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Top Do's and Don'ts After a Fire

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

These tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown technicians arrive. Follow these Do's and Don'ts to help reduce the damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  1. Limit Movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  2. Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  3. Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 

DON'T:

  1. Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
  2. Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  3. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

When Water Damage Strikes

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

The First 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage.  Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

Inspections:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work. 

Emergency Services:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying.  Our trained Crew Chief will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step. 

Monitoring:  To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO Technician will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you. 

Restoration Services:  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown clean the affected areas for your property and belongings. A final walk through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property is returned to preloss condition.   

Every Second Counts

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire.  People have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.   In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.   Once a plan is developed, it is critical for everyone in the home or office understands the plan.   The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year,  Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building and escape plan, and then practicing it,  The following are a few suggestions to help you develop and emergency escape plan. 

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

Prepare before a Disaster

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, insurer or property manager, you are a leader in your community and can set example for your employees, customers and community to follow.

Be Ready for Disasters.  You can become prepared for a disaster by taking three simple steps:

  1. Have a plan to stay in business.
  2. Encourage your employees to become ready.
  3. Protect your investment.

We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses and places of worship, and our neighborhoods are ready for any type of disaster that can potentially affect our community.   Your can contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile.  

Advantages of a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back in your building following disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPR of Greater Smithtown as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing remediation of work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority contact information.

CARBON MONOXIDE: A Silent Killer

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes.  Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning.  It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.  All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups – including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory problems – being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred Vision
  • Loss of Consciousness

The Science of Drying

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying?  Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition.  While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved stands to help lower the chances of any secondary damaged.  If your business or home suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will:

  • Inspect the building or home to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using profession drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building or home can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium.  When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material – but only if the air is drier.  The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building or home is drying out.

SERPVRO of Greater Smithtown have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls and much more.  We also use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It’s not only the equipment but the technology too! SERVPRO has developed a DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry trying requirements are met.  With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown has the professional training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Hoarding

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as newspapers, junk mail and packaging.  Hoarding can lead homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded.  Bugs, fleas’ rats and other vermin may be present.  

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown encounter hoarding situation several different ways.  Often when SERVPRO for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on site.  SERVPRO will communicate with the insurance company regarding contents coverage, and after approval contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried and stored by SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin. 

If you experience this, please call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200

Bio-Hazard Clean Ups

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Your disaster might not always be fire and water related but SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is still here to help when it comes to other situations.

Bloodborne Pathogens: SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death.  Trained SERVPRO Franchise Technicians thoroughly clean disinfect and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs: Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure.  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown’s Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Crime Scene Residues: From fingerprinting powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism: SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage.  Your local franchise professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and humor or animal waste.

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

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

This kitchen sufferd a fire on the stove which caused microwave to go on fire and the cabinet.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to arrive.  Follow these Do’s and don’ts to help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration. 

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will help you take it back.

Water Damage Types

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

UNDERSTANDING WATER TYPES

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water your are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water.   Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.   The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water.   Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more.   Black water is typically caused by sewage damage. Flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a plumber to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.   Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top item.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as here is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on the ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminate areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200.