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Creating Comprehensive Fire Evacuation Plans for Staff | SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield specializes in commercial fire restoration

If you are a business owner, you likely have plenty of long-term plans for your business in the works—but have you considered how a fire could derail them? Fires in the workplace are quite common, so including a fire preparedness plan is a wise choice for the owner of any establishment.

Oftentimes, starting a fire preparedness plan will be the biggest challenge of the whole process, so we always suggest that owners begin with the biggest safety concerns first—namely, getting themselves and their employees to safety in the event of a fire. Hosting fire evacuation drills is the best place to start so everyone can have the know-how to escape quickly and calmly.

Getting Employees to Safety in the Event of a Fire

Consult with your local fire officials. You can find so many tips regarding fire safety online, but do not forget about making use of the local resources you have at hand. You can typically get in touch with your nearest fire department and have them visit to provide personalized recommendations regarding your evacuation route options and preparedness plans.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once you have decided what the best escape routes are, make sure they are clearly marked. Talk with your staff regarding your plans for a future drill so they know to be alert and what will be expected of them throughout the process.

Have fire drills frequently. While it may seem frustrating to take time out of everyone’s day to have a fire drill on a regular basis, safety is the most important thing when it comes to operating a business. Many businesses simply do a 30-minute drill quarterly, including the actual evacuation and a post-drill roundup to address any questions or concerns.

Run different fire scenarios. With all the ways a fire can start, it is important to have comprehensive evacuation planning in place to account for this. Run through a different mock scenario with every drill—perhaps one has a fire originating in the kitchen, while another has it originating in the supply closet. This way your staff can get used to making decisions quickly regarding what exits and evacuation pathways to take.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Quick Tips for Storm Safety Anywhere You Go | SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

Summertime is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors, but when sudden storms pop up, staying safe is of paramount importance. Thunderstorms may come and go quickly, but while they are in the area, they can cause a concerning amount of damage.

While the safest place to be during a storm is at home, if a sudden storm pops up when you are away, here are some practical tips for safety.

Practical Tips for Staying Safe From Sudden Storms

Know your options for shelter. When you are made aware of a severe weather scenario and are safely at home, remaining there is the best thing you can do so you can wait out the storm. However, this is a luxury that will not always be present. If you are caught out in a storm, you can shelter in your car as long as you can pull over safely and cut off your engine.

Practice electrical safety. A lightning strike can hurt a structure in many ways, but the most common way is via a power surge. As the lightning travels through the home’s electrical system, the wires will become overwhelmed with charge and transfer that to anything plugged into an outlet. If you can, go through the area you are in and unplug everything before a storm. In general, it is best to also have surge protectors throughout your home and office.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. Concrete structures are so sturdy in part because of how they are built. As concrete is poured around metal, it creates a great structure—but also causes a concern if there is lightning nearby. The metal in concrete can disperse electricity if the building is struck by lightning, so avoid touching these surfaces directly if possible.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. If you are out enjoying the day when a storm rolls in, make sure you are not rushing back out too soon and putting yourself in danger. Lightning strikes can travel tremendous distances, causing officials to urge people to stay inside for at least half an hour after the last clap of thunder.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Have an Action Plan for the Fire Recovery Process | SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

If you are only going to do one element of fire preparedness, you should certainly plan your home’s evacuation routes and do regular drills with your family. However, we recommend taking it a step further and making sure you are prepared for the aftermath, as well.

The recovery and restoration process following a fire can be extremely stressful, but knowing how to handle it can go a long way in reducing your feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

Make Sure You Are Prepared for the Aftermath of a Fire

Prepare yourself for what to expect. While all fires will cause unique sets of damage to your home that are impossible to predict, understanding a general idea of what fire damage entails can go a long way. Not only will there be charred spots that have come into contact with flames, but smoke and soot damage can become widespread as it travels through the air of the home.

Wait to enter your home. Safety always comes first for any emergency action plan, even in the aftermath of a disaster. Always confer with officials regarding when it is safe to go back inside your home, and follow their guidelines for re-entry when you do. Fires can cause hidden structural damage that can be extremely hazardous if you are not aware of them.

Contact your insurance company. You will want to prioritize filing your fire damage claim as quickly as possible so you can receive compensation for the damages caused. Every insurance company is different in how they handle this, so contact yours quickly so there is no confusion about the process.

Document the damages. Staying organized is key to making sure nothing falls through the cracks, especially when it comes to keeping track of your belongings. Create a detailed inventory list so you know exactly what has been impacted by a fire, and be sure to take plenty of photos in case your insurance agent requests them for your claim.

Contact your restoration company. Prioritizing your emotional and mental well-being after a house fire is important to the healing process, and when you do not have to worry about restoration, that is much easier to do. Work with a company that you can put your faith into so you can gain peace of mind that your home is being restored well.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Preparing Ahead of Time for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

person on a white tablet using weather alert app If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

Though it is true that storms can be a routine occurrence, that does not mean that they are anything to be taken lightly. Any storm that has thunder and lightning also has the potential to cause severe damages in the way of hail, lightning strikes and high winds.

That is why it is vital to pay attention to weather forecasts and make sure you are prepared ahead of time. Understand what weather alerts mean, obtain emergency equipment and find a trustworthy way to receive weather updates so you can be certain you are ready.

Understand What Weather Alerts Mean

The issuing of weather alerts is something that officials do not take lightly, so it is something that everyone should take seriously by understanding how to react. When a thunderstorm watch is issued, the best thing to do is to stay alert and aware. A storm could develop but is not currently in the area. When it is upgraded to a thunderstorm warning is when you should seek shelter and tune into your weather radio for pertinent updates.

Obtain Emergency Equipment

It is always a good idea to make sure you have emergency equipment in your home, especially if you may find yourself in the path of severe weather. Flashlights, extra power sources, nonperishable food and plenty of water are all good things to keep, in addition to a first-aid kit. These should be stored wherever your home’s safest area is—generally a spot away from windows with few external walls.

Find a Trustworthy Way to Receive Weather Updates

Though our phones are our one-stop source for most pieces of news and weather, they are not the most reliable source during a storm. Because power can go out and cell reception can falter, a weather radio is a much more reliable choice for getting updates during severe weather. Make sure the model you use can be manually or battery-powered so you do not have to worry about any last-minute outages.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

Do You Have A Funky Smell In Your Condo?

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Woman holding her nose Get rid of those funky smells and call Get rid of those funky smells and call SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield (915)-234-2679

Do you have a new tenant moving in, but can't get rid of a funky smell? Well have no fear, SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield is here! 

You may be dealing with some unpleasant odors in your condo. Funky smells from pets, foods, cigarette smoke or just plain old grime can make life in a small-sized living space truly unbearable. As renovation and home repair experts, here at SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield we have a lot of experience in handling interior odor situations. Today, we would like to list some tips for you that can help you when deodorizing your condominium. 

  • Clean every surface, including behind your refrigerator and stove, and consider replacing your shower liner, bed linens, and mattress pad, too. Pantries and vanities can often hold old food and products that emit smells due to their age, so purging these items can really help. 
  • Make sure you clean fabrics like drapes, throw pillows, and zippered upholstery according to their cleaning instructions. Any rugs or carpeting should be professionally cleaned for a fresh start. SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield employs all the necessary equipment for deep carpet-cleaning. 
  • A fresh coat of paint can also go a long way toward making your condominium smell and feel like new. Clean and flat neutral colors will make your condo seem larger, as well.
  • Pet odor has become the most common problem stinking up people’s homes, and has actually surpassed cigarette smoke! People smoke in their homes less often these days because they don’t want their furniture to soak in the smell. Smoke-free condominiums have a premium over smokers’ units, so your property manager will really appreciate your choice to smoke outside, too. When it comes to your pets, make sure they are using the proper facilities for their needs, and make sure to empty the litter box daily to help deodorize your condominium. 

In a smoker’s residence, there can be instances where the smell becomes so entrenched that the sheetrock of walls has to be redone to avoid the home being completely devalued. If that is a possibility in your case, SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield can help you to deodorize your condominium. We specialize in carpet cleaning and large scale cleanups.

Is Your Business Properly Prepared?

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Don’t be one of the 60% of businesses to not have a formal emergency response plan.

When a disaster strikes the time to prepare has passed. Roughly 80% of businesses are likely to go out of business if they do not recover after a disaster within a months’ time, and 50% of businesses never reopen. The best way to protect your company is to have a solid game plan. Is your business prepared for a natural disaster to hit?

Well you are in luck; SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield is here to help! We have been working with local business to ensure that they will not fall victim to these statistics.

SERVPRO® has an amazing program called the EMERGENCY READY PROFILE. This program aids property managers and owners, both residential and commercial to be prepared for a disaster to hit.

We will walk you step by step to help you put together an EMERGENCY READY PROFILE. We will help you identify and label utility shut-off locations, identify local utility contact information, identify local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts, and establish main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization.

For more information please contact SERVPRO® of El Paso/Butterfield (915)-234-2679. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. "Like it never even happened."

Water Strikes Fast But So Do We!

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded room with rubber duck SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield removing standing water first priority when beginning the water damage restoration process.

SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield to Contact Us Immediately Upon Discovering a Water Leak for Fast Mitigation

Sometimes water emergencies are splashy affairs, with dramatic breaks in water mains or flooding from appliances in your  home. More frequently seemingly minor leaks or loose connections in plumbing slowly create severe water damage scenarios. The skilled water damage technicians on our crews know how to mitigate the loss no matter what the cause.

When plumbing fails in a residence, the resulting water damage can be a build up of days, weeks, or years of obscured drips or seepage. The compromised pipes and fixtures and the resultant damage may remain hidden for a time, but eventually, the harm done makes itself known. Drywall crumbles, flooring warps or buckles, and microbial growth can become evident. Our highly-qualified water damage restoration experts employ effective strategies mastered in IICRC courses to reverse and resolve the problems.
 
Assessment of the damage is the first task undertaken. Water can take unexpected paths, and SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield crews investigate the evidence observable thoroughly so that we address all the aspects of the incursions. If necessary, we remove sections of drywall or pull off the kick plates beneath cabinets to expose the damage. Our employees employ moisture meters and infrared scanning devices to scope out the area, including locating hidden caches of water that collected between walls, under floors, and above ceilings.
 
We operate powerful wet vacuums to extract the water puddled or soaked into porous furnishings like carpeting or upholstery. Then we use the moisture baselines measure by electronic meters to determine drying goals aimed at reducing moisture to normal levels in structural components and fixtures.SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield crew members position air movers and dehumidifiers to achieve the drying goals, adding heat to create the balance needed to move moisture out of saturated items.
 
Throughout the water damage mitigation process SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield technicians are on the lookout for secondary issues such as microbial growth. Water intrusions that exist more than 24 to 48 hours provide mold spores the fuel needed to grow and multiply into full-blown colonies, often hidden with the slow leaks.
 
Of course, we also arrange for repair or replacement of the plumbing fittings that were the source of the water damage. SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield recommends inspection of pipes on a regular basis to ensure no further water damage in your home.
 
SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield offers full-service water damage mitigation, including water removal and structural drying. Call us at: (915)-234-2679 as soon as the water incursion is noted for an experienced production team member to conduct an assessment.

Fire Prevention Safety Tips

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Heater For more fire prevention tips, or if a fire does occur in your home call SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield

As the temperature drops throughout El Paso, we find ourselves staying bundled up and inside  warm and cozy in our homes. However, this is also the time of year when people start to bring out extra sources of heat to warm their home. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) gives us a list of other heat sources available, as well as how to stay safe this winter while using them.

  • Space heater
    • Keep anything that can burn or catch fire at least three feet away at all times.
    • Buy a space heater that has an automatic power-off, especially for if the heater tips over accidentally.
    • Do not keep the heater on when unattended or while sleeping.
    • Plug the heater directly into an outlet instead of using an extension cord or power strip.
  • Fireplace
    • Do not burn paper in your fireplace. This can cause small, burning particles to fly into the living area.
    • Keep a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from flying out into the living space.
    • Never leave a fire unattended while sleeping or when out of the house.
    • When cleaning out the ashes from the fireplace, make sure to dispose of them in a metal can with a lid that’s at least three feet away from your Nashville home.
  • Wood-burning stove
    • The wood-burning stove is treated much like a fireplace with the same rules that apply, but with a wood-burning stove, there is also the chimney that comes into play.
    • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional.

Put Your Mind At Ease and Call The Professionals of El Paso/Butterfield

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded hallway If you are dealing with water intrusion in your home, contact El Paso/Butterfield (915)-234-2679

Performing a water cleanup in El Paso takes much than just a large Water-Vac and a push broom, however. SERVPRO® teams have to identify the category of water that floods a home to determine the cleaning method and what precautions they need to take to keep our technicians and the homeowner safe. 

 
Category One is Clean Water. It does not contain waste products. Burst pipes, leaking faucets, and some failing appliances are the usual sources of clean water. Natural disasters can damage roofs and expose homes to rain and snow. This category presents minimal health risks during removal and requires no special requirements for cleanup. If the water flowed over the soil before entering the home, however, it is not considered clean water. As a caveat, if rainwater intruding through the attic soaks through insulation and items, it is not clean water. 
 
Category Two is Gray Water. It is water that was used but does not contain human waste. This category includes water from an overflowing washer that drops detergent-filled water on the floor. An overflowing toilet with no solid waste also is included in this category. Gray water is not a vector for spreading disease, but people can become sick by touching it, drinking it, or walking through it without protective footwear. Carpet soaked in gray water needs thorough cleaning for restoration and furniture needs to be sprayed or wiped down with an anti-bacterial cleaner. 
 
Category Three is Black Water. This unsanitary water often contains human waste and presents a health threat to anyone who comes in contact with it. SERVPRO® technicians wear protective gear while removing it from each home. Before starting removal, our teams also spray the surfaces with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cleaners to reduce the risk. They treat all floodwater as black water since it is impossible to know what it traveled through before it entered a home. Team leaders dispose of carpets soaked in Black Water and only recommend attempting to clean high-value rugs since technicians can lift them from the floor and soaked them in a biocide solution that kills all living organisms. 

If you have any concerns or experience water damage yourself call us at (915)-234-2679

GOT MOLD?

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores photo with SERVPRO® logo Call El Paso/Butterfield to solve any of your Mold issues! (915)-234-2679

Are you wondering if you really have to worry if you can get mold in the winter?

Turning up the heater in the colder months will keep you cozy and warm. However, did you know that this very warmth also creates the perfect environment for a colony of mold? These infestations are both unsightly and unhealthy and can make life truly miserable for those who have allergies to these organisms. A mold colony can also spread quickly and secretly within your walls, compromising their strength and making your home or business unsafe. Mold and mildew, have recognizable differences. Mildew has a flat surface and will appear powdery. It begins growing with white coloration and will become yellow, brown, or black over time, while mold can be a wide range of colors and will have a fluffy appearance. The spores for both are everywhere, even in the air we breathe, and their risk increases when winter arrives since mold and mildew would much rather be where it’s warm when it’s cold outside (just like us).

Here are some tips for mold prevention this winter:

  • Mold and mildew feed on any organic material. Old food, the rug on your kitchen floor, or wooden cupboards - it’s all fair game for these organisms. Make sure surfaces are kept clean and dry and don’t allow food to sit out and become moist and warm.
  • Moisture condenses when it comes into contact with a colder area, so you will most likely see mold or mildew on tile grout, windowsills, and baseboards during the colder months. Taking care of leaks and areas that collect water right away will be a big help in keeping mold from becoming part of the family.
  • Once a colony establishes itself you can’t ever get rid of it completely. Once the moisture, warmth, and food it needs are reintroduced it will simply start to grow again.
  • Windows, exterior doorways, skylights, and indoor plumbing that are not properly sealed will produce conditions that are attractive to mold colonies. 
  • Keeping the air dry in kitchens, laundries, and bathrooms will be a big help when it comes to preventing mold this winter. Running these fans during times when the air is moist will do wonders. You can also use dehumidifiers in your home to prevent mold from establishing itself; follow the established recommendations for keeping your home at the proper level of humidity for this purpose. 

Rest assured you actually don’t have to worry about mold in the winter, if you take the proper steps to prevent it from colonizing.

If you have any concerns or suspect mold growth callEl Paso/Butterfield, and allow us to put your mind to ease and solve your issue.