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Evaluating How Prepared Your Business Is for a Natural Disaster | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

nderstanding the dangers a natural disaster can cause is an important part of owning your own business.

Disaster planning is crucial to the safety of you and your staff should an emergency occur—and planning ahead is a big factor in how quickly businesses recover, as well. By evaluating how prepared your business is for a natural disaster, you can determine the efforts you need to take to strengthen your preparedness efforts to stay safer.

Because there is so much that goes into disaster preparedness, dividing things into three categories is a helpful way to ensure that you have every possible measure in place without being overwhelmed. Consider these three categories when evaluating your preparedness:

Your Commercial Insurance Coverage

Following a disaster, commercial insurance coverage may not provide adequate enough protection to help businesses recover. There are many things that may not be covered in a general policy, such as flooding, any lost revenue from closures due to damages or repairs that are more costly than your coverage allows. Talking with your agent about what protections you can put in place is the best way to ensure you are fully covered.

Your Emergency Plan and Supply Kit

When you discover that you are in harm’s way due to a natural disaster, you may only have minutes to react—which means putting a plan in place ahead of time is vital to your safety. Plan for a variety of scenarios, such as how you and your staff will execute a sudden evacuation due to a fire or severe weather. It is also wise to plan for the event that you are stuck at your business awaiting officials’ instructions to leave, meaning stocking an emergency kit with adequate supplies for you and all staff members should also be on your to-do list.

Your Plan for Restoration and Recovery

Knowing how you will tackle the restoration process in advance is the best way to reduce the time your business must remain closed following a disaster. Do not wait until a disaster has happened to research commercial restoration companies—instead, plan ahead so you can place the call right away. Also be sure to look into the disaster relief loans from the Small Business Administration, which provide financial assistance for your recovery.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster, you can contact us 247 for guidance on how to begin the commercial restoration process.

Ways to Add Weatherproofing to Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Houses are constructed with resilience to most regular weather, but severe weather can bring on its own sets of considerations. Adding strong weatherproofing measures to your home is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of incurring storm damage—and considering that half of insurance claims are attributed to weather damages, taking weatherproofing seriously is wise.

While any weather event could cause damage regardless of weatherproofing measures, by taking steps in advance to protect your home you can significantly reduce the chances that damage will occur. Here are our top tips for weatherproofing your home:

How to Add Weatherproofing Around Your House

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
No matter the age of your roof, there is a possibility for leaks to occur. Leaks can start for many reasons, but catching them before severe weather is a great way to prevent damage. Visually inspect your roof regularly for any shingles that are missing or loose and replace them right away to avoid leaks.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is one of the most effective methods of weatherproofing that homeowners can do. Weatherstripping is installed around exterior doors and windows to provide an extra seal. This not only prevents water from seeping in, but it is also recommended by the Department of Energy to reduce electricity bills as well.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
Doing gutter cleanings every spring and fall is a great habit to get in to prevent clogs and drainage issues, but even with this dedication, problems could still arise. Check your gutters for any visible signs that something is amiss—if you notice the water is not draining where it is supposed to be or draining excessively in one area, you may be in need of a repair.

Pick the Right Paint
Exterior paint has come a long way in recent years due to technological advancements. Many paints now come with extra waterproofing measures and enhanced UV protection to reduce the wear and tear your home endures throughout the years, and can be a big boost to the overall weatherproofing of your home.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

Impact to Loss on Multi Family Units

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

When a residences are impacted by natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires or hurricanes it can often lead to frustration and anxiety for home owners.

When events occur to someone else's  property that impacts your home you can add anger into that equation. Losses such as fire and water in multi-family units can often lead to those feelings. 

However, that is when you need to call the experts at SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville. Our employees are trained to handle situations like this and with our quick response time, we can often prevent problems from becoming worse. Additionally, our stated goal of restoring your property "Like it never even happened," takes the frustration, anxiety and anger from the equation.

Remember, call SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville for any loss whether a single or multi family home our goal is to respond to your needs quickly.

How Business Owners Can Lessen Their Fire Risk | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Making preparations and planning ahead is an important component to owning a business, especially when it comes to emergency scenarios. Businesses can be impacted by a fire in a moment—with a variety of causes, fires can be unpredictable and surprising. However, by practicing fire safety, business owners can reduce the risk of a fire as well as be prepared just in case one were to occur.

To help you plan ahead for fire safety efforts, we have listed out some of the essential tips to take note of. These will help you understand more about your risk and how to lower it, as well as ensure your staff is adequately prepared as well.

Making Changes to Reduce Fire Risks

Follow code guidelines and inspection schedules. Knowing fire safety codes for businesses set up by the National Fire Protection Association is a great launching point for fire safety. Inspecting equipment on schedule and adhering to the other fire safety standards is an extremely important part of fire risk reduction that should be taken seriously.

Identify your specific risks. For different industries, there are different fire safety risks to take into account. Restaurants will have a different risk profile than a cleaning company, so it is important to evaluate what risks are specific to your business and how to mitigate them in advance, instead of waiting until a dangerous situation occurs.

Create (and practice) a fire evacuation plan. Making sure your employees know how to react to the fire alarm is an important aspect of preventing panic and increasing safety in the workplace. Create an evacuation plan with multiple exits and rehearse it with staff several times a year to ensure everyone is aware of the procedures and will know exactly what to do.

Have regular fire safety seminars with staff. In addition to drills, hosting general fire safety seminars can help your staff be more aware of their impact on the business’ fire safety efforts. Making sure everyone is aware of how to uphold fire safety standards and what to do in the event of a fire will make sure the entire staff is on the same page when it comes to preparedness.

If your business has experienced a fire, we’re here 247 to respond and begin restoration. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

We’re Here for Storm Damage Restoration | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

It can be easy to forget just how much damage storms cause because of how often they occur, but it is important to keep it in mind. Storm damage is one of the most common causes of homeowners filing insurance claims, amounting to around $2 billion in damages in 2018.

Being prepared with a recovery plan is one of the best ways you can mitigate storm damage and move on quickly with your life. That is why we are here to provide you with quality and efficient service while taking care of all your storm restoration needs.

How We Stand Out With Storm Restoration

We Handle Many Types of Damages
It is rare that storm damages can be handled with one type of restoration—there are often structural issues, water-related damages and even mold buildup in some cases. That is why we keep certifications and expertise current in every type of restoration your home might need, so we can be your “one-stop shop” of sorts for storm restoration.

We Train Our Technicians Extensively
When you call us, you can be certain that the technicians who will respond will be heavily vetted and highly trained. We educate our entire workforce on the industry guidelines as outlined by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, while also providing educational events and online learning courses throughout their careers.

We Have Access to National Resources
We are proud to be a Lawrenceville local business, but we also have a national network of SERVPRO® locations that are here to help out if there are extensive damages to the area. We can call upon owners for assistance and resources to make sure that everyone in the community receives the same speed and level of care.

The Reputation We Work to Uphold
In the event of severe storms or disasters, there are always restoration scams that prey upon victims. While this is unfortunate, it illustrates the importance of only working with companies that have established reputations in the restoration industry. We are proud that we are considered leaders in restoration, and we work to uphold that image on every job that we do.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Increasing Fire Safety Around the House | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

After helping hundreds of local families recover from the devastating impacts of a house fire, we have seen the importance of practicing fire safety firsthand. While we all hope to never be a victim to a house fire, it is important to do what we can to prevent the devastating impacts of one.

In order to help families practice fire safety more easily, we have taken some of the most important fire safety tips and put them in a single article for your ease of reference. By understanding how to increase fire safety, we can all be a more prepared community.

Essential Tips for Fire Safety

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. The single most important thing to do for fire safety is installing smoke detectors throughout the home. Experts recommend having one in each bedroom and making sure the system is connected, so they will alert the entire household when one unit detects smoke.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Making sure everyone in the house knows how to escape a fire once the smoke alarm sounds is the next step. Designate two exits from each room and ensure everyone practices their escape route regularly so it is memorable even in a panic.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Buying and learning how to operate a fire extinguisher is a great way to prepare for putting out a fire before it becomes a disaster. Make sure to research the different extinguisher classes so you are getting the one that will best suit your family’s needs.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Because having an open flame in a household is so common due to cooking and heating, it can be easy to forget that they still pose a very real danger and should be utilized with caution. No matter how small a flame is, never leave one in an empty room unattended.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. Some of the most alarming fires are the ones that occur while families are sleeping, and this type is also the most deadly. The good news is that sleeping with bedroom doors closed is a fantastic way to slow down the spread of the flames and give your family more reaction time when the smoke alarm sounds.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

Prevent Appliances From Causing Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can occur in the home for a number of reasons, all of which can be equally devastating. However, one of the more insidious causes of water damage comes from objects we use every day: our household appliances.

The water damage that appliances cause can go unnoticed if not guarded against, which is why it is essential to be aware of how to combat it.

Common Appliances That Cause Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
Though a complete hot water heating unit will typically last over 10 years, having to do intermittent repairs is common. Individual components can break down and lead to leaks, making it important to perform regular checks for leaks and signs of wear and tear.

The lines connecting the refrigerator to a household’s water supply can often experience micro-tears or seal issues that can create leaks when they are used. While these leaks are typically small, because refrigerators are rarely moved, the damage they cause can compound and lead to far more serious issues. Check behind the refrigerator as part of your regular home maintenance to be sure that all is well.

Dishwashers are similar to refrigerators in that they are rarely moved, and they also utilize a much larger volume of water, which can lead to larger leaks. Insurance coverage is not always applicable to damages from older dishwashers, so catching leaks early is key to preventing being stuck with a large bill.

Washing Machine
Hoses that run to the washing machine also uses a large volume of water and are known to leak—in fact, it is recommended that they are checked every month and replaced every five years, even if there are no signs of wear and tear to the hoses.

Air Conditioner
Air conditioning units are generally self-contained systems, as they both create moisture and drain it away as they run. However, any issues with this drainage system can cause trouble, leading to water damage both to the unit and surrounding areas. Scheduling your regular maintenance checks on time and keeping an eye on your unit is the best prevention method to keep your house cool and water damage-free.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

SERVPRO - When response time is of the essence

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville we understand the importance of responding quickly.

Recently we  received a call from an area hotel that just opened. Not only had one of their guest rooms flooded but their exercise room also. Making both areas inaccessible to their customers. Within 45 minutes, SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville was on site, extracting the water, placing equipment and commencing the drying process.

By responding quickly and providing emergency services efficiently the hotel was able to utilize it's own work out facility within 96 hours versus issuing vouchers for use at a public gym several miles away.

"We appreciate the professionalism and response time demonstrated by SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville. Their quick response to our problem minimized the disruption in service to our customers".

Remember, when you need a quick response to your emergency, call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville.

Reducing Risks for Local Small Businesses | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Keeping track of the risks to your business can feel overwhelming, as it can be difficult to know exactly what to plan for. However, one thing business owners should certainly plan to prioritize is disaster preparedness.

Natural disasters have continued to become more prevalent in recent years, and it is important to be prepared as a business owner.

Being prepared for a natural disaster has a few components that are important to master. Reviewing your insurance policy, creating a master plan and sharing it with staff, and rebuilding in the aftermath are all important elements to consider in order to reopen your business as quickly as possible.

How to Prepare for Disasters as a Small Business Owner

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and quite a few business plans do not extend coverage to the extreme damages often left in the wake of natural disasters. Understanding what your policy covers and determining if you should purchase specific coverage types in your area can prevent you from getting surprised with a costly repair bill following a disaster.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When a disaster is imminent and it is time to spring into action, it is important to know just what actions to take. Instead of getting overwhelmed in a stressful time, an emergency action plan will allow you to remain calm and go through the steps you have already decided on in order to stay safe. Be sure to take note of evacuation routes and local medical facilities in case they are necessary in your situation, as well.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
It is important to not only make an emergency action plan for yourself but to also include your staff in the procedures. Once you have your details determined, sharing it with your employees and designating those in leadership roles to host regular and varied disaster drills with the team can help everyone stay safe and know what to do in a frightening scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a disaster can make the biggest difference in how quickly you can resume operations in its wake. It is encouraged to do your research on commercial restoration companies in advance so you know exactly who to call and can ensure you will get a quick response time when it is time to begin the restoration process.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Reasons for an Increase in Cold-Weather Fires | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

While colder weather brings on many good things, many do not realize that it also brings on an increase in the likelihood of a house fire. Winter is the most common time of year for a house fire to occur, so while fire prevention is important year-round, it should be something given extra focus as the temperatures drop.

Why Are Fires More Common in the Winter?

An Increase in Cooking
Regardless of the weather, cooking is always the top cause of residential fires throughout the year, and in winter, this only increases. Because more baking, entertaining and holiday dinner celebrations happen in the winter, there is more of an opportunity for fires to occur within the kitchen.

The Risk of Heaters
The use of small heaters and fireplaces to heat the home is a great way to save on your heat expenses, as long as it is done safely. Unsafe heating is the second most common fire starter during the winter months, but ensuring any small heaters have safety features on them and always using the fireplace grate can do wonders for fire prevention.

Candles and Decorations
Holiday decorations are a fun way to bring a festive touch to your home, but it is important to exercise caution as well. Many electronic decorations have components that can deteriorate in storage, increasing the opportunity for an electrical fire. Additionally, candles always present an increased hazard, so it is essential to never leave open flames unattended.

How Can I Avoid Common Winter Fires?

Because winter fires do happen at such an increased rate, understanding the why and how of prevention is vital to protecting your household. With these wintertime-specific fire prevention tips, you can ensure you are doing everything you can to lessen the rate of cold-weather fires:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.