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Cooking and Fires

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cooking and Fires SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

Did you know that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries?

  • Unattended cooking cause nearly 90% of all kitchen fires.
  • Home fires are more likely to start in your kitchen than any other room in your home. 
  • Cooking equipment was involved in 47% of home fires in 2011-2015.
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces ones chances of being injured in a fire by half.

You can help to avoid a fire starting in your kitchen by following these tips.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you're frying, grilling or broiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn the stove off.
  • Check food regularly if you're baking, boiling or roasting it and always use a timer.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. 
  • Keep the stove area clean or items that can catch fire such as, pot holders, towels, bags and other appliances.
  • Clean cooking surfaces regularly to avoid grease buildup.
  • If you're cooking and a fire starts in a pan, slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool. Moving the pan can cause injury and spread the fire. Never pour water on a grease fire. 
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinuisher to keep in your kitchen. You can contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of an extinguisher. 
  • Remember: Smoke detectors save lives! Install an alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month and replace the batteries at least once a year. 

If you or your family find yourself a victim of a house fire. Call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County, we are available 24-hours a day for any emergency you encounter. Our techs are trained in the fire restoration. Call us at 269-963-3033 for your fire restoration needs. 

Tornado Safety

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Safety SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

In Michigan tornadoes occur from April to July and we average 16 a year. Typically a tornado is grounded for 10 minutes and travels 5 miles. In extreme cases tornadoes are known to be grounded for an hour and travel over 100 miles. 

Being prepared for tornadoes is difficult, although meteorologists are better able to predict the signs a twister is coming, they can still strike with little warning. The first step is knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means the conditions are favorable for a tornado to happen. A tornado warning means a tornado or rotation has been spotted or picked up by radar. Even a few minutes warning can provide an opportunity for those in harms way to seek shelter. Communities with a history of tornado activity may have a warning siren or digital messaging system to alert residents to seek shelter. If your area doesn't have these systems, there are other signs to watch out for: a dark greenish sky/a dark, rotating, low altitude cloud/large hail/loud roar(like a train)

If a tornado has been sighted, stay calm but move quickly to the safest place possible and remember, don't wait until you see the tornado to take action! 

If you're at home, the safest place to be is underground. Basements are generally the most protected area, but if that's not an option take cover in the central most part of your home away from windows. This could be a bathroom, closet, hallway or even under a heavy piece of furniture. 

If you're at work (in an office building) the safest place is on the lowest level possible, in the central most area away from windows. You'll want to crouch down to be as low to the ground as possible and cover your head with your arms. Make sure to take the stairs, they can provide shelter and if power is lost you could become trapped in an elevator. 

If you're in your vehicle, abandon it and seek shelter in a sturdy structure. If you're in open country lay face down in the nearest ditch, you'll want to lay flat and protect your the back of your head. Remember to stay as far away from trees and cars as you can and never take cover under a bridge or highway overpass. 

Stay in your shelter until the storm has passed or emergency personnel arrive. If it is safe to go outside watch out for downed power lines and stay away from puddles that have power lines in them. 

Once it is safe to clean up your home and property call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County. We are available for any emergency 24-hours a day at 269-963-3033

14 Bad habits that could start a fire

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 14 Bad habits that could start a fire SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

House fires are more common than you may realize, with potential fire starters like light bulbs, laptops and lint traps hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless everyday necessities. Are you guilty of these bad habits that could start a fire in your home?

Misusing Electric Blankets: A warm and cozy electric blanket is a welcome comfort in the winter but, it also poses a potential fire hazard. Never allow pets to snuggle on top and don't pile extra covers over the electric blanket. Excessive heat build up may lead to fire. Never bend the coils, always keep your blanket at it's lowest setting and always turn it off in the morning.

Piling up dirty rags: A wood stain may be the perfect finishing touch on a DIY project, but later on, that pile of oil-soaked rags you tossed in the corner could trigger the perfect storm. Those rags are a very real fire hazard if left unattended. The rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a house fire. Two proper ways to dispose of oily rags are to lay them flat outside to dry or to put them in a metal can filled with water and a tight fitting lid. 

Neglecting appliance recalls: Home appliances have caused an estimated 150,000 fires each year, just during the last decade! A significant number of these were caused by faulty appliances. You can visit www.recalls.gov or register your appliance with the manufacturer to keep on top of recalls and prevent disaster. 

Lingering dryer lint: We're sure you know emptying  the lint screen increases your dryers efficiency, but did you know that lint is flammable? The combination of lint buildup and excessive heat is a recipe for disaster. Make sure to clean the interior of the dryer frame as well as the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly to clear away lint and clogs and to reduce the risk of fire. 

Letting your laptop overheat: If you own a laptop, you know how hot it can get, Leaving your computer on your bed, chair, rug or other soft flammable surface, you increase the risk of restricting airflow through the cooling vents. This can cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire. Keeping your laptop on a desk or table will help prevent fires. 

Choosing the wrong wattage: If you've ever thought "It's okay to use this 60 watt bulb in this 40 watt socket" you're not alone. However, you are putting your home at risk. A leading cause of electrical fires is using a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a lamp or light fixture. Always check the light fixtures maximum wattage and never go over the recommended rating.

Using too many extension cords: Extension cords are meant to be a temporary response to a lack of electrical outlets; not a permanent solution. The reason why is this: connecting a large number of cords for a significant amount of time causes an overload that will lead to a short circuit - which could start a fire. Hiring a qualified electrician to install additional outlets could help you avoid this problem altogether. 

DIY projects you're not qualified to perform: Americas will spend about $200 billion fixing up their homes this year and nearly a fifth of that will go toward DIY projects. Jobs involving electrical wiring, plumbing and HVAC units should never be completed without a qualified professional. Gas leaks and electrical sparks result from improper installation and are a common cause of house fires. Hire a licensed professional instead of attempting dangerous DIYS on your own to avoid putting your family and home at risk. 

Disregarding dust: Built up dust can be a fire hazard if it collects in and around electrical sockets, electronics and even floor heaters. Vacuuming on a regular basis, especially behind electronics, will significantly reduce the chance of dust particles catching fire. 

Improperly storing batteries: Storing 9 volt batteries in your kitchen junk drawer might be putting your home and family at risk. When loose batteries roll around with other metals such as paper clips or screws, the two terminals could short out, possibly generating enough heat to ignite flammables nearby. If storing the batteries in the original package isn't an option, place a piece of electrical tape over the terminal to prevent this possibility.

Ignoring unwanted guests: Rodents like mice and rats like to chew on electrical wires to control the length of their teeth. Over time, they can remove the sheathing, this leaves the wires exposed. The electrical current travelling through the wire generate heat and if the wire is exposed this could lead to sparks, which in turn could ignite the surrounding surface. Call an exterminator if you suspect you have rodents. 

Forgetting the chimney sweep: There are common cause of chimney fires, such as, dead birds, raccoon nests, cracked mortar and built up creosote. The National Fire Protection Assoc. recommends a professional chimney sweep at least once a year. Also, when building a fire in your fireplace, never light it with kerosene. Always use an approved fire starter. 

Overlooking the range hood: Ovens and cook tops are the most common sources of kitchen fires. But, range hoods are also a potential threat. Grease builds up over time and can drip down onto the cook top, possibly starting a fire. These flames could easily reach your cabinets and before you know it your kitchen could be engulfed. Regularly clean and maintain your range hood to keep your kitchen out of harms way. 

Unwisely arranging furniture: Furniture placed too close to a wood stove could spontaneously ignite. Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a combustible item. This occurs when an object is continually exposed to a heat source and dries out. This leading-yet seldom considered cause of fires doesn't even require a direct flame. It only takes heat and time 

If you find yourself in need of restoration after a fire, call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County. We're available 24-hours at 269-963-3033

Testimonial Tuesday

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

General Testimonial Tuesday SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

"Our sincere appreciation for your timely response to our problem.  The gentlemen who came today did a superb job and went beyond duty and expectations.   I appreciate your concern and efforts, and celebrate the fine work that you and SERVPRO provide.  We shall highly recommend your company to anyone in need of assistance with restoration. Thanks again, Kingery and Laura C" We appreciate all of our customers, and are genuinely happy when they are happy in their time of need. Today we received this email from one of those customers and his wife. Job well done team!   

5 Tips for Commercial Carpet Cleaning

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Tips for Commercial Carpet Cleaning SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

As a business owner, when it comes to having a highly visited office, you want to make the best impression possible. If potential or even existing clients see dirt and spots they will associate that filth with your business. Wear and tear will be accelerated by the dirt and germs accumulating in the carpet, not only that but it will greatly reduce the overall cleanliness of the office. There are a few simple ways to protect the carpeting and keep it clean.

  • Understanding the difference between stains and spots. The only difference is the amount of time it was left to sit. The affected area should be blotted with a paper towel to absorb as much of the spills as possible as soon as it happens. Be sure to never wipe or rub the spill into the carpet as it can cause lasting damage.
  • Pre-spraying the carpet with cleaning solution to remove spots. Make sure you follow the product instructions, if used improperly you may risk having a sticky residue left behind, which can cause even more dirt to be collected over time.
  • Choosing the best equipment for the job and routine cleaning, such as vacuuming daily, can reduce the need for deep cleaning.
  • Vacuuming before attempting to clean. This will remove the dry soil from the carpet and prevent it from becoming embedded in the carpet, which can happen if it gets wet.
  • Train your staff. Daily routine cleaning will reduce cost over time and help the carpeting to last longer.

If you find yourself in need of deep cleaning of your carpets, turn to the experts at SERVPRO of North Calhoun County. Call us today to schedule an appointment. 269-963-3033

What to do immediately after storm damage happens.

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to do immediately after storm damage happens. SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and heavy winds can cause roof damage as well as downed trees. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health risks as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take the right steps after the storm. 

Take Precaution Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing, collapsed walls, window damage or standing water in the basement or home interior. This moisture can soak into building materials, carpeting and furniture, if not dried out quickly or properly this will create the perfect environment for mold growth, which can cause health issues. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails and other sharp objects on the property. Also, make sure to shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Make sure to contact SERVPRO of North Calhoun County to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe. If necessary, make arrangements for a place for you and your family to stay while your home and property is being restored.

Contact your Insurance Contact your insurance Agent to notify them of the damage to your home immediately.  If it is safe to move around your property take photographs of the damage so that you can have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure you're fully compensated. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of damage so that payments for repairs can be made. 

A storm related disaster may seem overwhelming, but these steps will help you to begin the process of restoring your home and your life to normal. At SERVPRO of North Calhoun County we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in restoration of homes and businesses that may have suffered small or large losses from water, fire, storm, flood or smoke. We're here to help make it "Like it never even happened".

10 Things you should know about mold.

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 10 Things you should know about mold. SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

Mold is not usually a problem indoors unless mold spores land on a wet or damp surface and begin growing. Here are 10 things you should know about mold and moisture to help prevent mold growth.

  • Mold poses potential health risks. The effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  • There is no practical way to eliminate all mold. The best way to control mold growth indoors is to control moisture.
  • If mold is a problem in your home or business. The mold must be cleaned and sources of moisture eliminated.
  • If a water problem or leak is the issue, call a professional to fix the source of the problem.
  • Reduce indoor humidity. This is the best way to decrease mold growth. Vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture generating sources to the outdoors. Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers. Increase ventilation and use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing or cleaning.
  • Clean and dry any damp or wet surface. This should be done within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Add insulation. This will reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces.
  • In areas where there is perpetual moisture problem, avoid installing carpet.
  • Molds can be found almost anywhere. Virtually any substance can harbor mold, providing moisture is present.
  • Always seek advice from a professional. If you believe you have mold and always make sure to use the proper protective equipment to ensure safety.

If your home or business suffers any water damage, mold can grow quickly and spread throughout a home in as little as 48-72 hours. If you suspect your home or business has mold call the professionals here at SERVPRO of North Calhoun County, we can inspect any visible mold and remediate it from your home.

Let's be social!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

General Let's be social! Find SERVPRO of North Calhoun County on Facebook. www.facebook.com/SERVPRO9188battlecreek

North Calhoun County, Like us on Facebook!

Join our Facebook community and keep in touch with what's going on. 

We provide valuable tips for home and business cleaning, advice to avoid costly repairs and a whole lot more. Like us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SERVPRO9188battlecreek 

We understand the stress and worry that comes with water or fire damage and the disruption it can cause in your home, business and life. Here at SERVPRO of North Calhoun County our goal is to help minimize the disruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential properties after disasters such as; water damage/mold, fire damage and/or smoke damage. We also provide carpet cleaning, trauma cleanup and vandalism cleanup for your home or business. Our staff is highly trained in damage restoration. Rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and experience to restore your property. 

If you would like to schedule service for your home or business call us 24 hours a day at 269-963-3033.

Do you know how to help prevent mold growth?

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Do you know how to help prevent mold growth? SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

Mold, while it can be good - it's essential for making penicillin for example - it can also be very, very bad. Especially when growing undetected in your home.

Mold can grow anywhere, on any surface, like carpet, clothing, food, paper and even in places you can't see. Such places as areas inside of your walls around leaking pipes or condensation, the backside of drywall and above ceiling tiles. Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. Not only is mold difficult and costly to fix, it can also produce allergens and irritants(and rarely toxins) that may compromise you or your families health.

So what do you do if you're concerned about mold growth in your home?

The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is simple: Moisture control. Here are some ways to curb moisture in your home.

  • Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Your routine domestic activities could be encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure something as simple as cooking, showering or doing laundry doesn't invite mold by ensuring those areas of your home are properly ventilated. Vent appliances that produce moisture to the outside of your home.
  • Dry wet areas immediately. Mold cannot grow without moisture, so be sure to dry wet areas right away. Water from a leaky pipe or a heavy rainfall should be dried within 24-48 hours. If you've had flood damage, remove carpet, furniture and bedding if it cannot be dried completely.
  • Improve air flow in your home. As temps drop the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home you may begin to notice the extra moisture on your windows, walls and floor. Increased circulation is created by opening doors between rooms, moving furniture away from walls and open doors to closets that may be cooler than the rooms they are in. Letting fresh air in helps to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

If you find mold in your home be sure to call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Calhoun County at 269-963-3033

Commercial Water Damage

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage SERVPRO of North Calhoun County 269-963-3033

Commercial water damage and how to handle it.

Water damage can strike your commercial property at any time and without notice. The effects can be devastating to a business owner who is now faced with having to clean up the water damage and reopen their business as soon as possible. Do you know how to handle water damage at your business? Are you prepared to make the necessary decisions after a flood, pipe break or roof leak, to protect your property? Most importantly, do you have a plan?

Thankfully, this situation doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. A little preparation for a water emergency and a plan of action if the disaster should occur can significantly reduce property damage and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

Large-scale losses can be prevented by a few simple guidelines. Know where your emergency water shut-off valves are and have a contingency plan in place in case you’re not available. SERVPRO of North Calhoun County can help you set up an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). Make sure someone you trust has the authorization to make decisions if you’re not available.

Causes of Commercial Water Damage

Water damage can happen at any time. Whether from natural disasters, frozen or broken pipes, leaking roofs, flooding or even sewage backups, water damage is a serious concern and poses major threat to your company.

Understanding the source of water is crucial in the cleanup process, as clean water from a broken pipe or leaking roof during a rain storm will be treated differently than flood waters or water from a sewage backup. Always protect your health and allow the professionals at SERVPRO of North Calhoun County handle the cleanup and restoration of your property.

Preventing Mold Growth after Water Damage

Mold growth can begin 24-48 hours after water damage, starting the extraction and drying process as soon as possible is your best line of defense against mold. SERVPRO of North Calhoun County will be concerned about preventing and mitigating mold growth after any water damage in your business.

Proper removal and drying of the water is critical after a water emergency and will prevent long term problems that some experience after attempting to clean up water damage themselves or calling someone who doesn’t have the proper expertise or equipment.

If your business has been affected by water damage, call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County at 269-963-3033. Our professionally trained staff is available 24-hours a day for any emergency you may face.