Recent Fire Damage Posts

Career Opportunities at SERVPRO

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Career Opportunities at SERVPRO

With 19 franchises in 6 locations throughout TN, FL, and TX, SERVPRO Team Nicholson is an exciting, diverse, innovative place to work. We foster positive company culture, offer competitive compensation packages, and prioritize community involvement. Come find out what it takes to be a part of our team! 

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a proud, laser-focused team holding each other accountable while creating positive opportunities for our people and becoming the most efficiently run organization in the markets we serve.

We value honesty, reliability, relationships, trustworthiness, and authenticity! Our team develops and provides solutions; we are go-getters and carry a “bring it” attitude to our work environment. We listen and value each other’s thoughts and ideas and strive to bring them to life.

We are built on hard work, transparency, good business, and integrity. We believe, “You can’t go wrong doing the right thing.” 

Bill Repsel, our Regional Administrator, shared his testimony on what it's like working for SERVPRO. He said, "Every day is a new day. It is an opportunity to serve others in our community in a time of need. We have an incredible team of people with great talent that strives to make a difference every day." 

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is proud of the work we do and is always looking for like-minded people interested in a rewarding career.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume to recruiting@SERVPROclarksville.com, stop by our office from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday, or click here to check out our current job openings.

Approximate The Distance To Lightning Strike: Know How To Prepare for Storms

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

stop watch in a hand in front of a lightning sky background, SERVPRO logo in the corner To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!

Know How To Prepare for Storms

Lightning causes around 43 deaths in the U.S. annually (based on statistics from 1989-2018). Thankfully, this number is only 10% of the average lightning strikes, the other 90% are left alive, but with various degrees of disability.

Nationally, lightning ranks second only to flash floods in weather-related deaths. Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season. Since the threat of lightning is so common, it is typical that many have a lackadaisical approach to protecting themselves. The main reason is that people stay outside too long as thunderstorms approach or form nearby. 

For example, during the early part of the thunderstorm season, "dry" thunderstorms are quite common. With these types of thunderstorms, little or no precipitation reaches the ground and, as a result, people are less likely to seek shelter.  See lightning facts below for statistics on lightning events. 

Did you know?

  • The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 ° F, that is hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • The average flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.

While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed.  If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike.  DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended. 

A Cool Lightning Hack

You can approximate the distance of lightning!

Did you know you can approximate the distance a storm is from you but counting the time between the flash of lightning and the thunder sound that coincides with the lightning flash? That means you can, at your own home, with minimal supplies, figure out how far a lightning strike is from you!

What You’ll Need:

  1. You Ears
  2. Your Eyes
  3. A watch with a second counter or a phone

From the time you see lightning, it will take the sound of thunder 5 seconds to travel 1 mile. To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!

For example, if you see a flash of lightning, start a stop watch and hear a large crash of thunder 5 seconds after the flash, your lightning is only 1 mile away! Anything less than 5 seconds is definitely close, so seek cover!

It's not raining, is there still danger from being struck by lightning?

YES!  Lightning often strikes outside of the heavy rain area and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

Will the rubber soles of my shoes or tires on my car protect me from being struck?

NO! However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides a sort of Faraday Cage or Faraday shield. This increases protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside the car than outside. When skies darken, or thunderstorms are forecast, look and listen for increasing wind, flashes of lightning, sound of thunder, and static on your AM radio.  While no place is safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others. 

Where you can go…

  • Get inside a house or large shelter
  • Remain clear of tall, isolated trees and telephone poles
  • If possible, move to a sturdy building or hard top automobile
  • If you are caught outside, away from shelter, you need to get to a place of safety as quickly as possible. If safe shelter is not possible, lie down on low lying ground or in a ditch.
  • If boating or swimming, get out of boats and away from the water, get to land and find shelter immediately

What you can do...

  • Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation
  • REMEMBER, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning

If your home or property has been damaged by severe winds, water, or storms—call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg for a free damage restoration estimate.

Know What Steps to Take During A House Fire

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Know What Steps to Take During A House Fire

United States fire departments respond to roughly 360,000 house fires per year, resulting in injuries and destruction to property. Using steps from our previous fire damage information will help prepare and prevent you and your family from a house fire. The American Red Cross recommends teaching your family two ways to escape, along with determining a safe meeting point outside the home. Once set in place, review the routes as well as a backup plan at least once a year.

If a fire does occur, the following guidelines could be helpful to remember and review:

  • Use a fire extinguisher. If the fire is small and you know how to use a fire extinguisher, put your skills to use. DO NOT pour water on a grease fire! Since water and oil don’t mix, when water is poured on a grease fire it sinks to the bottom of the pan and evaporates instantly, increasing the intensity of the heat and raising the flame.
  • Leave home. If you don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher or have no way of getting to it safely, leave your home immediately. There is always less time than you think to get out of a burning structure. Smoke is no joke.
  • Protect your hands and lungs. If a closed-door or its doorknob feels warm, leave it closed. And, if smoke fills the home, get low to the ground, and stay low until you are safely out of the building. Inhaling the smoke can cause people to become disoriented and render a person unconscious. Placing a shirt or rag over your nose and mouth will help to filter out combustion particles while you escape.
  • Stay out. Once you escape your home, do not attempt to re-enter. Going back inside only puts yourself and others in danger.
  • Call for help. When outside, immediately call 911. The fire department has the necessary gear and training to enter your home and rescue people or pets that may be stuck inside within minutes.

Have smoke or fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg today!

How To: Inspect Home for Damage After a Fire

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

When it comes to loss incidents, fire in your home can prove challenging to overcome. Even without crippling structural damage, the effects of a recent fire can often be too far-reaching for the average homeowner to face independently. Conventional cleaning efforts and general deodorization, for example, pale in comparison to the effectiveness of professional restoration services.

Our trained SERVPRO team can handle fire damage restoration. From soot cleanup to deodorization, we can get your house to its original condition effectively.

Our estimator and project manager work to identify the full scope of the damage from when we arrive at your home. We survey every area, whether directly connected to the fire in your home or not. Our thorough inspection ensures that the damages get cataloged and that our professionals have the right equipment and strategies to contend with what they face.

The insurance company that covers your home will receive the assessment of your damages. Most claims won't get pushed through without a detailed itinerary of the work that needs doing, a general estimated cost for materials and labor to restore the home.

Whether the damage in your home was widespread or not, this process remains the same. Our professionals take great care in assessing the scope of the damage that your home faces in the restoration process. You can trust our SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg fire restoration specialists to work quickly to bring your home back to how it should be. Call at (727) 341-1001.

5 Kitchen Hazards To Avoid

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can handle your fire damage restoration needs. Give us a call today.

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

Even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards, such as a drain clog or grease fire.

  1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It's essential to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise, grease can build up on the screen and inhibit ventilation, becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease buildup could even make a fire worse if the flames reach that high.

  1. Don't Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, the pan can burn through, grease can burn and splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long and burn, causing a fire. Each of these things are major fire hazards.

  1. Don't Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking, it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain, but built-up grease in the drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow when the grease cools to a solid form. Instead, pour the grease into a container, allow it to cool, and then place it in the trash. One of our favorite hacks is to take a heat resistant bowl, fold and place an absorbent cloth like a paper towel at the base of the bowl. Pour the warm grease into the bowl and let it cool. When it is cool, it will lift off in one easy piece. Wipe out the remaining grease—if there is any—and place that into the trash as well.

  1. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe off any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

  1. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you're having problems with your stove or drain, it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may help.

Conclusion

Follow these tips to help prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it's on, don't put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. If a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, contact us; we may be able to help.

Restoration Vs. Replacement: How To Know What To Do

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

When To Replace? When to Repair?

After fire damage occurs in your Florida home, the first 48 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can help prevent fire damage creating long-term problems. Our trained professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. Our services help restore your property, belongings, and memories when possible.

A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the property's future can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames and smoke has cleared.

After the first wave of heroes has rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg help you restore it. Before you risk further damage, call us at (727)-341-1001.

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

4/17/2022 (Permalink)

graphic of smart smoke alarm, green background, square animated wifi fire alarm orange smoke, servpro logo in top left corner Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

The 3 Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

Wait…there’s more than one type of smoke detector? Yes! That old smoke detector you grew up with is outdated. Although classic smoke detectors haven't changed much over the past few decades, they have seen a few minor upgrades.

Today's homeowner often opts for smart devices for added convenience. Perhaps it's time to consider adding your smoke alarm to the list of smart devices for your home. Take a look at three primary smart smoke detector options before choosing to upgrade:

Smart Battery

This is the most basic type of fire safety smart device available. Smart batteries have a short list of responsibilities, only notifying you, via push notifications, when your alarm goes off or when the batteries are about to expire. Batteries typically last for about five years, so you likely won't be receiving that type of alert all too often.

Smart Smoke Detector

The classic smart smoke alarm is a natural step up from the smart batteries. The primary difference between these alarms and classic detectors is that smart detectors connect to your internet. This allows you to receive notifications when the batteries are low or when the alarm goes off. This device also gives you the capability to silence incoming alarms from your mobile device.

Listener

If you're reluctant to replace your entire alarm, you can always opt for a listening device. These gadgets are intended to listen for alarms and alert you when one goes off. They're ideal if you have several alarms in your house and only want to install one device per floor, as opposed to replacing the smoke detectors in every room.

Replacing your smoke alarm with a smart device can help you stay vigilant. You can have the added ease of being able to deactivate alarms using your smartphone, and you won't have to put up with annoying low battery chirps. Contact fire remediation experts, like the local fire department, before you attempt to tamper with the alarms in your home.

New Year Cleaning and Decluttering For a Fresh Start

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

the words "Start Fresh" in orange in front of a gray background, servpro logo, cleaning supplies in foreground Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth.

Regularly scheduled home-maintenance and cleaning can curb hazardous, pricey problems in the future like fires and mold growth. Since we are entering the new year, decluttering is a great way to improve the usability of your space—so you can freely undertake your big plans for the year.

More than a tidy environment

One of the easiest ways to declutter your mind is to declutter your home. If untidy environments are stressing you out, we suggest starting small. Pick up the general items around your most used spaces. Wash the dishes, fold the laundry, and make the beds. After the basics are cleaned, tackle the details. 

Deep clean the kitchen:

  • Check for expiration and toss old food and condiments
  • Wipe out refrigerator drawers, cabinets, the microwave, and oven
  • Get rid of cupboard items you don’t use
  • Empty the junk drawer

Main area cleaning:

  • Dust ceiling fan blades
  • Wash baseboards and walls—especially if you have children!
  • Vacuum underneath furniture

Bedrooms/Closets:

  • Wash curtains and linens
  • Rotate and flip mattress
  • Turn all hangers backwards, then when you wear an item, replace the hanger normally—this indicates which items you wear. Toss or donate backwards hanging items after 1 year.

Bathrooms:

  • Scrub the bathtub walls and don’t forget the shower head
  • Use a drain snake tool or drain liquid to break up stuck hair and scum in sinks and shower

Holiday Purge:

  • For every gift received, get rid of one item
  • Sell or donate decor you didn’t use this season

More technical:

  • Replace air filters every 3 months
  • Check and replace smoke alarm batteries

If you need more in-depth mold, fire, or water damage cleaning, SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches / Southwest St. Petersburg is Here To Help®. We understand not every clean up is quick, easy, or preventable. To inquire about our services, call us today at (727) 341-1001.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire prevention tips Prevent a fire in your Florida home.

Between 2012-2016, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that cooking was the leading cause of fires within the United States. It's important to remember your safety when cooking in our homes.

Easy Fire Prevention Tips

  1. Don't leave stove tops or ovens unattended.
  2. If you leave the kitchen, be sure to take an oven mitt with you to remind you that something is cooking on the stove or in the oven.
  3. Don't pour water on a grease fire!

Panicking about a fire in your kitchen can make you do silly things sometimes. Instead, cover the fire with a cookie sheet to suffocate it. Or if it's a small fire, you can use salt to put it out as well. Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher on hand just if a fire breaks out in your kitchen.

If you experience fire damage, call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg today at (727) 341-1001.

Smoke Detectors Are Important

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors are important for your safety - image of cartoon smoke alarm Smoke detectors protect your family!

We learned fire safety throughout elementary and middle school and what to do when you hear a smoke detector. However, have you forgotten to change out the batteries? Or maybe you turned off your smoke detector because everything you cook sets off the alarm?

Individuals should think twice before taking out the batteries. Why? According to The National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 homes without a smoke alarm experience deaths. Let smoke detectors help your family!

So, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a year, replace the batteries, and make sure each smoke detector is working in your home – they save lives, after all! For additional fire safety tips, visit The National Fire Protection Association.

If you experience fire damage in your property, call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg at (727) 341-1001!

Overcoming Soot Damage

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Soot Damage in Florida Residency Contact SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg today!

SERVPRO Has the Experience to Eliminate Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a Fire

Your Florida home wasn't intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. The materials used to construct your home can catch fire and help it to spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the blaze throughout your property and cause significant work for the professional restoration team you choose for restoration. 

Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. The substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are standard versions of fire damage in Florida homes, and they can prove challenging to remove without the right equipment. 

Fortunately, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. Soot damage is predominately at the fire originating point, where it burned the longest; this isn't always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark, black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials. 

Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the present film's bulk. Confined spaces like ductwork need high-powered vacuums to use instead. 

Smoke damage lingers in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout areas of your house. Removal of this odor requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leaves no discernable scent behind.

There's very little that most homeowners can do alone to bring their homes back from the harmful effects of a fire. When you face these damages, seek out the professionals we employ at SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg. We can respond quickly and get your home back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. Call at (727) 341-1001.

5 Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Tips to avoid kitchen hazards Avoid these kitchen hazards in your Florida home.

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can handle your fire damage restoration needs. Give us a call today.

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

Many people in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg love to cook. However, even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards, such as a drain clog or grease fire.

1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It's essential to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise, grease can build up on the screen and inhibit ventilation, becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease buildup could even make a fire worse.

2. Don't Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. These things can be a fire hazard.

3. Don't Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking, it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Built-up grease in the drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead, pour the grease into a container, allowed it to cool, and then placed it in the trash.

4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe off any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you're having problems with your stove or drain, it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may help.

Follow these tips to help prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it's on, don't put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. If a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, contact us; we may be able to help.

Inspecting Your Home for Damages After a Fire

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage in your Florida home SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can handle all of your fire damage restoration needs. Give us a call today.

When it comes to loss incidents, fire in your Florida home can prove challenging to overcome. Even without crippling structural damage, the effects of a recent fire can often be too far-reaching for the average homeowner to face independently. Conventional cleaning efforts and general deodorization, for example, pale in comparison to the effectiveness of professional restoration services.

Reacting to the fire damage in your Florida home can seem impossible. Once the extinguishment completes, you'll get your first look at the fire damage effects and what you have to overcome to get your house back to the way it was. Fortunately, this is not a battle that you have to fight on your own. Our trained SERVPRO team can handle fire damage restoration. From soot cleanup to deodorization, we can get your house to its original condition effectively.

Our estimator and project manager work to identify the full scope of the damage from when we arrive at your home. We survey every area, whether directly connected to the fire in your home or not. Our thorough inspection ensures that the damages get cataloged and that our professionals have the right equipment and strategies to contend with what they face.

The insurance company that covers your home will receive the assessment of your damages. Most claims won't get pushed through without a detailed itinerary of the work that needs doing, a general estimated cost for materials and labor to restore the home.

Whether the damage in your home was widespread or not, this process remains the same. Our professionals take great care in assessing the scope of the damage that your home faces in the restoration process. You can trust our SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg fire restoration specialists to work quickly to bring your home back to how it should be. Call at (727) 341-1001.

Restoration Vs. Replacement

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg to restore your property! Call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg to restore your property!

After fire damage occurs in your Florida home, the first 48 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can help prevent fire damage creating long-term problems. Our trained professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. Our services help restore your property, belongings, and memories when possible.

A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the property's future can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames and smoke has cleared.

After the first wave of heroes has rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg help you restore it. Before you risk further damage, call us at (727)-341-1001.