Why SERVPRO: The Emergency Ready Profile
Winter is fast approaching, which brings with it many unique concerns and problems to prepare for. Snow may already be coating the ground, but it's never too late to put your emergency planning into place.
According to recent research, as many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors; whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.
SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!
Tips for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving
When celebrating a holiday that focuses on food - such as Thanksgiving - its important to practice good food safety!
No one wants to think about accidents or mishaps during the festivities of the holiday season; they're supposed to be happy, enjoyable days shared with family and friends! With that being said, it's important to remain mindful to ensure everyone is able to share in the holiday cheer together!
Turkey safety— the turkey is the biggest star. Make sure he evokes a round of applause—not a round of visits to the bathroom or, worse, the hospital.
- Buy carefully.
- Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys; buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it, and keep it in the fridge; keep it in the freezer if you’ve bought it earlier.
- Defrost properly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
- Submerge the turkey (wrapped in leak-proof packaging) in cold water (every 1 lb. needs 30 minutes to thaw) that should be changed every half hour.
- Microwave in a microwave-safe pan, removing any packaging and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Cook immediately after thawing.
- Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey.
- At 165 degrees F at least.
- Opt to cook the stuffing separately.
- Use a thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, to ensure that the turkey is well cooked.
- Don’t carve at once; give the juices time (20 min.) to settle.
- Keep Clean!
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
- Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
- Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.
Thanksgiving is a social dinner; while talking, joking, and laughing, choking is a very dangerous possibility.
- Call 911 if the person can’t cough, breathe, or speak.
- Give the victim five sharp blows on the back with the heel of your hand.
- If unsuccessful, wrap your hands around the victim’s abdomen and give five quick upward thrusts.
Store leftovers properly to eliminate food poisoning.
- When serving, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly, no more than two hours after food has been served.
- Leftovers are most safely eaten within 3 days, or should otherwise be moved to the freezer.
- Store food in shallow containers.
- Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees F; gravy should be boiled.
Halloween Safety Tips: Keep it Fun!
Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury.
On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
- Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Visibility is key.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
- When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
- Plan a route in advance. Trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, so try to avoid long paths by mapping out a route before leaving the house. Stick to paths that you and your child are familiar with to avoid getting lost.
- Check your child's candy. When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.
Most importantly, make sure you - and your loved ones - have a spooky time!
Water Damage and Commercial Properties: How the Restoration Process Works
Flooding and water damage events at Bangor, Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, and Bar Harbor commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.
Safety Tips for Autumn
While the holidays are a great time to gather with friends and family, they can also be create a number of hazards along the way. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen!
- Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
- Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
- If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
- Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
- Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet!—from warmed surfaces (i.e. the stove). Position those handles so that they face inward.
- Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes around kitchen fires.
- If using candles or the fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
- Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (wearing an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
- Better safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions!
- Unplug appliances that are small and unnecessary; it’s a smart way to save energy and eliminate potential dangers if something is accidently turned on.
- After the party, walk around the home and ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of your kids or pets.
Should you suffer fire damage during the holidays, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Dealing With Mold in the Winter
Fall may have just arrived, but the cold Winter months won't be far behind.
To many, mold is something people think is only battled during the Spring or Summer Months. Unfortunately, mold issues can easily arise throughout the Winter, thanks to risks such as the potential for burst pipes, increased condensation, and a greater accumulation of moisture from rain and snow. Regular home maintenance and monitoring can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold-related
Stopping Winter Mold
To prevent mold from becoming an uninvited guest in your home this winter, here are several steps you should take:
- Clean out the gutters.
Mold grows in moist areas, so regularly cleaning gutters will reduce the amount of standing water in which it can grow. If gutters overflow or water can’t drain properly, sections of your house can become damp. Removing blockages - such as ice buildup - will help ensure all water is draining properly, away from your house.
- Check all seals.
Houses are designed to withstand a certain amount of moisture; houses are, to a degree, waterproofed and have certain places sealed to keep moisture out. These seals can, however, become worn down, which decreases their effectiveness. Windows are particularly prone to losing their tight seal, which allows rain and moisture from snow to seep in. Similarly, seals inside your house (such as those around sinks and bathtubs) should be checked regularly for leaks as well.
- Keep your roof clean and in proper order.
When snow and ice build up too heavily on your roof, or heavy items drop on it (such as a tree branch falling from the weight of snow), leaks can develop. If your roof is prone to snow or ice buildup, you may want to talk to a contractor and look into options to correct the situation. If anything does happen to fall on your house, make sure the roof is checked thoroughly for damage and repaired as soon as possible.
- Reduce humidity inside your home.
While you want to stay cozy in winter, a warm house surrounded by cold air can cause condensation and moisture build up. While there are typically structural elements of your home that should help moderate this, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure humidity levels remain low. Using a dehumidifier and exhaust fans can help keep excess moisture out. Make sure to clean up any wet items around the house, such as damp towels and bathmats.
Should you discover mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Be Safe When Burning Brush
Fall is officially here, which means it's time to take care of all of those falling leaves.
In Maine, one of the standard methods of disposing of brush and lawn debris is to gather it into a pile and burn it. Although this is may be considered to be a time-honored tradition by many throughout the state, it also comes with its fair share of safety hazards.
Consider chipping or composting brush or grass before burning. If you must burn, make sure you know the rules and follow these tips to ensure you burn grass and woody debris safely.
Choose a safe time
- Burn during the coolest, dampest and calmest time of the day: 2 hours before sunset, or later
- Fires are more likely to get out of control on a hot, dry or windy day
- Extinguish fires two hours after sunrise, or earlier.
Keep your fire small
- Small fires can be controlled by 1 person using hand tools and water
- Keep your pile of wood, brush, or wood by-products to be burned less than six feet in diameter and less than six feet high
- An area of grass or leaves can be burned if the area is less than 2.5 acres and the length of the flaming edge is kept to less than 30 meters (100 feet)
Choose a safe site
- Keep burning piles at least six feet from other flammable material so the fire doesn’t escape by running along the ground away from the pile or burn area
- If burning an area of grass or leaves, make sure the area is surrounded by a fire-proof boundary, such as a road or a wet ditch.
Stay with your fire
- If you start a fire outdoors, you must tend the fire, keep it under control, and extinguish it before leaving the site
- A responsible person must be present to tend the fire at all times, even if it is contained in an incinerator
- Keep adequate tools and water on hand to control the fire if it begins to spread
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Preparing Your Pipes for Winter
It's never too early to prep your home for the impending Winter; Fall is nearly upon us, so now is a great time to begin preparing for the colder weather while it's still warm! Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.
Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.
1. Pipe insulation
Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.
Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.
2. Keep a dripping faucet
On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst.
3. Open cabinets
You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.
4. Fix exterior cracks
Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.
No matter how many preventative measures you take, disasters will still unfortunately strike. When you do find yourself in the middle of a water damage, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth!
Understanding Commercial Fire Damage and the Restoration Process
One of the worst things a property or business owner can experience is fire damage. Unfortunately, the toughest part of dealing with commercial fire damage occurs after the fire trucks have left and the fire is extinguished; assessing, mitigating and repairing the damage is often more stressful than dealing with the fire itself.
• In most cases, large amounts of water - either from fire hoses or sprinkler systems - was used to extinguish the fire; water damage must be mitigated and restored along with the damage caused by the fire itself.
• Soot and smoke will adhere to upholstery, furniture, and other appliances after a fire. It is the responsibility of the restoration company to use the appropriate detergents and cleaning agents to make sure that any smoke damage and soot damage on the floors, walls or appliances has been completely removed.
• The fire restoration process is designed to ensure the house is brought back to the state it was in before the fire. To make this happen, the commercial fire damage restoration experts assess the damage caused by the fire after the cleanup and give a quotation of what is needed to be done, and the cost. .
The quality of the commercial fire damage restoration depends on the competence of the company which you hire to handle the fire restoration for you. It is best to take time, look at the offers on the table from different companies and select the one which best suits your needs.
Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
We're Always Ready For Water Damage
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (207) 947-0400
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 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. 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.