Keep Fall Fire Free
Have a plan in place to keep damage to a minimum, if it should occur.
The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.
- Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
- Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.
Facts and information provided by National
Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org
If fire strikes your property, we’re here to help! Call SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids at 616-977-9800.
Every Second Counts
In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.* In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.
*Tips and statistics provided by the American Red Cross
The behavior of smoke
Smoke can tell responders how to respond and what is affected.
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.
SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, we will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items.
We know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Types of Smoke:
- Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber)
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
- Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood)
- Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire)
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)
- While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Southeast Grand Rapids can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue)
- Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us at 616-977-9800 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Large Fire and Water damage clean up
Local capabilities to get you back up and running quickly.
At SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids, no business is too big and no question is too small. So when fire or water damage strikes your business, call on the cleanup team the insurance industry has trusted for more than 40 years. That’s where you’ll find a team of specialist that’s faster to any-sized disaster. So when the things that matter most are on the line, make sure we are too by calling 616-977-9800 or visiting www.SERVPROpsoutheastgrandrapids.com. We’re here to help make Fire and Water damage “Like it never even happened.”
We are independently owned and operated with a team of 15 trained professionals. SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids is part of the your local large loss team and nationwide Storm Response Team with the support of over 1,700 franchises ready to serve your emergency needs.
National Preparedness Month, share the benefits
Our Ready Profile can your business time, money and production.
National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, business, and family.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”
In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.
The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 50 years’ experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.
The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids at 616-977-9800 to establish your Emergency READY Profile®.
Southeast Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up
Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminate and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, document sand other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
- When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids at 616-977-9800.
It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damage to your Southeast Grand Rapids property
A busted water pipe flooded a 1500 square foot basement.
Image its 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and you walk into your home after a relaxing vacation expecting to switch on the lights, put the kids to bed then get some rest yourself.
The only problem? A water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room and your cement utility room. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac. What do you do now?
When it is your home or business that is underwater, mitigation cannot wait. You need mitigation to begin immediately. If water damage strikes you or your neighbor give SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids a call at 616-977-9800 any time, any day.
The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time. Wood Floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business.
The benefit of rapid mitigation offer by SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.
If the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids to help quickly turn your “before” into a “happily ever after.”
THE SCIENCE OF DRYING
Drying the floor saves time and money.
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Southeast Grand Rapids Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Southeast Grand Rapids Professional will:
- - Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- - Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- - Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier.
The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of Southeast Grand Rapids Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
It’s not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO® has developed DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.
The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 616-977-9800, we’re here to help!
Sump Pump Maintenance
Sump pump failure can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Being a home owner isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Being able to call the home “mine”, knowing that you work hard for your money, you take pride in everything you put into your home. From the paint colors to the furniture, the pictures on the wall to way you clean it. It’s your sanctuary.
Every sanctuary has its own maintenance team, as a home owner that’s normally you. Most of the time you are not a master of all trades, so here are a few tips to help protect your home from a sump pump failure.
Performing basic sump pump maintenance is usually as simple as doing these few jobs:
- Ensure the pump itself is standing upright. Vibrations during operation can cause it to fall or tilt onto one side. This can jam the float arm so it can't activate the pump.
- Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the cord is in good shape. In damp areas, GFCI breakers may trip, effectively shutting off the sump pump. Check in on your sump pump periodically so you can reset the GFCI if necessary.
- Physically remove a submersible pump from the pit and clean the grate on the bottom. The sucking action of the pump can pull small stones into the grate, blocking the inlet or damaging the pump over time.
- Periodically pour a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on. If the pump doesn't start, have it serviced.
- Ensure the outlet pipes are tightly joined together and draining out at least 20 feet (6 meters) away from your foundation.
- Make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear.
You may not be able to avoid a total disaster, but having an action plan in place can prevent further damage. SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids is here to help with your sump pump failure 24/7 at 616-977-9800.
If you’re not sure what you are doing or have a bigger issue with your pump, call a plumber to have it checked out. Now that you know a few things on how to maintain your sump pump, go be your maintenance team and keep the pride of your sanctuary at the top of the list.
Board-ups after a storm can be difficult
Boarding a building after a storm can be dangerous, leave it to the professionals.
Southeast Grand Rapids Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals
Why take the risk? Call SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids.
Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.
Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.
SERVPRO® of Southeast Grand Rapids can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it
“Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-977-9800 for 24/7 emergency service.