Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season in Lawrence, KS
Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the other items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season- however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
- Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or before going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed to not tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire- like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper, or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains- away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
Did you know the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve? Follow these tips to help keep your property and family safe this holiday season and call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa if you are in need of water or fire remediation services.
50% of Eudora, KS Business Never Reopen after a Natural Disaster
According to a major insurance company, one out of two Lawrence businesses never returns to the marketplace following a major disaster. Of those that do, half go bankrupt within three years. The businesses that survive plan their response to a disaster before it strikes.
And the property losses from hurricanes, floods, fires, and other disasters are staggering. Insured losses due to natural disaster in the United States in the first half of 2015 totaled $12.6 billion. That's according to a July 2015 presentation by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute.
Pre-planning can serve as a type of "insurance policy" that provides your Lawrence commercial business with peace of mind. And knowing you are "ready for whatever happens" builds trust among your clients and employees that in the event your Lawrence business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
Create a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your commercial 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.
An Emergency Ready Profile can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. At no charge, here's what completing the profile provides for you:
A no cost assessment of your business facility- you pay nothing to have SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa assess the storm-readiness of your commercial building.
A concise document with the critical information you need in an emergency- it takes less than 30 minutes to complete an Emergency Ready Profile. It won't take you away from current projects. But building your emergency plan will save a lot of time if a disaster strikes.
A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster- you cut costs because the profile can help reduce the time your Lawrence business will be inactive. Most business owners don't realize that the biggest cost businesses hit by a natural disaster is not the cost of the cleanup or renovations. By far, the biggest cost is having to close your Lawrence business down while the repairs are made. Many businesses lose tens of thousands of dollars for every day they are closed. We specialize in getting businesses back in business fast.
A firm relationship with SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider- you gain the assurance of having a local provider who is recognized as an industry leader, knows your needs, and will respond quickly in an emergency.
A faster path to mitigation by identifying your line of command for authorizing work to begin- you save valuable time when SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa immediately knows we can begin work of mitigating the damage to your business. Your cleanup and restoration can happen in the most efficient and effective manner.
A detailed listing of critical facility information- you have in one place a reference for details like all shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. You gain a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call so you're "ready for whatever happens."
We're here to Help
The team at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa has specialized training and experience in virtually all aspects of cleaning up after damage caused by water, sewer, fire, smoke, wind, or other natural disasters. Create your own Emergency Ready Profile with us now. Preparation today could save you days of business interruption and help keep the cost of any damage from a disaster down.
Insuring your Lawrence, KS Home against Fire Damage
Fire Insurance Coverage
Depending on what type of property insurance you have, you may already be covered for a fire. Providers offer different coverage options so it’s important that you review your details carefully and understand exactly what kind of protection you have.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average fire claim is in excess of $37,150. The two most common ways to insure your home against fires are standard home insurance and dwelling fire coverage.
Standard Home Insurance
If you are a Lawrence homeowner, your mortgage likely requires you to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. These standard home insurance policies typically cover fire damage. They might also protect your personal contents such as furniture, electronics, or other personal possessions.
Many policies will also include loss of use coverage. If your Lawrence home becomes uninhabitable due to a claim that is covered in your policy, your loss of use coverage will kick in. Under this type of coverage, the insurance company may reimburse you for your extra living expenses while your home is in the process of being either repaired or rebuilt.
If you live in an apartment or if you rent your home, the landlord likely will have purchased coverage for the building. However, you’ll be responsible for protecting your own belongings. Standard renters policies are relatively cheap and can provide coverage for your personal property in the event of a fire.
Dwelling Fire Coverage
Dwelling fire coverage is generally less comprehensive than standard home insurance. Similar to standard home insurance it protects the building itself and other structures on the property. It also generally offers loss of use coverage if you have to relocate for a period of time. However, this type of insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings or personal liability protection. Dwelling fire coverage is generally best used to protect a vacation home or a vacant home where you’ll have less of your personal belongings around.
How to File a Claim
Before filing your claim on a fire, you should take photos of the damage. Having the proper documentation available can make the process of filing the claim go much smoother.
After you have all the damage surveyed and documented, it’s time to contact the insurer and file the claim. The insurer will send a claims adjuster to your Lawrence property to assess the damage and put together a cost estimate.
Once the claims adjuster has finished assessing the damage the repairs can begin on the property. Depending on the damage, repairs to your property could take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. Throughout the ordeal, it’s important to stay organized. Keep all emails, invoices, estimates, and any other documentation you may have received that relates to the damage.
Another way to make the process smoother is to have a full, up-to-date inventory detailing all of the items in your home. If you happen to lose everything in the fire, this inventory can help you to remember all the items that you need replaced. In case your list happens to be destroyed in the fire as well, you should keep an electronic copy of the inventory that you can pull up if needed. If you prefer, there are some home inventory apps that you can download on your smartphone.
Prevent Fires before They Start
No matter how prepared you are, a fire always has the potential to occur. But basic knowledge of fire safety can significantly reduce the chances that one will destroy your home. It’s important that you have basic fire safety knowledge and outfit your home with fire safety equipment.
Smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers can prevent a small fire from turning into flames that engulf your home. Having fire safety equipment can also help you to save money on your home insurance premium. Many home insurance providers will offer discounts if you have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems installed in your Lawrence home.
It’s also important to make sure your entire family understands the basics of fire safety. Some basics to include are an evacuation plan, knowledge of potential fire causes, and a copy of the NFPA’s tips from the fire safety information section of their website.
Regardless of how prepared you are, a fire is always a possibility in your home. So it’s important to have insurance that will cover you should something happen. If you do suffer a fire, have the professionals at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa come and restore your home and possessions.
SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa is a Team you can Trust
Whether it’s your Lawrence home or office – we all need a little backup especially in an emergency! You never know what you’ll need. Lucky for you, we do! Floods, mold, fire damage or just regular cleaning; you have to have a company you can trust. And even more importantly – people you can count on 24/7. Look no further! You KNOW you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa!
Do you know why? Because the SERVPRO team is in the top ten franchises of 2016! Even better – according to Entrepreneur, SERVPRO is ranked #4 out of 500! WOW! And to top it all off we’re #1 in our industry – and we have been for the last ten years!
Want to know a little more about how we got our start? Believe it or not SERVPRO actually started in 1967 as a painting business. Two years later, the founders Ted and Doris Isaacson began franchising SERVPRO as a cleaning and restoration company. Then finally in 1988 they decided to make the move and left Sacramento, California to expand their business in Gallatin, Tennessee – all in order to be within 600 miles of 50% of the U.S. population.
Our team at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa specialize in disaster restoration, offering cleanup and repairs to both Lawrence commercial and Lawrence residential customers whose property has suffered fire or water damage. We also offer mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct and HVAC cleaning and so much more!
We’ve been in the cleaning and restoration business for quite a while now– so we know what we’re doing. Let us be your backup– download our “Ready Plan” app and put our number on speed dial. In an emergency, you need a team you can trust– we’ve got your back!
Electrical Fires and your Lecompton, KS Business
According to the US Department of Energy, people use electricity to charge their cell phones and laptops, wash and dry their clothes, cook meals, brew their morning coffee and heat their businesses. Electrical power keeps people connected and allows people to do what they need to do. Even though most Americans recognize the benefits that come with electrical power, they must also understand that there is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously to avoid injury or possible disaster.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 50,000 fires in the home are attributed to electrical fires. These have resulted in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries. The damage that has been done has totaled more than $1.3 billion. Obviously, being careless with electrical power has very serious consequences.
The experts at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa recommend that individuals follow these safety measures in their business to reduce the risk of electrical fires:
- Inspect your Lawrence business for loose wires, faulty wiring, and shorts. If there are any issues, contact a qualified electrician. Also, use safety covers on outlets to protect children.
- Make sure there are smoke detectors on each level of your Lawrence business. Test them each month to make sure they are working properly.
- If electrical equipment is making strange sounds or has a weird odor, turn them off. If there is water damage on your Lawrence property, make sure that an expert inspects all electrical appliances. Do not plug then in or turn them on until they are safe. When water has damaged electrical appliances, they can be very dangerous.
- Use safe cord practices. When cords are loose, frayed or cracked, repair them or replace them. Never place cords in high traffic areas, under rugs, or stapled to surfaces. Additional outlets can be installed by an electrician if necessary. Extension cords should only be utilized temporarily.
- Light bulb wattage should be correct for the appliance being used.
- During spring cleaning and while working near service meters or electrical lines, use caution. Consider hiring a professional to do the work if it is dangerous.
- Flammable items should be kept away from electrical appliances.
- Consider installing an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to reduce the chances of electrical fire in your Lawrence business.
- Avoid using electrical power tools outside after it has rained, or the area is wet. Never operate electrical equipment while barefoot.
- Do not allow children to climb trees near power lines. Reduce risk of electrical-related injuries by keeping balloons, kites, and other items away from overhead lines.
Prevention is the best method to keep your family and property safe. If you have experienced property damage because of fire, you can rely on SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa.
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile in Clinton, KS
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your Lawrence business are “Ready for whatever happens”.
In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO ERP, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your Lawrence facility. The Emergency Ready Profile is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your Lawrence business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations, and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or tablet.
The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years’ experience and a System nearly 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your Lawrence business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.
50%: The percent of businesses that may never reopen after suffering a disaster.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.
The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa to establish your Emergency READY Profile.
Understanding NWS Forecast Terms in Lawrence, KS
(Courtesy: National Weather Service/NOAA, Department of Commerce)
Since SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa does 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup we definitely keep an eye on the weather. Each time it rains or storms we can get a wide range of phone calls from overflowing sump pumps to leaky windows and roofs, so it’s important for us to follow and understand Weather Forecast Terminology. Here’s some helpful information that should help you understand what all those weather terms mean.
Understanding the terminology behind weather forecasts is an integral part of our everyday decision-making. Below are common weather terms and their meanings.
Sky condition describes the predominant/average sky condition based upon the amount of sky covered by opaque (not transparent) clouds.
Sunny or Clear: 0-5% cloud cover
Sunny or Mostly Clear: 6-25% cloud cover
Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy: 26-50% cloud cover
Partly Sunny or Mostly Cloudy: 51-69% cloud cover
Mostly Cloudy/Considerable Cloudiness: 70-87% cloud cover
Cloudy or Overcast: 88-100% cloud cover
Wind describes the prevailing direction from which the wind is blowing with speed in miles per hour. The numbers may vary in other parts of the country due to variation in terrain and elevation.
Sustained Wind Speed
0-5 mph: Light, light and variable or calm
5-20 mph: No description used
15-25 mph: Breezy
20-30 mph: Windy
30-40 mph: Very Windy
40-73 mph: Strong, dangerous high winds
74 mph or greater: Hurricane force
Forecast temperature describes the forecast maximum and minimum temperatures or in some cases, the temperature expected at a specific time. Temperature is reported in degrees Fahrenheit.
Near 40: Approaching 40 or a range from 38 to 42
Around 85: Range of temps from 83 to 87
Lower 50’s: Temperatures of 50 through 53
Middle 70’s: Temperatures of 74 through 76
Upper 30’s: Temperatures of 37 through 39
60’s: Temperatures of 60 through 69
Probability of Precipitation (PoP)
Probability of Precipitation (PoP) is the likelihood of measurable precipitation (or water equivalent of frozen) precipitation falling during a specified period in the forecast area. Measurable precipitation is equal to or greater than 0.01 inch (0.2 mm) over a period of 12 hours, unless specified otherwise.
At times, NWS forecasters may use “occasional” or “periods of” to describe a precipitation event that has a high probability of occurrence, i.e., they expect any given location in a forecast area to most likely have precipitation, but it will be of an “on and off” nature.
20%: Slight chance
80-100%: Rain/Snow, etc.
Information shared from the NWS website.
6 Signs that your Lawrence, KS Property may have Undetected Water Damage
Unfortunately, water can flow to any area of your Lawrence home once a structural defect or natural disaster strikes your property. Water damage can be an expensive and upsetting result of this unwanted water. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa suggestions, that by reading the following tell-tale signs of water intrusion you may recognize and stymie the onslaught of extensive and expensive water damage to your home.
- Unpleasant Smells
When hidden residual water or moisture accumulates on your property, it can initiate the growth of mold and mildew. This will produce an earthy, musty odor which functions as a red flag that unseen water damage is present on your property.
- Visual Signs of Mold Growth
Mold spores are microscopic, lying dormant in most homes, and will eventually produce mold colonies when provided with moisture. Food sources – cellulose materials and other organics are readily available. When the moisture comes in contact with dormant spores, the active mold growth process will begin. If you note any fuzzy discolorations in isolated corners or voids, and are not sure if mold is growing, you should have these spaces professionally inspected. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa will visit your property to offer complimentary advice.
- Stains on Walls and Ceilings
When water seeps into subflooring and the spaces between the levels of your structure, it will generate water stains as it starts to saturate the adjacent ceiling or wall board. This form of water damage can be a precursor to widening problems.
- Peeling Paint or Wallpaper
These can happen to your walls as water wicks and lifts the paint or loosens the paste securing the wallpaper. The water or moisture source should be discovered and repaired immediately.
- Sagging Walls and Ceilings
Saturated ceiling materials or drywall can appear to be displaced because of the added weight of water. Once this happens, the structures can start to buckle and deform. When walls and ceilings become soaked with water, they pose a safety hazard from falling. Don’t ignore any tell-tale signs of water absorption into porous drywall.
- Floor Effects
Water seeks its lowest level when allowed to flow. The flooring is the usual endpoint as water can collect beneath ceramic or vinyl tile (also damaging subfloor sheathing), carpets and padding. Newly manufactured laminate flooring is particularly susceptible to water damage. If your subfloor becomes completely soaked, restoring rather than replacing the materials becomes more remote. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa makes every effort to remove the water and dry out these flooring materials, but often they are non-salvageable and must be safely discarded.
Lawrence, KS Commercial Water Restoration and Cleanup
There’s no such thing as a small disaster- especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot, or other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your Lawrence property. Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your Lawrence commercial property.
SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa knows how disruptive water damage can be for your Lawrence business. Our team is trained and equipped to manage the drying process from start to finish. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your Lawrence commercial building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help with secondary damages! With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa can help you regain control quickly, by helping ensure your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized, and protected.
Before you risk further damaging the value of your commercial facility by attempting to clean the mess yourself, give SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa a call.
Safety First before the Feast in Eudora, KS
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking-related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday in Lawrence.
- Never leave cooking food unattended- stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or boiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
- Keep anything flammable like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generate heat.
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like the stove, ovens, and toasters are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.