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Tips To Prepare Kids for a House Fire

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Little boy dressed as a firefighter and holding a hose over his shoulder By teaching and practicing safety fire tips with your children your family is prepared for a home fire.

Your kids’ safety is of utmost importance. You teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay away from strangers. But, as a parent and homeowner in Morgan Township, OH do you educate your children on what to do in a home fire? When a fire emergency occurs, every second counts. Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. Review the tips below to educate your family.

Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Teach and practice the following techniques with your children during a non-emergency, so your family knows what to do in the case of a home fire:

  • If the smoke alarm sounds at night, roll to the edge of the bed face down, place the closest hand to the floor and slide off the bed.
  • Crawl to avoid smoke in the air on knees and forearms with head down, or crawl like a snake.
  • Check doors before opening by feeling for heat. If hot, find another way out of the room. If warm or cool, open slowly and check for fire. Close doors as you go.
  • Create and practice an escape route and agree on an outdoor meeting place. If trapped, go to the window, open it, climb out if possible or yell for help. Once out of the house, do not return inside for any reason.

Preventative Measures for Kids

Aside from teaching and practicing the above techniques, follow these kids’ safety tips:

  • Maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. Teach your children that the alarm sound means there is fire and smoke in the house.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of young children. Instruct older children not to play with these or other flammable objects, such as candles.

By teaching and practicing the above tips with your children in Morgan Township,OH your family is prepared for a home fire. Once your kids’ safety is secured and the fire is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to begin the process of returning your home to preloss condition.

How To Combat Mold and Mildew in Businesses

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

air mover, flood cuts performed on drywalls. Mold damaged behind walls.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Business

With large groups of people comes a large influx of bacteria. For many commercial businesses, this means a challenge in maintaining a healthy environment for customers. One location, in particular, provides a larger challenge. Because of the constant moisture and potential for bacterial growth, bathrooms are hubs for mildew and mold. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep mildew off clean surfaces.

1. Maintain a Level of Cleanliness

Mold can spread quickly if it is left to its own devices. However, in order to grow, mildew must have some source of food and water. Wiping down counters, daily trash disposal and frequent spot cleaning can stop it from feeding and advancing.

2. Prevent Leaks

Mildew thrives in high-moisture environments. Identifying even the smallest faucet or toilet leaks early is essential in fighting fungal growths. Keeping floors and walls free from spills can also help to keep mildew off clean surfaces.

3. Allow for Ventilation

As any commercial owner may know, planning is essential in preventing unforeseen expenses. One important aspect to consider when maintaining your business is allowing for reasonable airflow in restrooms. Consider setting up ceiling fans or small windows that can be opened.

4. Inspect Grout and Caulk

Although both of these details can seem small, building grout and caulk can house large amounts of bacteria and mold. If not properly applied, they allow for water to accumulate and for mildew to multiply. Cleaning and reapplying new grout and caulk is vital in preventing fungal growth.

5. Inspect Ceiling Tiles

Another frequently overlooked source of mildew is the bathroom ceiling tiles. Their porous material can house millions of mold particles. Cleaning tiles with appropriate cleaning supplies can eliminate one of the common feeding grounds for fungal spores. In some cases, replacing old tiles will be necessary to keep mildew off clean surfaces.

If bathroom mold has already spread beyond control, calling qualified mold removal experts in Millville, OH, is important in preventing a larger problem. With these tips, anyone can help their business maintain a high level of safety.

How To Make Your Meeting With the Adjuster Go Smoothly

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Two air movers on a wet carpet floor Drying carpet in a home that suffered from water damage.

Making a claim after a flood in your Trenton, OH, home can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Your provider may want you to take pictures of the damage, meet with a home adjuster and hire a professional cleanup team.

Use this quick guide to help prepare for your meeting with the adjuster.

  • Make a list. Chances are the adjuster is going to want to go over the details of your loss. You should make a list of any belongings damaged in the flood. Try to remember when you purchased each item and how much it might cost to repair or replace it. You should also include structural damages in your list. If possible, include pictures to give the adjuster a visual idea of what happened to your home.
  • Keep the damaged items. Even though you made a list and took pictures, you should still keep any furnishings, building materials or belongings you plan on throwing out. The home adjuster may want to see the destroyed items to better understand the extent of the flood.
  • Get a quote. If you already know who you want to tackle your restoration, you should get a quote. The adjuster may set a specific budget for your insurance claim.
  • Keep receipts. Sometimes it may take a while for an adjuster to make it out to your home. If you have to start the repairs before your home is inspected, you should be sure to keep all receipts of the work done. Remember to also keep before and after pictures of your house to help the insurance investigator better understand what happened.

A home adjuster is sent out by your insurance provider to figure out the extent of your loss after a flood. Because this person may decide how much money you get from your policy to do the repairs, you want to make sure the meeting goes well.

3 Ways To Prep Your Business For a Winter Storm

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

A hand wearing a green glove holding leaves from a dirty gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Ways To Prepare For a Winter Storm

If you own a business in Ross, OH, you are probably familiar with the damage that a winter storm can bring. In addition to physical damage, they can also cause business owners to lose time and money due to business closures. Below are a few ways you can prepare for when the inevitable storm comes through your city.

1. Inspect Your Building

Don’t wait until the news shows a winter storm heading your way. As you approach the winter season, start inspecting your building and its grounds. Here are some typical problem areas to look for before the storm hits.

  • Pipes – Make sure there aren’t any leaks and clear out water before freezing temps arrive. This will help avoid a pipe break.
  • Gutters – Remove any clogged debris and check for leaks.
  • Landscaping – Keep trees trimmed and free of dead branches, which can fly through high winds.
  • Windows, roofs and doors – Check for leaks around sealants and siding, which can let in water.

2. Be Aware

Once your building is in good shape, pay close attention to the weather reports so that you have as much time to prepare as possible. You should have an emergency plan in place for your business, which might include the number of a trusted restoration expert. If inclement weather hits hard, having a contact readily available will get your business back up faster.

3. Know Your Coverage

Review your insurance policy annually and ensure you are aware of what is and isn’t covered when it comes to storm coverage. Take some time to review the storm damage assessment and the claims filing process.

A winter storm can wreak havoc on your business, but there are plenty of ways to prepare for it. By keeping your building and property in order, paying attention to weather reports and reviewing your insurance policy, you’ll be ready for whatever winter throws your way.

Smart Smoke Detector: To Buy or Not to Buy

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector in the room A smoke alarm can be one of the wisest decisions you ever make.

Should a Smoke Alarm Cost Over a Hundred Dollars?

Companies developing new smart detectors think they should, but are the improvements a luxury or a necessity? You be the judge.

1. Expense Versus Performance

When comparing performance against the expense, you can be blinded by the technological gadgetry of smart detectors. True, most smart detectors can connect and communicate with your other smart devices, but does this bonus contribute to its effectiveness? Most reviewers don’t think so, claiming that a regular smoke detector functions and performs the same as a smart detector, without the bells and whistles.

2. Convenience Versus Luxury

The argument to buy or not to buy comes down to convenience versus luxury. A regular smoke alarm is a bargain find, costing around $20, but a smart detector can cost upward of $100. The inter-connectedness and advanced notifications equate to the increased price tag.

3. Technology Versus Necessity

Fire safety may be a necessity but is it necessary to shut off a detector from your phone or to be notified of a fire when you’re not home? These tools may be beneficial, but that does not mean they are necessary. Regular detectors have worked well for decades with simple batteries and buttons.

4. Preparation Versus Spontaneity

No matter your decision, you may want to invest in fire preparations because spontaneity puts both you and your property at risk. Many fire departments recommend having an evacuation plan in case of a fire and practicing that plan with your family monthly. Additionally, you may want to work with a company in Hanover Township, OH, that specializes in emergency planning as preparation for a crisis, like a fire.

A smoke alarm can be one of the wisest decisions you ever make, but do you need a smart alarm? All smoke detectors work the same way and, by many accounts, perform equally. The most significant differences between smart alarms and regular alarms are in the advanced notifications and ease of use, but does that make them worth the price tag? What do you think?

3 Benefits of Working With Certified Mold Services

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on corner of a wall If you have mold damage in your home, it's time to call the professionals.

Three Benefits Of Choosing Services That Are Certified

If you have mold in your home, it's time to call the professionals. Dealing with mold can be troublesome, but working with mold remediation services can make the process easier. How do you know which company to choose? There are many benefits of choosing certified mold professionals

1. Insurance Companies Prefer Mold Certification
According to IICRC standards, companies must do a lot to become certified. Insurance companies may prefer certified mold remediation companies to ensure better quality. If you are working with insurance to fix your mold problems, this may be a requirement.

2. Services Are Ready and Prepared To Fix Mold Problems
Services that become certified have all the qualifications to ensure a job well done. They also have all the tools necessary to fix any kind of mold issue in the home. If you choose a company that is not certified, they may not remove mold in the best possible way due to a lack of tools or resources. Certification ensures a level of trust that other companies may not be able to give without proof of mold remediation expertise.

3. Results Are Expected To Be High-Quality
As mentioned above, certified mold services must meet certain standards and therefore can do a great job at helping you fix your mold growth problem. By choosing a certified company, you ensure the best quality of remediation. This is necessary to prevent future mold problems from occurring, and you can be reassured that they will use the best practices and methods to remove mold for good.
Mold growth is never wanted inside the home. A certified mold service may be the best professional option. Your insurance company may prefer certification anyway, as it proves the expertise of the services you work with. When choosing a service, be sure to find out if they are certified.

Q2 2021 Franchise Teammate One Team MVP Finalist Dylan Riddle

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

a man We are beyond proud to have Dylan as part of our SERVPRO family.

Dylan Riddle has been the job file coordinator with SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati and West Hamilton/Oxford for more than three years. There he has taken his work ethic, knowledge, and positive attitude to help improve his franchise's job cycle times and audit scores. While he rarely works in the field, customers often compliment the customer service when working with Dylan. His help was even on display during the recent Winter Storm in Texas and Oklahoma as he provided help managing the influx of work during the event.

Dylan has been absolutely critical in the turnaround of our franchise. Approx. three years ago we realized we were one of the worst franchises in regard to upload scores and job cycle times. After spending the majority of the year in a "red light" status, we had to take action to correct these deficiencies. We made a significant amount of internal changes, however, we still struggled with our audit scores. Despite our efforts, we could not seem to grasp the process. Fortunately, Dylan came along and was able to quickly help us turn things around and surpass the very lofty goals I had set.

In June of 2019, he informed me we had reduced our office cycle time from 8+ days to 1.5 days, which surpassed our previously set goal of 2 days, all while raising our average audit score into the 90% range. On that same phone call, I had informed Dylan that our new goal was to get our office cycle times down to a point where it started with a decimal point (example .75 days). Without reservation he accepted this challenge and simply replied with, "yes sir, I will have some ideas emailed to you by tomorrow morning with some ways we can make it happen." He followed through with his commitment, and for 2020 our current office cycle times are .12 days with a 100% job audit score. I could honestly go on and on and name scenario after scenario where Dylan has met/exceeded established goals time after time. Dylan is a true team player and I could not think of anyone more deserving of the MVP award.

Do the right thing: Dylan seems to be intolerant of shortcuts or anything short of his best effort. It is reflected in his audit scores, as well as the positive feedback we receive from customers on a regular basis, which is impressive considering he rarely steps foot on many of our mitigation projects.  

Serve others: I have personally made some pretty insane requests at all hours and I have never heard any hesitation on his behalf. He is a true team player who is all about providing the best experience for the customer and taking actions to improve those around him.  

Stay positive: Anyone who spends five minutes on the phone with Dylan would immediately identify how incredibly positive he is. When Dylan first started with us, I reviewed all of his job files to ensure they were to our franchise's new standard. This is something we do with all employees, and usually after a week, each requested revision is usually met with some form of hesitation/frustration. However, I never experienced that with Dylan. This is very atypical, so when I asked him about it he responded with, "Boss I figured you were just trying to push me out of my comfort zone, so I have just turned it into a game to see if I can write an Xactimate where you can't find anything to add, and if I can't do that, I will at least make you work really hard to find something."

Hustle/Grind: Since Dylan is part of the administrative team, he is not expected to regularly perform his duties after hours or on the weekends, but that has not stopped him from working countless hours outside of his "normal hours." When we really started gaining traction and seeing the fruits of our focus on cycle times, we challenged Dylan to get our office time down to a metric that started with a decimal point, and that the goal was to get the number so low that when people read our numbers, they were equal parts confused and suspicious. Dylan took that request to heart, and to this day, if the production staff pulls equipment on a Saturday, he is in the office placing the finishing touches on the job file and submitting for billing. 

Collaborate: Dylan is a true believer of the ONE TEAM mentality and has helped or provided pointers to quite a few other franchises. During the most recent freeze event in Texas and Oklahoma, Dylan became a resource for Storm Team Wilson during the weekly admin webinars. He noticed the high volume of questions that seemed to be heading towards the unmanageable levels and quickly jumped to action and started fielding questions so that the members of Storm Team Wilson could address the more complex or dynamic questions.  

– Brandon Johnson, general manager, SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati

How To Conduct an Emergency Drill in a Commercial Building

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door People evacuating a building in Oxford, OH.

Steps To Run a Drill

A fire drill does not only prepare you and your employees for potential blazes in your commercial property. It can also help everyone learn how to evacuate the premises during major storms that damage the building.
Drills alert you to potential issues so you can correct them before an actual emergency occurs. Ideally, you should hold storm drills for your Oxford, OH, building at least twice annually. Here are some tips for making the most out of these drills.

1. Make an Evacuation Plan
Before you hold your next drill, ensure everyone in the office knows and understands the evacuation strategy. Map routes to the nearest exits and highlights the locations of the alarms. You should also create a communication system that keeps each employee informed about the status of the storm.

2. Set Goals
Judge your fire drill based on how long it takes everyone to evacuate the building and shut down the equipment. Set a realistic time frame for the completion of the drill and try to meet or beat that goal.

3. Rehearse
Start by doing a walkthrough of the drill with members of the emergency response team. Then hold the drill with as many of your employees as possible.
Once everyone has mastered the basic evacuation strategy, try adding some obstacles such as broken elevators and blocked stairwells. To make the drill even more realistic, have a designated employee practice calling 911 and/or cleanup and restoration professionals.

4. Observe
Have a few members of your team observe the drill in its entirety. They should specifically look for behaviors or problems that could be dangerous during a real storm. These individuals can then hold a debriefing after the drill to discuss anything that went wrong.
The above steps should help you run an efficient and effective fire drill. This way, if a severe storm forces you and your employees to evacuate, everyone will understand what to do.

4 Critical Components of Fire Preparation for a Business

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation and debris on the floor after fire damage in a building, walls and a door have boarded up Board up services to a building in Hamilton, OH.

Fire Preparation Should Cover These 4 Critical Areas

A business fire happens hundreds of times each day in the U.S. Many of the blazes are caused by cooking incidents, even in office buildings. Electrical malfunctions cause many other fires. Every company should have a sound fire preparation plan to either prevent a fire or to mitigate its impact. A solid plan could save lives, reduce injuries and minimize property damage. 

1. Emergency Response. Everyone in the company should know the number to call for the fire department. The faster the crews arrive, the better they can minimize fire damage to a building in Hamilton, OH.

2. First Aid. While a business fire is capable of causing many serious injuries that are beyond the scope of most people, it can be beneficial to have some first aid supplies on hand, as well as provide some education to employees. Good fire management calls for the ability and the supplies to treat minor burns and other small injuries.

3. Fire Mitigation Equipment. Once a fire starts, there are numerous ways to contain the spread. Fire alarms and smoke detectors create a fast alert system that promotes a swift response. The quick use of a fire extinguisher can stop a small fire from turning into a larger one. Fire sprinklers in the facility can suppress a fire, making it easier for fire crews when they arrive.

4. Fire Restoration. A quality fire remediation company can minimize property damage in numerous ways. Certified technicians will restore valuable items through the use of advanced cleaning techniques. They will prevent additional and secondary damage by following the standards recommended by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification organization, an industry leader in the restoration field.
A business fire whether large or small presents many challenges to a company. A solid groundwork of preparation before a fire strikes can result in significant benefits.

3 Steps To Protect Your Pipes From Winter Storms

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

Pickup truck on winter season Be sure to contact professional water damage specialists as soon as possible.

Steps To Prepare Your Pipes For A Cold Season

Winter can be a tough time for businesses in Morgan Township, OH. When you are already worrying about snow and ice removal and keeping your customers and employees safe, you don't want to also be forced to deal with a burst pipe. Here are three steps to getting your pipes ready for a cold season.

Remove Water From Outside Lines
Draining water from any water lines that have direct exposure to extreme cold is imperative to keeping your system in good working order. Disconnect garden hoses and sprinkler supply lines. Close off your outdoor hose bibs:

  • Locate the shut-off valve and turn off the water supply.
  • Place a bucket under the spigot and turn the water on, allowing it to run until the water in the line is removed.
  • Leave the spigot open so that any water that may leak into the line is able to drip out instead of freezing in the line.

Insulate
A frozen pipe can end in disaster, with standing water that wreaks havoc on your building. Help prevent this by properly insulating your building and your plumbing. Be sure to pay special attention to areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas such as garages. Install pipe sleeves or heat tape as needed to help in these areas.

Keep Them Warm
Take additional precautions when you know extreme cold is coming. Keep garage and service doors closed and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes. Turn the water on to a trickle on any faucets served by exposed pipes. This will allow some water to move through the system to prevent freezing. If your efforts fail and a burst pipe results in a mess, be sure to contact professional water damage specialists as soon as possible to get a headstart on proper cleanup.
Don't let a burst pipe throw a wrench into your business plan. Follow these steps to get your plumbing ready for the cold winter weather.