Recent Posts

Office Fire Safety 101: Tips for Fire Prevention in the Workplace

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

People escaping through an exit door Make sure that everyone knows where the nearest exits are located.

Fires are a risk at any workplace, but individual office environments have their own unique fire safety concerns. Whether you're an employee working in an office building or a business owner who's responsible for your employees' health and safety, it's important to be prepared for the possibility of a fire emergency. Here are some steps you can take to help ensure that your employees stay safe if there's ever a fire in your building:

Common Causes of Fires in the Office

Electrical Fires: Electrical fires are the most common cause of fire in offices. These fires can occur after power surges, electrical malfunctions, or when a circuit overloads.

Smoking: Cigarettes, cigars and pipes all contain burning tobacco products that can easily start a fire if not used with care. 

Spills: Spills of flammable liquids like gasoline, solvents and other chemicals should be cleaned up immediately to avoid creating a layer that could ignite later in an unsupervised area.

Cooking: Cooking on hot plates or microwaves is prohibited in many office buildings due to the risk of starting a fire.

How to Get Ready for Workplace Fire Emergencies

Employee training

While it’s important to keep your employees safe, you don’t want them to be so worried about the possibility of a fire that they can't focus on their work. Proper training will ensure that everyone understands the signs of a fire and knows how to respond if one occurs.

Emergency plans

Once you've trained your staff in fire safety, put your plan into action with an emergency drill or two each year. Doing this will help you avoid any confusion during an actual emergency, as well as make sure that everyone knows where the nearest exits are located. If possible, include a mock evacuation scenario in these drills (like having someone play the part of someone who needs assistance evacuating). This way, you can test both how quickly people exit their workplace and whether there are any gaps in their knowledge.

Safety equipment

Fire extinguishers should always be installed throughout every workplace — they're cheap enough compared with other forms of hazard protection like sprinklers or CO detectors.

How to Implement Fire Prevention at Work

As an employee, you should be aware of the importance of fire prevention in the workplace. Your employer is legally required to take certain steps to keep your workplace safe. Fire alarms and extinguishers are two important things that can help keep your employees and property protected from fires.

If you're responsible for a facility, here's what you need to do:

  • Install fire alarms that sound throughout the building when activated by smoke or heat
  • Make sure they're working properly so they can alert people if there's ever a fire
  • Get at least one ABC-rated fire extinguisher per floor or area (you'll want more in industrial areas)
  • Train all employees on how to use it
  • Keep exit routes always clear

The best way to keep your office safe from fires is to be fully prepared in case one happens. The tips we’ve outlined above can help you prevent fires, but there are also some other crucial steps you can take. First and foremost, make sure that everyone at your workplace knows what to do in case of emergency. Second, make sure that someone is always on hand with a fire extinguisher. Finally, don’t forget about things like regular maintenance checks and replacing worn-out equipment before anything goes wrong. 

Sewage Damage Process

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage in the basement caused by sewer backflows due to clogged sanitary sewers Sewage damage in a basement

Process of Sewage Damage

Sewage damage is one of the most serious issues that you can encounter in your home. It can be difficult to clean up and repair, and there are times when identifying when it has occurred can be difficult. If you want to know whether you have sewage damage in your home, look for the following signs:

Potential Hazards

Once you decide to hire a professional, they will assess any potential environmental hazards, structural hazards, mold, and mildew hazards. If the property has been flooded with raw sewage or municipal wastewater, then it is likely that pathogens are present in the home’s air. These pathogens could lead to illness if not handled properly by a professional company that knows how to decontaminate such a property.

Sewage damage restoration companies have extensive experience in remediation of such issues and can assist you if you are unsure about hiring someone for this type of work

Pre-remediation Considerations

Pre-remediation considerations are important and can help you achieve the best results.

While it's tempting to do your own sewage damage cleanup and repair, there are a few things you should consider before taking on this project yourself. First, you'll want to make sure that you're hiring a professional contractor who has the proper equipment and skillset for the job. This way, they will be able to properly assess your situation and come up with an efficient solution for repairing any damage caused by sewage backup or flooding in your home or business property. Some contractors specialize in certain areas of work—for example, some focus solely on using biohazards material cleanup methods while others may specialize in removing odors after sewage backups have occurred. When choosing a professional contractor, it's important that they have all these qualities so they can best serve your needs as well as answer any questions that may arise during this process.

Special Remediation Situations

If the sewage damage is in your basement, you may have experienced a flood. If this is the case, you should take photos of the flooding and send them to your insurance company as soon as possible. Keep track of all costs associated with the cleanup process, including temporary housing and any lost work time.

If there’s a leak in your home that’s causing sewage backup into other areas or if there was an overflow at one of your neighbor’s houses due to clogged pipes (or whatever), these are both circumstances that require special handling. You can get help from an expert who knows how to handle these instances on behalf of your insurance company by contacting us today!

Sewage cleanup is best handled by professionals

If you have experienced a sewage backup, it is important to know the extent of the damage. Sewage cleanup is a specialized service and professional sewer cleaning companies have the equipment and expertise to handle any type of sewage damage.

In conclusion, sewage damage can be a serious issue that requires professional attention. If you're dealing with this problem and need some help, contact us today!

SERVPRO of West Knoxville Breaks Ground for New Facility

10/31/2022 (Permalink)

Group of Men in Hardhats with Shovels scooping dirt from a dirt mound Jeff Cuthbertson, Jamie Shelley, Craig Hixson, Mayor Jacobs, and General Manager Ben Barker break ground on new SERVPRO location.

On September 8, 2022, Team Cuthbertson celebrated a milestone: SERVPRO of West Knoxville, North Knoxville,  Northwest Knoxville, and Oak Ridge broke ground on our new offices and warehouse location in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

The heartfelt outpouring from the local community at our groundbreaking ceremony was encouraging and uplifting as guests gathered to celebrate this exciting milestone for SERVPRO Team Cuthbertson. In attendance were Knoxville's local Chambers of Commerce, news organizations, and even Mayor Glenn Jacobs (formerly Kane from WWE wrestling!). With SERVPRO trucks and a construction site (complete with active bulldozers and excavators) as the backdrop, Jeff Cuthbertson, Jamie Shelley, Craig Hixson, Mayor Jacobs, and General Manager Ben Barker suited up in SERVPRO hardhats and dug their SERVPRO branded shovels into the dirt, making the ceremonial claim that a new 31,250 square foot building would soon stand there with the signature SERVPRO logo prominently displayed on the front.

The new facility will house offices, a training room for on-site educational courses and training, a client showroom, employee bunkroom, employee gym, and a warehouse that will include areas for full-service contents cleaning and restoration, as well as an ozone chamber.

The initial clearing of the site began on August 15, 2022, and construction continues to progress. The new building is expected to go vertical as early as the end of June or the beginning of July 2024. “We are humbled by the faith and trust that our clients and customers place in us to help them in their time of need, and we are excited for the new ways this facility will aid us in expanding and fortifying our robust capabilities”, said Jeff Cuthbertson, President and CEO of Cuthbertson Restoration, Inc. Cuthbertson, who opened his first SERVPRO franchise in Chattanooga, TN, in 2008, is now the owner of 15 franchise territories across Tennessee and Central Florida.  The Cuthbertson team is among the top 5 largest SERVPRO franchises in the United States.

How Do I Keep My Building Secure After a Fire?

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

Windows and doors of a building boarded up with plywood Board up services in a building.

How Can I Maintain Building Security Following a Fire?

After a fire, the last thing you want to worry about is security. Unfortunately, someone could be trying to take advantage of your situation and steal from your business or home. Because of this threat, it's important that you board up any damaged doors and windows as soon as possible after a fire so that no one can get inside. But what kind of materials should you use for boarding up? How many days will it take? And most importantly: how much money will it cost? To help answer these questions, we've created some handy tips below.

Use metal sheeting to protect the inside of your building

In addition to using a tarp over exposed areas of the building, you can also use metal sheeting to protect the inside of your building. Metal sheeting is durable and can be used to cover windows, doors, and walls. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes which allow you to customize its fit into any space. 

Boarding up openings in the building after a fire keeps looters out. 

To prevent looting, you can board up openings to keep people out of your building. If you have a fire, it's important to have an exit plan and know where your family members are going in case there is a fire. 

Boarding up the building helps maintain security for you and your neighbors after a fire has happened. When boarding up openings in the building that were burned by flames or damaged by smoke, make sure they are covered with steel or aluminum sheets that are 2 inches thick or more. This ensures that no one can break into them easily while also providing protection against rainwater getting into them through cracks around windows as well as during high winds or heavy snowfall.

Check the weather forecast to make sure you use the right materials. 

Fire can be a terrifying experience. If you ever must evacuate your home, it’s important to pay attention to the weather forecast so that you can decide what materials are best for the job and get them before they sell out.

Weather conditions can change quickly, so check the weather forecast every day before heading out to buy supplies. If it looks like rain is on its way or if there is a chance of high winds, consider using metal sheeting over wood as an alternative material. Metal sheets provide a more secure barrier against fire than untreated wood.

Contact us so we can create schedules and put boarding up as a priority as soon as possible

If you’re the owner of a business that’s been damaged by fire, don’t wait to get in touch with us. Call our office at (865) 690-9658 and we will be there as soon as we can.

We know that your building may be in disarray after a fire, but it also needs protection from looters, vagrants and other hazards until the restoration process is complete and you are back in business. We can board up the building so no one enters without permission and make sure that you are protected from weather elements until repairs can be made.

We understand that fire is a scary thing, but you don’t have to fear the aftermath. With our help, you can keep your building secure and safe from looters. We offer free consultations and will work with you every step of the way until everything is restored properly.

3 Reasons To Purchase Business Interruption Insurance

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

The agent provides business interruption insurance application documents. It is important to purchase business interruption insurance

Three Good Reasons To Buy Business Interruption Coverage

If you own a business, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your investment by purchasing property insurance. However, while property insurance can help you get your business running again, it doesn't pay for the income you are losing while your business can not operate. Interruption insurance can help keep your business from suffering financial distress while you wait for needed repairs. These are three of the reasons to purchase this coverage.

1. Replaces Lost Income
Depending on how severe your damage is, it could take weeks or even months to fully restore your business to preloss condition. During this business interruption, you may not be able to operate at all, or may only be able to operate at reduced capacity. This coverage replaces income lost due to a covered cause of loss based on your past financial records.

2. Helps You Pay the Bills
Even if your business is shut down, you probably still have bills. You will need to pay the mortgage or rent on your facility, any utilities that still need to be connected when your business isn't operating, make payments on any business loans, pay your taxes and other business expenses that may not stop just because you are not making money. Interruption insurance helps you cover those bills while you are not operating.

3. Provides Money To Pay Employees
Your employees probably can't afford to go without a paycheck while your business is shut down for fire restoration. This insurance helps you keep employees on the payroll so that you don't need to hire new employees in Ebenezer, TN when you are ready to reopen.
When a fire or other disaster occurs, it is important to protect not only your property but your income. Without the protection afforded by interruption insurance, you may find it difficult to keep your business from closing permanently.

The Specialized Equipment Needed for Mold Remediation

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

specialist in combating mold in an apartment Face masks and many other types of equipment are needed to do the job safely.
While it might be tempting to consider cleaning a mold outbreak in your home by yourself, in most cases this is a job for trained professionals. If the outbreak is minor, you might be able to clean the area and hope for the best. Quite often, though, the mold will return in a short time. For most jobs, highly-trained technicians and specialized methods are needed to defeat mold. The use of PPE such as face masks is often necessary. Breathing in microscopic mold spores is never a good practice. A local mold remediation team in Blue Grass, TN, will seek to remove mold in the safest way possible for its employees and the people in your home.

The use of Protective Equipment

In addition to properly fitting face masks, professionals will use a number of measures to avoid inhaling particles of mold. Best practices often call for workers to wear the following PPE:

  • A face covering such as a N-95 respirator
  • Long gloves that extend to the forearm
  • Goggles that are sealed against leakage

The goal is to prevent mold spores from entering through the mouth or the eyes. The gloves and other equipment also helps make sure any cleaning agents do not touch the skin. Mold technicians know the best equipment to wear as well as how to wear the equipment.

The Restoration of Mold Damage
Mold in your home can create an eyesore and impair indoor air quality. It can also break down the materials it feeds on, including drywall, furniture and carpeting. A mold remediation crew can do several things: locate the mold, remove the cause of mold (usually excess moisture) and repair the damage caused by mold. This might include rebuilding walls, replacing carpeting and repainting areas of the home.
Mold restoration is a complicated process. Face masks and many other types of equipment are needed to do the job safely.

How To Secure Your Building After a Fire

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

security camera and urban video Having a surveillance camera can be helpful after a fire in your property.

Several Ways To Secure Your Property After A Fire

A primary concern with commercial property is security. A fire in your commercial building in Hardin Valley, TN, most likely will result in a period of time when conventional security measures are ineffective. Fire damage can include broken windows and busted doors, leaving your building vulnerable to vandalism and looting. There are several ways you can secure your property after a fire.


Sometimes, all potential troublemakers need as a deterrent is the knowledge that they are being watched. There are a few ways to communicate that your property is under surveillance:

  • Cameras
  • Security lights
  • Professional guards

Hiring guards can be expensive, and you may have to hire more than one to secure the entire property. Cameras and lights are only effective if the trespassers notice them and are concerned about getting caught. While surveillance footage can be helpful after the fact, you probably need to employ other means to further secure your property.


A security fence provides a clear barrier around your building. It takes a little more effort to get past a fence than it does to just walk up to a building that it left unguarded. A fence can also prove to your insurance company that you are doing what you can to limit problems to actual fire damage.


Broken windows and doors leave a gaping hole through which those with ill intent can enter. The easiest way to secure your property during the fire cleanup process is by boarding up doors and windows. Many mitigation professionals will often board up your property for you as part of the emergency services they provide when they first arrive.

Security is important during cleanup. Knowing you have done everything you can to secure your building, from surveillance to putting up actual barriers, can give you some peace of mind while you are waiting for the fire damage to be repaired.

Do You Know What's in Your Water?

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

water on the floor No matter what happens SERVPRO of West Knoxville is ready to serve you!

Water Categories

Did you know that the water, either coming into your home due to a pipe burst or a leak, has what we call a “category”? When it comes to handling mitigation in your home it is better to allow the professionals at SERVPRO of West Knoxville to deal with the emergency because you have to treat the water correctly to be safe. You never know what is either in your water or what the water has passed through to create contamination.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville wants you to have a better understanding of the categories of water and the information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.

Category One: Clear Water

This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer for you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sinks overflowing with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials. Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.

Category Two: Gray Water 

Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.

If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.

Category Three: Black Water

Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Cat 3 water can include, but is not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water, or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.

When Shouldn't You Use Drain Cleaner?

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Plastic Pipes Plastic Pipes

When Should You Avoid Using Drain Cleaner?

You may be tempted to treat a clogged drain with store-bought drain cleaner in Rocky Hill, TN. However, you should be careful about when and how you apply this potent chemical liquid. There are certain situations in which drain cleaner should never be used, in order to prevent more damage from occurring.

Plastic Pipes

The chemicals in drain cleaner react together to transfer electrons to and from organic substances, causing them to break down. This process also produces heat- that's how they force their way down further into the pipe. These two factors mean that they can warp and eat through piping made of pliable materials, like plastic. The three types of cleaners you should stay away from if you do have plastic pipes are:

  • Sulfiric or muriatic acid cleaners
  • Lye or caustic potash cleaners
  • Bleach, peroxide or nitrate cleaners

Total Blockage

Often, drain cleaners won't be able to clear a clogged drain if there is a solid mass of hair, oil and debris completely blocking the flow of air and liquid. So, if they are used in these situations, the cleaner ends up sitting there above the block. Given enough time, the strong chemicals can deal out some real damage to your pipes, even if they aren't plastic or old.

Old Pipes

Old pipes will have a lot of the same problems as plastic pipes because they are brittle and delicate. If you discover that your pipes are old or rusting, you are probably better off replacing your plumbing rather than going through sewage cleaning. New pipes are the best way to ensure that one doesn't burst and you have water damage remediation to deal with instead of a blockage.
Most people don't even know there are other options for dealing with a clogged drain. Instead of chemical cleaner, you can try biological options, like a drain snake. Ask your local hardware store for more guidance.

How to Prepare for a Severe Storm

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit Emergency kit supplies

Tips To Prepare For An Emergency

If you are expecting a severe storm in Farragut, TN, it is important to take measures to protect both your home and your family from flood water. Use the following tips to prepare for an emergency.

1. Move Important Items

If there is a lot of rain, you could end up with a flooded building. If this happens, any items located on the bottom floor or basement of your home could be affected. If you live in a house with multiple stories, you might want to move important items to an upper level. If you have a waterproof safe, use it to store smaller items and paper documents.

2. Inspect the House for Damage

The water damage that your house suffers during a storm might be worse if there is already existing damage. Check your home for any leaks or cracks in the walls and roof. Check that all of the doors and windows are sealing properly to keep out moisture. These problems can contribute to the growth of mold after a storm.

3. Make an Emergency Kit

Creating an emergency kit for use during a storm is a great idea and can be extremely helpful, particularly if there is a power outage. Always include flashlights and working batteries. You might also want to invest in a battery-operated radio to keep track of the news and weather. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water and packaged food that does not require heating.

4. Relocate if Necessary

In some cases, the storm may be so severe that you need to find a safer location. If you are concerned about flood water in your home, or if there has been an evacuation notice, find somewhere else to stay as soon as possible. While you are doing so, make sure to drive only in safe locations and avoid anywhere that has been flooded.
Keep these tips in mind and do what you need to in order to stay safe during a storm. If flood water enters your home, a clean-up and restoration company can help return it to its previous condition.