Recent Posts

Be Prepared! - Commercial Fire Damage

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today.  The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency.  While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.  The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready.  A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country.  It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.  Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be informed.

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company?  Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating?  Do you have back-up plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible?  Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster?  Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare your Emergency Plan.

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident?   Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routs marked?  Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Have you practiced your plan recently?  Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex?  Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage.

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.

Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building?  Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cyber Security.

Do you regularly install patches to your software?  Have you installed a firewall on your computer?  Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness.

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?

If you and “NO” to any of the questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business or call SERVPRO Woodbridge/Lorton at 703-494-7100 so that one of our Marketing Professionals can help you and your company develop an Emergency Ready Program.

Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey Damage due to fire caused by deep frying a turkey! Be sure to follow all directions!

A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you’ve seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season.

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. n Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

Kitchen Cautions

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kitchen Cautions Please be cautious this Holiday season!

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop. If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO® Woodbridge/Lorton Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

10/1/2017 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

What happens now?

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

From the moment you realize you have experienced a water damage, the steps you as a Dale City/Lake Ridge homeowner take will determine whether or not there is secondary damage in your home. Timely mitigation is critical to ensure that secondary damage is minimal. Turn off the water source and call SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton!

          703-494-7100

A SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton Professional will be able to look at the damage and let you and your insurance agent know if the damage is worth a claim.  Allowing the team to extract the water and place drying equipment as quickly as possible will be the difference in restoring your home or having the affected area completely replaced. Protecting the surrounding furniture by raising it off of the saturated carpet will prevent any secondary damage caused by the water disaster. Moving quickly and getting a professional restoration company on site will be the difference between drying your home and uprooting your daily routine for extended periods!

Protecting Your Pets from Potential Danger

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

More helpful information can be found at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety

Fire Safety Tips

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

 Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

   If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire to find out more helpful tips or follow our blog for more updates!

SERVPRO Helps Businesses too!

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

After a water emergency strikes in a commercial building, you own your immediate concerns involve both personal losses along with the added stress and responsibility to get all of your tenants back in business or living comfortably in your units again. SERVPRO offers the resources locally and on a national level to rehabilitate even a complex commercial water damage scenario. We exceed your needs both to repair your property and also to restore the trust the companies and individuals have invested in your professional commercial management.

Although burst pipes or a roof leak may start in a confined area of your office building, apartment complex or warehouse space, the resultant flood and seepage of water can spread far from the original breach. Many if not all of the businesses or residents renting from you are in peril of losing personal and professional property as well as their means to make a living if you do not take immediate steps to solve your Orlando commercial water damage. Even if the water overflow can be traced to the negligence of a tenant, you as the owner are charged with the task of protecting your building and fixtures and ensuring that all those who live in or operate a business within your commercial property have the use and quiet enjoyment of their leased premises quickly restored.

SERVPRO understands how important it is to limit the downtime of your and your tenants’ business operations. We make every effort to clean and dry the structure quickly, staging the restoration process with an eye to reestablishing business operations even before the entire remediation is accomplished if appropriate and safe. Preventing secondary damage from contaminated water is a major goal, made more attainable if we are involved as soon as possible in the process. Our services for you and your tenants can also include a pack out and detailed inventory of documents soaked by the water. We follow up with our state of the art procedures for saving and drying paperwork, books, pictures and other crucial work products you and your lessees may have feared would be lost due to the water infiltration.

If your commercial property has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of Woodbridge/Lorton immediately. We can be reached at (703) 494-7100 twenty four hours a day every single day of the year, our technicians eager to return you and your renters to business as usual swiftly as possible.

The Do's & The Don'ts of Water Damage

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Do's & Don'ts

Do:

    • Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
    • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
    • Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
    • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Don'ts:

    • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
    • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Mold - What to do

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. To learn more about our mold remediation process.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 703-494-7100
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts: Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services. 

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.