House Fire Prevention Tips
Now that the cold weather is upon us, furnaces are turned on and we will be spending more time indoors, it is time to review some fire safety to prevent house fires. House fires affect more than 374,000 homes each year and smoking is the leading cause of fire related death. House fires are devastating and they cause more than 7 billion dollars in damage in the United States each year.
It is important to know ways that you can reduce your family's risk of experiencing a house fire. Below is a list of a few things you can do:
- Do NOT smoke in bed or anywhere in your home for that matter. People lay down while smoking a cigarette and fall asleep causing more fire related deaths than any other cause worldwide.
- Unplug appliances that are not in use. Certain appliances have auto on features that keep them on all the time so you can turn them on right away. These appliances can catch fire when left plugged in.
- Keep clothing and debris off power strips. Make sure your children do not leave clothes on power strips as the clothing can catch on fire.
- Unplug hair dryers, curling irons and flatirons for straightening your hair. As soon as you are finished using them, unplug them right away. Do not walk away to do something else before unplugging them, because you could easily forget.
- Only place your curling Iron and flatiron on a flat hard surface. Do not leave irons or flatirons on soft surfaces that may catch on fire.
- Keep portable heaters away from all cloth and clothing. Make sure they are on a flat stable surface and cannot tip or be knocked over by children. Heating elements are the second leading cause of house fires.
- Do not walk away from food while cooking even for a brief period of time. Make sure that you turn pot handles so that children cannot grab those dumping scalding contents which can burn them or start a fire.
- Use baking soda to extinguish grease fires as water will make them spread.
- Keep batteries in your smoke detectors and test them frequently.
- Make a fire escape plan with your family, especially if children are on a different floor.
- Leave the home immediately and call 9-1-1 if your home catches on fire!!!
Knowing these tips will help keep you and your family safe. If you do experience a house fire call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties at 320-219-6505. We are fire restoration specialists.
Time to Prepare For Winter
Beware of Ice Dams This Winter
The temperature is dropping and we have had our first snow. We know winter is coming - and, maybe, quickly! Is your roof ready? Are your gutters cleaned out so any melting snow is free to run off of your roof properly? Is your attic properly insulated to prevent ice dams? Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas. Your local SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties professionals can help mitigate water damage caused by ice dams and help you get your structure back to preloss condition.
No Matter the Cause, We Can Help
Water can cause a lot of damage!
There are many causes of water damage. Below is a list of common causes of water related loss:
- Broken Pipe
- Washer Overflows
- Water Heater Overflow
- Rising Water from Flooding
- Roof Leak
- Rain Water from a Broken Window
- Toilet or Bathtub Overflow
- Air Conditioner Drip Pan Overflow
- Leaking Appliance Hoses
- Fire Related Water Damage
These are a few of the many ways a SERVPRO customer may experience a water damage. SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties’ customers know who to call when they experience a water loss. Our team is specially trained to properly handle water damage losses.
Until you experience a water related loss you may not realize how important it is to hire a water damage specialist, but SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is trusted by insurance agents and property owners across Douglas, Otter Tail and Grant Counties and they are always ready to help you get back to life, "Like it never even happened." after you experience a loss. Contact us at 320-219-6505.
Fire at the Office
A fire at the office changes everything
Electrical and Utility Room Fires
Fire damage is something dreaded by everyone and especially those running businesses. It is devastating to see years of investment going down to ashes within a short time. However, no one is immune from experiencing fire outbreak or commercial fire damage in his or her business. Electrical fire or utility room fire are often common locations for the fire to begin. In an effort to mitigate the effect of electrical fire or utility room fire, most buildings have adopted the modern ways of dealing with fire menace. Fire sprinkler systems have been installed to help in fire suppression. The fire sprinklers systems are made such that any rise in room temperature beyond certain parameter triggers it to open its valve, raise the alarm, and sprinkle water in the rooms. A fire sprinkler system is, therefore, in the first line of fire suppression effort before the arrival of firefighters. The intensity of a utility room fire or electrical fire is very high, which makes it difficult for the fire sprinkler system to sustain fire suppression. This means that back up must come quickly and help in the fire suppression. The firefighters, with their fire trucks, arrive on time to help put out the inferno caused by a utility room fire or electrical fire. It may take a few minutes, while others could take hours, depending on the magnitude of the fire. It could also take dozens of firefighters and many fire trucks to fight the fire. This means that fire suppression effort is not a simple one - it requires equipment and skills. The fire hose is used to pour thousands of liters of water into the fire. The firefighters do not spare anything even if it means breaking the windows and doors to gain access into the building. It ensures that the fire hose can reach closer to the fire in order to inject more pressure that could put it out. In case the fire is in a high-rise building, the fire truck has cranes that support the fire hose and firefighter to reach any height.
The Outcome at the End of Fire Suppression
After the firefighters have suppressed the fire and there is no likelihood of it breaking out again, they pack their fire hoses and drive away in their fire trucks. You are left with your charred mess to forge forward. Viewing the fire damage has left many speechless, as the water, flooding every room, broken doors and windows, soot damage and smoke damage are devastating to see. The place looks completely different. What had been papers, books, and files and computers is now charred rubble, some half burnt. The sight is difficult to see, and it needs a bold heart. It would be challenging for you and your workers to do the clean up because you are all already psychologically tortured. Leave the fire restoration effort to professionals, they know how to handle the mess and safely restore your property.
Professional Fire Restoration
Most do not have the skills; protective clothing and equipment to help you carry out the commercial fire damage clean up on your own. There are hazards, which must be handled carefully; hence, fire restoration should be done by experts. Soot damage, fire damage, smoke damage and possible water damage are some of the things that professionals will clean up quickly. The importance of working with professional commercial fire damage restoration teams is that they have a plan. They first deal with inspection to determine the extent of fire damage and the suitable method for fire restoration to consider. Soot damage has to be cleaned and walls painted. Smoke damage should be removed from the upholstery and rooms through suitable method. Furniture and other items that could be repaired are salvaged. The mess is cleaned up; drying of water to avoid molds is completed. The commercial fire damage restoration is achieved to leave the building soot damage and smoke damage free. The more quickly and completely it is done, the sooner you can get back to business.
Visit http://www.SERVPROdouglasottertailcounties.com for more information on fire damage and restoration.
Emergency Ready Profile
As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc.
That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give a call today and set up your ERP!
Water Damage: Dos and Don'ts
With water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties responds immediately with advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to water damage. First off, let’s talk about clean water:
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials to a safe, dry place.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting and floors.
- Hang fur and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Now, let’s discuss contaminated water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas.
SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties has professionals dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost in the long run. If you have been affected by water disaster and need help, call us night or day at 320-219-6507. SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is faster to any size disaster!
For Immediate Service in Douglas or Otter Tail County, Call SERVPRO
Douglas and Otter Tail County Residents: We provide immediate service day or night!
SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Douglas and Otter Tail County. 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 – 320-219-6505
Whether your Douglas or Otter Tail County home needs emergency flood damage relief 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
There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your Douglas or Otter Tail 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! Give SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties a call to learn more at 320-219-6505.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SUMMER BARBEQUES SAFE: Use These to prevent Fire Damage to Your Home
A fun barbeque on a lovely summer night can quickly turn in to a disaster if left unattended. Use these tips to help keep your barbeque safe.
Now that summer is really in full swing, we are all spending a lot of time outdoors, including enjoying those lovely summer barbeques! Every year too many homes are impacted by fire damage as a result of outdoor grilling. Remember these safety tips:
- Keep your grill at least 10 feed from your house. Even farther away, if possible!
- Be sure to clean your grill regularly.
- If using a gas grill, be sure to check for gas leaks.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.
- Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
Enjoy that juicy steak or burger this summer! If you do end up burning more than just your food, remember to give SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties a call. We can be reached at 320-219-6507
Welcome to Our New Marketing Representative!
Bobbie Batesole, our new marketing representative
We are pleased to welcome Bobbie Batesole to our staff as the new Marketing Representative. She will be responsible for introducing West Central Minnesota to the services we provide.
“One of our most important priorities is to provide the very best support and service to our customers” said Trevor Rossum, owner of SERVPRO OF Douglas and Otter Tail Counties. “The knowledge and skills Bobbie brings to our franchise will help us better serve our community and ensure our customers’ satisfaction.”
“I’m very excited to join the team at SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties!” said Batesole. “It’s a unique opportunity to grow as a professional while helping people in a time of need.” She has extensive experience in sales and marketing, office, administration and management. Batesole resides in Evansville, MN with her husband, Darin, where she also serves on the Evansville City Council and the Board of the Evansville Arts Coalition
Faster To Any Size Disaster!
SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Alexandria, Fergus Falls and their surrounding
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
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 Douglas & Otter Tail Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 320-219-6505
Water Damage Timeline
- 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.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties
SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties 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. 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.