Businesses Should Prepare for Fires | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Fires can be devastating to any business. Be prepared so you know just what to do.
Businesses spend a lot of money and time towards many safety topics to help protect the work place. You can teach electrical fire safety at your place of business and put them practice, however accidents can still happen. When an electrical fire first ignites it can start small enough that you can extinguish with a blanket or a fire extinguisher. Be prepared and quick to determine if the fire you are dealing with is able to be put out quickly without risk of injury or damage. Remember that employee safety always comes first. If the fire is spreading quickly it can produces dangerous amounts of smoke it’s important to know smoke inhalation can be fatal. Smoke inhalation is the cause of death in home fires than the actual fire. Not to mention, smoke causes just as much damage to the business as the fire itself. Fire fighters say that if you cannot extinguish a fire within five seconds, call 911 and get out of the work place immediately. Be sure to have an updated evacuation place in place for all employees to follow. After the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for and safe, you can always count on your friendly neighborhood experts at SERVPRO of Madison/Goodlettsville to help you put your life back together.
Here are the requirements to know as a business owner that the fire marshal will check during an inspection:
Checklist Item #1: Clear Paths of Egress
Having multiple exits in the event of a fire will increase the likelihood that everyone is able to get out safely, and it is required by fire code. Yet, if your staff or customers can't reach these exits or open them once they do, they are of little value. So, make sure they are not obstructed in any way.
Checklist Item #2: Emergency Exit Lights
Not only are all paths of egress required to be unobstructed, they must be clearly marked as well. In the event of a fire, your facility may lose power or visibility may be severely reduced due to heavy smoke. For these reasons, all exit signs should have backup batteries, so they will still be clearly illuminated for a minimum of 90 minutes in the event of a fire or power outage.
Checklist Item #3: Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are crucial in stopping a small fire before it grows larger, avoiding widespread damage to your business and injuries to your staff or customers. That is why fire marshals pay special attention to verify that they are in compliance.
Checklist Item #5: Fire Sprinklers
If your facility has a fire sprinkler system in place, this will be carefully inspected by the fire marshal. When preparing for an inspection, know that the fire marshal will check to see if there is adequate clearance around each sprinkler deflector.
Checklist Item #6: Fire Sprinkler System Water Supply
For this system to function correctly, not only must the sprinkler deflectors have the proper clearance, the water must flow as it should when called upon to extinguish a fire. The fire marshal will examine the critical components of the sprinkler system water supply, to determine that they are in good working order.
Checklist Item #7: Proper Storage of Combustible Liquids
Combustible materials and liquids represent a special fire hazard and must be treated accordingly. These will provide fuel to any fire and they pose a significant risk to your facility, including explosion potential, so proper measures must be taken at all times.
Checklist Item #8: Maximum Occupancy Limits
Your building has a maximum occupancy limit which has been put in place for a reason. If a fire were to occur, this is the number of people who could safely evacuate the premises in a timely fashion
Checklist Item #9: Overloading Electrical Sockets & Using Extension Cords Correctly
Plugging two or more extension cords together to extend the reach of the power in your facility, will also be cited during a fire marshal's inspection.
Checklist Item #10: Electrical Panels
Since electrical panels have live current running through them, any potentially flammable items (like cardboard boxes stored too close to the panel) make sure you can get to the panels without having to move anything.
If you’ve been affected by a fire, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville hits all the above qualifications and more. Contact us today to learn how we’re able to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Why choose SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville for Air Ducts Are Due for Cleaning
Crew members of SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville of giving a thorough and professional clean after completing a home renovation.
Living in a humid summer climate, your air conditioning system likely works very hard from May to September. While changing your air filters and performing [regular recommended maintenance](https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner) are great first steps, sometimes these might not be enough to keep the air in your home healthy.
Because HVAC systems are designed to redistribute air throughout the home, contaminants within the ducts can quickly lead to health problems—and can even lead to your system running less efficiently. If you are unsure whether your system is due for a clean, there are some signs that might point to yes.
### How to Know Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Here are four signs that mean [your ducts might be due for a clean](https://nadca.com/resources/blog/4-signs-your-air-ducts-need-cleaning):
*1. You’ve found evidence of mold around your HVAC system.
Because air conditioner systems can develop condensation, it is a perfect place for mold to grow—especially if you live in a humid climate. Because your HVAC system circulates air through the home, it can also spread these mold spores from room to room. It is important to get a thorough and professional clean to keep this problem from getting out of hand, as mold exposure can lead to [serious health problems for your household](https://www.medicinenet.com/mold_exposure/article.htm).
*2. You’ve just renovated your home or live in new construction.
Even if contractors are diligent about cleaning up after themselves, dust and debris can always find a way into the nooks and crannies of your HVAC system. Additionally, the materials used in construction can contain particulates that are not safe to breathe in, which can make this a dangerous scenario.
*3. You feel you’re always dusting.
Everyone has to dust from time to time, but if you are noticing an excessive amount of dust on your surfaces, a duct cleaning may be in order. As dust travels through your HVAC system, your vents will redistribute it around the home. This creates more housework and can also lead to asthma and allergy symptoms.
*4. You’ve seen an increase in heating or cooling costs.
If you have lived in your home for awhile, you should generally be able to estimate your heating and cooling bills from month to month. If you begin seeing bills get noticeably more expensive, it might mean that your system is running inefficiently due to dirty ducts. Severe contamination in an HVAC system will cause it to work much harder to distribute the same amount of air, translating to higher utility bills for homeowners.
*Do any of these signs apply to your home? If so, give [SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville](https://www.SERVPROmadisongoodlettsville.com/airduct-cleaning) a call so you can have a professional assessment done on your ducts.*
We Stay Focused on a “Restore vs. Replace” Mentality | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Our technicians work with a “restore first” mentality.
When disaster strikes, we can get there fast, but did you know there is another reason why we should be one of your first calls if the worst should occur?
In fact, when it comes to your property, our technicians work with a “restore first” mentality aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This helps reduce the interruptions to life and helps get your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.
We Can Help With Restoration Following a Fire
During the stress of the situation, knowing what to do after a fire has damaged your property is often confusing, but that’s where we come in. One call to us and we will start working for you at your request.
No two fire damage events are the same, and while our highly trained team works to develop a unique plan that is tailored to your needs, the general process remains the same.
Here are the steps that are included in our process:
1. Emergency contact. Once we have been contacted by you, we will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage, which will help us send out the proper equipment and resources with our team.
2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. Once they arrive on the scene, our team will perform an inspection and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage to help us determine the right plan of action for your property.
3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Fire damage can compromise windows, walls and roofs, so we make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up any missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs.
4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Since water damage often accompanies fire damage, we’ll begin the process of removing wet items right away. Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.
5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. We have specialized equipment and techniques to remove the smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.
6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If it is possible, we will clean any restorable items and structures. Industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment are used to help remove odors.
7. Restoration. This is our final step in getting your property back to pre-fire condition. Restoration can involve minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also involve major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Residual Damage Caused by Fires | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Rust and corrosion might not be the first thing you think of when you consider fire damage.
When dealing with fire damage, there is more to be cleaned up than just what is affected by the flames.
Fires leave behind soot and smoke that can continue damaging property long after the flames are extinguished, and that can give rise to other issues such as mold and rust as well. If left untreated, this damage can compound over time, becoming more difficult and costly to remediate.
Untreated Fire Damage & the Issues It Can Cause
If you’ve been affected by a fire, it is important to call your restoration team right away to prevent giving rise to other issues such as:
Mold Damage. After a fire, affected areas are often left without any artificial or natural lighting. If the fire was doused with water or set off a sprinkler system, this creates mold’s ideal environment to thrive. Mold can quickly begin growth on almost any surface, leading to discoloration and damages to items and structures.
Soot Damage. Soot is the most common form of carbon byproduct that materials produce when they burn. Most home and commercial fires consist of multiple burned materials, leading to soot that is highly acidic. This acid can cause damage to nearly any surface it comes into contact with, with porous or textured surfaces being the most at-risk. Any soot allowed to remain in the affected area can lead to damage of carpets, walls and unburnt portions of the house. The longer the soot is allowed to sit, the more unlikely the damage can be reversed.
Corrosion and Rust Damage. Rust and corrosion might not be the first thing you think of when you consider fire damage, but water left untreated on small electronics can cause it to develop and greatly increase the risk for short-circuits or electrical shock.
Questions to Ask a Fire Restoration Company
Finding a fire restoration company that you can trust to restore your home to pre-damaged conditions is difficult if you are unsure what to look for. These questions are worth taking the time to ask as you shop around:
* Do they have a Master Fire Restorer on staff?
* Can they do all levels of restoration, from cosmetic to construction?
* Will they fully clean and sanitize the area to prevent mold growth?
* Do they use industrial-grade air scrubbers to remove odors?
If you’ve been affected by a fire, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville hits all the above qualifications and more. Contact us today to learn how we’re able to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Reaction Steps for Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is here to help, no matter what size job.
Whether it’s from a hidden leak, sudden flood or broken pipe, discovering water damage anywhere in your home or business can be alarming. However, by staying calm and following a few steps right away, you can get your property back to normal in no time.
Determining the safety of your location is the most important thing when you first discover water damage. Turn off the power if need be, make sure floors and ceilings are structurally sound and ensure that there aren’t electrical items that could cause shocks when wet. Never stick around a potentially hazardous area to attempt cleanup.
After you’re sure the situation is safe, consulting with a professional service should be your next step. With a 24/7 Emergency Service line, the ability to work with your insurance on your behalf and a Master Water Restorer on staff, we can provide a fast and easy cleanup designed to get your life back to normal in a hurry.
Air Flow Third
As you’re waiting on us to arrive, maximize your time by salvaging what you can from the damaged areas. If any items such as furniture, fabric or papers are affected, moving them out can make them more viable for restoration later on.
If the weather outside is dry and not too humid, opening a window and creating airflow can begin evaporating water from surfaces in the room. We’ll tackle the big stuff once we get there, but these small steps can go a long way.
While a mop can’t take the place of professional restoration, removing standing water can certainly have an impact. If you’re able, use a mop or water-rated vacuum cleaner to clear out puddles and standing water throughout the impacted area.
If you’ve just discovered water damage in your home or commercial property, SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is here to help. Call us today—we’re faster to any size disaster.
Avoiding Fire Risks in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
Spending time in the kitchen with family and friends is somewhat of a social event. It’s a place for family and friends to gather for quality time and also a place where delicious eats are cooked up. But if we’re not careful, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires occur.
The No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries are cooking fires, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
It has been reported by State Farm that, in 2017, they paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
Fire Safety Tips for Cooking
- North Carolina
- New York
Remaining in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. What type of clothing are you wearing? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. What items around the stovetop are flammable? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.
3. Have you equipped your home with a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. How are you disposing of hot grease after use? The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Is there a fire escape plan in place for your home? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
How Does SERVPRO® Stand Out? | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Flooded basement, before and after
When choosing a service provider to take care of issues in your commercial or residential property, there’s nothing more valuable than the peace of mind that comes with selecting the right company to work with.
You can be assured that whether you’re dealing with routine maintenance such as duct or carpet cleaning or you’ve got large-scale water, fire or mold damage on your hands, SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville will provide you with outstanding service. Here’s why:
We Really Are Faster to Any Disaster
“Faster to any size disaster” is more than just our slogan.
While disasters may not have respect for your schedule, you can count on our 24/7 Emergency
Service to be there whenever you call.
The longer issues like mold, water and fire damage are allowed to fester, the more detrimental to your structure they can be, so whether it’s a weekend, a holiday or the middle of the night, we’re at-the-ready to get your repairs started right away.
We’re Certified Experts in the Field
Restoring your home or business is no light task, which is why we take our work seriously.
We have staff members certified by NADCA to clean ductwork on residential and commercial properties, so you can know you’re getting the best in the business. We also have a Master Water and Fire Restorer on staff, and we maintain contractor licensing to ensure we can do tasks ranging from small home repairs to large-scale commercial renovations.
We Stay Up-to-Date With the Latest
As technologies change, best practices for cleaning and restoration do, too. We ensure that we’re up to date with the latest industry standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification by keeping up with new developments and providing employees with the ability to enroll in training courses.
This high level of training—combined with our state-of-the-art equipment and advanced tracking technology—allows us to provide you with the best restoration experience possible.
You can rest assured knowing that we have you covered for any cleaning or restoration needs because of our commitment to quality and customer service. Contact SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville to service your commercial or residential property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We'll be here to help.
Preparing Your Business for Potential Disaster Situations | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Business ownership brings with it a multitude of things that must be taken care of when running a business, but one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness.
While creating an emergency plan does not protect you, your business or your employees from experiencing a disaster, it can still give your business a leg up on the safety side and at least make sure that your employees know what to do and how to respond if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.Making a Plan
Have you taken the necessary time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations? If not, it should be a priority!
There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:
- Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
- Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
- Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
- Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure
Disasters can come in different ways—man-made incident or one stemming from nature—and if there is no emergency plan for your business, things could become even more devastating quickly.
You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.The Starting Point
Setting up an emergency plan for a business should begin by first evaluating which scenarios are most likely to occur—even those that you think that could never happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught by surprise.
There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.
A business impact analysis (BIA) can be performed to help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This should include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.
Once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, make sure that you conduct drills to go over it and practice with your employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.
Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Important Tornado Safety Tips for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
Spring is here and it’s beautiful, but we also know that springtime weather can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s a good idea to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.
As a general rule, April and May have traditionally had the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States. Read on as we share some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.How Tornadoes Can Form
There are roughly 1,200 tornadoes that strike in the United States every year, and they are caused by thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”
A tornado happens when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.
In the beginning of a tornado’s life, the signature funnel cloud is transparent and not visible, but it becomes visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.
A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster tornadoes have been observed. Hail and intense winds of more than 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.
Tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime later in the afternoon when the atmosphere is most likely to be unstable, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.What You Should Do if There’s a Tornado
Understand the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. Tornado watches are issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while warnings are issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
If you are in the path of a warned tornado, it is imperative that you take action and find safe shelter immediately.
Shelter options include:
- Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
- The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
- If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
- If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Keep flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries handy in your selected tornado shelter at home.
If you are caught in a tornado while driving, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.
Tornadoes can create absolute havoc on the areas they touch down in. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.
If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.
Get Ready for the Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville
With the arrival of spring, not only are we able to enjoy the weather, but we must buckle up for the stormy ride Mother Nature may choose to send our way.Mother Nature’s Choice
Spring brings us longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, it also presents the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at a moment’s notice.
With the unstable temperatures that we experience during spring, the weather can change in an hour, going from warm to cold. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.
Thunderstorms are plentiful during the spring season and are the main cause of severe weather. They can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.
When studying natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.
They can bring about the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes given the right conditions. It has been reported that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.Preparing for Spring Weather
While it is currently not possible to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, forecasters have the technology available to them to give us an indication that severe weather could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.
Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:
- Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
- Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
- Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.
Also, be sure to have an emergency kit on hand. These kits should include the following:
- Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
- Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
- Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
- A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
- 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bag
Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.