October is National Fire Safety Month
October is Fire Prevention Month and is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Fire Prevention Month actually started as National Fire Prevention Day as declared by President Woodrow Wilson in 1922 and has evolved into a week or month long observance of the issues associated with Fire Safety.
The event which inspired the longest running public safety and health campaign on record was The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which started on October 8, 1871. The fire lasted for three days and killed more than 300 people and left more than 100,000 people homeless. It burned more than 2,000 acres and destroyed about 17,400 structures and was reportedly started in a barn. It caused an estimated $200 million in damages and legends of its cause range from a cow kicking over a lantern in a barn to human error and even a meteor. The worst destruction occurred on October 9 and this is why the national campaign always begins around this time. An area a mile wide and four miles long were left in ruin in its aftermath. Historically, it is still one of the worst American disasters on record.
In 2000, the NFPA extended the Fire Prevention Week to include the entire month of October and most Fire Departments, schools, libraries and utility companies participate in spreading the word about Fire Safety and Prevention.
SERVPRO of Sussex County is happy to offer its ongoing support to all of the local Fire Departments and we will be participating in the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company 2018 Fire Safety and Awareness Program on Sunday October 6 at the bandstand just off the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. This four hour event from noon until 4 pm will feature this year's Fire Safety Campaign "NOT EVERY HERO WEARS A CAPE – Plan and Practice Your Escape.”
Children of all ages are welcome. Come see the firetrucks, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and many more of the public servants that work hard every day to help keep you and your families safe.
Be Ready with ERP!
More than 50% of businesses close down following a disaster; and many never reopen. This 50% or more suffer from the same symptoms; lack of planning and preparation. They also have failed to learn the lesson learned by every other business who either weathered an emergency or lost some assets or everything. Of the businesses that typically do survive; the majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Think of the pre=planning as an insurance policy. Just as having auto insurance gives us peace of mind when we drive; an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) gives a business peace of mind when facing the challenges of nature and everyday life.
An ERP will speak trust to your employees and your customers and instill a sense that your company is ready for whatever happens.
SERVPRO offers an ERP that will minimize downtime and replace business interruption with an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do, when to do it and who to call is essential in the critical time prior to an emergency. The ERP is a start-up approach that offers critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery. It provides a quick reference to important building and contact information. SERVPRO applies more than 40 years of experience in dealing with both natural and man- made disasters to each ERP.
The SERVPRO ERP provides the following:
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. This requires minimal effort to complete and offers maximum time savings in an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- It establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- It identifies the line or chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
- It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Call SERVPRO at 302-856-9768 Today and Let’s get your business READY!
Be Prepared for Severe Weather!
Severe Weather Tips
When severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property. It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it. In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain. There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.
- Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.
- Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
- Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
- Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
- Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
- If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.
NOTE: ACCORDING TO NOAA – IF YOU ARE AWARE OF WHAT WEATHER EVENT IS ABOUT TO IMPACT YOU – YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE SUCH AN EVENT. NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR THEIR WEBSITE IS THE BEST SOURCE FOR ACCURATE WEATHER INFORMATION.
If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life! Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.
Hurricane Facts for Delaware
As Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida, residents of Delaware may wonder just how much of a threat any storm may pose to our state. Although tropical storms and hurricanes can bring devastation, death and destruction – historically Delaware is a very fortunate. In fact, if you research as far back as 1785 – there have only been two named storms which actually brought hurricane force winds to the state. Those two storms were Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012. Storms in 1878 and 1903 also caused hurricane force winds; however we did not begin naming hurricanes until 1953 when only female names were used. This changed in 1979 again when we began offering both male and female names for hurricanes.
Most catastrophic storms can bring a high death toll as well and we tend to remember the storms that caused the most loss of life. Another interesting fact is that the state o f Delaware has only incurred around only 270 deaths from storms since 1785. During the same period in the state of Florida – there were well over 10,000 deaths! Hurricane Andrew alone killed 65 people in FL.
Perhaps we are fortunate or just plain lucky. With science predicting many more storms each season; it may just be a matter of time until Delaware has major storm damage. One thing is certain – we should learn the lesson on how these storms have affected others and always be prepared and vigilant. It is easy to say” Delaware is rarely in the eye of the storm.” Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Is Water Damage Hiding In Your Home?
The top 5 places water damage may be hiding in your home
Here at SERVPRO, we know the dangers of undetected water damage. Building materials such as
insulation, wood, drywall, and subflooring can quickly develop fungal growth and rot when
saturated with water. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not know that water is causing
damage until it is too late.
a. Windows are a common spot to find water leaks. Typically, rainwater seeps into
the home between the window sash and jamb. Water can then trickle down
behind the walls, potentially saturating the framing, studs, and drywall. If left for a
long period of time, rot can begin to form on wood materials. Repairing structural
damage such as this can be expensive.
2. Beneath the dishwasher or behind tubs and showers
a. Anywhere water lines run through your walls is a prime spot for leaks to develop.
We commonly receive calls from customers who notice stains or mold forming
around their showers or tubs. In some cases, water will pool beside a fixture, or
you may notice the floor becoming spongy due to continual water leaks. The best
way to avoid this type of damage is to make sure your fixtures are properly
installed and sealed to prevent water from flowing into the wall behind them.
3. Under poorly sealed toilet
a. You’ve probably been to a home with a wobbly toilet before. Any time a toilet
shifts away from its point of installation, the seal on the wax ring surrounding the
base can become compromised. If there is a problem with the wax seal, you may
notice water pooling near the base. Addiotionally, you may notice that the toilet is
wobbly because the floor itself is becoming spongy due to rot. This is sign of
advanced water damage that should be addressed quickly.
4. Behind drywall after flooding
a. We work in Sussex County and know that flooding can cause severe damage to
your home. Flooding after heavy rain brings groundwater with a high
concentration of organic material into your home. These contaminants greatly
increase the risk of fungal growth and other health problems. Even water from a
supply line will carry whatever has been sitting on your floors into contact with
newly damp, porous drywall. Anytime waters rise above floor level
you should replace all the drywall along the lower portion of the wall and
consider treating the framing that remains.
5. Inside of an HVAC unit
This is a very common source of water damage during summer months when AC use it
high. Indoor HVAC units use a shallow drip pan to collect condensed water which forms while
the AC is in use. The water is then funneled into a condensation line to drain out of the home. If
there is any sort of obstruction to the line, water will accumulation in the pan until it overflows.
This is a very common cause of residential water damage, and can lead to mold forming in the
AC, as well as damage to other materials in the case of an overflow. You should check your AC
drip pan occasionally to ensure that water is draining as it should.
If you discover water damage and need help restoring your home or property, SERVPRO of
Sussex County is one call away. We will work with you to restore your home to its preloss
condition. Call SERVPRO of Sussex County today for a free inspection.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down…..It’s Still Hurricane Season!
Some scientists predict more cyclone activity will occur in both the Atlantic and Pacific due to global climate change. A recent report from NOAA predicts that we should expect at least 12 tropical storms with 6 becoming hurricanes at this half way point in the season. Typically, we see more local storm activity from August through October. Although we have not had any major storm threats this year – we are still located along the central east coast which generally means that we are in an area of risk.
The greatest threats we face from a tropical storm or hurricane are storm surge and flooding from heavy rains. Most of Sussex County is located at or below sea level which means any heavy rain or storm surge can cause damage to coastal properties. If strong winds are present; this can be a threat to the coast and other areas. Strong winds are especially dangerous for manufactured homes.
Torrential rains associated with a hurricane or tropical storm will typically affect homes that are located well inland as well. Although strong winds will generally cause significant damage; the leading cause of deaths has historically come from storm surge and flooding. There are many other bodies of water in Sussex County that compound the issue of storm surge; such as bays, rivers and estuaries. Looking back at previous local storms; we have seen Rt. 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach become obstructed with flood water and in many cases has become impassable.
SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to help in the event of any storm. We have the personnel and resources to restore your property to its original state. We advise that everyone pay close attention to the weather and always heed the warnings as they appear on your smart phone. Stay safe!
SERVPRO of Sussex County has offered our support to the majority of fire victims in our community. We have helped with house fires as well as fires that have affected local businesses. Fortunately, most have not involved a major loss of life and typically we have offered restoration services for the external and internal structure as well as its contents. A recent fire occurred in Long Neck that caused a loss so great it is difficult to describe. Three very young children perished. They were each under six years of age. Even if you are not a parent as am I; the sadness is so deep it sickens anyone with a soul. A photo was posted online and these children appeared radiant and beautiful. They looked so full of life and joy and with their whole lives ahead of them – and why wouldn’t they be?
The enemy is fire and we should all learn to respect the terrible power it has to consume life if not controlled. If the fire itself does not cause harm the smoke will. This double edged hazard shows no discrimination and can take the lives of both young and old. Over 1450 lives are lost to fires each year and 2/3 of those deaths were due to missing or non-functioning smoke detectors. Proper and functioning smoke detectors save thousands of lives each year; however these detectors require regular care to keep them functional and when you consider these three little children and what may have been saved – this is a no brainer. Install and inspect your smoke detectors to keep you and your family safe and don’t ever assume that a fire won’t happen to you. SERVPRO of Sussex County donates hundreds of smoke detectors every year and we support every fire department in our county. Almost every local fire department offers fire safety seminars and sessions. In light of this most terrible recent tragedy – it is critical that we all - Learn Not to Burn.
If It's Thunder......Expect The Lightning!
The forecast warns there will be a chance of thunderstorms, but the weather is balmy and slightly cloudy. As evening draws near, you hear the distant rumbling of thunder and catch a flash of lighting on the horizon. Recently, a powerful lightning storm rattled the Sussex County region. It lasted several hours as it moved over the county. Large storms bring added dangers to homeowners. Strong winds can cause trees and branches to damage your property and home. Lightning itself can pose a significant fire risk should it make contact with your home.
The morning after the storm, SERVPRO of Sussex County received multiple calls from homeowner’s who had become the victims of storm damage. We were quick to send two technicians out to investigate and assist the homeowners in determine the best course of action. Upon arrival, we discovered that two homes had been struck by the same bolt of lightning. It had diverged and started electrical fires in both homes. The local fire department was quick to respond and put out the fire in the late hours of the night. As we performed our inspection, it was clear that there was extensive smoke damage to the interior of one of the homes. This was caused by burning wiring, wood, and other building materials. The remaining fumes and debris posed a serious health risk to the families living there, and we recommended they limit their time in the home until it could be properly restored.
While statistically unlikely to occur, home lightning strikes can cause significant damage to your home. If you live in an area that regularly experiences strong storms, there are a few things you can do help protect your property. One of the most effective ways for homeowners to do this is by installing a home lightning protection system. These are items such as:
? lightning rods
? main conductors
? surge protectors
For an additional level of protection, unplug your electronics during electrical storms. This will prevent any power surges from affecting them. Lastly, consult with a representative from your homeowners or renter’s insurance company. Make sure that you are covered and know how to handle a claim when the time comes. If you have experienced fire damage and are looking for a trustworthy restoration partner to service your home or business, look no further than SERVPRO of Sussex County!
We Are Family!
Sussex County is where our family is. Our family of customers. Our family of co-workers. Our family of friends and neighbors. For more than 25 years we have served this family and they represent all that we are. We are invested in the future of our community and the needs of our customers. Throughout our 26 years of service to the residents and businesses of Sussex County, the SERVPRO mission has never changed. We serve the people, businesses, and organizations that make our community great. Whether you live in Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Georgetown, Seaford, Laurel, Millsboro, Bridgeville, Milford or Ocean View you can rely on us! Our staff of IICRC certified technicians is equipped with the latest technology and tools and have tackled all sorts of water, fire, mold and storm challenges. SERVPRO of Sussex County are the cleaning experts. We aid a variety of local organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics DE, Boys & Girls Club, Breast Cancer Awareness, and DE Little League. We are active participants of Western Sussex, Georgetown, Millsboro, Lewes, Rehoboth-Dewey, and Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce organizations. We are proud of our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. SERVPRO of Sussex County will help you as well when you need our services. Our community knows that we will be there for them fast and ready!
The Customer is King!
When SERVPRO of Sussex County responds to your restoration or cleaning needs, we make it a priority to deliver excellent customer service throughout your time with us. The situations our customers need us for are often stressful and complicated. In many cases, our customers find out their property is in trouble while they are away. In a situation such as this, choosing a resourceful restoration company is essential. As a customer service representative, it is crucial to build a trusting, reliable relationship with our customers while we walk them through the restoration process. Your peace of mind is important to us.
How does SERVPRO of Sussex County establish a professional relationship with our customers? It begins the first time we speak with you. When you call our office, our staff will take the time to discuss the full scope of your problem and assign the most qualified technician to assess the situation. Our technicians are professional and experienced. When SERVPRO inspects your home or business, they will determine the appropriate solution and take into consideration any special requirements you may have. As your job moves forward and service begins at your property, we will maintain contact with you. Within 24hrs of initial service, we will call you to make sure any questions you have are addressed as soon as possible. We will continue to provide updates as your job progresses, and ensure your needs are met throughout your time as our customer.
The SERVPRO team has experience accommodating customers through every step of the process. We work closely with insurance providers, provide detailed information to help you pick the best reconstruction contractors, and maintain flexibility with your schedule. If you are looking for a trustworthy restoration partner to service your home or business, look no further than SERVPRO of Sussex County!
For more information call us at 302-856-9768 today!