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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

We specialize in Flooded Business Cleanup and Restoration

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

We specialize in Flooded Business Cleanup and Restoration!

A business can have a flood at any time, although water damage most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to water intrusion because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level – this is also where businesses typically store important documents and inventory. There are a number of reasons why your business could flood, including:

  •  A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface Fire to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Fire supply-line break or hot-Fire tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about business Flooding?

Call Today – 631-265-9200

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your business's structure.  Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Not only that but the damage to inventory and important documents could be dramatic and irreversible.

The bottom line: a flooded business can jeopardize your health, safety, and your business’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Business Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Business Flooded? Call Us Today – 631-265-9200

Tips to prevent mold in your Long Island Bathroom

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Bathrooms are a common place for mold to occur in your home. Here are some tips on how to avoid mold in your Long Island bathroom. 

Tips on how to prevent Bathroom Mold

  • Use exhaust fans to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic).
  • Use area rugs, which can be taken up and washed often instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Check for leaks around basins and tubs and have them repaired if necessary.
  • Open a window when showering.
  • Avoid leaving damp towels on the floor or in laundry hamper.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 631-265-9200

Personal Protective Equipment

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown, our number one concern is safety: the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees.

To make sure the job is done right, employees need to take proper precautions when working in specific situations. Each job comes with its own safety concerns. For example, flood waters can come with contaminants from things like sewage; mold remediation jobs come with possible irritants to people’s eyes, skin and lungs; fire damage can come with worries like smoke inhalation and possible falling debris; and biohazard incidents can come with exposure to dangerous chemicals and bodily fluids.

SERVPRO teams are given the proper training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure they are prepared to safely handle each one of those incidents and a wide range of others. They follow specific guidelines laid out by our company and by the National Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Some of that PPE includes the following:

  • Tyvek Suits and Booties: which are made of a strong, but lightweight material that can protect a person from contaminants in the air. These suits cover a person from head to toe (except the face).
  • Dust Masks: which are lightweight masks worn around the nose and mouth to keep out less serious contaminants like typical, household dust.
  • Full Face Masks: which are more heavy-duty, plastic masks, seal off the entire face and include respirators. These are used in more dangerous conditions. The respirators filter out any harmful airborne pathogens and mold spores.
  • Gloves: different kinds of gloves are used depending on the situation. Nitrile gloves are used to protect from certain contaminants like bodily fluids. Whereas, stronger rubber gloves are used to protect when handling sharp or rough objects.
  • Goggles: are used to protect the eyes in dangerous conditions.
  • Hard Hats: are used to protect employees in situations where there is a risk of building collapse or falling debris.

By ensuring their own safety in the field, our team members are better able to ensure your safety and the safety of your home or business.

Remember, if you experience an incident that requires restoration work, you can count on SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to get the job done in the SAFEST and most efficient way. Call us any time at 631-265-9200.

Water Damage Timeline

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

When flooding or water damage happens at your home or business, time is of the essence. The faster you call team SERVPRO for help, the less damage that unexpected water will be able to do.

According to the American Insurance Association, 37% of all homes will suffer water damage each year. Of the water damage that occurs, the association says 93% of that damage is preventable. According to the association, the first 24 to 48 hours are the most crucial when dealing with water damage.

SERVPRO has a timeline that lists the damage you can expect following a flood or water loss:

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

The message here is that if water ends up where it does not belong, you should NOT WAIT to call for help. Getting someone on the scene ASAP will only save time and money in the long run.

We’ve heard before that people will sometimes not even realize they’ve experienced a water loss until days, maybe even weeks later. For example, they may have a basement they don’t go into very often that floods. So, we recommend checking those isolated areas on a regular basis and after any major weather event, like torrential rains.

There are some steps you should also take while waiting for help to arrive. SERVPRO recommends as follows:

  • Stop the source of the water: if, for example, you have a broken pipe, make sure to turn off the water supply to prevent anymore leaking.
  • Remove items of value: move any valuables and furniture away from the water, to prevent permanent damage to those items.
  • Prevent the spread of moisture: as best you can, try to soak up any water by toweling or mopping the area. This will be a good temporary help. (Only do this if the water is clean!)
  • Take notes and photos for your insurance company.
  • Stay Safe! Make sure to turn off any electrical connections that could pose a danger in the flooded area. DO NOT mop or towel up any water that may be contaminated, if it came from a sewer backup, for example.

As we have said, time is not on your side when it comes to water damage. So, the sooner you call for help, the better!

You can always contact us a SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown at 631-265-9200. We’re faster to any size disaster!

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen anywhere

According to the national Weather Service (NOAA).  Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding”.  NOAA lists the most common flood hazard in the United States as: 

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.  In Fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.  On average, Floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S. and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can help.  We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. 

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Managing Mold

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown have the training, protective gear and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process. Call the Team in Green The Mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown. A representative will ask a series of question to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed. Inspection and Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden prom plain view. Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these spores while the mold remediation is in progress. Removing Mold and Mold Infested Materials The mold remediation process depends on the amount of the mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Cleaning Contents and Belongings SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, sub floors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in the home or business. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.  If you experience mold or water damage in your home or business please call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200

Hoarding

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.  A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.   Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.  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 as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.  

Hoarding can lead to 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, at which point an exterminator would need to be called.  At times, hoarding may spread to the outside of the home as well, to storage facilities, or even garage or yard.  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown encounter hoarding situations several different ways.  Often, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is called for fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site.  SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will communicate with insurance company regarding contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possible 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.   

Another way SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one.  In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job.   Sometimes family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.  

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are here to help make "Like it never even happened." If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown today.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

The importance of cleaning dryer vents.  According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires.  Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury  or death.   

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insureds home or business, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a birds nest, or other potential obstacles. 

For more information call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200 or email us and  check our Facebook page.

Storm Preparedness

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

This car decided to go through a large puddle and his car stalled during the storm.

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. We here on Long Island are experiencing Nor'Easter. Do you know the difference between a severe weather watch vs. a warning? Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather and it is possible. Remain alert for possible further warnings. Warnings: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar. Take cover. Safety Tips: The safest place to be during high winds is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory or high wind warning has been issued. High Winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of high winds, Long Islanders should: 

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home or business for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs garbage cans, yard debris or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicles.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants garbage cans, tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as a gas grills or propane tanks.
 If your driving during periods of high winds: 
  • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes, as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care in a high profile vehicle such as trucks , vans and SUVs, as these vehicles and more prone to being pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
 Coastal Flooding Preparations:
  • Prepare a go bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry.
  • Learn the safest route from you home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate.
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
  If you experience flooding and water damage to your home and need our help please call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown at 631-265-9200 ‌

When Water Damage Strikes

2/16/2018 (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.   

Dangers of Extreme Cold

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.  

Even Scarier? Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year. 

It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.  The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.  Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow ski, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. 

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather.  Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.  If someone's body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit , seek medical attention immediately.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible if not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry, 

Frozen Pipes and Ice Damming

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

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 back-flow 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 a few steps you 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 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 back-flow under the roofs shingles and into the structures 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 and 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 insureds property, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown are only a call away 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition. Call 631-265-9200

Types of Cleaning

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown arrives on site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results including lower claim cost. Within four hours of loss notification SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will be on site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services. Structural Cleaning:After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required toclean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insureds structure. Content Cleaning:All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for your insured. Deodorization:SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown provide specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

Restoring your Commercial Property after a Water Damage Event

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Suffolk County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. 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.

Fire Prevention

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. Draw a map of each level of your home show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. Teach Children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your Fire Escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.  A Business Plan for Fire Emergencies.... Organize and Emergency Preparedness procedures review with you employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan. Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. Please remember SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is here for your emergency needs. Smoke Damage, Water Damage, Mold Remediation, we will make it "Like it never even happened." 631-265-9200

Happy Memorial Day

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown wishes you a very happy and safe Memorial Day.  Thank you to all who are serving and have served the Military.

Memorial Day – The Official Unofficial kickoff weekend for “pretty much almost might as well be summer”!  If you are planning to Travel, barbeque or spend a weekend in the sun, here are a few simple tips that will help you keep safe this Memorial Day.

Grill & Fire Safety – Grills and smokers, while creating delicious cookout fare, have a great potential for danger.  It is very important that a lit or hot grill is never left unattended; a responsible adult should stand guard as grill master to control flames and keep children and animals away from hot surfaces.  Before your first grill of the year and often during grilling season, make sure your grill ready for the job.  Keep it clean of grease, inspect propane fuel lines and position your grill away from structures, trees and high-traffic walkways.  You should also take any precautions in case a flare up or fire were to occur; keep an extinguisher nearby and make sure to know how to cut off fuel lines if you’re using propane.

Picnic Food Safety – Proper food safety during barbecues can help to avoid tummy troubles later.  Make sure to take safe food preparation precautions and avoid cross contamination with plenty of hand washing.  Take steps to keep foods at safe temperatures; cold foods should be kept on ice or refrigerated and left out no longer than an hour, and warm foods should be kept heated to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until served.  Keep all outdoor buffet dishes covered and try to keep insects from depositing germs onto your delicious meal.  If you do end up with any sort of digestion problems after a barbecue, stay hydrated and seek medical assistance if you experience serious symptoms.

Summer Sun Safety – If you spent time in the sun, be sun safe!  Use sunscreen of an appropriate SPF and make sure to reapply as necessary, especially if you are swimming or sweating.  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep cool.  Don’t forget your eyes – wear a hat and sunglasses.

Memorial Day Travel Safety – Tens of millions of Americans travel during Memorial Day Weekend, so it is especially important to include safety into your weekend travel plans.  Prepare your car for road trips by making sure your car is in top working condition; check your tire pressure and filly our tank before heading out on your trip and make sure you are equipped with emergency essentials.  Plan your drive ahead of time to choose direct routes on safe roads and keep an eye on weather forecasts to avoid driving with dangerous conditions.  Never drive after drinking, travel with anyone who has been drinking, or allow anyone who has been drinking to drive.  Of course, when you are driving, always wear your seat belt.

Deodorization

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized.  Fire, Smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. 

 As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on the surfaces and in hard to reach places.  Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

 With Technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.   SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor.  Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning.  Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture draperies and upholstery, electronics, art,  flooring, walls ceiling, HVAC air ducts and more.

 Call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown and we will explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown.  Whether its’s fire, water or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Emergency Ready Profile

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile App

Call the Cleanup Team that is faster to any size disaster

Flooding can happen anywhere

According to the national Weather Service (NOAA).  Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding”.  NOAA lists the most common flood hazard in the United States as: 

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.  In Fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.  On average, Floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S. and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can help.  We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. 

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Spring is Here

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up - spring is finally here!  Spring Cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.  While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.  


SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown can help get your facility in tip top shape.  In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown professionals are trained to use state of the art equipment and remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications.   Other services include:  Upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and odor 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, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown have the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!


 


 Spring Cleaning your Workspace


 *Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:


 Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a work-space for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and filing area for you archives.  This will provide a foundation for more efficient use of space. 


 *Keep Only What You Need at Arm's Length:  Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go.  Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only.  Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you've established for the.


 *Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:  Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, lie compartments for paperclips and rubber-bands.  Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn't being used. 


 *Eliminate Digital Clutter:  Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter.  Organize digital files and your email inbox just as you would paper files with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders.  Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders. 


 

The #1 Reasons Homeowners File a Homeowners Claim

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is responsible for more homeowner insurance claims than fires, storms or theft.  However, it is often easily preventable.  

 For example, four in 10 homeowners never bother to check a washing machine's hose line.  Chances are, sooner or later, those lines will fail.  The same follows for dishwasher hoses, automatic ice-make lines and hot water heaters.  As they age, they all pose hidden dangers. 

 

It is simply a matter of time before hose lines fail, and when they do, it's usually quite expensive.  Preventive maintenance is the best solution.  We advise:

  • Check hoses for kinks and cracks every time you do the laundry.  Replace your washing machine hoses every five years with a high pressure hose, preferably a durable metal-mesh hose.  These hoses cost only $5 to $10.
  • Check for signs of leaks, inspect flooring around your water heater and other fixtures or appliances. 
  • Inspect refrigerator, dishwasher and outside faucet lines for leaks and crimps.  If you move appliances to clean, please be careful not to overextend or pinch hoses. 

 The danger of a water leak is that if it's not addressed right away, even a small leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your floors and walls.  It's the water you can't see that may cause the most damage.  

 In the unfortunate event that you do suffer water damage, trust your home to the professionals. SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown knows that your home is a reflection of you.  We offer the very best of service at a fair price. Call us today for a free estimate.

Contact us for all your restoration needs 24/7 and for additional information call us 631-265-9200

 

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown is a Certified Firm

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

We are elated to announce that we are a Certified Firm with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).  This is the highest certification a firm can receive in our industry.  It means we have completed all of their advanced training programs and course studies which in turn seaways to the optimum professionalism and expertise regarding all of our services. 


For all your restoration needs contact the professionals of SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown.


 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes:

smoke alarms should be in every bedroom.

Outside each sleeping area and on every level, including the basement. 

Extra Smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test Smoke alarms monthly using test button.  Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years.   Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years.  If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.  Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm.  Almost half of the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. 

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your spoke alarms, contact your local fire department, and electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown @ 631-265-9200

Smoke and Soot Damage in Smithtown home

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Soot Webs throughout the home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 631-265-9200

Winter Heating Hazards

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

Types of Heaters

Did you know 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the Months of December, January and February?

Keep Anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.

Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.   

Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  

Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Test smoke alarms monthly.  

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to help make it "Like it never even happened"

Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem?

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

Mold damage was caused from a malfunctioned Hot water valve causing hot steam, mold to grow rapidly in this finished basement.

 

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 631-265-9200

 

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration

9/13/2016 (Permalink)

A pipe broke above and caused this basement to be flooded.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 631-265-9200

Happy and Safe Labor Day

9/2/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown wishes you all a Happy and Safe Labor Day! Are you Ready for the upcoming Storm?  

10 Ways You Can Be Prepared:

If disaster strikes, will you be ready?  It is important to prepare before disaster occurs.  Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for and emergency situation.

- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and or check access for wireless emergency alerts. 

-  Develop a test emergency communications plans.

-  Assemble or update emergency supplies.

-  Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.  

- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.   

-  Collect and safeguard critical documents.

- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources. 

- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.  

-  Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage. 

- Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization. 

We hope you all had a great summer.  Thank you for your business.  Please feel free to call us with any questions.

Sincerely,

Frank Solano

631-265-9200

Will you be READY for 2016?

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

The new year signifies a fresh start. 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 at least prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are "Ready for whatever happens."

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. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience and a System more than 1700 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, making help just a few taps away.

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. Call SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2016.

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 loval SERVPRO 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.

Eliminate heating hazards this winter

12/18/2015 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Escape planning for your business in case of a fire

12/15/2015 (Permalink)

Before we touched on how to prepare for escaping from a fire in your home, but if you own commercial property it could be a bit different. And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well-lit, wide enough to accomodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once complete, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Be ready for a home fire by preparing an escape plan

12/15/2015 (Permalink)

October was Fire Prevention Month, but considering our last blog post, it seems like a good idea to talk about fire prevention and what to do in case it happens.

A house fire can happen to ANYONE, and every second counts. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, mating it critial to be perpared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developes and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developes, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they well 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 place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan at night AND during the daytime.

Steer clear of fires this year!

12/14/2015 (Permalink)

Here's a few facts about you might not know about fires during this season!

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six Christmas tree fires.
  • More than half (56%) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11 percent of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4 percent the rest of the year!
  • Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon, when they do occur they are more likely to be serious.

The above facts are provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

Is your property ready for winter?

12/11/2015 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, 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 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 lead to a damming effect, which can cause 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, 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 allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open to allow 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 the pipe.
  • Ask SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown 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.

Avoid holiday hazards!

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season. 

  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns
  • Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.
  • Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
  • Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your desired decor. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of lights sets.
  • Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Everyone here at SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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