Recent Posts

3 Fire Extinguisher Tips for Business Owners

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of a fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher can protect your staff and property in Farragut, TN.

Fire Extinguisher at Your Commercial Property

Keeping a fire extinguisher at your commercial property in Farragut, TN, is a wise choice. In an emergency, effective use of the device reduces potential fire damage and protects staff. Consider the following three tips:

1. Purchase the Right Extinguisher

Do your homework before going shopping. Look into local fire code ordinances to determine how many devices you need for your property based on the square footage. There are also different classes of extinguishers depending on possible hazards at your place of business.

  • Class A – Paper, cloth, wood
  • Class B – Flammable liquids such as gasoline
  • Class C – Electrical fires
  • Class D – Metals including lithium, titanium and magnesium
  • Class K – Cooking oils or grease in a kitchen fire

2. Train Staff on Correct Usage Techniques

It is not enough to have a fire extinguisher present, employees must be trained on proper usage. Extinguishers are most effective on small fires in the early stages. For portable extinguishers, the PASS method is an easy way to teach and learn.

  • Pull – Remove the pin
  • Aim – Point the nozzle at the bottom of the flames
  • Squeeze – Maintain pressure on the handle to activate the device
  • Sweep – Move the device from side to side towards the fire

3. Plan for Fire Emergencies

Extinguishers are part of a more comprehensive safety plan. In the case of a fire emergency, there are other considerations for both staff safety and minimizing fire damage.

  • Evacuation – Practice procedures, exit routes and roles
  • Supplies – In addition to extinguishers, have disaster supply kits on hand
  • Hazards – Map potential onsite hazards, such as combustibles
  • Insurance – Obtain coverage through a commercial insurance company
  • Recovery – Have contact information readily available for a fire restoration company

A fire extinguisher is a smart way to protect your staff and property in Farragut, TN, in the event of a fire emergency. Prepare ahead of time by purchasing the appropriate device, training staff and knowing what to do during and in the aftermath of a fire.

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Sump Pump

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing a sump pump in a basement with a red LED light illuminating the pit and pipe work for draining ground water The best approach to determine if your pump is in good operating order is to test it.

Sump Pump Maintenance

Basements can flood from groundwater seeping into the foundation, sewer backup or intense rains.
A reliable sump pump is your basement's best friend, especially when Hardin Valley, TN, is undergoing storm season. To make sure your pump is always ready to protect your basement from water damage caused by flooding, you need to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips that water remediation experts suggest for good pump maintenance.

1. Keeping Clean

Your pump may have a tendency for calcium to build up, which can alter its effectiveness in an emergency situation. It is important, therefore, to clean the junk off your pump periodically to ensure its continued efficiency. You can use a bleach solution or a decalcifying agent to remove buildup from the basin and the interior. If needed, use a vinyl brush to assist with the cleaning process.

2. Checking Seals

Your sump pump may lose its seal, which can lead to a host of problems. A loose lid can expose the basement to the moisture within it, causing high humidity or moisture problems that negate the purpose of the pump. It can also allow various trash to gather in the basin, which can clog it and make it stop working when you need it to work. Regularly check to make sure the lid is sealed properly.

3. Testing Trigger

The best way to know if your pump is working properly is simply to test it. Using your hands or a bucket of water, splash the sensor to see if the pump kicks into gear. Every pump has some type of sensor, whether it is a switch, a floater or an electronic sensor, that should react when it senses floodwater. By creating a test flooding situation, you can identify issues that need to be addressed before a real flood hits.

When it's flood season in Hardin Valley, TN, you can't afford not to have a working sump pump. This device can be the difference between protecting your basement and having to pay for costly repairs.

Property Loss and Flood Damages: How to Make a Flood Damage Claim

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Standard Process To Filling A Claim

A flood claim can be overwhelming since, at times, it follows in the wake of significant property loss. Thankfully, as insurers are at the tip of the bureaucratic food chain, there is a standard process to filing a claim, which should ease some of your stress.

1. Notify Your Insurance Provider

While the emotional response to a flood can be devastating and even mentally crippling, the first thing to do is notify your insurance provider. Notifying your insurance provider accomplishes two things:

  • It begins the process of rebuilding your life and your property.
  • It provides clear expectations of responsibility between homeowner and insurer.

After initiating contact, your insurer will likely schedule a visit from an adjuster to assess the damage to your property and to determine ultimate causality.

2. Document All Property Damage

The essential piece of any flood claim is the documentation of all property damage. True, the adjuster will take note of obvious property damage, but you will want to do your own walk-through and photograph any damage you see; not because adjusters aren’t trustworthy, but because you know your property better.

3. Compile and Complete a Proof of Loss Statement

An insurance claim typically requires a Proof of Loss statement, which is submitted within 60 days of the incurred damage. This document consists of your sworn statement, the claim amount, and any supporting proof or documentation. You can and should include any photographs and receipts in this file.

4. Collect Restoration Estimates

Once you have filed your claim and an adjuster approves further action, you can collect estimates for any necessary restoration work. Collecting estimates is as easy as calling a few emergency restoration companies from the Farragut, TN, area and scheduling a visit. Once a list is compiled, you can present it to your insurer, and they will help you select the best option.

Flood damage is a nuisance, and it can be emotionally and physically exhausting sorting through the destruction. Fortunately, a flood claim is a predictable procedure with standard practices and steps that are typically followed by every insurer.

What Should You Do Before Help Arrives?

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.

Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
in smoke odor.

Quick Guide To Cleaning Your Belongings

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

cosmetics damaged due to high heat High heat fires can permanently damage a lot of your belongings.

Cleaning Your Belongings: A Step-By-Step Guide

After a fire tears through your Deane Hill, TN home, you have a lot of work to do. Not only do you have to make repairs to your damaged house, but you also have to start cleaning your other possessions. When you work with a fire cleanup professional, you can easily figure out what to do with each unique item. Use this quick guide to help you figure out what you need to throw away and what you can salvage.

Get Rid Of

There are certain things you won't want to throw out, but the truth is that high heat fires can permanently damage a lot of your belongings. Certain items, including the following, cannot be saved:

  • Cosmetics
  • Medicine
  • Food

The drastic heat from the fire can alter the makeup of these items. If you try to eat food that has been super-heated, you may find a melty mess that has started to absorb some of the outer wrapping. It's best to simply throw away these items and start over.

The professionals you work with may try to salvage some of your porous belongings, like clothing and furniture. Sometimes dry-cleaning methods can remove the soot and odor. However, this category of items may also need to be thrown away.

Keep

Some of your possessions can get cleaned by your professionals. Some porous items can be saved with the proper content cleaning and restoration. Often, non-porous and non-perishable items can also be saved after fire damage. You will have to have almost all of your belongings professionally cleaned to ensure the soot and odor is removed. If you leave the soot on electronics, you may end up causing more damage when you go to use the item.

Figuring out exactly what you can keep and what you need to throw away can be challenging. Some items may have sentimental value for you, but it may still be best to get rid of the artifact. Professionals can often help you determine what can be saved and what's beyond repair.

Mold Damage 101: What Business Owners Need To Know

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

White wall covered with mold infestation Mold damage in Rocky Hill, TN property.

What Business Owners Should Know About Mold Damage

Mold is a four-letter word for both business property owners and commercial insurance providers. A combination of heat and moisture can spark the invasion of fungi, which can grow on and eventually destroy almost any building material. Tearing down, cleaning up and rebuilding after such an event in Rocky Hill, TN, can cost thousands of dollars. As a business owner, it is important for you to know just how much protection your insurance affords—and what actions you should take to ensure your claims are paid.

Exclusions and Exceptions

A flurry of lawsuits in the 1990s prompted commercial insurance companies to add a standard fungus exclusion clause denying coverage of damage and/or replacement costs due to mold. However, exceptions exist which do permit some coverage:

  • Fungus caused by fire
  • Fungus caused by lightning
  • Fungus triggered by a specified cause or loss (other than by fire or lightning)

Known as Limited Fungus Coverage – basically mold insurance – it is the third exception that provides the most common form of compensation. It is important to read the “specified cause or loss” definition in your policy, but two events generally are included as exceptions: water damage and leakage from an interior sprinkler system. (Note: Water damage from floods is not usually covered unless the policy includes a flood endorsement.)

Initial Steps

Once a fungus issue has been identified, it is vital to take immediate action. Call a restoration specialist in Rocky Hill, TN, for an inspection and assessment. Insurance providers often demand proof that you have made a concerted effort to secure the property before agreeing to pay claims.

Coverage

Most policies provide up to $15,000 in coverage per specific event (with one event annually). Coverage includes costs for the following:

  • Removal of damaged material
  • Replacement of damaged material
  • Testing or inspection after treatment

Understand what to do and just what protection your commercial insurance policy provides. Doing so can make dealing with mold damage a less stressful process.

How To Secure Your Building After a Fire

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

surveillance camera 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 Rocky Hill, 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.

Surveillance

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.

Fencing

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.

Boarding

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.

What To Do When There is Water Leaking From a Light Fixture

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture Water in light fixtures can be fixed.

What To Do When There is Water Leaking From a Light Fixture

Water damage can happen to any homeowner. Common reasons for water damage in Bearden, TN, include the following problems:

  • Aging structure
  • Harsh weather
  • Faulty pipes

Despite the reason, it’s important to note how easily water can enter your home. Sometimes, leakage can affect electrical appliances. Water in light fixtures can be dangerous and must be addressed immediately. Read more to learn what to look for and what to do when it happens.

What Does Water Leaking From a Light Look Like?
Ceiling damage is one of the easiest ways water can enter light fixtures. If you notice water pooling near a lightbulb or panel, this might be one of your first signs of a serious problem. Water is a conductor of electricity, and when it is in contact with electricity, it can harm people and create electrical fires.

What Do I Do When it Happens?

The first step of action that you can take is to turn off the electricity in that area of your home. This will protect you from being electrocuted when in contact with the water in the future. Be sure to directly turn off the circuit, not just the light switch. This will prevent any electricity from running through your home and causing any problems.
After you have successfully turned off the power, soak up the water with towels. If there is still water in light fixtures, remove the cover of the light bulb or panel and drain away the water. Inspect the ceiling around the fixture and look for any pooling water. You may have to cut away the ceiling to drain the water.
The most important thing to do is contact a professional to help you address the problem and make sure that all the water has been successfully removed. Consult with an electrician before turning the power back on.
Water in light fixtures can be fixed. By addressing the problem calmly, you can prevent any further damage and get the help that you need.

Can Lightning Start a House Fire?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky on the background and moon shining through the cloud Lightning is the cause of a number of house fires every year.

Can Your House Catch On Fire From Lightning?

Lightning is the cause of a number of house fires every year. A lightning fire typically occurs when a hot flash strikes a combustible object or travels through conductive metal objects and then ignites combustibles. It is important to recognize the risks of a direct strike and a phenomenon called side flash in order to safely respond to a strike on or around your home. It is almost always a good idea to call the fire department if your home has been struck.

1. Direct strike: A direct hot strike can cause a fire, particularly if it makes contact with combustible material in or around your home. As soon as your home is struck, check for any signs of fire and contact the fire department from a cellular phone as soon as possible. Avoid using a landline in case the current is traveling through the wiring. You can rest easy once you are sure that your residence is not running an elevated risk for lightning fire.

2. Side flash: This phenomenon occurs when a strike travels through conductive metal features such as downspouts, gutters, gas lines, water pipes, window frames, or wiring and then ignites combustible building materials such as insulation. Lightning does not require conductive objects to travel down to the ground, but if a side flash occurs, it may lead to hidden fires within the attic or walls of a house.

Whether a direct hot strike starts a fire or the transmission of current through materials in your home in the event of a side strike ends up igniting combustible materials, only the fire department can ensure that your home is safe. A hidden house fire can put homeowners at risk and cause extensive damage prior to being detected. If your home sustains damage from a lightning fire, contact a company that provides fire restoration services in Hardin Valley, TN

What Happens to You Solar Panels During a Storm?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Broken solar panel Solar panel damaged by a storm.

Can Storms Destroy Solar Panels?

Storms of all sizes come through Blue Grass, TN during various parts of the year. Many of these storms cause little concern and do little, if any, damage to your home. This doesn’t mean you don’t worry about the possibility of weather doing harm to your home. For example, high winds, rain, and other conditions may beat upon the solar panels in your roof. It’s important to understand what these items can withstand.

Hail Stones

Hail storms may be rare in your area, but when they hit, they can create problems for homeowners. You may be worried about panel damage when hail starts falling. However, you can have peace of mind knowing that these panels should be in good shape under these conditions.

• The panels are made of tempered glass and highly flexible material.
• The panels are built to withstand impact from rock, hail or other materials.
• Panels are usually only damaged from hail when stones hit the same spot repeatedly.

Wind

This probably worries you more than hailstones, especially if you live in an area where hurricanes are common. While high winds can cause roof damage, they are much less likely to cause panel damage. This is because your solar panels are designed to withstand up to 140-mph winds. This means they can hold up against hurricanes and certainly other less potent storms.

Snow and Rain

If you purchase a high-quality set of panels, they should last 25 years or more. They are well-equipped to do their jobs well in the middle of a rainstorm or a snowstorm. The glass portion of the panels has protection to ward off any negative effects from precipitation.

When you purchased your solar panels, you may have been concerned that they would succumb to the elements. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage, no matter what the weather is like outside.