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Put a Stop to Wintertime House Fires | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/19/2020 (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 SE Waukesha County/West Franklin will be here to help.

Put a Stop to Wintertime House Fires | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

No matter what the season is, fire safety is an important focus. However, as we approach the winter season, it is something that should be put in even more focus. Winter house fires are common according to the Red Cross, and many traditional winter and holiday activities are easily conducive to an accidental fire starting.

With more people utilizing their kitchen, it is no surprise that kitchen accidents are the top cause of house fires both in winter and during the rest of the year, but there are also heating and electrical accidents to contend with, too. Fortunately, with the following tips you can still celebrate your holidays safely.

Celebrate the Holidays Without House Fires

Keep safe when cooking. Getting together for large meals or enjoying baked goods as a family is quintessential to winter, but it can also mean more cooking and baking incidents have the chance to occur. Whenever you are in the kitchen, practice safety by being cautious about what is near the stove that could be flammable and always have a fire extinguisher within reach in case things get out of hand.

Heat the house with proper precautions. When there is a chill in the air, most of us like to supplement our central heating systems with space heaters or fireplaces, but these can present hazards if you are not careful. For space heaters, be sure you are using a current model with built in safety features to avoid issues with overheating or tipping. For fireplaces, always get your chimney inspected before your first fire of the season and never leave on burning unattended.

Decorate with care. Holiday lights and other decorations are fun and festive, but as they sit in storage for the rest of the year, they can develop problems. Around 25% of Christmas tree fires are due to lights, often because of fraying that develops when they are stored. Additionally, fires can start if too many decorations are plugged into a single power strip or if they are left to burn overnight or when otherwise unattended.

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.

Beginning the Road to Recovery After a Disaster Impacts Your Business | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

insurance policies binders and pen sitting on black table in large conference room SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Beginning the Road to Recovery After a Disaster Impacts Your Business | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

When you are the owner of a business, you know how important it is to consider all possibilities when making a decision, but often, people tend to leave the possibility of a natural disaster out of their planning. Disasters are unpredictable and can strike anywhere—and for small businesses, they can be a devastating force that hinders their operations, even forcing permanent closures in some situations.

Planning ahead is key to mitigating this risk and ensuring you are able to quickly and fully recover from a disaster. Once you have your evacuation and safety plans in place for you and your employees, it is wise to begin thinking through what you would do in the aftermath so you can be truly ready for anything that might come your way.

Be Ready for Anything With Natural Disaster Planning for Your Business

See if you are able to file an insurance claim and contact your restoration company. Though commercial insurance can be useful for certain types of damage, there are often many things that are not covered. It is best to reach out to them immediately after you assess the damage to see what your next steps should be. From there, contact your restoration company so they can dispatch to you quickly and begin mitigating the damage right away.

Update your customers to the situation at hand. If you are temporarily closing or operating on limited hours, keeping your customers in the loop is a must so they know how to best support you. Social media makes this task a breeze, and also allows you to get creative with temporary promotions to generate revenue even during a closure.

Take advantage of financial resources you find. Recovering from a natural disaster is no small or inexpensive feat. The Small Business Administration has resources available including disaster loans to help you get ahead. These loans can cover a variety of expenses you may incur after a disaster and are often offered at extremely low interest rates to make repayment simple.

If your business has been damaged due to a disaster, we’re here to help. Contact us at any hour to report your damage or to learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Save Time and Money By Choosing Restoration | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin.

Save Time and Money By Choosing Restoration | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

While any type of damage to your home can be difficult to experience and recover from, if you have damage due to an emergency event, there can be many emotional hurdles on the road to recovery. Events like fire, floods and severe weather can have a long-lasting impact, but fortunately, we are here to make the recovery process as easy as possible for our customers.

We have helped hundreds of local residents with the recovery process, and we have the tools and expertise to help you, too. We perform every job with a restoration-first mindset, meaning that we will do everything we can to restore your home and belongings to their pre-damaged state instead of liquidating your property and recommending expensive replacements.

Why We Do Every Job With a Restoration-First Mindset

We can help you save money on your insurance. Many homeowners will be relieved to discover that most types of damage can generally be claimed with insurance, but this can be quite pricy depending on the cost of your claim and the rise in your premium. With a restoration-first mindset, we can keep your overall insurance claim lower, reducing the amount that your premium get raised.

We can protect your sentimental items. In any sort of disaster scenario, keeping your family safe is the most important thing—and when you have to evacuate to do this, you may be leaving some extremely sentimental items behind. We understand that some things could never be replaced, which is why we have invested in restoration technology to make salvaging these items possible even after severe damage.

We make sure your home feels like home again. It is emotional to return home after the restoration has been completed, and can be disheartening if the recovery is not what you had envisioned in your head. Because we handle all the cosmetic touches and keep your belongings where they belong, we aim to make your first trip through your front door a positive one after you have experienced so much.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Increase Your Household Fire Safety Efforts | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

a person laying another wood log into hot burning fireplace SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is on call 24/7 and will guide you through any fire restoration project.

How to Increase Your Household Fire Safety Efforts | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

When it comes to fire safety, it is wise for individuals to make sure they do everything they can to keep their household safe. Fires happen with far more frequency than most people realize, but by keeping key fire safety tips in mind, individuals can reduce their risk of experiencing one.

When researching fire safety, it is helpful to have all the information in a centralized place, which is why we have listed out some of the most pertinent fire safety tips to keep in mind. These address some of the most common causes of fires so you can have peace of mind in your home.

The Most Pertinent Fire Safety Tips

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Following guidelines for installation and maintenance of smoke detectors is the best thing you can do to increase your household’s fire safety efforts. Most smoke detectors should be checked each month and replaced in 10-year intervals.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Drafting an evacuation plan for the event of a house fire and practicing it with your family members will help everyone feel more prepared. Designate at least two exits from each room and an outdoor meeting spot for everyone to reconvene while awaiting assistance.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Knowing the guidelines for using a fire extinguisher can make the difference between a close call and a disastrous house fire. Make sure to purchase the correct classification of extinguisher for your needs and store it in an area that is easily accessible.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Small flames we utilize every day are still high risk for starting a fire. Flames from candles and sparks from fireplaces can spread in an instant, leading to a full-scale house fire before becoming noticed. This is why it is best to never leave an open flame unattended.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. The most deadly fires are the ones that break out during the early morning hours, mostly due to the reduced reaction time of sleeping family members. However, one key way to combat this is by closing bedroom doors before going to sleep. The door can slow down flames, allowing more time for everyone to execute the escape plan.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

The Type of Cleaning You Will Want After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is here to help when a fire strikes.

The Type of Cleaning You Will Want After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

There is no limit to the time of year fires can occur, but as winter approaches, now is the time to consider being extra prepared. The Red Cross reports that the majority of house fires occur in winter, which indicates it is a time homeowners should be extremely vigilant in prevention.

Planning a fire escape route and other emergency procedures is wise, but homeowners should also consider deciding what to do in the aftermath—namely, what restoration company you will be working with so you can call right away.

Picking the Right Fire Restoration

With a time-tested multifaceted cleaning system, we have become industry leaders in fire restoration and have honed our focus on customer satisfaction. Because we understand the importance of you recovering your home and belongings, we offer several different fire restoration services so that you are able to reclaim your life more quickly:

Structural Cleaning

Structural damage in a fire can affect almost every aspect of a home, including floors, walls and ceilings. By performing initial testing, we can determine the severity of the damage and what equipment we will need to utilize for restoration. We can provide restructuring, cleaning and even paint preparation for most surfaces in the home.

Content Cleaning

Replacing your items after a fire is often costlier than having them restored, which is why we make sure to have the tools on hand to clean a variety of belongings. Utilizing both wet and dry cleaning equipment, we can handle a variety of items from wood furniture to area rugs to electronics. This allows you to keep the items you love while ensuring they are cleaned, deodorized and safe to use.

Deodorization Services

The smell fires leave behind can seem inconvenient, but due to the severe health issues smoke and soot can cause, it is much more than that. Our equipment allows us to actually scrub the air free of these harmful particles, ensuring your family will no longer be breathing them in.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

Lessen Stress by Choosing the Right Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Kenosha County's green work van with SERVPRO logo at clean up site A quick response from SERVPRO of North Kenosha County ensures your Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Lessen Stress by Choosing the Right Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

When home damages occur unexpectedly, it can come as a shock to homeowners. The stress of what to do next can feel intense, but by planning ahead, homeowners can lessen the complications of this difficult time.

By knowing what restoration company they want to work with in advance, homeowners can make the call right away when damage is discovered in order to get the restoration process started.

How to Choose the Right Restoration Company

Picking a restoration company you can trust is key to making this process go smoothly, but how do you know which one to choose? Below are some key points to consider:

The Aspects of Restoration They Handle

Home damages are often complex and require multiple levels of restoration. Fire damage can require air scrubbing for health reasons while structural elements can be damaged by water. Picking a company (like us) that is fully certified in every type of restoration will ensure your home gets fully restored instead of just halfway repaired.

Their After-Hours Service

It’s impossible to know when damages might occur, so having a plan for after-hours calls is essential. Having a 24-hour emergency line enables us to provide around-the-clock service when you report your damage, so our team of technicians can assemble to respond right away.

Their Training Process

It is important to work with a company that invests in the training of their technicians in order to ensure quality work. Our trainings are based on restoration industry standards to provide the best service and be sure our technicians are prepared.

Their Scalability

Being a local-based business with a national network allows us to scale to proportions appropriate for any size disaster. With over 1,700 locations across the country, we are able to work with other franchise locations to obtain more resources as needed to ensure homeowners get the best service even after going through a disaster.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

Learning More About Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Learning More About Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Water is necessary for life, but what we could do without is the potential for water damage to our property.

There are numerous ways water can damage your home, but do you know what some of the top causes of water damage are?

Water Damage 101

The Travelers Companies Inc. found that between 2009 and 2015 there were five different reasons homeowners claims were made. Those were:

  • Wind damage to the outside of the building
  • Water damage caused by non-weather situations
  • Hail
  • Water damage caused by the weather
  • Crimes, including theft

Notice how water damage makes this list twice? That’s because of how much havoc it can wreak. The list breaks water damage into two different categories: the sort not caused by the weather and the sort caused by the weather.

Damage not caused by weather is the most frequent in the home and is the result of plumbing and appliance problems. Water damage caused by the weather can be just as difficult but is not as frequent. This type of damage can happen due to the moisture caused by rain, snow and ice melt.

Regarding your home, the most popular reasons for water damage are:

  • Malfunctions in your plumbing systems
  • Leaking appliances
  • Water pipe breakdowns
  • Old water heaters
  • Weather
How to Limit Water Damage

Water damage repair costs are high, but the situation could be much worse if you do not have adequate coverage in your homeowners insurance policy.

You will want to review your homeowners insurance to be sure you know what is covered. Most of the time winter damage from ice and snow, water overflows, a breakdown of a hot water heating system, and frozen plumbing are covered in a standard policy.

By staying diligent, it is also possible to keep some water damage incidents from occurring.

Check into these precautionary and regular maintenance tips to keep your home, hopefully, free from water damage. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use water sensors and automatic shut-off valves.
  • Hire a professional to install back flow valves and standpipes in basement drains.
  • Use metal mesh hoses for your washing machine and clothes dryer.
  • All of the outside gutters and downspouts need to be kept clear.
  • Never pour grease down the sink.
  • Be sure your sump pump is running properly.

While it may not be possible to prevent all water damage situations in your home, you can follow some of these suggestions to be proactive about protecting your property.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

Preventing Fires in the Kitchen

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Fires in the Kitchen 

The kitchen can often be the hub of a home, a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather spending quality time and where some delicious meals are prepared. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are ranked as the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and unattended cooking is the leading cause of these kitchen fires.

In 2017 alone, State Farm paid over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to cooking and grease fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

<h4tips-for-cooking">Safety Tips for Cooking

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is a good habit to practice, but not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Are you careful about what you wear while cooking? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Are you cautious about what you set on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Is your home equipped with a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Are you throwing hot grease in the garbage can without letting it cool? The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Has your family prepared a fire escape plan? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Making Sure Your Business Is Ready for Disaster Situations | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

When you stop to consider what is involved with running a business, one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness.

Emergencies and disasters happen, and while having a plan in place cannot stop all disasters, it can still give your business an advantage for safety by making sure that your employees know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

Making a Plan

This should be a priority! Have you taken the time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations?

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

It will not matter if it’s a man-made incident or a natural disaster that strikes, if there is no emergency plan for your business, the situation could get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where You Should Start

A good starting point to begin setting up an emergency plan for your business is evaluating which scenarios could most likely to occur—and those that are a long shot but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

The internet has a wealth of information in online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

Look into a business impact analysis (BIA) that will help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, you’re not finished yet. Be sure to go over it and practice it with your employees, as reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

April and May mean that we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Springtime weather, while beautiful, can often be unpredictable, so it is good to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

April and May traditionally hold the title for having the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means that right now, we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

What Can Cause a Tornado

There are approximately 1,200 tornado events in the U.S. each year, and they are develop in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado will form when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

Upon formation of a tornado, the signature funnel cloud will be clear and transparent, but it will become more visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up. A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

The time of day that tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime is later in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

Tornado Safety Tips

Familiarize yourself with the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch can be issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is only issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

Watches mean to keep an eye out for changing conditions, but if a warning has been issued for your area, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

You should make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home. Also, when at home, you can provide additional protection by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Find safe shelter, if possible, or get out of your vehicle and lay flat on low-lying ground, covering your head and neck.

Tornadoes are unpredictable and devastating wherever they strike. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.