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Do's and Don'ts for Water Damage

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

These DO's and DON'TS Emergency Tips for water damage will assist you in taking quick proper action to help you reduce damage and increase the chances of successful restoration before help arrives.

Sanitary Water-Clear

DO:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

DON'T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may occur.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as this may cause staining.

Contaminated Water-Gray, Black or Sewage

DO:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash you're hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON'T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated area.

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Fire Tips for Kids

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon of an orange haired little white girl dressed in a yellow firemans coat with a fire hose in her hand Children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 73% of all burn injuries happen in the home. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

Handling a Rainstorm

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A broken brown power line laying in the middle of a black road with cars driving by Rainstorms can bring winds strong enough to blow down power lines. This is why it is important to stay inside during these storms

WHEN WILL THE RAIN STOP?!

Alabama weather has been pretty wet in 2020. We have seen what feels like 40 days and 40 nights of nothing but rain and rainstorms. From downpours to flooding, its safe to say, Alabama is pretty soggy. Are you prepared to handle these rainstorms that we just can not seem to get away from?! In the event of a rainstorm, which we know is going to happen, here are several tips to help keep you safe. 1. If you’re driving during a rainstorm put on your headlights, hazard lights, and drive slowly to prevent hydroplaning.2. Get out of boats and stay away from large bodies of water in the case of lightning striking.3. Most importantly, Take shelter! We know that emergency situations are never an enjoyable time, but we strive to make life get back to normal quickly and smoothly. If you have a flooding emergency that takes place in your home or commercial business, we are here to help!

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Servicing your Smoke Alarm

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

White smoke alarm on a grey ceiling with white smoke rising toward the smoke alarm An unserviced smoke alarm is an unsafe smoke alarm

We’ve all heard the low, quiet, annoying beeping sound from inside the house that feels like it never beeps when you are standing next to it. Yes, you know what we are talking about, the smoke alarm. Did you know that the beeping sound is a reminder to change the batteries and perform a quick service to ensure it is working properly? The question is, do you know how to service your smoke alarms? We found some tips from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) about how to maintain your smoke alarms. 

  1. Smoke alarms should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  3. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.
  5. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  6. Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  7. When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

In the case of a fire emergency in your home or commercial business, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home. Why should you trust us? Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as an IICRC-Certified Firmed. SERVPRO of Birmingham is also an A+ rated business by the BBB. Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

The SERVPRO Advantage

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is not just a local brand, but a national one.

Since its founding in 1967 SERVPRO has expanded to over 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada. Since then SERVPRO has also greatly expanded the array of services we offer. Since those services range from carpet cleaning and deodorization to large scale disaster recovery and with SERVPRO’s 1,700+ locations our collective knowledge and experience are one of the greatest assets SERVPRO has and we know how to use it. SERVPRO locations provide all kinds of support to each other ranging from equipment to people-power and technical advice. Sometimes we might run into an issue that we have not encountered before or possibly elements to a job that prevents our normal methods for jobs. This is when we have been able to rely on the knowledge base which our corporate office and other SERVPRO’s have accumulated. It does not matter what emergency you are facing. From Water Mitigation, Fire Restoration, or Mold Remediation. SERVPRO has the team and backing to handle it all. We are known for taking care of big problems and disasters, but we also are adept at helping people with issues you normally may not know the solution too. If you have an emergency which makes you think “I don’t even know who does this”, try giving us a call.

Why Relators Should Choose SERVPRO of Birmingham

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Currently, we are in a time where the real estate market is hot. Houses are selling faster than they can be listed. We are seeing interest rates drop to an all-time low and what a better time to have an edge with a reputation for having quality listings whether it be a commercial or a residential listing. SERVPRO of Birmingham understands that you want to move a sale through quickly to get your commission. How your listing looks is everything to a potential buyer and we can assist in making that happen. It doesn’t matter what shape or situation your listing is in, the SERVPRO of Birmingham team can assist you in many different ways to make this sale is quick and the most profitable for you!  Our team can assist you in inspecting a crawl space/attic area for mold, water, or biohazard damage and fix this damage efficiently.  Our team can even assist in estate sales in the case of hoarder cleanouts with optional inventory itemization and cleaning services.   A SERVPRO of Birmingham professional would be happy to attend your next sales meeting to discuss how to recognize the potential for mold and what to do in case of a fire or water emergency.

Why Should you Board-Up?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Board-Ups can Save you Time and Money

If you have experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. Aside from the safety side of choosing to board-up your damage property, it can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process quicker. SERVPRO of Birmingham offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.

In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.

Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Practicing Fire Drills

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Who else used to love fire drill days?!

We all remember those days when fire drills happened in school! Most of us loved them because it was a time to get a small 20-minute break from our classes, unless you had to stand out in the blazing heat or freezing cold, right?! Well did you know that fire drills are not just for schools, they should be practiced by businesses and even with your families in case of an emergency happening! There is nothing better than being prepared ahead of an emergency. It is crucial to the safety of all that everyone knows more than one way to exit your building or home. Important things to cover are a designated meeting spot (a safe distance from the structure where a headcount can be taken to inform first responders of anyone left in the building), and what to do should you not be able to have an escape route.  Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we suggest that you regularly perform a “fire drill” so that the plan is understood and walked through. That your peers or family members know what to do and how to keep themselves and others safe. If disaster should strike your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready 24/7, 365. Call us at 205.252.8110 to help walk with you through the cleanup and repairs if an emergency happens in your home or commercial business. Call us, Birmingham!

How to Prevent Fire Damage from Grills

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Black grill that has caught fire with red flames on the porch of a black home Understanding grill safety could mean the difference between good food or a burnt home

Spring is almost upon us here in the Birmingham, AL area!

We all know what that means, it is time to fire up those grills! We all love the smells of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs but if you aren’t careful, that smell you are experiencing could be the smell of fire damage! SERVPRO of Birmingham has seen fire damage and smoke damage caused by the early celebrations of springtime. Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills? According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill. A good grill master knows that being unaware of grill safety can be a factor for seasonal fires. Below are some tips we got from our friends at Nationwide to ensure your grill season is a safe one! Grill Safety Tips:

  • Grill away from any structure.
  • Make sure your grill is stable.
  • Keep your grill clean.
  • Check for propane leaks.
  • If the flame goes out, wait five minutes before relighting.
  • Keep an eye on what is going on around the grill.
  • Be cautious when using a charcoal starter fluid.
  • Don't wear loose clothing or clothing that can dangle.
  • Be prepared to put out a fire.

If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110.

Removing Malodors in a Commercial Business

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Have you experienced flooding or water damage in your Commercial business?

 These issues can leave unwelcome and defiantly unwanted odors in the air. This odor is most always displeasing to customers, employees or yourself. Based on the source of the issue, we have 5 tips to help solve the problem: 1. Ventilate the Building and Evaluate the Situation - Allows any lingering scents to disperse through a window, if possible. You can then work to identify and locate any centralized, problematic scents. If sewage loss is causing the odor, it’s best to stay away from the contaminated water and contact SERVPRO of Birmingham to mitigate. 2. Dry Wet Carpeting and Flooring - Carpet holds moisture and it could be the source of the scent. A wet and dry vacuum, which can be rented if needed, can shampoo the carpet and then dry it afterward. This sanitizes the area to potentially remove some of the smell. 3. Scrub Moldy Surfaces - Mold growth left alone will continue to reproduce and spread along with its musty odor4. Spray Furniture and Upholstery - Furniture can be sprayed and scrubbed. Porous materials are likely not able to be fully cleaned this way since the fungus settles within. 5. Consult Professionals for Extensive Cleanup - There are many instances that commercial-grade machines will need to be used to remove the malodor. An expert SERVPRO technician can help remove problems caused by floodwater and/or other water damage. When dealing with flood odors, most do-it-yourself remedies will fix only the symptom. Trust the help from SERVPRO of Birmingham where we can assist you to remove most of the unwanted smells alongside any mold growth or other nuisance.