Horrific House Fire
The fire's point of origin was the attic.
A house fire can happen to anyone, and what this family experienced was tragic. This picture shows one room of what fire can do to your home. The fire department estimated more than 14 regulation size swimming pools were dumped onto the house to stop the fire. Thankfully, SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones were called immediately and quickly sent the fleet to the rescue. Although the owners were devastated, they were humbled and thankful to have a company come help them in this unfortunate event. They've recently rebuilt a brand new house and have come back several times to thank us for all we did.
Choir room effected from ceiling caving.
Local church experienced something nobody saw coming...
Following an Easter Sunday service, someone accidentally forgot to shut off the water which filled the baptismal. When they arrived Monday morning, the entire choir loft had flooded and overflowed into the choir room, leaving the hallways and classrooms devastated. Thankfully, they immediately notified SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones and our fleet showed up to help save the day!
The Pastor of the church thanked SERVPRO for being so helpful and walking them through the process. Times like these leave you speechless and often times you don't know where to turn, but our crew knows just how to make it "Like it never even happened."
Stay Healthy: 6 Tips for Avoiding Cold and Flu
People who are exposed to cold and flu germs every day -- doctors, flight attendants, teachers -- know a thing or two about how to stay healthy when everyone around them is sick. Their suggestions can help you, too.
Get a flu shot. It's the No. 1 thing you can do to prevent the flu.
Wash your hands -- a lot. No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands over and over, says Alan Pocinki, MD. Pocinki practices internal medicine at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.
“Wash your hands as much as you can stand, and then some more -- especially after wrapping up a visit with someone who’s sick,” Pocinki says.
It sounds so simple, but soap and water are the constant companions of doctors and nurses. To completely get rid of viruses from your skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. A good way to time yourself is to sing "Happy Birthday" twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. It doesn't matter if the water's hot or cold -- the very act of scrubbing will physically remove the germs.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you can’t get to soap and water, sanitizer can kill cold and flu germs.
Avoid getting close to people who are sick. For example, don't shake hands.
“Doctors tend to be very cautious about hand shaking,” says Terri Remy, MD, medical director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria, VA. “Just explain, ‘To keep transmission of colds and flu down, I’m not shaking hands. But hello! Nice to meet you!’ They understand.”
Keep your surroundings clean. Arlington, VA, massage therapist Amanda Long asks clients to stay home if they feel bad. But to be safe, she sanitizes doorknobs and light switches between sessions. It's a practice she swears by.
Beth Geoghegan, a paramedic in South Florida, says she starts her day by cleaning her work space with virus-and-germ-killing soaps.
“It may sound like overkill, but it’s not -- it’s awareness,” she says. “It’s a matter of looking at your environment and thinking, 'What could be contaminated?' All it takes is a tiny droplet. What could have a droplet on it? And I know someone was in my ambulance for 12 hours before I got there -- both patients and other paramedics. It may already look clean, but it might not be.”
It’s also a matter of context. When Geoghegan gets home from a shift where nothing much happened, she launches into her normal activities. If it’s been a day filled with sick patients, she follows a different routine.
“If I saw 10 patients today, and eight had flu symptoms, I’m likely to take my uniform off the minute I get home, put it in the wash, and get right in the shower. Because you just never know,” she says.
Keep up a healthy lifestyle. It's important to look after your own health, says Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, KY.
“Do all the things we all should be doing on a daily basis anyway,” Hoven says. “Get adequate rest -- which people underestimate -- get good nutrition, don’t smoke, and keep your allergies controlled, because if they’re out of control, then your upper respiratory tree is already inflamed, which sets it up to more easily acquire a virus.”
Why Professionals should clean smoke damage from a fire
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.
While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.
These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.
If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.
Rest assure, the experts at SERVPRO are all IICRC trained and certified and ready to tackle any disaster you may have!
Ten Reasons to Have Carpets Cleaned Year Round
As the weather warms and people head outdoors, it is important that custodial departments don't lose sight of what needs to be done inside. There are many reasons why carpets should not be neglected. Doug Berjer product manager for CFR, manufacturers of recycling portable carpet extractors, offers these top ten reasons to have carpets cleaned year round.
Properly cleaning and maintaining carpets:
1. Prolongs the life of carpeting. Regular carpet cleaning using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly, protecting your floor-covering investment.
2. Protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants; however, eventually those pollutants must be removed in order to protect the carpet and maintain indoor air quality.
3. Makes carpets easier to maintain. Most carpet soiling is made up of dry soils; when carpets are kept thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, most dry soils can be removed with regular vacuuming.
4. Removes spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.
5. Prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants.
6. Enhances the appearance of any room. Clean, well-maintained carpets speak volumes about the overall cleanliness of a home or facility.
7. Improves worker morale. Workers feel better about their work environment when it is clean. This includes the carpeting.
8. Makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.
9. Removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in carpets.
10. Maintains the carpet’s warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 to 18 months.
Tips on avoiding sun exposure
What are the dangers of sun exposure?
The immediate danger of too much sun is sunburn. If you looked at sunburned skin under a strong microscope, you would see that the cells and blood vessels have been damaged. With repeated sun damage, the skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery. Although the skin appears to be thicker, it actually has been weakened and, as a result, it will bruise more easily.
However, the sun's most serious threat is that it is the major cause of skin cancer, which is now the most common of all cancers. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be avoided by preventing sun damage.
Does the sun have benefits?
You may have been taught that you need sunlight for your body to make vitamin D, because vitamin D is not found naturally in most foods. But today, many foods are fortified with vitamin D during the manufacturing process. Thus, sun exposure is not as important for the body's vitamin D supply as it used to be. Of course, being outdoors makes most people feel good. And playing tennis is better for your health than watching television. But you can still protect yourself from the sun's damaging effects while enjoying yourself outdoors.
How can I avoid the harmful effects of the sun?
Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid sun damage, but most of us go outdoors regularly. So when you go outside, take these precautions:
- Always wear sunscreen. Apply it on your skin every day. Make it a habit, as you do with brushing your teeth.
- Avoid sun in the middle of the day, from about 10 am to 3 pm. The ultraviolet rays, which cause sunburn, are strongest during this time.
- Wear protective clothing. When you do go outdoors, especially for long periods in the middle of the day. Long sleeves and slacks, as well as a wide-brimmed hat, help protect your body against the sun's harmful effects.
- Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.
Sewage Backup - That's no good.
Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.
Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today –(478) 452-8000
There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.
The three types of contaminated water:
Category 1: "Clean Water"
This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: "Gray Water"
This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- May contain bacteria and viruses
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3: "Black Water"
This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
24 Emergency Service
Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.
Don't wait - you can get very sick. Call us immediately!
Fire - When you least expect it.
It'll never happen to me you say. In a Utopian world, yes - but in reality, it can happen to the best. It shows no favoritism towards ethnicity, religion, stature in the community or bank account balance. It can consume the multi-million dollar home as quickly as it can consume the run-down, abandoned shanty.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
Fire Safety Tips
- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
SERVPRO has an expertly trained workforce prepared for any disaster, any time of day. You can count on us to assist in life's greatest tragedies and make it look "Like it never even happened". Here are the steps you should take to get things moving back to normal.
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (478) 452-8000
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. 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 a home or business.
Don't hesitate to call - we care and we're here to help.
To see or not to see, that is the question!
When it comes to dirt, it often masks itself in very inconspicuous ways, making it very hard to see when things are getting tainted. Most commercial carpets come in a blended pattern or knit making it difficult to see even the heaviest of stain. Although you're not able to see the traffic areas, they're there, screaming for you to clean them. Lying between your shoe sole and the carpet is a melting pot of germs, bacteria, mold spores, pollution and chemicals. All of these are naked to the human eye, but out of sight doesn't mean out of mind. In fact, the air you breath inside your home and office is filled with this contamination, so it's imperative to your health and the health of those around you that you have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis.
The following list is courtesy of Carlo Ruggiero, a social blogger and “green” aficionado.
“Here are the top 5 potential health issues associated with not cleaning your carpets.
1. Damp carpets can cause asthma.
The Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health conducted a recent study which conclusively found that damp carpets increased the incidences of asthma in an environment where people were constantly exposed to the carpet. Organisms known as volatile organic compounds and microbial growth were found able to flourish in an unclean, damp carpet, and the results were increased cases of bronchial asthma, one of the deepest forms of the disease.
2. Dirty carpets house dust mites.
Dirty carpets are well known to be a breeding ground for dust mites, in the same way that dirty hair is a breeding ground for lice. Dust mites feed off of the same fungi, bacteria, and human skin cells that naturally filter into a carpet and stay if the carpet is not cleaned on a regular basis. Studies have also shown that most people are allergic to dust mites, and as they die, their carcasses are inhaled by humans who come into contact with the dirty carpet. Inhalation of the dead bodies has been known to cause rashes, and eye and nose irritation.
3. Dirty carpets house mould.
Mold has not been proven to link to asthmatic attacks, but this does not mean that mold does not cause humans great discomfort if left unattended. Bacteria and allergens which live on the mold can build up on uncared-for carpeting, and when ingested, can cause allergies to surface via the respiratory system. Worse problems can arise if the body succumbs to the bacteria which live on the mold spores, which it is especially prone to do if already weakened by another disease. If you are experiencing cold-like symptoms more often than normal, it is most likely time to get your carpet cleaned.
4. Athlete’s foot.
As before mentioned, dirty carpets house an incredible number of parasitic organisms which, if ingested into the respiratory system, can cause a number of health issues. The dust, fungi, and other organisms are kicked back into the air by movement on the carpet. However, another risk arises even if the movement on the carpet is not violent enough to move the organisms into the air, they can still cause athlete’s foot by entering the body through tiny cuts in the foot.
More serious health issues can arise if the body is exposed to too many mycotoxins, which dirty carpets are an attractive environment for. Buildings are a source of mycotoxins and people living or working in areas with mold increase their chances of adverse health effects. These can range from stomach infections to fatality, depending on the initial health of the exposed person, or over time, as the mycotoxins wear down the body’s defenses. For example, Stachybotrys chartarum contains a higher number of mycotoxins than other molds grown in the indoor environment and has been associated with allergies and respiratory inflammation.”
SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones recommends a seasonal cleaning, and we can guarantee a cleaner, healthier environment to work and play. Our highly trained professionals use a hot water extraction thus eliminating any unwanted germs and funk that's been tracked in on your floors. We service all types of carpets and even clean hard floor surfaces as well!
If you've not scheduled a carpet cleaning lately, give us a call and let us help. Make the environment around you a healthy one!
SERVPRO partners with Rotary International
Ashley is pictured on left.
Sales and Marketing professional, Ashley Bacon, was recently inducted into our local chapter of Rotary Club International, pledging to uphold the mission of "Service Above Self". We are confident this is a great fit for her as she serves those in our territory who battle disaster from water and fire damage or just need someone to manage their commercial floor cleaning. We're proud to have her part of the team!
"Rotary International is comprised of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our impact starts with our members—people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities' toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization's mission and values in their elected roles."