With National Preparedness Month quickly approaching, hurricanes are at the forefront of our thinking her along the Gulf Coast. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we stress the importance of preparing for disaster before it strikes, but how do weather experts exactly predict those disasters? The NHC (National Hurricane Center) is responsible for predicting the formation and intensity of storms in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins around North America. They predict storms based on data from a variety of resources including satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, ships, radars, buoys and other land-based platforms. Once a hurricane becomes a threat to land, it is monitored U. S. Air Force and NOAA hurricane aircraft. These forecasts are important to help those in the storm’s potential path make preparations and evacuations if necessary. For more information on how you can be Ready for Whatever Happens® click here to be taken to the official National Preparedness website.
Annual Maintenance Plans
Routine maintenance is a must to keeping your business running in peak condition. Services needed may vary based on a number of factors, but not matter the industry, you have tasks that must be completed on a routine schedule. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we offer a complete line of cleaning services to meet the needs of each client. From carpet and tile to dryer vent and duct cleaning, to strip and wax and even textile cleaning, we can handle it all. We are continuously expanding or service offerings to be your one-stop shop. Let us create a customized annual maintenance plan for your business based on the services and frequency you need. Having a plan in place can help reduce personnel management cost and reduce budget surprises. Give us a call today to let us create a plan just for you!
Emergency Response for Water Loss
When it comes to a commercial water loss the stakes are much higher and the variable much different than when dealing with a residential loss. Water damage in one area of a building can quickly move between joined walls and floors and lead to many offices or units being affected. It is critical that the remediation process begin as quickly as possible. In addition to the stress of the monetary and physical damage to the building, you also have to juggle the stress of displaced tenants or businesses. Someone having to leave their home or cease business operations can create a whole new level of anxiety and worry. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we understand that time is of the essence. The quicker we begin, the faster everyone can get their lives back on track. We have worked tirelessly to develop a system of operations that ensures we are on-site and ready to begin work within 3 hours of receiving an emergency call. We know that our response time can help to drastically reduce damage and we take that responsibility very seriously. We can also help you set up an Emergency Ready Profile before damage strikes to make sure you are prepared before the emergency. This FREE service allows us to evaluate your building and compile critical information in to a readily accessible mobile app. The best way prevent damage is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Call us today to schedule an ERP consultation and protect your property!
Fire on the Water
When we discuss fires, most people think of their homes and businesses, but we don’t think about fire mixing with water. Recently, in our area there was a fire on a vessel in Orange Beach, that got us to thinking about a neglected category of fire education...fire on the water. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we realize that our customers live in an area abundant with a variety of wetlands and rivers, as well as Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A vast number of you use boats frequently to explore these areas for recreational and occupational purposes. Most people have never even thought about the possibility of their vessel catching fire, but it happens more often that you would think. According to Boat U. S. Marine Insurance, nearly 32% of all boat fires were caused by an electrical malfunction, making it the most common source. Believe it or not, only about 5% of boat fires are attributed to a fuel source. It is important to maintain your boat properly and check regularly for loose or frayed wiring. You should have it inspected regularly by a professional as well. Make sure to follow all U. S. Coast Guard guidelines, and always have a fire extinguisher on the boat.
Picking a Fire Extinguisher
The crews at SERVPRO of North Mobile County are always here to help you if you should ever experience a fire in your home. We take pride in being able to quickly help restore your home and contents to preloss conditions, however we hope you never have to go through this experience. We know first-hand the devastating consequences of fire and we have set a goal to help increase awareness of ways to protect yourself against this formidable foe. We often talk about the importance of having working smoke alarms but the importance of having a working fire extinguisher is often neglected. Many people may think they are just for commercial buildings, but everyone should have on in their home as well. Do you know that they are different types of fire extinguishers? Household extinguishers are classified as either A, B, or C - or a combination of the three - based on what types of fires they fight. The category tells you if the extinguisher is good for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids or electrical fires. Many of those sold at home improvement stores are a combination of all three so that they are effective for any type of fire that may occur in your home. The main difference in these extinguishers are size. You may think that the biggest is always the best option, however if it is too big for you to hold and maneuver with comfortably, you may want to go with a smaller option. There are also rechargeable extinguishers with a metal valve and disposable (one-time use) versions with a plastic valve. The rechargeable option is more expensive initially but having it refilled is cheaper than purchasing a new disposable one should you have to use it. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you have an extinguisher for each room in your home. They also recommend that you have an emergency fire plan in place, and you go over it regularly with your family. For more tips on how you can protect and prepare for a fire, visit their website by clicking here.
After the fire is out and the smoke is cleared the real work is ready to begin. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we are here to help you every step of the way. Everyone thinks about the cleanup and restoration that is involved after a fire, but the process is much more involved than you may expect. It is not just the structure that is affected but also personal belongings as well. The first step after a serious fire, is to remove all of the contents and transport them to our climate-controlled warehouse. We use a revolutionary new software system called iCat to electronically photograph and catalogue each item as we pack it up. This system means that we know exactly where each item was located in the house and what box it was packed in to. Not only does this allow us to place the items back in the corresponding rooms when we bring it back, but it also allows us to quickly locate anything you may need during the cleanup process. You even have access to the inventory log via the online site while it is being cleaned and stored at our facility. This is just one more way that SERVPRO of North Mobile County is committed to providing the best service to our clients!
All About Soot
As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, soot is “a black powder formed when something is burned : the very fine powder that colors smoke”. Most of us know what soot is, but did you know there are various types of soot based on what has burned and what started the fire? At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we clean each item based on its material composition as well as the type of soot. In order to provide the best results, you must determine the type of soot before you begin the cleaning process to ensure the proper methods are used. Contents may be affected by:
- Wet soot - results from an oxygen-starved, low smoldering fire with high moisture levels.
- Dry soot - caused by high-heat, high oxygen fires with natural materials.
- Protein soot - typically a fire in the kitchen caused by overcooked meat. This is usually hard to see but covers all surfaces with a sticky, hard to remove residue.
When it comes to cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, it is a job best left up to the experts. Our team has undergone extensive training to understand how each type of fire can leave behind its own calling card. We have the tools and knowledge to make it "Like it never even happened."
A Few Alarming Facts
After the fire is out and we step in, the team here at SERVPRO of North Mobile County takes great pride in being able to help our clients get their lives back on track as quickly as possible. However; we also take great pride in sharing the knowledge we have gained to educate our community members on how to lessen the impact of unforeseen disasters. We can’t ensure that you will never experience a fire or water loss, but we can help you safeguard your family and your property as much as possible. Safety, prevention and planning are key to minimizing property loss and injury. One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your family is by having properly working smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- 3 out of 5 deaths in a residential fire occurred in homes without properly working smoke alarms.
- No smoke alarms were present in nearly 2 out of 5 home deaths.
- In homes with smoke alarms that did not operate properly, nearly half of those malfunctions were due to missing batteries or disconnected wires.
- One-quarter of smoke alarms failures were due to dead batteries.
The NFPA recommends that you test your smoke alarms monthly. Make sure your smoke alarms are on a connected system so that if one sounds, they all go off. It is also recommended that you replace your smoke alarms with new ones every 10 years.
Commercial Sprinkler Malfunction
For most commercial buildings, sprinkler systems provide an invaluable benefit. Not only can they protect your investment in the event of a fire, but they can provide savings on insurance, code compliance and tax deductions. But for all the value they provide, commercial sprinkler systems may also pose the risk of water damage in the event of fire or malfunction. When working properly, these systems are triggered at the first sign of fire to prevent a total loss to the structure. This may leave behind a wet mess, but it is much better than the alternative. But what about when there is no fire and sprinkler systems malfunction? This can cost your business thousands in unnecessary cleanup and mitigation. There are some steps you can take to ensure that you don’t have unexpected damages from your sprinkler system. Here are some of the most common causes of sprinkler malfunction:
- Overheating – since sprinkler systems are activated by heat, it is important to install the proper system if your ceiling temperatures may rise over 155 degrees Fahrenheit
- Freezing – as with any pipe system that holds water, sprinkler systems may freeze in extreme weather. You can prevent damage by insulating the pipes or adding antifreeze.
- Corrosion – like any other water-based system, your sprinkler pipes could be subject to corrosion. Annual inspections can diagnose any compromised areas.
- Mechanical damage – if your system is properly installed or maintained, problems could arise. Mechanical damage can result from overly tightened fittings or errors during installation.
- Human error – hanging items from sprinkler systems is one of the most common causes of malfunction.
It is important to know where sprinkler shut offs are located in the event that they are triggered. Shutting the water off as soon as possible can minimize damage and business interruption. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we offer a FREE service to help you plan for unexpected events such as these. Our Emergency Ready Profile compiles all your important information regarding shut offs and emergency standards. Call us today at 251-633-7500 to schedule your consultation.
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
When it comes to your business, water damage can come in many shapes and forms. At SERVPRO of North Mobile County, we talk a lot about being prepared for the unexpected. Our FREE Emergency Ready Profile service can help you prepare for what to do should disaster strike, but there are many ways you can proactively prevent water damage from ever occurring. One of the best ways to ensure you don’t experience a water loss in your business is to be informed. Knowing the most common causes can help you stay ahead of disaster. The top three sources of water damage in a commercial structure are:
- Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
- Broken pipes and plumbing
- Backed up sewer lines
If you experience a water damage in your business, remember we are always Here to Help® 24/7. We are your commercial water damage specialists and can handle any size job, ANYTIME! Call us at 251-633-7500.