Recent Posts

House Fire Preparedness

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

House fires are sudden and unexpected.  Studies show that you may only have two minutes to escape from a home fire and get to safety, which does not seem like much time.  However, Following these tips from the Red Cross will not only help you prevent house fires, but they will also help you prepare and make sure your family is safe if one ever does occur.

1. Get Rid of Fire Hazards

Identifying and taking the necessary precautions to ensure that you do not have fire hazards in your home is important.  This means all electronic items that produce heat should always be at least three feet away from anything flammable.  All space heaters and electric blankets should always be turned off when they are not being used.

2. Always Avoid Smoking in Bed

Smoking in bed is dangerous because of the possibility of hot ashes igniting your flammable bedding.  It is also important to make sure all candles are put out when being left unattended.

3. Make Sure Your Children Are Informed

Talk to your children about the importance of not playing with lighters, matches, and fire.  You can take an extra precautionary step by keeping all matches and lighters up high and out of reach or locked up in a place that your children cannot access.

4. Check Your Smoke Alarms

Be sure you have working smoke detectors on every floor of your home and on the inside and outside of every sleeping area.  These should be checked monthly to ensure the batteries are working, and they should be replaces every 10 years.

5. Make a Plan

Discuss your outside meeting spot with your family and come up with an escape plan.  This escape plan should be practiced at least twice a year, and you should make sure that every member of your family is able to escape in less than two minutes.

When Storms Hit Southaven

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties specialize in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces restoration costs.

When storms hit Southaven, MS and surrounding towns we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have STORM or FLOOD DAMAGE? Call SERVPRO of DeSoto, Tate and Tunica counties today at (662) 349-6500!

6 disasters your insurance carrier may not cover

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes your home, Property Insurance, is supposed to be there to help you pick up the pieces. Most of the time, it does.

A Bankrate survey found that 81 percent were aware flooding is not covered by regular homeowners insurance. You may have heard earthquakes also require special coverage. Yet you may not know that there are other types of damage that are excluded from most policies as well:

Mold

At least 1,000 species of mold are common to the United States, according to the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute.

Despite the threat, a standard homeowners insurance policy generally either limits coverage for mold damage or outright excludes it.

Some insurers offer an endorsement to expand coverage limits for mold claims but only if you are willing to pay more for your insurance, she says.

The best cure for mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. If the basement floods after a rainstorm or a pipe is leaking, eliminate the moisture promptly.

Sewer backup

America’s sewer lines are rapidly aging, with some more than 100 years old. As more homes have been connected to these out-of-date lines, sewage backups have followed.

Other sources of backups include pipelines that handle both stormwater and raw sewage — and become overwhelmed in rainstorms — and blockages from tree roots that work their way into sewer-line cracks.

When a sewer backs up into a home, it can damage floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover sewer backups.

The Insurance Information Institute says sewer-backup damage often can be covered for an additional premium of just $40 to $50 per year.

Sinkholes

Sinkholes can seem like something out of a horror movie. For example, there was the Florida man who was swallowed up in early 2013 when a sinkhole opened without warning beneath his bedroom.

Sinkholes are sudden gaps in the earth’s surface that occur after groundwater gradually dissolves rock such as limestone and carries bits of it away, creating large pores and cracks in bedrock. Once large cavities form underground, the land above it may suddenly settle or collapse, creating the sinkhole.

In the United States, sinkholes tend to cause the most problems in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Most home insurance policies will not cover damage associated with “earth movement,” such as an earthquake or sinkhole.

Florida is the only state in which insurers are required to provide coverage for sinkhole damage

Florida insurers must include insurance for “catastrophic ground cover collapse” — which refers to damage so severe, the home is uninhabitable — as part of standard homeowners insurance.

In every other state, earth movement is excluded from the insurance policy.

Termite infestation

Colonies of anywhere from a few hundred to several million termites can quietly and methodically devastate your home.

Wood, paper and dead plant material that is in contact with soil near the house provides termites with a ready source of food and an entry. And moisture accumulated around foundations and in poorly ventilated crawl spaces gives termites a source of water they need to survive.

Over time, termites can damage or destroy support beams and other wood features in a house. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause $5 billion in damage in the U.S. each year.

If these unwanted guests cause wear and tear to your home, do not expect your insurer to bail you out.

Homeowners policies do not pay for termite damage.

Homeowners can avoid structural damage with early intervention.

Nuclear plant accidents

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, says nearly 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an active nuclear power plant. If an accident at a nearby reactor leaves your home uninhabitable, standard homeowners insurance will not cover the claim. But that does not mean you will be unprotected.

A 1957 federal law called the Price-Anderson Act compensates people in the United States for any damage or injuries resulting from a commercial nuclear accident.

The law was called upon after the nation’s worst nuclear accident, at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pa., in 1979.

The insurance paid for the living expenses of families who decided to evacuate.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says an insurance pool of more than $12 billion is available to pay out claims.

Claims covered under Price-Anderson include:

  • Bodily injury.
  • Sickness.
  • Disease resulting in death.
  • Property damage and loss.

In addition, individuals evacuated from an affected area can expect reimbursement for reasonable living expenses beyond what you ordinarily pay. The coverage does not pay your mortgage, does not pay for your normal food bills.

Some acts of terrorism

The recent Boston Marathon bombings were a reminder that terror can strike at any moment.

The Insurance Information Institute says terrorist attacks using nuclear, biological, chemical or radioactive weapons are considered “acts of war” that are fundamentally uninsurable. Standard home insurance policies do not specifically reference terror attacks.

However, the policy does cover the homeowner for damage due to explosion, fire and smoke, these are the most likely types of damage a home would suffer in a terrorist incident.

If you own a condominium or co-op, the policy you carry on your individual unit will protect your structure and possessions from damage related to a terrorist attack.

However, damage to common areas — including the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways — is not covered unless your board purchases separate terrorism coverage.

The science of drying after a water loss

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having this knowledge is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage. If your home or business suffers from water damage, our team will:

  1. Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  2. Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  3. Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier.

The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our technicians also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties has the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” If your home or business has water damage, give us a call today at 662-349-6500. 

A business plan for fire emergencies

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

You may have taken measures to help prevent fire in your office, but are you prepared in case fire does break out? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 340 fires in office properties each year. Make sure your business is prepared for fire.

Check Fire Alarms

The first key is to have functioning fire alarms in your property. Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the NFPA.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Create and Implement an Office Evacuation Plan

An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
  • Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
  • Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Create a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®

At SERVPRO of South Everett, we can create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. When disaster strikes, you don’t want to spend time trying to figure out whom you should contact for what. Our ERPs include a detailed assessment of your facility along with a profile document and guide to getting you back to business faster after an incident. We even offer a mobile app for convenience. If you want to set up an Emergency READY Profile, call us today at 662-349-6500.

It is important to be prepared before a disaster like a fire hits your property. For the sake of your employees and your property, make sure your office is safe and prepared. If disaster does strike, SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties is always here to help. Give us a call at 662-349-6500.

SERVPRO of DeSoto, Tate and Tunica Counties is an IICRC certified firm.

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Safety Tips

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

House fires are sudden and unexpected.  Studies show that you may only have two minutes to escape from a home fire and get to safety, which does not seem like much time.  However, Following these tips from the Red Cross will not only help you prevent house fires, but they will also help you prepare and make sure your family is safe if one ever does occur.

1. Get Rid of Fire Hazards

Identifying and taking the necessary precautions to ensure that you do not have fire hazards in your home is important.  This means all electronic items that produce heat should always be at least three feet away from anything flammable.  All space heaters and electric blankets should always be turned off when they are not being used.

2. Always Avoid Smoking in Bed

Smoking in bed is dangerous because of the possibility of hot ashes igniting your flammable bedding.  It is also important to make sure all candles are put out when being left unattended.

3. Make Sure Your Children Are Informed

Talk to your children about the importance of not playing with lighters, matches, and fire.  You can take an extra precautionary step by keeping all matches and lighters up high and out of reach or locked up in a place that your children cannot access.

4. Check Your Smoke Alarms

Be sure you have working smoke detectors on every floor of your home and on the inside and outside of every sleeping area.  These should be checked monthly to ensure the batteries are working, and they should be replaces every 10 years.

5. Make a Plan

Discuss your outside meeting spot with your family and come up with an escape plan.  This escape plan should be practiced at least twice a year, and you should make sure that every member of your family is able to escape in less than two minutes.

Commercial Fire Damage

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

For many small business owners, their small business is their livelihood. Any disaster that happens to hurt the company can be detrimental the owner’s finances in a huge way. One of the most common issues that many business owners face is commercial fire damage. There are many ways in which fire can affect your business. However, there are steps that a company can take both before and after fire damage occurs to mitigate any damage that a fire may cause.

Fire Prevention

Although it seems obvious, being able to prevent fire damage from occurring is the best defense against fire.  There are many things that a business can do to increase their first line against fire issues.  First, always use the highest quality building materials possible. Many new building materials are much more fire resistant and can end up saving a lot of money.  They may be more expensive to put in, but if a fire occurs, they can help save thousands of dollars in repairs.  Also, if your facility has a lot of employees, be sure to have safety meetings and discuss the ways they can reduce the likelihood of a fire taking place.  For example, a cigarette should be disposed of properly rather than just throwing it on the ground or in a trash can.  These steps can go a long way in reducing the chances of a fire.  However, at the end of the day even if a business takes the necessary precautions, a fire may still occur.  It is important to have a good plan in place and a company that you trust to help clean up the fire damages. 

Fire Damage

Some business owners may thing that fire damage is something that will easily be cleaned up.  However, there are often several layers of issues that the small business owner faces in the aftermath.  Flames in a fire can cause damage to the exterior and the interior of the building.  Sometimes there may even be structural damage as well.  The damage caused by fire and smoke are a significant issue.  Many people may feel as though the smoke just smells bad but it can cause long term damage as well.  It is important that you work with a quality experienced restoration company to restore the building that was damaged.

Severe Weather Preparedness

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Here are some tips that we believe will be helpful in preparing for severe weather. 

TORNADOES

Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

SERVPRO of DeSoto, Tate and Tunica Counties is always here to help! Should you need help after severe weather please give us a call at 662-349-6500.

What to do when fire starts

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Home Fire Preparedness: There are actually ways you can prepare your home for a fire. Here a few tips:

  1. Install the right number of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each sleeping room.
  2. Test your smoke alarms once a month. Change your batteries twice a year. We suggest changing them each time the time changes.
  3. Have a fire extinguisher in your home, especially in your kitchen.
  4. Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what that sound means.
  5. Ensure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  6. Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  7. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell "FIRE" to alert everyone that they must get out. Maybe do this when you put new batteries in the smoke alarms.
  8. Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
  9. Teach household members how to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

What To Do if a Fire Starts:

  1. Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher.
  2. Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL 911.
  3. Yell "FIRE" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  4. If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to touch.
  5. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.

Recovering After a Fire:

  1. Call 911. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
  2. Let friends and family know you are safe.
  3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
  4. Stay out of fire-damaged home until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

SERVPRO of Desoto, Tate, & Tunica Counties can also help you get your home and belongings back together after a fire. Call us today at 662-349-6500.