Recent Posts

Is Your House Ready For Santa?

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

As we start December and get excited because the holidays are upon us, we must also keep in mind the importance of safety. Here are some tips to remember during the holidays.

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.

If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks or other furniture.

Prepare your car for the winter by checking items such as the brakes, spark plugs, battery, and tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval for a tune-up.

Refer to the link below for more safety tips.

http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments/Holiday-Safety-Tips.pdf

Fire Safety Week

10/5/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety week visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

 

SERVPRO of Washington, DC is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

Different types of disasters and emergencies happen in communities across the country, but there are key steps that every household can take to be better prepared for them. If you do nothing else this month, take time to create a disaster plan including an emergency escape plan.

Make a clear plan of what to do in an emergency and in case of an evacuation.

Identify clear roles for everyone in the house.

Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can happen at home, work, and school.

Make a list of all the important things you may forget when in an emergency.

Have a disaster kit assembled for everyone in the house.

Have an out of the area emergency contact person saved on a smartphone.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year, especially if you have kids or pets. This makes it a routine and can make a real emergency situation less stressful.

According to the Red Cross there are many disaster apps now available for smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded to help with emergencies. Some of these apps include a full emergency app, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire and flood apps. If any of these disasters are common in your areas I would recommend downloading the corresponding app. With these apps you can know when to evacuate, where a shelter may be located, and exactly where the disaster occurred.

Go to: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps for more information

Areas in your house that mold can hide from you

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Happy 40 year anniversary!

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

Forty years ago, John and Nancy Hargrove acquired SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac with no idea as to how successful they would become. John started working for SERVPRO three years prior to becoming an owner as a crew chief. At that time this franchise only handled carpet and upholstery cleaning as well as water losses. Over the years, John has gained extensive knowledge on how different aspects of the business should be run effectively and is certified in all areas of mitigation and restoration. As a working owner, John has gained the respect and admiration of his peers and competitors by being a “hands on owner”, present in the daily operations of the business.  

Since the day it was acquired, SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac has helped countless families and businesses recover from unexpected disasters. We were brought on for an extensive part of the clean-up and restoration of the Pentagon after 9/11.  Whether you have a problem with water damage, fire damage, or need a cleaning service we have had you covered through the years.

We have been consistently expanding our franchises as well as our equipment over the years. John and Nancy Hargrove now own 5 franchises in total including Bethesda/Potomac, Washington DC, Chevy Chase/Silver Spring, College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover.  Now, in addition to Water Damage Restoration, we are able to serve a vast majority of the Washington Metropolitan area with Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, Odor Control, Biohazard/Trauma Cleanup as well as Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning.

Today, SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac has a 40,000 square foot warehouse full of equipment, a fleet of vehicles, and a crew of highly trained technicians who are on call 24/7, ready for whatever disaster comes next.

We have paved the way in these 40 years.  Here’s to many more years to come!

SERVPRO Named to Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List for 7th Consecutive Year

8/25/2016 (Permalink)

 SERVPRO, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 13th consecutive year and moves up to the number four spot overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. This is the seventh consecutive year SERVPRO has been included in the magazine's Top 10 list, standing out in a group of more than 951 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list.

Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 selection process uses "objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation" to help would-be entrepreneurs identify franchise investment opportunities. Some of the most important factors considered by Entrepreneur in developing the list each year are "financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system."

"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:

  • SERVPRO's strength as a brand with a national footprint, wide-spread market penetration, laser-focused brand messaging, and the ability to create national partnerships with organizations such as the PGA TOUR and the American Red Cross.
  • SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.
  • SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.

Steen adds, "One of the potential pitfalls of growing too quickly is outpacing your capacity to train and support the franchisees. SERVPRO is a conservative company, and early on we took the time to build a strong system and put the building blocks in place to support growth without sacrificing support to our franchisees." "Today," Steen continues, "as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com/.

Back To School Home Safety

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

As we are nearing the end of August, and parents are enjoying their last few days before school we can only think of the many safety tips that parents should consider around the house.

In the Kitchen:

 -Are knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp tools in a drawer with a childproof latch?

 -Are glass objects and appliances with sharp blades stored out of reach?

 -Are matches and lighters stored in a locked cabinet

 In Bedrooms:

-Are window blind and curtain cords tied with clothespins or specially designed cord clips?

 -Is there a smoke alarm outside the bedroom?

 In Bathrooms:

 -Are razor blades, nail scissors, and other sharp tools stored in a locked cabinet?

 -Are all medication bottles, loose pills, coins, scissors, and any other small or sharp objects out of reach?

 - Are all bleaches, detergents, and any other cleaning products out of reach?

 Electrical:

 -Have you checked for and removed other potential electrical fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running under carpets?

 -Are all unused outlets covered with safety plugs?

Flooding

8/16/2016 (Permalink)

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Why Trusting a Restoration Professional After a Fire Is So Important

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

August Ladder Safety

8/8/2016 (Permalink)

General August Ladder Safety LADDER SAFETY TIPS

As the summer comes to an end and people are having work done to get ready for fall such as; paint jobs, cleaning gutters, one should pay careful attention to the following ladder safety tips.

Ladder climbing takes place in almost every home and workplace. 

Falls off ladders are near the top in causes of fatal work related injuries in the construction industry and the third leading cause in all industries combined.

- Be sure to inspect the ladder before using it. Check for broken or missing parts, as well as grease, oil or other substances that could result in a slippery surface.

- To ensure stability, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure it is not near any electrical wires or power lines.

 -  When setting up the ladder, use the 4 to 1 rule. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet away from the wall.

 -  Before climbing the ladder, make sure the braces are fully extended and locked in place. Never climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder, and never try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location. Descend and relocate the ladder instead.  

-When working from a ladder, stay in the center and do not reach more than a comfortable arm’s length away. Keep your feet braced against the side rails and lean slightly forward.

-Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

-Whenever possible, work within sight of someone who could provide assistance in the event of an emergency.