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Fire safety is key in fire prevention!

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire safety is key in fire prevention! Fire safety is key in fire prevention!

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) there are on average of between 350,000 and 400,000 fires every year in the U.S.that is an average of 39.9 – 45.6 fires every hour!  That is a lot of house fires every year! Unfortunately a majority of these fires could have been prevented.

The key to fire prevention is fire safety awareness! 

According to the NFPA the top 9 leading causes of house fires are as follows.

Cooking- 42% of all house fires are caused by cooking related incidents.  For instance, an oven or stove left unattended. Something most of us are guilty of, but should never do, is leaving something on the stove unattended.  Even if it’s only for a moment, disaster can strike in an instant.

Children playing with fire- It is really important to teach children about fire safety.  All too frequently a lighter and/or matches are left where children can reach them.  It is important to teach your children about fire safety and the reasons why they should never play with fire. Be sure to have this conversation not just one time but once a week just to be sure they don’t forget.

Smoking- People falling asleep while smoking may not seem like a big deal however smoking is the source of many house fires leading to almost 1,000 deaths a year.  Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped on a number of household items can quickly become large fires!  Please, if you smoke in your home (which we strongly recommend not doing), make sure you are awake enough to finish it or extinguish it!

Heating- Every winter we hear about a home catching fire due to a heating source. If you have a furnace, remember to have it serviced regularly.  A more common cause of heating related fires is small space heaters.  If you are using space heaters try to purchase ones that turn off automatically when bumped or flipped over.  Always keep space heaters on a flat surface with nothing around them i.e. curtains, chairs, clothes, ext. 

Electrical- One of the leading culprits is the over-use of extension cords.  Surprisingly, just because there is an open plug doesn’t mean you can plug just ANYTHING into it.  Extension cords can safely pull a certain amount of amps, so be sure to have the right equipment for the job! You can figure out what extension cord is right for you simply by reading the label.  If there is ever any doubt, you are probably much better off to hire an electrician to provide you with permanent wiring.  It is also very advisable to have an electrician perform an annual checkup on your home’s wiring.

Candles- Candles are a completely preventable fire.  They should never be left unattended when all too often they are.  If you leave the room the candle should leave with you or be blown out. Forgotten candles are very dangerous. It is important that you always remember to blow them out when leaving the house, always double check!  Getting into this ritual could save you and your loved ones lives and a lot of grief.

Dryers- Dryers are all too often forgotten!  It is imperative for us to remember to empty out our dryer vents and be certain that they are properly vented.  Remember to maintain your dryer by cleaning the vents to the outside once a year.

Flammables in the House – There are a lot of products left around the home that are highly flammable (especially if the garage is attached to the home).  Be careful of where you place any flammable materials (fuels, oils, etc.).  Don’t place them next to a possible source of a fire as they can rapidly turn a bad situation into a disaster.  The simplest rule is to keep them contained and away from the home to the greatest extent possible.

Christmas Trees- It seems like nothing really sets the holiday mood like a live Christmas tree (great smell and just exceptionally authentic).  However, if you don’t keep it well watered and still proceed to wrap it with electrical cords (I mean… Christmas lights of course).  If you let it get too dry it can quickly result in a fire so just check it frequently and leave the lights off if you are going to be away from home for a while. 

The fact of the matter is that most household fires are completely preventable.  Please be sure to exercise caution when it comes to your home.  Taking a few extra precautions can keep you and your loved ones safe!

If you have any questions please give SERVPRO of Alexandria a call at (318)427-7511.

Flash Floods Pose A Glaring Risk

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flash Floods Pose A Glaring Risk Even small floods can cause major damage to your home or business.

If someone asked you which weather event causes the most damage, most people would probably jump to say hurricanes or tornadoes. However, according to the NOAA, flooding kills more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning.  

Flooding can cause damage quickly, and can often occur with little to no warning. That said, it is possible to be safe and be prepared when flood risk is present or actively occurring. 

Additionally, Floodsmart.gov reports that in the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster.

If you find yourself caught in a flooding situation it seems obvious, but it is important to remember to stay away from flood waters, no matter the height of the standing water. A mere six inches of swiftly moving water could easily sweep you off your feet. If you happen to be driving when you get caught in a flood, move to high ground immediately! Most cars can get swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If flood waters are rapidly rising while you are driving through a flooded road, exit your vehicle and move yourself to higher ground. Value your safety first! Also be sure to keep children out of and away from any flooding water or potential flood zones during heightened risk times. 

It does not matter if you live near a coastline, in the city, the mountains, near a tiny river, or even in the desert...there is always potential risk for flooding and flood damage. Just because you and your property have never experienced a flood or flood damage does not mean you never will!

20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk area. On average, flooding costs $3.5 billion in annual losses for the USA.

Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when it isn't treated quickly and properly. This includes mold damage from improper drying of flooding.

The cleanup can be overwhelming, but that is why SERVPRO of Alexandria, Pineville and Ball is here for. Our crews are trained to handle an size disaster quickly and efficiently.

When you feel like you're drowning in water damage, SERVPRO helps you stay above water!

Saving your Home from Black Mold

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Saving your Home from Black Mold Mold in your central Louisiana home can be a very serious issue!

Mold in a Louisiana home can be a very serious ordeal. While there are several things that can affect whether your home has mold growing or not, the development of mold comes down to just a few things.

If you are diligent about your problems and take immediate action, most of the time you can prevent mold from occurring. However, if you don't take care of the problem, you may never be able to get rid of the mold. Mold if not remediated properly will continue to come back, even if you repair the area that was moldy or decayed. This is why it's crucial to take care of the issue in a timely fashion to ensure that your home isn't the cause expensive repairs.


Where Does Mold Come From?


Mold damage in Rapides Parish doesn't just come from nowhere. There are mold spores all around you. They come from outside in. Mold spores can float in through an open door or window or even be brought into your home from your clothes. Once mold spores settle if they find a wet area in your home it can start to grow.

The best way to deter microbial growth is by, eliminating any leaks on the siding, roofing, and windows that might let moisture into your home. Check and repair leaky sinks immediately to prevent moisture build up, and turn on exhaust fans when you're steaming up the house. Poor ventilation and airflow cause microbial growth as well. When areas are well ventilated, mold spores have a difficult time sticking to counter tops, walls, and floors.

What To Do If You Have Mold In Your Home


Never address the mold yourself, because it can make you sick. Call our service professionals at SERVPRO of Alexandria immediately, so that we can assist you in your time of need. SERVPRO of Alexandria is equipped and ready to handle all of your concerns 24-7. 

Give us a call today at (318) 427-7511

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Emergency Fire Damage Tips When fire damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Alexandria, Pineville and Ball will help you take it back.

DO:

    • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
    • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
    • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
    • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
    • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
    • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
    • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
    • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

    • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
    • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
    • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
    • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
    • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
    • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Alexandria, Pineville and Ball will help you take it back.

Why is Flood Water Dangerous?

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why is Flood Water Dangerous? It might look like fun to play in water but it is really dangerous! Be sure to stay out when ever possible!

Once flood waters set in you may be tempted to splash around and have a little fun in a seemingly hopeless situation. The water is here to stay a while so... why not? 

Whatever you do, stay out of the water! 

Flood water can be hazardous to your health even when properly vaccinated. 

Flood waters can contain runoff from fields, bacteria from almost everywhere, and contaminants such as toxic chemicals (like gasoline or oil) or wastes (from animals and humans).

That is why in areas of the world where there is flooding from tsunamis, etc., those villages generally have a large outbreak of cholera, dysentery, and other water borne diseases.

And I haven’t even mentioned snakes yet! No one should ever treat flood waters like a stroll through your swimming pool. They are a health hazard, and can cause acute illnesses, particularly in children. You should never let your children play in flood water.

Here are some of the top reasons to stay out of flood water:

  • Raw Sewage- Raw sewage is germ infested and could contain disease causing micro-organisms including but not limited to E Coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A Cholera and more! Open cuts and wounds can become severely infected by contaminated water.
  •  Sharp and Dangerous Objects- Flood water picks up everything in its path and is generally murky and muddy. Sharp and dangerous objects pose potential risks as they are hidden from site and can puncture the skin.
  • Hidden Rocks, Ditches and Potholes-  Hidden rocks, ditches and potholes may cause you to lose your footing and fall.
  • Storm Drains, Storm Pipes and Manholes- During a flood, as water recedes, storm drains storm pipes and manholes become powerful suction devices that can sweep away a child even an adult in an instant!

Keep your family safe. When water is on the rise remind them that though it looks tempting to play in, that it is important to stay out of the water as much as possible.

If for any reason you have no choice but to come in contact with flood water be sure to wash everything as thoroughly as possible. 

If you live in Central Louisiana and are a victim of flood water damage please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Alexandria, Pineville and Ball. 

Faster to Any Size Disaster!

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

General Faster to Any Size Disaster! Faster to any size Disaster!

SERVPRO of Alexandria provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Central Louisiana. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7:
318-427-7511

Residential Services

Whether your Seminole County home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Seminole County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial HVAC cleaning
  • And more!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

2/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage? Water damage caused by a pipe burst in Alexandria, LA.

You're catching up on some laundry and everything's going fine. The next thing you know, water starts gushing across your floor when your washing machine water supply hose suddenly fails. You get the water mopped up, but a few days later your wood laminate floor starts buckling. So, you may wonder, will your homeowners insurance cover the damage?

In this case, your insurance policy will likely provide coverage. Most standard homeowners policies provide protection from water damage if the cause is sudden and accidental. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you'll likely be protected if, for instance, your drywall is drenched after your water heater ruptures or an upstairs pipe bursts and water saturates the ceiling below.

What's Not Covered?

Homeowners insurance does not cover all types of water damage, however.

Damage from unresolved maintenance issues: While your insurance will probably help cover the cost of replacing or repairing a damaged floor if your dishwasher suddenly goes on the fritz, coverage generally will not kick in if the damage results from an unresolved maintenance issue, such as continuous leaking near a faucet or other plumbing fixture.

Replacing or repairing the source of the water damage: Most insurance policies will not cover the source of the water damage. So while your policy may cover the cost of tearing out and replacing that damaged floor, you shouldn't expect it to cover the cost of replacing your broken dishwasher or washing machine.

Water backup from an outside sewer or drain: You also will not typically be covered by a traditional homeowners policy if water backs into your home through an outside sewer or drain. You may, however, be able to purchase additional sewer or water backup coverage that may help provide protection in case of such an event.

Flood: No type of flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding, for example, can occur from storms, over-saturated ground, overflowing or surging bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans, You can, however, purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

If you have any questions are concerns please call SERVPRO of Alexandria at 318-427-7511. 

Restaurant Fire Safety

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restaurant Fire Safety Keep your restaurant safe with these tips. If you do experience a fire, call SERVPRO of Alexandria to help get you back to business!

Restaurants—with their open flames, hot equipment, electrical connections, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals and paper products—have all the ingredients for a fire to flame out of control. Nearly 8,000 eating and drinking establishments report a fire each year, according to 2006-2010 data tabulated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in Quincy, Mass. These fires caused an annual average of $246 million in direct property damage.


A fire can devastate your business, leading to lost revenues and even permanent closure. But there are steps you can take to prevent fires and minimize the damage.


Preventative maintenance


Install an automatic fire-suppression system in the kitchen. This is crucial because 57% of restaurant fires involve cooking equipment. These systems automatically dispense chemicals to suppress the flames and also have a manual switch. Activating the system automatically shuts down the fuel or electric supply to nearby cooking equipment. Have your fire-suppression system professionally inspected semiannually. The manufacturer can refer you to an authorized distributor for inspection and maintenance.


Keep portable fire extinguishers as a backup. You’ll need Class K extinguishers for kitchen fires involving grease, fats and oils that burn at high temperatures. Class K fire extinguishers are only intended to be used after the activation of a built-in hood suppression system. Keep Class ABC extinguishers elsewhere for all other fires (paper, wood, plastic, electrical, etc.).


Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment, and watch for hazards like frayed cords or wiring, cracked or broken switch plates and combustible items near power sources.


• Have your exhaust system inspected for grease buildup. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume operations and semiannual inspections in moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like wood- or charcoal-burning ovens.

Staff training

Train your staff to:


Find and use a fire extinguisher appropriately.  An acronym you may find helpful is PAST – pull out the pin, aim at the base, make a sweeping motion, (be) ten feet away.


Clean up the grease. Cleaning exhaust hoods is especially important, since grease buildup can restrict air flow. Be sure to also clean walls and work surfaces; ranges, fryers, broilers, grills and convection ovens; vents and filters.


Never throw water on a grease fire. Water tossed into grease will cause grease to splatter, spread and likely erupt into a larger fire.


Remove ashes from wood- and charcoal-burning ovens at least once a day. Store outside in metal containers at least 10 feet from any buildings or combustible materials.


• Make sure cigarettes are out before dumping them in a trash receptacle. Never smoke in or near storage areas.

• Store flammable liquids properly. Keep them in their original containers or puncture-resistant, tightly sealed containers. Store containers in well-ventilated areas away from supplies, food, food-preparation areas or any source of flames.


• Tidy up to avoid fire hazards. Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat and cooking sources. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.


Use chemical solutions properly. Use chemicals in well-ventilated areas, and never mix chemicals unless directions call for mixing. Immediately clean up chemical spills.

Be prepared: Have an emergency plan


If a fire breaks out in your restaurant, your staff must take control of the situation and lead customers to safety.


• Be prepared to power down. Train at least one worker per shift how to shut off gas and electrical power in case of emergency.


Have an evacuation plan. Designate one staff member per shift to be evacuation manager. That person should be in charge of calling 911, determining when an evacuation is necessary and ensuring that everyone exits the restaurant safely.  Ensure your staff know where the closest exits are, depending on their location in the restaurant.  Remember that the front door is an emergency exit.


• Offer emergency training. Teach new employees about evacuation procedures and the usage of fire-safety equipment. Give veteran staff members a refresher course at least annually.


Source: http://www.restaurant.org/Manage-My-Restaurant/Operations/Back-of-House/Fire-Prevention-101-The-Basics-on-Restaurant-Fire


If you have any questions are concerns please call SERVPRO of Alexandria at 318-427-7511.

What Is Black Mold?

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Is Black Mold? Stachybotrys Chartarum or Toxic Black Mold. Call SERVPRO of Alexandria if you see this.

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Please refer to our Mold Damage Tips to learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives. 

How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Alexandria immediately.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Alexandria Today at 318-427-7511

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  •  Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  •  Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  •  Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce toxins harmful to humans and pets.
  •  Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  •  Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  •  Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Fire or Water Damage? Don't wait to call!

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

For many of you your home is your biggest asset. Because of this, you do not want to wait to be proactive for fire or water damage. Simply waiting a few days to address a water loss could result in secondary damage like mold or mildew growth or protracted structural damage. Fire damage like excessive soot or noxious odors could result in  a decrease in quality of living.

SERVPRO of Alexandria services Alexandria, Pineville and Ball. We also travel to Natchitoches, Marksville, Winnfield and other towns in central Louisiana.

Please give SERVPRO of Alexandria a call at 318-427-7511.