National Fire Safety Week-October 4-10, 2020
October 4-10, 2020 is designated as National Fire Safety Week. The theme of this year’s campaign is Serving up Fire Safety in the Kitchen. The National Fire Safety campaign is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association. The weeklong event began in 1922 and in 1925 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed national observance of it. This campaign is the longest running public health observance in the nation. It was established to commemorate the great Chicago fire that began October 8, 1871. The horrific fire killed over 250 people, left over 100,000 people homeless, destroyed 17400 building and affected 2000 acres of land. Fire prevention week is observed each year during the week of October 9th. This year’s theme is very appropriate as cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries. As we look forward to observing the upcoming event, we must be conscious to make fire safety, especially in the kitchen a common practice.
Here are the top 10 things we can do to be safe in the kitchen.
- Keep appliances serviced and in good repair.
- Never leave cooking items unattended.
- Turn pot and pan handles inside to prevent them from being snagged when someone passes by or pulled off by a child.
- Keep area clear of flammable items such as potholders, or loose-fitting clothing.
- Never overfill pots or pans.
- Make sure grease does not get too hot. When you observe a wisp of smoke turn the temperature down.
- Have a smoke detector installed near the kitchen.
- Have an ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Never cook when sleepy, or under the influence of alcohol.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use.
Why Choose SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County?
HABITC - Why SERVPRO?
When faced with a water, fire or trauma emergency why should someone call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County? When answering this question, the principle subject, above all else, is the customer. All other things are secondary during the time a customer calls in their time of need. The mission statement of SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County reflects this very sentiment. “To develop a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness and mutual respect.”
The team at SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is focused from the initial call for service to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Our technicians, crew chiefs and project managers treat each and every customer as well as each other with mutual respect and fairness. As a team, each individual reflects the company vision, “to be the premiere fire and water clean-up and restoration company in the Triangle. This is achieved by steadfastly, representing the company’s core values shown in the acronym H.A.B.I.T.C.
- Happy Customers: Create happy customers through immediate response, clean presentation, excellent service and communication and a desire to help.
- Achieve Goals: We set and accomplish business goals that help us achieve our personal goals.
- Be the Best: Be the best leader, best manager, best sales representative, best technician, and best office staff. To be the best we must strive for constant improvement.
- I will be safe: for me, my family, my customers, and my company.
- Team Success: We are accountable for ourselves and the roles and responsibilities of our job so that our team will succeed.
- Community Branding: Build brand awareness in our community by respecting our customers, displaying integrity and giving back whenever we are able.
These are the reasons to choose SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County when you have a water, fire or trauma emergency.
Three Phases of Water and Damages They Cause
Three Phases of Water
Water may possibly be the most powerful element in the universe. It is comprised of two hydrogen molecules and a single molecule of oxygen. This tiny molecular structure is essential to all forms of life. The human body is made up of mostly water and humans can only survive three days without it. The earth has more water than land. Water has the ability to exist in three phases: Gas, Liquid and Solid. Each of these phases is vital to the ecosystem. Water in each of its phases has the power of creation, as in life sustaining, as well as the power of destruction. The force of water, as a destructive force, has a direct relationship to homeowners and the restoration industry.
- Gaseous phase: When water evaporates, the process by which water as a liquid becomes a gas, it has a direct relationship to humidity. The meteorologist will often discuss the concept of dew point, when the air reaches its saturation point, and rain is produced. In an internal environment the same thing can occur when windows sweat. Also, if the internal humidity inside the home is not properly regulated, the conditions conducive for mold growth occur. This can occur when the HVAC unit is not working properly or there is excessive moisture due to a leak in the home that causes a high rate of evaporation.
- Solid: Water in its solid phase can be extremely destructive during a hail storm causing damage to roofs and cars. Water frozen inside a pipe or sprinkler line will expand and burst the pipe. When the line thaws out the burst pipe will result in water damage. When ice backs up underneath the roof shingles, the result will be ice damning which will result in water damage as well.
- Liquid Phase: The most common form of water is its liquid phase. In nature heavy rains can cause flooding and water intrusion inside structures when accompanied by wind.
Although each phase of water can have a destructive impact on property, have no fear- your local SERVPRO franchise is here to make it "Like it never even happened."
Is Your Home Covered for Damage Caused by Storms?
The hot humid North Carolina summers are synonymous for thunderstorms, which in some cases cause damage to homes and businesses. This leads to the all-important question of whether or not the damage will be covered by insurance. The answer to this important question depends on the type of storm damage and the provisions of the insurance policy as it relates to perils covered.
The typical homeowner’s policy owned by North Carolina policy holders covers damage caused by wind, hail, and lightning. Damages caused by water are far more complicated. When a water intrusion is the result of wind driven rain, there will be coverage. For example, when wind dislodges the roof shingles and water enters the roof causing damage the peril will be covered. However, ponding or overflowed creek or river that causes a water intrusion is considered ground water and is excluded from coverage from homeowner’s policies. Common covered losses are:
- Wind Damage that results in water damage is a covered loss.
- Hail, which is water in the form of ice which results in damage is a covered peril.
- Lightning that results in a power surge that damages electronics or causes a fire, is a covered insurance peril.
When rain water causes flooding which results in water damage, it is not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. There are instances where a basement or crawlspace equipped with a sump pump floods and the loss is covered by the policy, but not due to flood but as a result of the sump pump failing due to a power surge caused by a lightning strike that rendered the pump inoperable. Although storms can and do result in flooding, water damage of this sort requires a flood insurance policy. It is important to review your policies and know your coverage, before you experience a loss.
'The Princess and the Protein Fire'
'The Princess and the Protein Fire'
Once upon a time in Orange County North Carolina, in the quaint and lovely town of Chapel Hill there lived a princess who had come to the University to acquire her doctoral degree. Prior to her arrival, she had purchased a lovely investment property to domicile in while obtaining her degree. One night, after a long day of lectures and labs, she returned home and seasoned some organic chicken breasts and placed them in the oven. She sat down on her comfortable recliner, opened her laptop and began to study. Her eyes became heavy and before she knew it she had fallen asleep.
The loud blaring of her smoke alarm system roused her from her slumber. The house was filled with smoke. She quickly exited the home, as the local fire department quickly arrived to extinguish the fire. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the oven and there was only smoke damage. However, the smoke damage left a terrible malodor that was insufferable to her senses. She called her insurance agent who advised her to call his guy at SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County. After spending the night at the Siena Hotel, she called the referred gentleman who arranged at a time of her convenience to come out and assess the situation.
The tall, dark and handsome gentleman arrived with his trusty project manager in a sparkling SERVPRO green Italian sports car (Fiat 500) and quickly and accurately assessed the situation. They put her mind at ease with their professionalism and knowledge of fire cleaning techniques and effective processes for odor removal. They explained how her fire was protein based and would require a wet cleaning process. They addressed everything from structure cleaning, textiles and electronics. The SERVPRO team after receiving the proper authorizations, worked with her and the insurance company and restored her home, "Like it never even happened." The princess was overjoyed and wrote a glowing Google review.
The Princess went on to graduate, met a handsome prince, after her residency, married, had two children and lived happily ever after.
Why Property Management Companies and Restoration Companies Go Hand in Hand
Most property managers have had an unusually large or difficult situation that required more intricate knowledge, expertise, man-power and equipment that exceeded the capacity of their regular maintenance staff or maintenance vendor. This is where a relationship with a top-notch restoration company, like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County is a huge asset. Whether it is water damage, a fire, mold remediation, trauma or specialty cleaning, a restoration company can provide the necessary equipment, manpower, knowledge and expertise to handle the difficult task at hand.
In situations regarding water damage, a restoration company can be a huge asset on the front and back end. A restoration company can dry the structure according to the industry standards established by the IICRC, assuring all parties including the property management firm, the tenant and the insurance company that the structure is dried properly. Proper drying helps in the long run by preventing mold, which can be costly to repair in addition to the health risks caused by mold spores.
Fire situations, in many cases, will require working with an insurance company and their adjusters. Restoration companies and their staff are experienced in this area and can be a huge support to the property management company. In addition, the restoration company will be able to provide specialty services, such as textile cleaning, document preservation, and electronic restoration services. Pack-out and storage is also provided by some restoration companies, like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County.
Mold, trauma and specialty cleaning jobs are also reasons why a property management company may need to call a restoration professional. Each of these situations requires a high level of expertise, due to health risks associated with these types of remediation and cleaning.
If you are a property management firm or property manager that does not have an established relationship with a quality restoration company call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange at 919-596-1242.
The 4 P’s of Why SERVPRO!
You may have seen the lime green SERVPRO vehicles driving around town or perhaps seen our commercials – the powerful brand image of lime green against orange in the logo is unforgettable. Most people know that SERVPRO is synonymous with fire, water, mold, biohazard clean up and restoration. The question still looms, why should you trust SERVPRO above all others with your home when a catastrophe strikes? The answer to that question is the 4 P’s, or Pillars of SERVPRO: Personnel, Process, Products, and Price.
- Personnel: Great organizations are made up of great people. The greatness of SERVPRO is the people behind the brand. Caring, committed, professionals that take pride in their work are the foundation of the SERVPRO franchise system. SERVPRO professionals understand the importance of their work as they assist you in a difficult and stressful time in your life.
- Process: SERVPRO, as a franchise system, has built numerous processes to assure excellence in all areas of operations. With detailed training and structure and the newest technology, SERVPRO has the right processes to work on the smallest to largest jobs and provide exemplary service.
- Products: SERVPRO has an in-house product development team that provides superior products that are designed to truly wow and awe. These products in the hands of a well-trained SERVPRO professional can take water or fire damaged items and in many cases makes them like they were never even damaged.
- Price: SERVPRO can assure fair pricing because the pricing used in insurance claims is set by the insurance company. Your insurance company has set the price that SERVPRO will use as they estimate your claim. This assures you that you will not be overbilled.
Primary and Secondary Water Damage
A water intrusion can have immediate and long-term effects on building materials and contents such as furniture, electronics, art work, clothing and more. The immediate effect that water has on materials is known as primary water damage, the long-term effect that water has on materials is referred to as secondary water damage.
Immediate, primary water damage is evident when a large volume of water comes through an upstairs floor and into the ceiling below. The weight of the water which causes the ceiling to sag and the drywall tape to pull apart are examples of primary water damage. Another example would be when water comes in contact with particle board which is used to make many types of furniture; the swelling of the particle board is immediate and irreversible. Materials that are not made to encounter water and suffer immediate damage cause primary water damage.
Secondary water damage occurs over a period of time. Excess humidity caused by a water intrusion and materials that are hygroscopic, or easily absorb water, are susceptible to secondary water damage. Secondary water damage includes loss of structural integrity, dimensional changes and microbial growth.
Both primary and secondary water damage can be costly; however, the total impact and dollar value of the loss can be mitigated. It is important to start the mitigation process immediately, which includes extraction of water, setting drying equipment and implementing controls to prevent secondary damage. If you are experiencing a water damage emergency don’t delay – call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange at 919-596-1242 any time, day or night.
Are You Properly Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workplace?
Properly Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workplace
In the current climate of the COVID 19 pandemic there is a much greater emphasis on having safe clean workplaces, shopping venues and eateries. The majority of people are following proper social distancing, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Most people have read, or heard the guidelines drafted by the CDC and EPA regarding processes for effectively minimizing the spread of the COVID 19 virus, but are they being followed?
In the CDC article entitled, Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes, the guidelines for effective cleaning to kill the Coronavirus includes routine cleaning with soap and water to remove the virus and disinfecting with an EPA approved disinfectant. In many cases, only one part is being implemented, the applying of disinfectant with no regard to cleaning with soap and water. Most people have witnessed the few quick pumps of a chemical on the handle of a shopping cart, or restaurant table, followed by an immediate wipe away of that chemical by a well-intentioned employee. There are several reasons this should be a cause for concern:
- It provides a false sense of security.
- Virus could still be present due to lack of cleaning with soap and water
- Virus could still be present due to lack of dwell time of chemical
The simple steps of cleaning with soap and water first removes most if not all of the bacteria, viruses and debris, making it a necessary step. The applying of disinfectants works best when allowed the proper dwell time to effectively kill what they were designed to eradicate. When it is immediately wiped away it is not effective and may leave active contamination behind. Following the proper steps, including the recommendations by the CDC, EPA and the product labels will keep everyone safe. For a quote on having a proactive or positive test COVID 19 cleaning of your commercial business call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County at (919) 596-1242.
The Truth Regarding Products Claiming to Kill the Coronavirus
As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases continues to rise and businesses attempt to reopen safely, there has also been a rise in claims regarding products that claim to kill the virus for days, weeks and even longer. Business owners with tightened budgets due to the mandatory shut downs implemented by state governments want the best value for their money in keeping their employees and patrons safe. Many have entertained sales pitches claiming new products designed to kill the virus can be immediately used which will have a long term effect on killing the pathogen. The sales pitches make claims that the products have proven to be effective in other countries and are merely weeks away from approval in the United States. Should these claims be believed?
The best answer to this question is given by the regulatory agency that governs products of this nature, the Environmental Protection Agency or (EPA). In a recent compliance advisory entitled, “What You Need to Know Regarding Products Making Claims to Kill Coronavirus Causing Covid-19,” makes the following statement, It is unlawful for any person to distribute or sell a pesticide in the United States making claims to that it will kill a particular pathogen, unless that pesticide is registered with EPA and that particular claim has been deemed acceptable by the agency. EPA is receiving a steady stream of tips/complaints concerning potentially false or misleading claims, including efficacy claims, associated with pesticides and devices. These tips/complaints are being actively reviewed and efforts are being made to identify potentially violative products. EPA intends to pursue enforcement against products making false and misleading claims regarding coronavirus.
If the product has not been approved by the EPA, stay away! Sadly, there are unscrupulous individuals looking to make a fast dollar at the expense of vulnerable people looking to do the right thing.