Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter
The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in 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.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.
-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button.
-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Storm Damage - Trees Falling
Summer/Fall is upon us which means storm season is here!
A common occurrence during Southwest Michigan storms is trees falling on and damaging your property. Don’t wait until it happens. Be prepared for this type of storm emergency. Here are 5 steps to take for emergency tree removal:
- Trees that are old or diseased can easily succumb to flooding and windy storms. Go ahead and remove hazardous trees before a storm approaches.
- In the event a tree does fall on your property, first make sure everyone is okay. Leave your home if you feel unsafe inside the property.
- Look to see if there are any wires or power lines hanging and if they are call the police and the power company.
- Call your insurance company and if you can safely do so take pictures.
- Contact your local mitigations and emergency storm cleanup provider in Berrien County. They will place a tarp on the roof if needed. They will also carry out any board up services required and cleanup any water inside the home. Boarding up parts of the home that have structural damage will help with your insurance claim and also deter any vandals while you are away from your home.
As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Berrien County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. We are faster to any disaster and will make it "Like it never even happened."
Storm Disaster Recovery Team - TEXAS August 2017
SERVPRO of Berrien County is a Large Loss Response Team. When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for Whatever Happens." With a network of nearly 1700 franchises, the SERVPRO system strives to be faster to any disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, additional manpower, equipment and other resources, The Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events in many regions across the country. In the aftermath of disaster, there is only one objective, to help make it like it "Like it never even happened."
Continuing Education Classes-Insurance Agents
Insurance agents that need CE credits have an opportunity for 6 credits Sept. 13, 2017. 4 credit hours for "Restorative Drying for Water Damage" and 2 credit hours for "Cleaning and Restoring Smoke Damaged Contents".
Both classes are free and held at Lake Michigan College. A presenter from SERVPRO Corporate will hosting the classes. Jason Garrett. He also presented in 2016. Entertaining and informative.
The state of Michigan enforces all rules associated with these mandatory credit classes for the insurance industry. Pay close attention to registration times, attendance, breaks, use of technology and license information.
We will provide coffee and breakfast snacks, lunch catered by Qdoba and bottles of water and candy to help stay alert.
Classes will be held in the WMU building room #2405 which is upstairs.
Prepare for severe weather.
Emergency Ready Profile
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive. Preparation can get you back in the building faster following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes. Call us today to establish an Emergency Ready Profile for your property and be ready for whatever happens.
Build an emergency kit:
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
-Food (Non perishable, 3-day supply)
-Manual can opener
-Battery operated radio
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-First aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Dust masks or bandanas
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
-Matches in waterproof container
Large Loss at Auto Parts Distributor
Summer of 2017. Berrien County MI 3:00 AM a semi truck ran off the highway and penetrated a commercial building 400 ft off the road. The driver fell asleep with cruise control on and never touched the brakes. The cab penetrated the building ending up in the owners office space. The overhead fire suppression line was ruptured spilling 65,000 gallons of water. This mixed with the diesel from the cab fuel tanks. Affecting approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of administration space and warehouse.
SERVPRO of Berrien County was called. The damage was so extensive we called in our EXTREME team from Saginaw to help. An environmental company was brought in to remove toxic water properly. Staff were relocated to another building. 120 cubicles, walls, carpet, files and equipment were removed or relocated.
The company's IT department was online by 10AM to continue operations. A job well done by SERVPRO and the customer.
Spring rains can bring many pains.
Wind and rain damage
Here in Southwest Michigan we get some very heavy spring rains. They usually come with powerful winds resulting in power outages. This combination results in many flooded basements. Wind driven rain can enter your home under shingles. Trees can fall on your roof letting water in. Gutters clogged with leaves and sticks can overflow water against your foundation. Clear them out and drain 5 foot away from home. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through foundation walls. When power is lost your sump pump stops working and the basement floods. *Check to see if you have a sump pump rider on your homeowners insurance policy. If you don't the water damage may not be a covered loss.*
Are your drain lines clear of roots and debris so water can move to sewer? If not you could experience backups.
Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce
Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce 2017 Recognition Breakfast
SERVPRO was nominated for:
Pat Moody Award
Small Business Award
2016 Chamber Ambassador of the year Award
Keynote speaker: Governor Rick Snyder
Kris popp, Joe Rosenhagen, and Bob Rogers attended the breakfast on behalf of SERVPRO of Berrien County. It is an honor to have received these awards. We, here at SERVPRO love making such a great impact in the community. When disaster strikes we are on it. We would like to thank our community from all of us here at SERVPRO of Berrien County for taking such notice in all of our efforts. We love what we stand for in the fact that when disaster hits we are in control of the outcome of that storm and can bring a little light back into the lives of others.
High School Gym Floods!
Dry out containment under bleachers.
Disaster of the month:
Winter 2017. Buchanan High School locker room and gym floor floods from a broken fire suppression line in the ceiling. The fire department turned off the suppression line and a plumber repaired it. SERVPRO was deployed to extract water and dry affected areas.
SERVPRO set 11 dehumidifiers and 60 air movers in the gym. Air was circulated under the floor by removing base board and injecting heated air under a plastic containment for 6 days.
During this dehumidification process a scheduled basketball game was held in the gym. SERVPRO manipulated the equipment so the game could be played.
Due to the immediate action taken by school administrators the gym floor will be refinished vs. replaced. Avoiding a more costly and time consuming insurance claim.
The school was extremely happy with the fast, professional response SERVPRO provided.