water will get out the smell.
Pour about a teaspoon of the yellow stuff in the bottom, add hot water and swirl or shake the solution with the lid on. Throw out the water, and then wash and rinse your container. It’s like the Ghost of Pickled Onions Past was never even there.


Plastic Containers Need More Time Than Glass


However, the swirl-and-dump method works best with glass. Plastic tends to hold aromas more tenaciously.
If something really stinky was being stored in a plastic container, you may want to leave the mustard-and-water mix in the plastic storage container for a few hours or even overnight.

Source: https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/de-stink-old-smelly-jarswith-
two-simple-ingredients-0154201/

ARE YOU READY?

6/29/2017 (Permalink)

General ARE YOU READY? Schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile

For the second time in less than a year epic rains have caused disastrous flooding in our area. This rain and flooding have caused millions and millions of dollars of damages to home and business.  Lives have been uprooted, and businesses have been halted. Some will never recover.  

Ben Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.  As many as 50 percent of businesses that did not have a disaster plan in place prior to the flooding may never recover.     Of the businesses that survive a disaster an overwhelming amount had a disaster plan in place.  Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or even a 100-year flood.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at your peace of mind.

Putting a disaster plan together sounds like a lot of work, right? Don’t worry, SERVPRO has you covered!  At no cost we can perform an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. This is a disaster plan created specifically for your business. We will provide a concise profile document that contains all of the critical information needed in event of an emergency. We provide a guide to help you get back in your building following a disaster. We help you identify the line of command for authorizing emergency work to begin. We provide facility details such as shut off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.  All of this information is compiled in a concise hard copy as well as a smart phone app. You control who sees the information and who you want to share it with.    

One short story shows how valuable an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) can be for you.  Approximately a week before the polar vortex of 2014, one of our marketing representative had completed an ERP for a nursing home in Sullivan.  As the thaw came, so did the broken pipes.  This same nursing home had a sprinkler pipe break but using the ERP that we just completed, they were able to locate the shut off and limited the affected area to just two partial rooms.  Had they not known where to shut off the water, the damage and interruption would have been immense. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how the ERP can help your business. 

If you’re an insurance agent, you should not only ask us to do an ERP for your office, but also all of your business customers.  Can you imagine how beneficial this free service can be for your customers?    If you’re a business, you should be calling us right now to get this done. If not, like our old friend Ben Franklin might say, “You are planning to fail!”.

Give us a call right away to schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile. It will only take a small amount of time and the value is priceless.  SERVPRO of Franklin County where Our Business is Putting you Back in Business.  636-583-5200

Extreme Heat

6/23/2017 (Permalink)

General Extreme Heat Preparing for extreme heat

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight.

Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect. According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

General Faster To Any Size Disaster SERVPRO Franklin County

There is no disaster that hits home quite like a disaster to your property, home, or business. When you have suffered a fire, water, or mold damage, you don’t have time to waste searching for a company to fix your property.

When disaster strikes, depend on SERVPRO® and their network of over 1,700 Franchises in North America. Whether the job is big or small, your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened” so you can get back to your home or business and on with your life.

If you’re in need of cleanup and restoration services, call SERVPRO of Franklin County today. 636-583-5200

Faster To Any Size Disaster

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

General Faster To Any Size Disaster We're Faster To Any Size Disaster

Your disaster may not always be fire and water related, but SERVPRO of Franklin County is Here to Help® when it comes to other situations.


We also handle biohazard, crime scene cleanup, and vandalism services. These are services you many never think of until a related disaster strikes you or your insured’s home, business or property.


Equipped with the knowledge, experience, and training, SERVPRO® of Franklin County will start helping the moment you call. 


As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Franklin County provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.


When disaster strikes, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of Franklin County will be ready to help make your property damage “Like it never even happened.”

May is National Building Safety Month

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month— in its 37th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 57,000 members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website.


The theme for 2017 is Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week three of this year’s campaign. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as Fire Safety and Awareness. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC

Disaster Safety & Mitigation

If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up. 

Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family. 

In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways.

Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements. n Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: iccsafe.org

There is hope for your hoarder

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

General There is hope for your hoarder Hoarding Franklin County, MO

If you or a loved one is dealing with a hoarding situation, especially with a family member who is ill or recently deceased, SERVPRO of Franklin County can help you resolve the situation with understanding and compassion. People who are dealing with a hoarding disorder deserve a trusting cleanup team who can help restore their lives to normal.


A hoarding situation required special expertise in cleaning and restoration. We have dealt with every kind of critical restoration situation and have the depth of resources to handle jobs from a small kitchen disaster to the toughest and most complex estate jobs involving toxic odors and biohazardous materials.


By listening to the family's needs and concerns, we create a plan that everyone agrees upon, whether this involves cleaning, sorting, distributing, communicating, and disposing or donating unwanted items.


The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.


Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Franklin County is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.


Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.


Please refer to our Biohazard Emergency Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.


Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today – (636) 583-5200

Ready For Whatever Happens

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

“Ready for whatever happens” is one of SERVPRO’s trademarked tag lines. You see it in commercials, you see it in advertisements, on our billboards and trucks, but what does it mean?

“Ready for whatever happens” means we are there whenever you need us. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, the middle of the night or the middle of a catastrophe. We are here for you.  We know that most disasters do not happen in the middle of a week day. They happen at the least convenient time, that’s when you need us most. 
When you call SERVPRO you will speak to a live person. We know you can’t describe your emergency to an answering machine! We will get the appropriate crew or crews to you in an average of two hours. We know that when you call, you need help and you need it now.

“Ready for whatever happens” means that we have the proper training and education to handle any emergency mitigation situation you may have.  If we haven’t dealt with it before, we will figure it out fast.  Our training and education is ongoing from IICRC certifications, to SREVPRO Industries certifications, to EPA certifications, we’ve got you covered.  If your business just spilled hundreds of gallons of vegetable oil into landscaping rocks, or your business just had a polymer spill we can help.  (Yes, both are true situations we were called into clean up.)    
We spend a lot of time and expense keeping our employees current on training and education. Additionally we have a vast network to call on for help for those unique situations.  We have chemists and experts on call and SERVPRO Industries to help, we have 1700 fellow franchises to call on and we always have the IICRC. There is nothing that we cannot handle. 


“Ready for whatever happens” means that we have the equipment for any size jobs. Whether its hundreds of air movers, dehumidifiers, heaters, air scrubbers, hardwood drying mats, generators or even specialized equipment such as trailer mounted descant dehumidifiers we’ve got it covered. We just took delivery on even more air movers and dehumidifiers to help us expand our coverage even more.  Some of the equipment might sit on the shelves from time to time, but when it’s needed, it’s here and ready.

“Ready for whatever happens” means there is no job too big or too small for us to handle.  Any size fire, any size water damage, any size sewage loss, any size storm loss. We can handle it.  If our franchise needs help, we can quickly call in reinforcements from neighboring franchises. If we still need help, we can call in SERVPRO Large Loss or Extreme Teams to help. We can have tractor trailers of extra equipment, and hundreds of extra crew members on site within hours. Yes, I said HOURS.

Lastly, “Ready for whatever happens” means SERVPRO is the mitigation company business, homeowners and Insurance companies rely on to save, preserve, and restore their most valuable assets.

SERVPRO Urges Franklin County, MO Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO Urges Franklin County, MO Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2017 Resolve to be Ready

Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) December 20, 2016 - With New Year’s Eve rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to think about making some resolutions, according to Gerald Alvey, owner of SERVPRO® of Franklin County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Alvey says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”

“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Alvey. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”

Alvey encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com). 

For homeowners:

  • FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
  • SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

For business owners:

  • FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
  • For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.

“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Alvey. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”

SERVPRO of Franklin County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Franklin County, please contact Gerald Alvey at (636) 583-5200 or admin@SERVPROoffranklincounty.com. For more information on the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.

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.

2017 Resolution: Plan Ahead

12/22/2016 (Permalink)

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2017. 

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. Th e ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. Th e ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years’ experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call your SERVPRO of Franklin County to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2017. 636-583-5200

Be READY: Winter Weather

12/9/2016 (Permalink)

General Be READY: Winter Weather Be READY: Winter Weather

With winter just around the corner, it is a good time to start making preparations for extreme cold and winter storms. One of the primary concerns with winter weather is that it can knock out heat, power and communications to your home or office, sometimes for days.
The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm.  Traffic accidents from icy roads and prolonged exposure to cold are common examples. This is why it is important to be prepared before winter weather strikes.

Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold


Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
-Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
-Sand to improve traction.
 -Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
 -Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
 -Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
Bring pets/companion animals insideduring winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.


Winterize Your Vehicle
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
•Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
•Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
•Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
•Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
•Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
•Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
•Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
•Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
•Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
•Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
•Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
•A shovel
•Windshield scraper and small broom
•Flashlight
•Battery powered radio
•Extra batteries
•Water
•Snack food
•Matches
•Extra hats, socks and mittens
•First aid kit with pocket knife
•Necessary medications
•Blanket(s)
•Tow chain or rope
•Road salt and sand
•Booster cables
•Emergency flares
•Fluorescent distress flag

Winterize Your Home
•Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
•Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
•Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
•Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
•All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
•Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
•Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
•Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
•Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

 Know the Terms
Know the terms used to describe changing winter weather conditions and what actions to take. These terms can be used to determine the timeline and severity of an approaching storm. (Advisory / Watch / Warning). The NWS also issues advisories and warnings for other winter weather, including blizzards, freezes, wind chill, lake effect snow, and dense fog. Be alert to weather reports and tune in for specific guidance when these conditions develop.
Freezing Rain 
- Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet 
- Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
Wind Chill-
 Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill.
Winter Weather Advisory -
 Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.
Winter Storm Watch 
- A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.
Winter Storm Warning -
 A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard Warning -
 Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
Frost/Freeze Warning - 
Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Carbon Monoxide
Caution: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.
•Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
•The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
•Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
•If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
•Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

 During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
•Stay indoors during the storm.
•Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
•Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
•Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
•Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
•What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
•Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
•What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help immediately. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends, if you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
•Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
•Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
•If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
•Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
•Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
•If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

Stay or Go
STAY:
•If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or rescue is likely
•If a safe location is neither nearby or visible
•If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside
•If you do not have the ability to call for help

GO:
•If the distance to call for help is accessible.
•If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.
•If you have appropriate clothing.
•Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your local transportation department and emergency management agency to determine which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

Dress for the Weather
•If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
•Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
•Wear a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
•Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Stranded in a Vehicle
If a blizzard traps you in the car:
•Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
•Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
•Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
•Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
•Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
•Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
•Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
•Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
•If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
•Leave the car and proceed on foot - if necessary - once the blizzard passes.

After Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

•If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)
•Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
•Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Learn From Every Storm
Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.
•Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
•Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
•Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other.

Source:
http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

SERVPRO of Franklin County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too.

When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Union community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be. 

The Holiday's Are Here

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to enjoy fellowship and quality time. As the weather outside turns frightful, we rely on the warmth of our homes to host gatherings with loved ones.

What happens if a disaster strikes your property during the most wonderful time of the year? You can’t afford to wait for a restoration company to return from Christmas vacation to begin the cleanup. You need help now—even if it is the night before Christmas. If a fire or water damage strikes your home or business during the holidays, give SERVPRO of Franklin County a call. We are on call 365 days a year, because we know disasters can’t wait. We are dedicated to helping keep your holidays merry and bright.

Stay Safe This Season: Decorating Safety
-Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” It can irritate your eyes and skin. A common substitute is non-flammable cotton. 
-When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them. 
-Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children's reach. 
-When displaying a tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly. 
-Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways. 
-Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them. 
-If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. 
-Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets. 
-Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways. 
-Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. -Unplug extension cords when  not in use. 
-If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs. 
-When displaying outdoor lights, fasten them firmly to a secure support with insulated staples or hooks to avoid wind damage. Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow. 

If disaster does strike during the holiday season, SERVPRO of Franklin County is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After all, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have been helping keep homes merry and bright for more than 45 years.

 

Holiday Safety & Preparation

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

General Holiday Safety & Preparation Holiday Safety & Preparation

Lights, candles, action – it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.

“Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home,” says Gerald Alvey of SERVPRO® of Franklin County. “There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.”

Alvey says that homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

·Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.

·The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

·Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.

·Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.

·Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

·Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.

·On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

·Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.

·Use flameless candles.

·If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.

Christmas Tree Fire Facts:

·50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.

·31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.

·14% involve decorative lights.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

·Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.

·Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.

·Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

“We hope these tips will be a reminder to Union area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations,” said Alvey, “so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact Gerald Alvey with SERVPRO® of Franklin County at (636) 583-5200 or jalvey9662@aol.com.  For more information about SERVPRO®, please visit www.SERVPRO.com.

Statistics used are based on National Fire Protection Association data (http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/project-holiday)

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Instead of reaching for one cleaner for this and another for that, this homemade and eco-friendly all purpose cleaner does a great job on just about anything. From dirty sinks to messy counter-tops, this homemade cleaner will leave things spotless with Borax and deodorizing lemon juice.

Borax is a natural grease-buster that also does double-duty as a disinfectant. The addition of vinegar breaks down bacteria, while hydrogen peroxide naturally cleans and shines. And this squeaky-clean concoction only costs pennies per bottle.

What You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Borax
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Spring of rosemary (optional)
  • Essential oil (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spray bottle

Directions:

  1. Gather the ingredients needed for making the all-purpose cleaner.
  1. Measure and add the Borax to a mixing bowl, and cover with the hot water. Whisk until incorporated.
  1. Measure and add the hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and lemon to the bowl. Give the mixture a gentle stir.
  1. Use a spouted measuring cup to pour the cleaner into the spray bottle and top with a few drops of your favorite essential oil or a sprig of rosemary, which gives the all-purpose scrubber a slight scent. Now you're all set to spray on countertops or sinks and then wipe clean.

Source: http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-All-Purpose-Cleaner-28495713



Need a deeper clean? Give us a call: 636-583-5200

Candle Wax Removal

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

General Candle Wax Removal Remove Candle Wax From Carpet

The following information describes how to remove wax that has dripped from a candle to carpet.

Source: http://www.jondon.com/how-to/technical-tips/spot-and-stain-removal/candle-wax-removal

Option 1

Gently remove any excess wax with a bone spatula.

Apply Matrix Breakdown POG undiluted. Work in with bone spatula.

Rinse thoroughly with water.

Option 2

Gently remove any excess wax with a bone spatula.

Place absorbent towel or Kraft paper on area. Using a steam iron, heat transfer the wax to the towel or paper.

Warning and Cautions: Always test material for colorfastness, follow label directions, and never mix product unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.

Need a deeper clean? Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. The SERVPRO System offers a number of cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet.

Need Carpet or Upholstery Cleaning? Call Today - (636) 583-5200

Why do we have the urge to ‘spring clean’?

2/29/2016 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner and with spring. comes the spring cleaning. It’s the time of year when people feel the need to take big cleaning projects, indoors and outdoors. But why? Is it because of the cold and general gloominess of the winter? Is it because we are constantly inside that we feel there is no point in thoroughly cleaning?

It could be because the general idea of spring cleaning (moving furniture, carpets, or even cleaning out the garage) is just rooted in the idea to get the house in order. In our past, our houses became more dirty in the winter. Before the furnace, the house was heated with a wood burning stove or fireplace. Getting the sooty mess out of the home every spring could be a ritual we keep today.

One of the things that most people look forward to with the warm weather is opening the windows and letting the fresh air in and the dust from the long winter out. It could be that with the fresh air we want a fresh home.

While the urge to clean is strong, it’s a good time to get your air ducts and carpet cleaned. A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every 12 months. Possibly sooner if you have children or pets. The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. If you wait until carpets look really dirty, the carpets may never be restored to their former appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile, causing damage to the carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

With carpet cleaning being recommended every year, the spring cleaning time is a good way remember to get your carpet cleaned regularly.

The amount of time between air duct cleanings can vary. Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt and debris, or other contaminants. If you notice an excessive amount of dust in your home, it may be a good time to get your ductwork inspected.

SERVPRO of Franklin County can help with your spring cleaning. With a long list of cleaning services, we can help you get through the spring cleaning urge and with much less effort. With services from whole home cleanings, to simply just having your carpet cleaned. We will get the job done right. You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."

Call us today. (636) 583-5200. 

DIY All-Purpose Orange Cleaner

2/24/2016 (Permalink)

You will need:

The peels from 4 oranges (or any citrus)
1 quart mason jar
White vinegar
10-15 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Spray bottle

Directions:

I think a lot of people shy away from using vinegar as a cleaner because they just can’t stand the smell. Today I’m excited to share an alternative that works great and smells way better. It’s 100% natural and easy to make. I used orange peels, but you could substitute any other citrus such as grapefruit, lemon, lime. Etc.

Step 1: Place peels in mason jar and fill with vinegar making sure the peels are completely submerged to prevent mold.
Step 2: Let sit in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks.
Step 3: Strain and use 50/50 with water as an all-purpose cleaner.
Step 4: Add essential oil if desired and you are ready to clean!

Note: Using vinegar on granite may cause etching or streaking.

Hannah’s Results:

The outcome was good.
The orange peels made the vinegar smell a lot better, and still had the same cleaning power that plain vinegar has.

Ready for Whatever Happens

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

“Ready for whatever happens” is one of SERVPRO’s trademarked tag lines. You see it in commercials, you see it in advertisements, on our billboards and trucks, but what does it mean?

“Ready for whatever happens” means we are there whenever you need us. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, the middle of the night or the middle of a catastrophe. We are here for you.  We know that most disasters do not happen in the middle of a week day. They happen at the least convenient time, that’s when you need us most. 
When you call SERVPRO you will speak to a live person. We know you can’t describe your emergency to an answering machine! We will get the appropriate crew or crews to you in an average of two hours. We know that when you call, you need help and you need it now.

“Ready for whatever happens” means that we have the proper training and education to handle any emergency mitigation situation you may have.  If we haven’t dealt with it before, we will figure it out fast.  Our training and education is ongoing from IICRC certifications, to SREVPRO Industries certifications, to EPA certifications, we’ve got you covered.  If your business just spilled hundreds of gallons of vegetable oil into landscaping rocks, or your business just had a polymer spill we can help.  (Yes, both are true situations we were called into clean up.)    
We spend a lot of time and expense keeping our employees current on training and education. Additionally we have a vast network to call on for help for those unique situations.  We have chemists and experts on call and SERVPRO Industries to help, we have 1700 fellow franchises to call on and we always have the IICRC. There is nothing that we cannot handle. 


“Ready for whatever happens” means that we have the equipment for any size jobs. Whether its hundreds of air movers, dehumidifiers, heaters, air scrubbers, hardwood drying mats, generators or even specialized equipment such as trailer mounted descant dehumidifiers we’ve got it covered. We just took delivery on even more air movers and dehumidifiers to help us expand our coverage even more.  Some of the equipment might sit on the shelves from time to time, but when it’s needed, it’s here and ready.

“Ready for whatever happens” means there is no job too big or too small for us to handle.  Any size fire, any size water damage, any size sewage loss, any size storm loss. We can handle it.  If our franchise needs help, we can quickly call in reinforcements from neighboring franchises. If we still need help, we can call in SERVPRO Large Loss or Extreme Teams to help. We can have tractor trailers of extra equipment, and hundreds of extra crew members on site within hours. Yes, I said HOURS.

Lastly, “Ready for whatever happens” means SERVPRO is the mitigation company business, homeowners and Insurance companies rely on to save, preserve, and restore their most valuable assets.

How To Clean a Shower Head With Vinegar

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

Pour the vinegar into the sandwich bag and place the open end of the bag over the shower head so that the shower head is submerged in the vinegar.


To keep the bag from falling off the shower head use the large rubber band or bag tie to secure it around the shower head.


You should let the shower head soak for at least an hour, but preferably over night to let the acid in the vinegar do its job, and dissolve the hard water build up.


Once you remove the bag you can just wipe off the shower head with a soft cloth, and all the remaining particles of hard water build up should come off easily.


I’ve found that while the little particles of grit and hard water come off easily, to get in the small holes a gentle brushing with an old toothbrush can also be helpful.

We had excellent results on the shower head we tested!

Source:
http://www.stain-removal-101.com/how-to-clean-shower-head-with-vinegar.html

Cleaning A Kitchen Range Exhaust System

1/18/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning A Kitchen Range Exhaust System
The ventilation system above or next to your stove top serves several important functions in the kitchen. It helps remove moisture, smoke and odors, helps improve indoor air quality, and most importantly, helps trap flammable, aerated grease that is creating during the cooking process. Some states or cities require a ventilation hood to be present in the kitchen but even if your area doesn’t require one, you’ll want to make sure one is installed in your kitchen. Regularly cleaning and maintaining this ventilation system will help it function better, remove bacteria and mold, and reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.

Why your kitchen needs an exhaust system
In addition to whisking away odors, steam and smoke, a good ventilation or exhaust system will suck in and trap tiny grease and oil particles that would otherwise end up drifting throughout the kitchen and into rest of the home. Additionally, if you cook with natural gas, understand that a certain amount of nitrogen dioxide may be produced when cooking. These chemicals are bad for the lungs and can aggravate people with asthma or respiratory issues. When cooking, always turn on the exhaust system to help improve the indoor air quality.


How to clean the hood, filters and ventilation system
The exhaust system filters act as a trap for grease and oil and should be cleaned or replaced often. How often depends upon the type of filter system as well as how often you cook. If you wok fry food weekly, for example, a monthly cleaning will be necessary. But most find that a regular schedule of cleaning the filters every 3 months is the best way to keep a routine that you can stick to. Recirculating hoods use charcoal disposable filters and should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Check with your manufacturer for more specific replacement or cleaning instructions.
To clean the wire mesh filters first remove them from the hood or ventilation system. You can either wash them by hand with warm soapy water (some find that baking soda works great too) or you can place them in an empty dishwasher and run a full cycle. You may need to repeat these methods if they are particularly greasy. Once they are clean, inspect them to insure there is no rusted or broken parts. Let them dry completely before placing them back in the ventilation system.
The rest of the ventilation system, like the hood, should also be periodically cleaned. Most hoods are made from stainless steel so use a cleaning product designed for this material. You’ll want to remove dust, grease and debris and always rub the stainless steel in the direction of the grain.
Commercial kitchens regularly have the entire exhaust system cleaned to remove grease and prevent dangerous fires. Most of the time these need to be handled by a professional.

What happens if you don’t clean the stove ventilation system
The three biggest reasons for keeping the filters and ventilation hood clean are better indoor air quality, reduction of bacteria and mold, and fire risk reduction. As mentioned above, having a functioning and clean ventilation system will help with indoor air quality. This is especially important in the cooler months of fall and winter when many homeowners are cooking inside more and have the windows closed.
The warm and moist environment directly above a hot stove top is perfect for growing bacteria and mold, especially when there is a steady supply of food particles and oils. Dust can also stick to this grease buildup and create a nasty mess, not to mention a bad smell.
Kitchen fires are a very real hazard that you need to be aware of. When cooking on the stove, high heat mixed with oil can create a flame. If this flame is high enough, or near enough a grease-soaked filter, the flames can catch and spread. A grease or cooking fire can be very scary, spread quickly, and is responsible for 50% of reported residential house fires every year. Always keep a fire extinguisher labeled “for cooking fires” or with a “K” to put out a kitchen grease fire. 

Source: http://porch.com/advice/cleaning-a-kitchen-range-exhaust-system

Holiday Safety

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

General Holiday Safety Holiday Decorating

Holiday Decorating
Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Holiday Entertaining
Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Before Heading Out or to Bed
Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

FACTS
Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
Nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Source: www.nfpa.org/education

Be READY: Winter Weather

11/19/2015 (Permalink)

With winter just around the corner, it is a good time to start making preparations for extreme cold and winter storms. One of the primary concerns with winter weather is that it can knock out heat, power and communications to your home or office, sometimes for days.


The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm.  Traffic accidents from icy roads and prolonged exposure to cold are common examples. This is why it is important to be prepared before winter weather strikes.

Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold


Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
-Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
-Sand to improve traction.
 -Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
 -Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
 -Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
Bring pets/companion animals insideduring winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.


Winterize Your Vehicle
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
•Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
•Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
•Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
•Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
•Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
•Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
•Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
•Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
•Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
•Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
•Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
•A shovel
•Windshield scraper and small broom
•Flashlight
•Battery powered radio
•Extra batteries
•Water
•Snack food
•Matches
•Extra hats, socks and mittens
•First aid kit with pocket knife
•Necessary medications
•Blanket(s)
•Tow chain or rope
•Road salt and sand
•Booster cables
•Emergency flares
•Fluorescent distress flag

Winterize Your Home
•Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
•Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
•Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
•Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
•All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
•Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
•Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
•Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
•Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

 Know the Terms
Know the terms used to describe changing winter weather conditions and what actions to take. These terms can be used to determine the timeline and severity of an approaching storm. (Advisory / Watch / Warning). The NWS also issues advisories and warnings for other winter weather, including blizzards, freezes, wind chill, lake effect snow, and dense fog. Be alert to weather reports and tune in for specific guidance when these conditions develop.
Freezing Rain 
- Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet 
- Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
Wind Chill-
 Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill.
Winter Weather Advisory -
 Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.
Winter Storm Watch 
- A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.
Winter Storm Warning -
 A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard Warning -
 Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
Frost/Freeze Warning - 
Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Carbon Monoxide
Caution: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.
•Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
•The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
•Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
•If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
•Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

 During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
•Stay indoors during the storm.
•Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
•Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
•Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
•Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
•What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
•Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
•What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help immediately. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends, if you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
•Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
•Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
•If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
•Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
•Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
•If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

Stay or Go
STAY:
•If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or rescue is likely
•If a safe location is neither nearby or visible
•If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside
•If you do not have the ability to call for help

GO:
•If the distance to call for help is accessible.
•If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.
•If you have appropriate clothing.
•Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your local transportation department and emergency management agency to determine which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

 Dress for the Weather
•If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
•Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
•Wear a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
•Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Stranded in a Vehicle
If a blizzard traps you in the car:
•Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
•Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
•Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
•Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
•Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
•Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
•Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
•Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
•If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
•Leave the car and proceed on foot - if necessary - once the blizzard passes.

After Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
•If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)
•Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
•Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Learn From Every Storm
Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.
•Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
•Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
•Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other.

Source:
http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

 SERVPRO of Franklin County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Union community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be. 

Kids helping in the kitchen

11/5/2015 (Permalink)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially for Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved with holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Here are some ideas for different children’s age groups and what they can do around the kitchen as the holiday meal is prepared.

Kids 3-5 can:

-Get ingredients out of the refrigerator
-Measure and mix ingredients together in a bowl.
-Pour liquids into a bowl.
-Wash fruits and vegetables off under cold water.

-Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of cookie dough or sandwiches.

Kids 6-8 can:

-Open packages
-Use a butter knife to spread frosting cream cheese, peanut butter or soft cheese.
-Peel vegetables
-Measure ingredients in a bowl
-Set the table

Kids 9-12 can:
-Begin to follow a recipe
-Open cans
-Use electrical kitchen appliances, such as microwave oven, when a grown-up is present
-Use a grater to shred cheese and vegetables
-Turn stove burners on and off and select oven temperature when a grown up is present
-Help plan the meal
-Make a salad

Kids 14+ can:
-Operate the stove or oven without an adult present
-Heat food up in the microwave without an adult present
-Drain cooked pasta into a colander
-Take a tray of food out of the oven

Here are some additional safety tips to keep your family safe this Thanksgiving:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.

  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.

  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.

  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.


    Remember, no matter when disaster strikes we are always here to help.

    We understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and more than a little vulnerable. Our technicians will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care. Until help arrives, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO of Franklin County is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters.

Related Fire Services

National Preparedness Month

9/22/2015 (Permalink)

General National Preparedness Month Ready for any size disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is once again proud to be a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition and is committed to helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to promote the importance of preparedness planning.

As we think about National Preparedness this month the news is littered with horrific stories of wildfires in the west and hurricanes developing in the east and of course we are at the 10th the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Fortunately, in the Midwest, we don’t have to worry too much about wildfires and hurricanes in our area. Unfortunately we do have to deal with disasters from tornadoes, flooding and the ever-present threat of earth quake from the New Madrid fault.   

National Preparedness Month is a great time to plan for something we really never want to think about. We only need to look as far as 250 miles southwest of us in Joplin Missouri to be reminded that it can happen to you.  Being in the disaster business for almost 30 years, I can tell you some stories of devastation. From Hurricane Andrew to the North ridge Earthquake I have seen the devastation first hand. 

Take time this month to plan to protect your most valued assets. There are several great references available that I will list at the end of this article but truthfully you can overwhelm yourself with it all.  If you haven’t started a disaster plan yet, start slow. Here is a summary of what I think are the simplest and most important planning measures to start with.

1) Have an escape plan and make sure everyone in your family know it.   

2) Have a plan to meet up with your entire family.  Sometimes not everyone is home when disaster hits and communications are down. Have two rally points where everyone knows to meet.

3) Have at least a 3-day supply of food, water and clothes.

4) Be informed. Make sure you have a battery or crank operated NOAA radio to stay informed by news agencies.

5) Keep all important documents including insurance information in one safe and easy to access location.

6) Have some cash and coins on hand.

7) Have a plan for your pets and senior citizens.

8) Maintain and revisit your plan each year. 

We hope this information helps and remember SERVPRO is Faster to any Disaster.

References:

www.ready.gov

www.fema.gov

www.redcross.org

www.SERVPROfranklincounty.com

Fun (or not so fun) Disaster Facts:

-Flooding is the most common natural disaster but most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.   

-Food lasts about 4 hours in a refrigerator after a power outage. 

-Over ½ of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy were senior citizens. 

-90% of the declared natural disasters are floods. 

Drybook Mobile

6/26/2014 (Permalink)

General Drybook Mobile Screenshot of Drybook log in screen.

Don’t be surprised to see our SERVPRO technician’s carrying an iPad next time we are on a water job. Yes, iPad technology has hit SERVPRO in a big way. As most of you know we try to monitor a water loss every 24 hours. This allows our technicians to assess how the drying process is going and to make changes in the drying plan immediately if needed without wasting precious time. The old way was to have the customer sign paper forms and our technicians would record all of the readings and notes on paper forms. Well, not any more. We have the ability to have the customer sign all of the e-forms on the iPad using our new Drybook Mobile software. With just one click we can instantly email the signed copies to the customer. Of course, we can always print out copies for those customers who still are not up to speed with the e-forms! Also, instantly we can enter all of our readings, important data and notes into Drybook Mobile while on site and get instant feedback and recommendations on our drying plan. This gives us real time feedback and also allows us to give adjusters and agents real time updates and reports. It’s also a huge time saver for us and gives us so much more timely information in an organized manner. This equates to quicker drying times and cost savings for you and your customers. Next time Hannah is in your office, have her show you Drybook Mobile. Our customers love it and so will you.

Statistics Highlight the Need for Preparation and Caution in Holiday Decorating and Entertaining

12/4/2013 (Permalink)

Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) November 18, 2013 -- Lights, candles, action – it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.

“Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home,” says Gerald Alvey of SERVPRO® of Franklin County. “There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.”

Alvey says that homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

·        Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.

·        The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.



Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

·     Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.

·     Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.

·     Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

·        Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.

·        On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.



Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

·        Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.

·        Use flameless candles.

·        If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.



Christmas Tree Fire Facts:

·        50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.

·        31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.

·        14% involve decorative lights.



Christmas Tree Safety Tips:

·        Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.

·        Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.

·        Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.



“We hope these tips will be a reminder to Union area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations,” said Alvey, “so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”



For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact Gerald Alvey with SERVPRO® of Franklin County at (636) 583-5200 or jalvey9662@aol.com.  For more information about SERVPRO®, please visit www.servpro.com.



Statistics used in this release are based on National Fire Protection Association data (http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/project-holiday)

Local Business Owner Honored at SERVPRO® Annual Convention

8/1/2013 (Permalink)

Local Business Owner Honored at SERVPRO® Annual Convention


GeraldAlvey recognized for outstanding revenue performance at annual event


Union, MO (Grassroots Newswire) July 25, 2013 -- GeraldAlvey, Owner of SERVPRO® of Franklin County, was honored with the PRESIDENT'S Silver award for outstanding revenue performance during SERVPRO’s 44th Annual Convention, held June 17 – June 21 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. 



In addition to providing a networking and educational forum for the more than 1,600 Franchise Owners in the SERVPRO® Franchise System, SERVPRO’s Annual Convention provides a platform to recognize and reward Franchisees for outstanding success in their businesses.



“I’m proud to have earned this award this year,” said Alvey. “Everyone at SERVPRO® of Franklin County is dedicated to being the leader in our industry in the Union area. This award is recognition that our community knows they can depend on us to help them recover from a storm, fire or other disaster.”



SERVPRO®, an industry leader in disaster cleanup, restoration and remediation services, welcomed a record number of Franchisees to their annual event. In addition to the awards ceremony, this year’s Convention offered more than 60 workshop sessions covering more than 30 different topics - the most extensive program ever offered at a SERVPRO® Convention. The keynote speaker was Walter Bond, former NBA player.



“Servpro Industries, Inc. congratulates Gerald and all of our award winners on their success,” said Sue Steen, Chief Executive Officer of Servpro Industries, Inc. “We know our leadership position in the marketplace is a direct result of the dedication and professionalism of our Franchisees and their staffs. Hopefully, this year’s Annual Convention provided all of our attendees with the latest intelligence about our company and our industry–so they can continue to grow their businesses and support their customers with the best possible service.”



For more information about SERVPRO® of Franklin County, please contact GeraldAlvey at (636) 5835200 or jalvey9662@aol.com or visit www.SERVPRO.com.



About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,600 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. 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.