The Speed of Fire
What would you say if I told you that homes today are consumed by fire faster than in years past? Think it sounds like fiction, well think again. According to research, 30 years ago you had about 17 minutest to escape before the home was completely engulfed in flames. Today, that number is as small as 3-4 minutes. The study states that the materials used to make homes and furniture today is much more flammable than materials used in years past. In older homes and décor from years gone by, you typically found many items that were made from real wood and natural fibers. The synthetic materials used in many modern furnishings and fabrics burn much more quickly. At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, we want you to be informed, so that you can be prepared. If you only had 3-4 minutes, could you get yourself and your family to safety? It is crucial to have a safety plan in place and practice your exit strategy so that you are “Ready for whatever happens”.
Commercial Fire Safety (Fire)
We talk a lot about residential fires but at SERVPRO of South Mobile County, we also handle a large volume of commercial fires. There are a variety of scenarios that you may encounter when discussing a fire in a commercial building. From multi-tenant buildings to schools and restaurants, there are a multitude of planning and safety tips we could cover. For the focus of this article we are going to concentrate on kitchen fires in the restaurant and hospitality industry. With large ovens, open flames, cooking oils, electrical equipment and the hustle and bustle of large numbers of employees, the fire hazards abound. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, nearly 8,000 establishments reported a fire every year, resulting in an annual average of nearly $246 million in property damage annually. A fire in your business can lead to lost productivity and revenue and we want to help you be better protected. Here are some safety tips to help protect your investment:
- Install an automatic fire suppression system.
- Keep portable fire extinguishers on hand as backup.
- Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment.
- Regularly inspect cooking systems for grease buildup.
- Train your staff on proper use of fire extinguishers.
- Store flammable liquids properly.
- Be prepared: have an emergency plan in place.
SERVPRO of South Mobile County also offers our FREE Emergency Ready Plan service to help you develop a customized emergency plan for your facility. Call us today at 251-653-9127 to schedule a consultation.
Friday at the Firehouse
At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, community involvement is one of the pillars of our core values. We strongly believe that the community we serve is made stronger by everyone taking an active part. As part of that drive we have developed many programs to support our First Responders. On a daily basis, we help those who have been affected by fire and we wanted to give back to those who serve on the front lines. Working with the City of Mobile Fire-Rescue we developed an initiative that opens the doors to a different fire station throughout the city on Fridays during the Summer. Friday at the Firehouse offers the public an opportunity to come out and tour the stations, meet the crews and explore the trucks. SERVPRO of South Mobile County is there to provide water, snacks, coloring stations and games for the kids. Since the program’s inception in 2018, we have seen it grow in popularity and look forward to continued growth in the future!
The Cost of Catastrophe
When it comes to storm damage, catastrophic natural disasters can produce tremendous damage. Along with cleaning up the devastation, there are the costs of rebuilding, repairing infrastructure and restoration to natural structures. The numbers can be astounding. Can you name the top 10 costliest natural disasters in U.S. history?
- Hurricane Ike – Texas, Sept. 2008 - $35.7 billion
- 1993 Midwest Flooding – $36.9 billion
- 1988 Drought - $43.4 billion
- Hurricane Andrew – Miami, August 1991 - $49.1 billion
- Northridge Earthquake – Los Angeles, Jan. 1994 - $50 billion
- Hurricane Irma – Florida Keys, Sept. 2017 - $51 billion
- Superstorm Sandy – New York, Oct. 2012 – $72.2 billion
- Hurricane Maria – Puerto Rico, Sept. 2017 - $91.8 billion
- Hurricane Harvey – Texas, August 2017 - $127.5 billion
- Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans, August 2005 - $165 billion
As part of the national network of franchises that make up the SERVPRO Disaster Response Team, we have seen first hand the devastation these natural disasters can cause. Our crews at SERVPRO of South Mobile County traveled to Sandy and to Harvey to help those affected begin the recovery process. We have also traveled to many other hard-hit areas that didn’t make this list. Most recently, we were in Chicago after the Polar Vortex and Omaha, where massive flooding occurred. We are proud to be part of a team, that is always Here to help® those in need.
Water Damage Deception
Commercial water damages have many aspects that make them unique from a residential cleanup. Commercial structures come in all shapes and sizes. Though they may all be different, they generally have one quality in common, being that they are large spaces. The size may be a common denominator but there a variety of unique circumstances ranging from massive structures with cavernous ceilings to multi-tenant units or multi-floor facilities. At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, we have the resources and skilled team members to handle any commercial job, no matter how large. We are also experts at the tricks water can often play in a large, multi-tenant building. Water is extremely sneaky and can often seep in between levels and walls within a large structure. We have state of the art tools to check every nook and cranny where water may be hiding. When you call SERVPRO of South Mobile County to handle your water damage, you can rest assured that every last inch of your facility will be dried to preloss conditions!
One Stop Shop
At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, we are committed to being a one stop shop. We take pride in customizing services to meet the unique needs of each industry that we serve. We offer a complete menu of cleaning services from floors to textiles. Our revolutionary Esporta washing system can clean a variety of soft contents from drapes and linens to leather goods and even porcelain dolls. This amazing system has changed the way we look at washing and can even clean contents that have been affected by mold or sewage. One way that we take care of our property owners and realty companies is through our complete menu of turnover cleaning services. From carpets and tile to draperies, blinds, walls and ceilings; we can clean it all. To make the process even easier for you, we have created special cleaning packages that can be customized based on your requirements. From basic to premier, we have a wide range of package options to suit a variety of requests. When you call SERVPRO of South Mobile County, you can also rest assured that you will be receiving superior results unrivaled by any other cleaning company. Our team members undergo rigorous training and certification to ensure that they are knowledgeable in the best methods to suit each, unique situation they may face. We also utilize cutting edge technologies such as self- contained floor cleaners and the Esporta washing system to provide you with the outstanding results you can expect from SERVPRO.
Categories of Water Loss
Did you know that the way a water loss is cleaned up depends on a variety of factors? When it comes to water damage, the mitigation process is definitely not a one size fits all kind of formula. The first thing when evaluate when called to a water loss is the category of the water. There are tree basic categories of water loss:
Category 1 – “Clean Water” Source of water does not contain contaminants that pose a substantial threat to humans “clean water”. Examples include broken supply lines, tub overflows, or malfunctions of water lines leading to certain appliance such as an ice maker line.
Category 2 – “Grey Water” Refers to water that contains a significant amount of chemical, biological or physical contaminants. Examples include toilet overflow (urine only), sump pump failures and overflows from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 – “Black Water” Extremely unsanitary containing harmful bacteria and possible disease-causing agents. This includes sewage backup, toilet overflows containing feces, rising flood waters from rivers, streams or seawater.
The approach for cleaning each category of water is dramatically different. When dealing with category 2 and 3 water losses it is imperative that we follow strict protocols to protect the health of our employees and customers. At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, we follow all IICRC and OSHA standards to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Signs of Hidden Water Damage
Having water damage in your home isn’t always a dramatic pipe exploding and water gushing everyone. Sometimes the most significant and costly water damage scenarios are the ones you don’t even know are there. A fridge next to a wall, dripping pipes underneath cabinets, or inside the walls, or roof damage in the attic can all cause extensive damage because they are hidden. If you can’t see the water slowly leaking you have no idea there is a problem, right? Not always. Although it can be difficult to spot, we want you to be armed with the knowledge that could stop a small problem from becoming a huge issue. Here are a few warning signs of concealed water damage:
- Water accumulation in unusual locations.
- Discoloration on ceilings or walls.
- Changes in the texture in your flooring (warping, buckling, expansion or sinking).
- Odors – mold and mildew can be a good indicator that you have a moisture problem.
If you suspect a moisture issue at your home or business, call SERVPRO of South Mobile County today at 251-653-9127 to schedule an inspection.
Helping You Minimize Damage
We are always Here to help® when water damage strikes; however, we also want to help you prepare before damage occurs as well. Being prepared can minimize damage, reduce costs and disruption of your everyday life. To help you be better prepared for the unexpected, SERVPRO has developed a service called the Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). The ERP is an emergency plan customized that you can customize yourself. You can visit our Ready Plan site by CLICKING HERE. Once there you can create your login and begin the process. It can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. Once you have completed the process all of your emergency information is easily accessible in app form for any iOS or Android operating system. Helping you be ready for the unexpected is just one more way SERVRPRO of South Mobile County cares for our customers!
Drying Water Damaged Documents
At SERVPRO of South Mobile County, our goal is to be your one stop shop for any cleaning or restoration issue that may arise. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technologies and cleaning methods to fulfill this goal of being a premier restoration and cleaning company. We are continuously looking for innovative ways to save contents that would have previously been labeled as unsalvageable and discarded. One of the most amazing procedures we have in our arsenal is out document drying process. We have become such a digital world, that many of us don’t even think of all the paper items we have around our home or office that could be lost. Family heirlooms, historical photographs, maps or books. Many offices still have paper files that could contain vital information. Now, we can salvage these vital documents using a carefully controlled vacuum freeze-drying method. This same drying process is used by the Library of Congress and is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration. In many situations, your documents may not only be exposed to water, but also serious contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, pesticides to name a few. Not only do we dry your documents, but we also use a gamma irradiation process to ensure that your documents are safely and effectively sterilized.