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Smoke Detector Facts

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Smoke Detector Facts Check your smoke alarm regularly to ensure proper function

Smoke detectors are a vital first line of defense for you and your family. But, these devices need to be both installed and maintained correctly in order to provide you with adequate protection. In one quarter of the U.S. home fires in which smoke detectors failed, dead batteries were the cause, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

By properly selecting, positioning and maintaining the smoke alarms in your house, you can have peace of mind that you’re taking an important step to help protect your family in case of a fire.

Features of Smoke Detectors

While different smoke detectors may look similar, there are important features that vary among models. First, how is it powered? Some alarms are powered by a battery, whereas others are hardwired into your house’s electrical system (and are typically equipped with a backup battery), the U.S. Fire Administration says.

All of the smoke alarms throughout your house should be interconnected through hard-wiring or a wireless signal, suggests Richard Roux, senior electrical specialist with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “That means when one alarm sounds, they all do,” Roux says. New homes are required to include hardwired, interconnected smoke alarms with backup batteries, the American Red Cross says. If you don’t already have the wiring in your home, you can buy devices that interconnect wirelessly, but you may need to buy models from the same brand in order to ensure they can communicate, Consumer Reports says.

Remember, some models include a built-in carbon monoxide (CO) detector, which alerts you to dangerous levels of this deadly gas, Consumer Reports says. If your smoke alarm isn’t a dual model with a CO detector built in, you’ll want to also purchase a CO alarm and install it in your home. CO alarms should be installed outside all sleeping areas and on every level of the home, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

Also, what type of sensor does the smoke alarm use: ionization or photoelectric? While one type is better at detecting flaming fires, the other is better at detecting smoldering fires. “If a fire smolders with no flame, then a photoelectric sensor will detect it first,” Roux says. “If it is a hot, flaming fire, then an ionization sensor will likely sound first.” Many smoke alarm models are now dual-sensor, meaning they use both technologies. If you don’t have dual-sensor alarms, the NFPA recommends installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home.

Should a fire disaster strike your home or business give SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead a call at 978.744.4545.

Regular Fire Extinguisher Inspection

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Regular Fire Extinguisher Inspection Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly

We at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead want to keep you safe and one important aspect of that is ensuring the operating condition of your fire extinguisher.

Home fire extinguishers should be checked regularly to help make sure they are ready for use, says the USFA. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends reading the instructions that came with each extinguisher so that you are familiar with their parts and how they work.

The USFA suggests including the following steps in your inspection:

1. Ensure Easy Access

Make sure the extinguisher is visible and easy to retrieve.

2. Check the Pressure

Many fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge that indicates whether the device is in the proper operating range. If yours has one, check to make sure that the gauge’s needle indicates proper pressure. If the fire extinguisher has a test indicator, press it to make sure the pressure reading is within the correct range.

3. Look for Physical Damage

Check that the can, hoses and nozzles look to be in working in order. Visible signs of damage, such as dents or rust, may mean it’s time to replace the extinguisher.

Documenting your checks on the extinguisher’s inspection tag may help you keep track of its maintenance history.

4. Clean the Extinguisher

Check the outside of each extinguisher for dust, oil or grease, and clean it as necessary.

Also, keep in mind that most fire extinguishers are good for 5 to 15 years, according to BobVila.com. Check the extinguisher’s label or a paper tag for the expiration or last maintenance date. If it’s 10 or more years ago, you may want to get a new fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers are often an overlooked part of a home safety plan. Do your checks, know how to use them (the NFPA states that your local fire department may be able to provide additional resources) and be sure your extinguishers are ready for use — just in case.

Should a fire disaster strike call the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Water Damage to Home in Marblehead

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Water Damage to Home in Marblehead Water damaged home in Marblehead MA

This family’s Marblehead residence experienced serious water damage after multiple pipe bursts. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the expertise and equipment to mitigate residential water losses just like this one. In this particular situation, we dried the entire structure, removed most of the drywall and remediated extensive mold. The family was very grateful to be able to use the space again!

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. 

For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage to Home in Peabody

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Water Damage to Home in Peabody Flooded basement in Peabody MA

This family’s Peabody residence experienced serious water damage after flooding from heavy rains. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the expertise and equipment to mitigate residential water losses just like this one. In this particular situation, we extracted the water and used our air movers and dehumidifiers to effectively dry the structure and contents. The family was very grateful to be able to use the space again within a matter of days!

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. 

For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage to Commercial Building in Swampscott MA

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Water Damage to Commercial Building in Swampscott MA Commercial water damage in Swampscott MA

A broken water heater created several inches of standing water in this Swampscott MA business. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead worked around the clock to restore the affected area and prevent any secondary damage from occurring. We know that commercial water damage can cost a business thousands of dollars in productivity; it is always our goal to help keep your business running as flawlessly as possible through the restoration process. 

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)? 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

For help restoring your commercial space after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

IICRC Certified Business

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO IICRC Certified Business We are IICRC professionals

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Different Types of Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Different Types of Storm Damage Storms can impact your home in different ways

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

The storm experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!  Call us at 978.744.4545

Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage When storm damage occurs, let SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead help

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Preparing for a Winter Storm

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparing for a Winter Storm Be prepared for winter storms in Essex County!

Now that it is winter in Massachusetts, we must remember how to prepare for a winter storm. All winter long we get warnings of impending snow. Whether we enjoy the winter season or not, we must be ready at any time for a large amount of snow fall, ice storms, or well below freezing weather.  At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead we are ready 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

As for any type of impending storm it is suggested to have enough food and water for everyone who lives in the home to last at least three days. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 gallons. The food should be food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. It is also suggested that you have a radio that runs on batteries so you can get updates on what is happening even if the power goes out. Additionally, extra batteries, flashlights and candles should be on hand. If you have a fire place, ensure that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected and that you have wood available. A fireplace, kerosene heaters can be used as alternative heat sources.

There are specific things that can be done right before a winter storm hits. You should fill your gas tank to ensure you have enough gas should you get stuck while traveling. Put blankets and additional winter gear in your car. If possible, you should avoid driving during a winter storm. This will lessen the traffic on the roads and the chance of getting stuck or in an accident.

Check your shovels and snow rakes and put them somewhere that is easily assessable. It is important to keep a shoveled path into your home. Should an emergency arise where emergency responders need to come to the home, it’s important for them to have easy access. Spraying your shovel with WD-40 will stop the snow from sticking to your shovel.

 Make sure your cell phones and other electronics are charged and ready for use.

During the storm, should temperatures dip below freezing you should turn all faucets in your home on so they are slowly dripping. This will help keep pipes from freezing, which could save you in the long run from having to clean up water damage. Leaving the cabinet doors open will help your pipes stay warmer. Wrapping towels or newspaper around your pipes to help insulate them should you lose the ability to heat your home.

Should you suffer any damage during a winter storm please call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545.  We are here to help!

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Restoration Tips Call the experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for your fire loss

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (978) 744-4545.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (978) 744-4545.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead (978.744.4545) anytime.