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Fire Safety Tips for Wintertime

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Pascagoula will be here to help.

The holidays will be here before we know it, and as we prepare with recipes and shopping for gifts, it is also vital to make sure we are remembering preparedness for house fires. The Red Cross has found that winter is the top time for house fires, and many of our favorite winter activities give fires ample opportunity to occur.

As you go about our holiday season preparations, be sure that fire safety remains top of mind. Cooking, heating and decorating are all associated with this time of year, but they also give fires plenty of opportunities to spark.

Practicing Fire Safety This Holiday Season

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking is consistently one of the top causes of fires in the home, and because more people tend to cook large meals and participate in holiday baking, these types of fires often increase during the winter. Every time you cook, be certain to keep flammable objects away from the stove, make sure a fire extinguisher is handy and keep at least three feet around the stove clear of all other people, children and pets.

Heat the house with proper precautions. Many people make use of space heaters and fireplaces to supplement their home’s heating system, but it is important that you always use these tools with caution. Space heaters should always cut off if they get too hot or tip over, and should never be used on carpet or near flammable items. If you use a fireplace, be sure to get your chimney inspected every year and never allow a fire to burn unattended.

Decorate with care. Winter lights, Christmas trees and other decorations are fun, but they do present an electrical hazard for homes. Around 25% of Christmas tree fires are a result of electrical issues, which can arise from overloading outlets and power strips, using decorations with frayed wires or not unplugging everything before leaving or going to bed.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Fast Facts About Summer Storm Safety | SERVPRO® of Pascagoula

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Pascagoula is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

Summer storms are a part of long days and warmer weather, but it is important to be aware of the impact they can have. When thunder develops, that means that lightning strikes, high winds and hail are all a possibility, along with the damage these circumstances can cause.

While your best bet is to stay at home to stay safe from a storm, these general tips are things you can keep in mind regardless of where you are to protect yourself.

Staying Safe in the Event of Summer Storms

Know your options for shelter. If severe weather is in the forecast, the best thing to do is stay home and move to an interior room of the house—but if you get caught in bad weather out and about, it’s important to know what to do. If you happen to be driving, your car is actually a safe place to take shelter. Be sure you safely pull to the shoulder, turn the vehicle off and do not touch any metal elements.

Practice electrical safety. If a building is struck by lightning, the electrical charge will rush to the ground as quickly as possible—often through electrical wires in the walls of the home. When this happens, a power surge can be transferred to anything that is plugged into the wall. If you have the time before a storm moves through, unplug everything in the house to prevent this from happening. In case one catches you off-guard, using surge protectors at every outlet is advised.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. It may feel like a concrete structure is the most secure place to be in the event of a storm, but they are still quite vulnerable to lightning. Concrete is often reinforced with steel, so if lightning strikes, it can become a conductor of electricity itself. If you are able, avoid touching any concrete walls or floors while lightning is in the area.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. Because storms can come and go quickly, they often interrupt activities and result in people antsy to get back to what they were doing. However, this can lead to people rushing outside as soon as the skies clear, which can be dangerous. Lightning strikes have been known to occur up to 25 miles from where the storm is located, so it is advised to wait a half-hour after the last clap of thunder before going back out.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

How to Establish a Fire Drill Procedure for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Pascagoula

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Pascagoula specializes in commercial fire restoration

Being prepared for changes is part of owning your own business, but have you considered how a fire could change your plans? The risk of a commercial fire is huge for businesses, and if you have employees who work on-site, it is important to make sure they are prepared for the possibility as well.

Establishing a fire drill procedure is a great way to keep everyone safe and informed regarding the steps to take if a fire breaks out. Here’s how to do it:

Planning a Fire Drill Schedule for Your Business

Consult with your local fire officials. Talking with local fire officials is a great jumping-off point for implementing any type of fire safety plan. They can talk you through the specifics of your layout so you can effectively plan evacuation routes and they can also discuss your overall fire risk so you can increase your fire safety throughout the building.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once you have your evacuation routes set, mark them clearly with signs and communicate with staff on what this means. Involving your employees in the fire safety process will make everyone feel safer and prepare them ahead of time for when you start scheduling regular drills.

Have fire drills frequently. The first moments of a fire can be a scary time, but they are also the most crucial to getting to safety. Fires can spread rapidly, which is why reducing panic and getting everyone out of the building quickly is so important. Regular fire drills can help with this, as everyone will know exactly what to do and where to go from their rehearsals.

Run different fire scenarios. No two fires are identical, so your fire drills should not be identical either. Make sure to practice a variety of scenarios so your staff is prepared for anything—experiment by having the fake fire “originate” in different places or blocking some fire exits to better emulate a real-world scenario so your staff can be safe no matter what.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Handling Fire Damage to Your Home

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Pascagoula is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

If you have experienced a house fire, you understand exactly how disheartening it can be. Even for fires that are put out right away, smoke, soot and flames can still cause significant damages in a short span of time and be a traumatizing experience.

Though the aftermath is difficult to navigate, we have assembled some tips for helping you navigate the aftermath of a fire so you can make sure you are handling it as efficiently as possible.

Tips to Help You Navigate the Aftermath of a Fire

Prepare yourself for what to expect. While we have likely all seen photos or videos of fire damage, seeing it firsthand in your own home is always different. To allow smoke to escape, firefighters often break glass and doors, and because of how smoke travels, soot may be on items that were nowhere near the flames. If the fire was extinguished with water, there may also be moisture damage to items nearby as well.

Wait to enter your home. Though things may appear to not be damaged enough to make your home a hazard, never enter without first checking with officials to determine that everything is safe. A fire can undermine a home’s structural elements via invisible damage, and a second combustion may even be possible depending on the source of the fire. Make sure to always wait for the OK before reentering your home.

Contact your insurance company. Once you can reenter the home and assess the damage, you should contact your insurance provider to let them know what happened and learn about coverage in the event of a fire. It is important to not make any changes to the home before you contact them in order to not unwittingly do something to sabotage your claim.

Document the damages. To help you prepare for your insurance claim before you begin cleaning up, take a complete inventory of what has been damaged and be sure to snap clear photographs. This will not only help your claim, but it will also help you keep track of what to replace around the house.

Contact your restoration company. Working with the right restoration company can really make all the difference during your recovery period after a fire. Fires take a significant emotional toll on the entire family, so working with a company that you trust is a great way to gain peace of mind throughout the recovery process.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Heavy Rainfall Can Lead to Water Damage to Your Home

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

heavy rainfall on top of metal roof of yellow house Heavy rains can cause serious water damage. SERVPRO of Biloxi/Ocean Springs/Gulfport has the trained technicians to fully restore your home.

It does not take a large flood or severe weather to cause water damage to buildings—in fact, any amount of moisture can cause damage.

Heavy rains, defined as a rainfall rate greater than 0.3 inches per hour, are a big culprit of water damage, as they can suss out leaky spots in your home that lighter rain may not affect.

It is important to know where these vulnerabilities lie so that you are able to prevent them and know what to look out for.

How Household Water Damage Can Be a Result of Heavy Rain

Backup of clogged gutters. When gutters are filled with debris and do not allow water to drain effectively, heavy rain can quickly lead to serious pooling of water against your roof. This water can begin to seep into the areas it comes into contact with and cause damages.

Leaks around windows and doors. Any external opening of a home will be sealed when it is constructed, but with age, these storm-proofing measures can grow weaker. Steady rain can work its way into microscopic vulnerabilities in this sealant and lead to leaks.

Poor drainage around the foundation. When water is not able to drain away from the foundation and there is a lot of it, it can begin to seep into even the most resilient of materials such as cinderblocks. Landscaping and proper drainage are great ways to defend against this.

Leaks in and around the roof. Roof leaks are some of the leading causes of water damage to the home, and they can be quite sneaky. Broken shingles or general disrepair can lead to vulnerabilities that steady rainfall can quickly exploit and seep into.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. For houses that have a sump pump installed, regular care is important to ensure it is working properly. If it is unable to drain water out of your home, you can wind up with a serious flooding issue.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Seals on the roof around chimneys and skylights should be checked often and well-maintained to prevent leaks. As these seals age, they can begin to let in water especially if they become overwhelmed with rain.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

Key Benefits of Our 6-Step Water Damage Restoration Process

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

Sustaining moisture damage to your house or business is scary, but acting fast is the best thing you can do. That is why we are here 24/7—you can call us at any hour to start our proven, six-step restoration process to have your home back to its pre-damaged state fast.

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

1. Initial Emergency Contact
Our 24-hour emergency line means that you can get in touch with us regardless of what hour you discover the damage. We will ask for key information to learn more about the damage and make the call on what resources and staffing numbers your job will require.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
After your call, we will rush to you in order to assess the full extent of the damage and review a detailed restoration plan before we begin the work. This is also where we will check for any safety hazards like contaminated water and halt the source of the water, if necessary.

3. Moisture Extraction
Extracting the water quickly is the best chance you have at reducing the overall damage, which is why we bring in industrial-grade vacuums and pumps to do just that. We also offer move-out services to help you quickly and safely remove your belongings to prevent further damages.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
After the bulk of the water is removed, we bring in our advanced dryers to use on all the porous substances on your home (basically anything that is not metal or plastic). This will dry everything out thoroughly and reduce the likelihood that mold and mildew will cause severe issues to your home.

5. Cleaning and Repair
Once they are fully dry, structures and objects that have been water-damaged will generally need a thorough cleaning as well. This ensures that they are not contaminated, and also prevents them from developing a harsh odor that is common for water-damaged things.

6. Restoration
When you work with us, we guarantee a complete restoration—which also includes making structural repairs to drywall, floors and other elements of your home as well as painting and refinishing to ensure it is fully restored to its pre-damaged condition.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.

What to Know Before Returning to Your Home After a Flood

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

If you have experienced a flood that has impacted your home, it is common to feel antsy to return immediately and work toward recovery as quickly as possible.

While recovering from a flood as quickly as possible is advised, it is important to make sure you are keeping safety in mind as well. Working quickly and safely to restore your home will help the recovery process go much more smoothly and prevent any injuries or further damage from occurring.

Tips for Returning to Your Household After a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. While you may be ready to get home as soon as possible after a flood has impacted your area, you should never do so without first getting the go-ahead from local officials. Between contaminated floodwaters, electrical issues and other various dangers that could be around, you should always listen to authorities regarding what is and is not safe to do.

Air out the home. If there is no inclement weather on the horizon, opening doors and windows up will help rid the home of stale and hazardous air. Mold growth will have likely already started if surfaces are wet, but increasing air circulation can prevent it from becoming out of hand. If it has been a few days since you have been able to enter the house, entering to begin the airing out process and then leaving to let the toxic air escape is advised.

Document the damages. Taking action right away is a natural reaction to discovering the flood damage to your home, but documenting the damages with photographic evidence first is advised. Though not all instances of flooding are covered by insurance, if you have a flood policy in place or the incident is covered, having these photographs can help you maximize the claim you are eligible for.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. Keeping your insurance company in the loop regarding flood damages is always a top priority so you can make any claims you are eligible for. After contacting them, get in touch with your restoration company so you can get a quick response and begin the recovery. The longer water damage is allowed to sit, the more detrimental it can be, so starting restoration rapidly is always advised.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.

ERP

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Planning

Even with insurance coverage, disasters can shake the foundations of even the best-managed companies. Make a business assessment for the survival of your company. Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on being prepared to responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. Before any calamity strikes, you should know what tasks will need to be performed to get your company running again and who will be responsible for accomplishing them. While there is no one-size-fits-all recovery plan, every business’ strategy should include some basics. Laying the groundwork by preparing to handle insurance claims, scouting viable options for temporary operations and considering the implications of various financial alternatives before trouble strikes can make the process of recovery much easier. The impacts from hazards can be reduced by investing in mitigation. If there is a potential for significant impacts, then creating a mitigation strategy should be a high priority.

Insurance Considerations

Depending upon the details of the policy that you have selected for your business, commercial property insurance may cover damage or loss of the insured property, time element losses, loss mitigation costs, and loss adjustment expenses. It may also cover costs for public relations, research and development, and other necessities. When a disaster occurs, it is crucial to take the steps that will preserve and maximize your insurance coverage. To ensure that you receive all the benefits that your business is entitled to, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your policy before any problems arise. Work with your insurance company to create a checklist of your responsibilities after a loss to aid you in meeting deadlines and assembling documentation. Knowing what you are responsible for and being organized will make the recovery smoother and faster.

Making Your Claim

If your business is hit by disaster, set your recovery plan into motion by providing prompt notification of any claim to your insurance company. Be ready to meet any deadlines for filing proof of loss statements. If circumstances make the deadline for these statements unreasonable, get written approval for extensions. Be prepared to meet any requirements for preserving the evidence of your claim if destructive testing or immediate remediation is necessary. You will also want to record your loss mitigation efforts and the reasons that these efforts were needed.

Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company's very survival often depends on responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs.

Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. SERVPRO of Pascagoula has a FREE customizable app that can aid your company recover in a timely manner. 

Timing Matters

Timing is critical in insurance claims. While keeping your insurance company informed is important, you need to understand any time limitations in your policy and their potential consequences. Review your policy to see if there is a deadline for electing a valuation method. See if there is a time limit for rebuilding or replacement. You will also want to check your policy for a suit limitation clause. Most policies contain one, so you will want to be sure that it is conservatively calendared to give you time to maneuver if necessary.

Payment Possibilities

It is not surprising that cash flow is a primary concern for a business working to recover after a catastrophe. While it can take time for a claim to be settled, some insurance policies contain provisions for claim advances or partial payments. Search through your policy to see if these provisions are included and identify how you would invoke them.

Re-establishing Operations

A business impact analysis of your business before a disaster will plan and effectively get your business running smoothly again. Before anything bad happens, think about how your business could operate during the recovery phase. This may involve moving to a temporary location or finding storage for undamaged inventory or equipment, so it’s smart to be aware of the possibilities in your area. Make a note to analyze leasing and service contracts if you are forced to relocate so that you can try to tailor them to your business’s specific needs.

Property Considerations

Regardless of where you set up shop after a catastrophe, you will have to decide what to do with your original location. Is rehabilitating or rebuilding the site worthwhile? If you believe that it is, then you will need to arrange for professional remediation, design and construction services. If you decide against rebuilding, then you must figure out how to dispose of that property and acquire a new permanent location. Remember that a new location will still require design and construction services in order to modify it to suit your company’s needs. Don’t forget to review zoning issues for any new property to verify that your business will be able to build appropriate facilities and operate as desired at that location.

Financing Issues

Even with insurance, a recovery may require financing. Depending on your recovery plans, options might include a line of credit, an acquisition loan or a construction loan. In some situations, it may be possible to use legal actions to seek reimbursement from the party responsible for your loss. Weigh all the possibilities carefully and remember to consider the potential tax consequences. Understanding the pros and cons of your options before any problems start will make it easier to make smart decisions when a disaster hits.

When your business needs assistance dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe, count on SERVPRO of Pascagoula; our professionals are prepared to respond, so when a significant event occurs, we be there for you. Whether it is damage from flooding, a fire, a tornado, a hurricane, an ice event or a snowstorm, we have the resources and expertise to help on the Coast.

Natural Disaster and your Business

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Nobody want interruption to their business ever! Natural disasters can be terrifying. Especially if they affect your home or business, and those that depend on you. Although it’s scary to think about, there are a wide variety of different catastrophes that could strike your business, including floods, hurricanes, tornado, fires, and more.  If one of these unfortunate events happens, you don’t want to find yourself unprepared! Discover the most important steps to take following a major disaster so you are able to recover quickly and safely.  

1.     Assess the Situation

As soon as the calamity has died down, check yourself and any family members to make sure no one is hurt. If you have any nearby neighbors, see if they are in need of any help. Turn off the gas and electricity in your home if it safe to do so, and avoid entering your home for a while, as there could be damage to your floors or ceilings that could cause them to collapse.

2.     Finding Food and Shelter

If your business no longer has running water, you can obtain it through emergency sources, such as rainwater, your hot water tank, your toilet reservoir, or ice cube trays. Shelters are usually assembled by the American Red Cross in emergency situations for those whose homes are too damaged to stay in; look for one of these if you feel your home or business is dangerous. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as local churches and community services, are also good resources for any needs you might have in these dire situations.

3.     Be Cautious

Disasters always leave a trail of destruction behind; be wary of contaminated floodwaters, fallen power lines, or any criminals taking advantage of all the chaos. Don’t turn the gas back on in your home, as there could be a leak, and make sure your house is ventilated if you’re cooking over your fireplace.

4.     Recovering Important Information

One of the last steps of disaster rehabilitation and recovery is to salvage as many of the important documents from the wreckage, such as your insurance policies, birth certificates, driver’s license, deeds, wills, financial statements, and any other precious information. Although these procedures might be difficult, it will help you and your family recover from this crisis as quickly as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Pascagoula with all Your Disaster Rehabilitation Needs!

If a disaster has affected your home, call SERVPRO for all your cleanup needs! Our disaster restoration services are available 24/7, 365 days per year; they include water and flood damage cleanup, mold remediation, odor control, reconstruction services, trauma cleanup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Don’t wait another moment if your home has been devastated! Call us today!

Let SERVPRO professionals help your business

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO specializes in water, fire, and mold remediation on all size commercial properties. We create value for your company by greatly decreasing the amount of time it takes to get your commercial residence back in business. SERVPRO knows how important it is to have a professional clean looking business, so when disaster strikes your commercial property you want well trained professionals to get your business back to normal and make it look "Like it never even happened." Our technicians have experience and knowledge to protect your assets while keeping your cost concerns in mind. SERVPRO strives to be fast and efficient to get you up and running in the quickest time possible. 

SERVPRO of Pascagoula is on call 365 a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Make us your top priority after a disaster strikes your business. 

Call us 228-4753473 or email us at sp8684@SERVPRObiloxi.com