Recent Posts

Ready – Set – Grill (Safely)

6/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County offers tips to area homeowners for a sizzling and safe summer grilling season.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), July is the peak month for grilling fires, followed by June, May, and August. Annually, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 10,200 home fires each year involving grills, hibachis, or barbeques. With the summer season fast approaching, we urge homeowners to check the readiness of their outdoor cooking equipment – like grills and propane tanks – to help ensure summer cooking fires don’t become house fires.

The NFPA reports that seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. has a grill or a smoker. That statistic really highlights the risk that homeowners face of experiencing a home fire caused by grilling and other open flame cooking. It’s important to take some basic safety steps to help ensure you’ll spend your summer enjoying friends and family and not dealing with the aftermath of a grill-related house fire.

According to the NFPA, the top three causes of grilling fires are failure to clean the grill, leaks in gas hose lines or breaks in the grill body itself, and proximity to flammable objects. These risks are easily managed and offers the following tips from the NFPA to help area residents prepare and use their outdoor grills:

General Grill Safety

1. Check your grill for cleanliness and damage. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill before the first use and after each subsequent use.

2. Position your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging tree branches

3. Keep children and pets at a safe distance – at least three feet from the grill

4. Never leave the grill unattended when in use, and always grill outside.

Propane Grills

1. Check for leaks in the gas tank hose before using your grill.

2. Open gas grill top before lighting the grill.

3. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before relighting it.

Charcoal Grills

1. Use only charcoal starter fluid or opt for a charcoal chimney or electric starter.

2. Never add charcoal starter fluid, or any flammable fluid, to the fire.

3. Dispose of coals in a metal container after the coals have cooled completely.

It doesn’t take long to prepare your grill for safe cooking, but it can take months to recover from a fire and the resulting flame, smoke, and water damage.  Invest a few minutes now to get your outdoor cooking equipment clean and ready to go, and then spend your summer enjoying good times and great food, not dealing with the destruction and heartbreak of a house fire.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Upon Us

6/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Upon Us 2019 Hurricane Severity Forecast Map

Source: Accuweather

The tropical track density map shown here was created by analyzing analog years, which are past years that have weather patterns similar to current and projected weather patterns. Analog years are often used to predict future trends and impacts during a hurricane season. They can be based solely on the El Niño—Southern Oscillation or on a combination of weather patterns and teleconnections, which are weather patterns occurring over another part of the globe that can strongly influence current or future weather in a particular area of concern.

After an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2018, AccuWeather forecasters are predicting 2019 to result in a near- to slightly above-normal season with 12 to 14 storms.

Of those storms, five to seven are forecast to become hurricanes and two to four are forecast to become major hurricanes.

“This year, we think that there will be a few less tropical storms and lower numbers in hurricanes, but again, the old saying is ‘it only takes one’,” AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

After the U.S. took a battering in 2018, thanks largely to Michael and Florence, meteorologists are once again forecasting impacts for the United States.

Be Prepared:

Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to help you get your life back to normal.

Before The Storm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency supply kit and make a family communication plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

During The Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

After The Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.

Emergency Supply Kit

Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container 

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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MAY IS NATIONAL BUILDING SAFETY MONTH

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Source: iccsafe.org

Building Safety Month— in its 39th year—is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000 members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website.

The theme for 2019 is No Code. No Confidence. and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters, in week one of this year’s campaign.

Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include disaster preparedness, construction professionals, and innovations in building safety.

The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC

Disaster Safety & Mitigation

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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BECAUSE HOARDING IS A SERIOUS SITUATION

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder
is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save
them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO® Franchises encounter hoarding situations several different ways. Often, a SERVPRO® Franchise is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by the SERVPRO® Franchise, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO® Franchises encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a
hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call your local SERVPRO® today.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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Outdoor entertaining

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

Summer outdoor parties are some of the best events of the year.

The warm balmy nights, food cooking on the grill, and friends and family spending quality time together in the backyard or around the pool create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. But, hosting outdoor events also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

Fortunately, following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe. Consider the following when you host your next outdoor event: 

  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames
  • Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.

Outdoor entertaining by the numbers

  • Outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires
  • Total outdoor patio heater or fire pit injuries has nearly tripled in six years (1,330 to 3,608) from 2006 – 2012
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle
  • An average of 8,800 home fires involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues each year
  • In 2012, sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for 25% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries.

More outdoor entertaining information

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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Ready for whatever happens

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO® System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms
and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team® assists your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

2017 Hurricane Harvey: Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on August 26 with winds of 130 mph.The hurricane made a second landfall just hours later and lingered over Southeast Texas for about two days, dropping more than 40 inches of rain. On August 29, Harvey made a third landfall in Louisiana. Following the storm, an estimated 550 storm crews were deployed, representing more than 240 SERVPRO® Franchises. Those numbers, in addition to area Franchises, placed more than 1,000 crews in storm-affected areas. Crews traveled from as far away as California, Washington, Wisconsin, and New York.

2016 Houston, TX, Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston, resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County, which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs, mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record-breaking low temperatures, resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO® Franchises, completing nearly 2,000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland, were also impacted, creating over 1,381 jobs for the Storm Team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO® Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of
39 states and 70 percent of the SERVPRO® Franchise System.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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The Science of Water Damage Drying

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

DID YOU KNOW there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your home or business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County Professionals will:

Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier. Th e only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dryhardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls (pictured below), and much more. SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line?  SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

There’s no such thing as a small disaster— especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot, and other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals know how disruptive water damage can be for your business. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are trained and equipped to manage the drying process. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help prevent secondary water damages. With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can help you regain control quickly,
by helping to ensure your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized, and protected.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean the mess yourself, call your local water damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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Home fire sprinklers

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

Home fire sprinklers can dramatically reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced in a fire. Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers help save lives.

Fire sprinklers have been around for more than a century, protecting commercial and industrial properties and public buildings. What many people don't realize is that the same life-saving technology is also available for homes, where roughly 80 percent of all civilian fire deaths occur.

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative outlines proven, effective ways that home fire sprinkler advocates can communicate the impact of sprinklers to their decision makers. Visit the initiative's site for free resources for the fire service and other sprinkler advocates, including fact sheets, videos, a free monthly newsletter, research, and our "Faces of Fire"campaign, which features real people demonstrating the need for home fire sprinklers.

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) is a leading resource for accurate, noncommercial information and materials about home fire sprinklers for consumers, the fire service, builders, and other professionals.

Free resources

Facts about home fire sprinklers

Automatic sprinklers are highly effective and reliable elements of total system designs for fire protection in buildings. According to NFPA's "U.S. Experience with Sprinklers" report

  • the civilian death rate was 81 percent lower in homes with fire sprinklers than in homes without them.
  • the average firefighter injury rate was nearly 80 percent lower when fire sprinklers were present during fires.
  • when sprinklers were present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
  • the home fire death rate was 90 percent lower when fire sprinklers and hardwired smoke alarms were present. By comparison, this death rate is only 18 percent lower when battery-powered smoke alarms are present but automatic extinguishing systems weren't.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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Real Quotes from Real Customers

2/10/2019 (Permalink)

“Our water heater burst in our home, resulting in tremendous water damage to our condo and many of the surrounding units in our building. What a nightmare for anyone to go through, but in this case the shining star for us was SERVPRO®!

Carlos was called in and immediately, we all were taken by his professionalism and follow through from start to finish! He worked tirelessly and very closely with our building board members and the insurance companies on the details from the early estimates, to reviews, and right on through construction. He and his staff were simply the very best. He and his contractors exceeded our expectations in every way!”
-Jerry

“There are not enough good words to describe SERVPRO’s service and the technician who took care of us after our entire living room flooded after the heavy rains. What a blessing he was! Our insurance denied the claim, since we had no flood ‘coverage.’

Our technician came in, studied the situation, and got right to work! He answered all questions we had and quoted a reasonable cost. He returned yesterday to remove the equipment, and again, he was very punctual, professional, and compassionate!

Yes, compassionate, which is often hard to find in a service industry and in a man so young! “I want y’all to know that our tech was the voice of calm in this crisis (or what felt like a crisis to us)! Thank you so much for your high-quality work, the reasonable pricing, and especially for our technician. We will be more than happy to refer anyone to SERVPRO®!”
-Steve and Susan

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County's System Services. 

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