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The Behavior of Smoke

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke on a black background If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO® of Worcester to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

The professionals of SERVPRO® of Worcester are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, the professionals of SERVPRO® of Worcester will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows your local SERVPRO® of Worcester professionals to focus on saving your precious items.

Your local SERVPRO® of Worcester professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following points are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Types of Smoke

  • Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners,

SERVPRO® franchise professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

  • Other Types. (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

The professionals of SERVPRO® of Worcester are trained to handle even the toughest of losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO® of Worcester to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

4 Ways You Can Help During COVID-19- A Holiday Guide

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

These are unique times. This year has been filled with new physical, social and financial challenges. As we enter the holiday season, many of us are finding ourselves wanting to join together, to help our neighbors and communities. We also find ourselves wondering how to do that in the current COVID-19 environment while still maintaining social distancing.

Here are 4 Ways You Can Help During COVID-19:

  1. Donate Blood
    Right now, there is a critical need for blood. The American National Red Cross urgently needs blood donors to maintain a sufficient and stable blood supply.

    Healthy donors can schedule an appointment here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus–covid-19–and-blood-donation.html
  2. Local Food Bank Donations
    Local Food Pantries are in need of healthy food donations & financial support to meet the increasing demand for providing emergency food boxes, drive-thru pantries, and long-term support to help feed people in response to COVID-19. 

    For information on donating to local food pantries visit: https://foodbank.org/donate/donate-food/
  1. Support Local Business
    Social media can be a powerful tool-utilizing your own communities of influence can be a valuable support to small businesses. Share stories, post about a fundraising drive, and write reviews for local restaurants and retailers. Neighborhood Facebook pages have a become a particularly helpful way for people to call out their favorite small businesses in town to support. Give back in whatever way you can-share information on social media, shop local, tip or buy gift cards. These will all help your community of small businesses.

    Check out our blog to learn more about supporting local business: https://www.SERVPROworcester.com/blog/post/228767/community/supporting-locally--diversely-owned-businesses-is-supporting-the-community-we-call-home
  1. Online and On-site Volunteer Opportunities
    While COVID-19 has limited some in-person volunteering opportunities your time and talents are of great value and need. VolunteerMatch has a COVID-19 response directory by geography of current opportunities for volunteers to help remotely or on-site. You may also want to check additional remote opportunities via United Nations Volunteers, a resource dedicated solely to matching virtual volunteers to much-needed support opportunities: https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en

Your friends at SERVPRO of Worcester wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Safety First Before the Feast

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Text on printed background- Safety Before the Feast Your friends at SERVPRO of Worcester wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
  • Keep anything flammable like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Your friends at SERVPRO of Worcester wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – How Will You Join the Cause?

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Pink Breast Cancer Awarness Ribbon SERVPRO of Worcester Urges You to Keep Fighting!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month  is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness and raise funds for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and ultimately to find a cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

At some point in our lives most of us will be touched by cancer -it may be our own battle or that of  someone close to us. The bottom line, we all have a vested interest in this battle. How will you join the cause?

Five Ways You Can Support The Fight Against Breast Cancer

1. Konw the Facts- Educate Yourself and Others

Anyone can be affected by cancer but, the fact remains, the majority of patients never expected to receive a cancer diagnosis until it happened. Arm yourself with the important information on how to prevent and survive breast cancer. Learn the facts and share the facts. Learn More Here.

2. Volunteer: Donate Your Time

By volunteering your time with an organization like the Breast Cancer Charities of America (BCCA) and Susan G. Komen, you are helping women and men prevent, battle, and survive breast cancer!

3. Start a Fund Raiser: Together We Can End Breast Cancer

Start fundraising to honor a loved one, survivor, and help children and their families who are still battling cancer

When you become a fundraiser, you can create your own account, join or start a team, and get others involved!  Start Fundraising 

4. Wear PINK and share your #PinkPose.

You can easily help raise awareness for breast cancer by adding a touch of pink to your wardrobe and #PinkPose!

  • Take a photo of you or with your friends, family, co-workers, team, etc. while wearing PINK!
  • Share the photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
  • Use the hashtag #PinkPose
  • Tag 3 friends and ask them to take and share their #PinkPose online

5. Spend wisely – Make Sure Money is Going Where it Can Do the Most Good.

There is no shortage  of organizations promoting  breast cancer awareness in October. Unfortunately, some companies only see this as a marketing opportunity. Before buying from a retailer that claims to support breast cancer initiatives, be sure to know exactly where the money is going. Shop Pink or Shop Komen today!

For More Information on Breast Cancer Awareness:

Learn More about Volunteer Opportunities, visit BCCA or Susan G Komen.

For Shopping Resources visit Shop Pink or Shop Komen today!

PREPAREDNESS FOR PETS

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Big, Happy Bernese Mountain Dog There are several things you can do to keep your pets safe and well during an emergency.

Have you accounted for Fido or Lucy when emergency planning? 

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency.

Pet Emergency Kit

Ready.gov/animals lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit.

Food.

At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.

Water.

At least three days of water specifically for your pets.

Medicines and medical records.

Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.

First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.

Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.

Crate or pet carrier.

Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough

for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

Sanitation.

Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.

A picture of you and your pet together.

If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar items.

Familiar items such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

Evacuations

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don’t leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.

Identification

Microchipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet’s owners.

Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/ animals for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured’s families’ pets, or your tenants’ pets’ during a disaster.

SERVPRO® of Worcester wishes you a safe and happy fall season.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Keep Fall Fire Free

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Fall Porch Decoartions The professionals at SERVPRO® of Worcester wish you a safe and happy fall season.

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations no nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle.

Facts and information provided by the National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org.

The professionals at SERVPRO® of Worcester wish you a safe and happy fall season.

About SERVPRO® of Worcester

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That’s why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO® is so important.

Just go to SERVPROworcester.com on your mobile phone or call 508-757-7885 to get the team that’s faster to any size disaster.

We’re a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So whether you’re responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 – be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, local SERVPRO® franchise professional.

"SERV"e Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen- Fire Prevention Week 2020

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

cartoon firedog standing at a kitchen stove Serve Up Fire Safety In the Kitchen NFPA Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4-10, 2020

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared for whatever happens?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2020. The 2020 theme is, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” This topic works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

Did you know? Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to NFPA. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. NFPA notes that once a fire alarm goes off “you could have less than two minutes to get out safely,” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought they had after hearing a fire alarm go off. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today!

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO® stands on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help ensure you stay safe, informed, and ready for any disaster that comes your way.

The time to prepare is now. Call your local SERVPRO® of Worcester professionals to make sure your home and business are "Ready for whatever happens."

Learn more:

Fire Prevention Week is October. 4 – 10 https://www.nfpa.org/fpw

KITCHEN CAUTIONS

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage from a kitchen fire The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.

Each year, around the holidays, families gather together to celebrate by preparing a delicious feast. However, not everyone practices safe cooking habits.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop or oven.
  • 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 the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, or hand towels, 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 flames.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the kid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO®  of Worcester wishes you a safe and happy fall season.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

SERVPRO of Worcester and The Boys & Girls Club of Worcester First Annual Summer BBQ

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Team under a SERVPRO Tent, next to Boys and Girls Club van, setting up for a BBQ It was far from your typical BBQ, we loved every minute of it and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Worcester, MA August 27, 2020 The Boys & Girls Club of Worcester has worked so hard this summer serving our community’s children and their families. We wanted to do something to celebrate their efforts, say thank you and offer a little bit traditional summer fun to the club’s children and staff.

What better way to celebrate the end of summer than a BBQ? We brought the grill, the food, a tent to stay dry and a lot of love for our community. Being prepared is what we do, masks and gloves on, we set up a BBQ station outside the club. Our team worked hard cooking and plating food. It was SERVPRO's great pleasure to be of service. Even the on/off rain, sometimes coming in down pours wasn’t enough to dampen spirits. We’re SERVPRO, we know a thing or two about dealing with water and storms.

The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester staff made did an amazing job making sure all responsible socially distanced protocol was followed. They made sure that the food got to where it needed to be, everyone was served and most importantly that their kids were well cared for.

Hearing the excited shouts of “thank you” from happy kids inside, knowing that we were able to offer a little taste of “back to normal” with something as simple as hotdogs & hamburgers  made this one of the best days our team has had this summer.

It was far from your typical BBQ, we loved every minute of it and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

To learn more about ways you can support The Boys and Girls Club please visit: https://www.bgcworcester.org/support-our-club

When it Comes to Portable Fire Extinguishers Remember “PASS”

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. There’s usually a thin plastic tamper seal holding this pin in place, and it easily breaks when you pull out the pin.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. You must direct the extinguishing media towards the material that is actually burning so it can extinguish the flame

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. An extra word of caution; if you are using a CO2 extinguisher, avoid touching the horn-shaped discharge nozzle, as it can cause frostbite

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side across the base of the fire as you approach, to make sure the extinguishing media completely covers the burning material and puts out the fire.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

Additional Portable Fire Extinguisher Training Resources:

If you've had any amount of fire damage calling us is the first step toward restoration. SERVPRO of Worcester, Faster To Any Size Disaster. 508-757-7885