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SERVPRO® Pro: Holiday Safety Travel Tips

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Many of us have spent a significantly larger amount of time than normal at home over the last year and a half. With the holidays fast approaching, perhaps you are going to visit family or friends. When you intend to travel, taking a little extra time to prepare your house for your absence can keep your home safe, increase your peace of mind while you’re away, and help reduce the chances of unexpected problems.

For example, emptying the fridge and pantry of foods that will perish in your absence is a good practice; consider freezing items that could be saved for later. Throw your items away before your weekly trash pick-up, to avoid critters feasting on your refuse. To ensure that you are aware of any thawing of the freezer, place a cup of ice in there. When you return, if the ice is still separate, the food should be fine. If, however, the ice has melted, that indicates that the contents in your freezer thawed and re-froze, which means you should throw away what was in there.

Set your thermostat for your absence. Consider turning off the water at the main line. If you do turn off the water, remember to run the faucets until they are dry, and flush all the toilets and turn off their incoming water at the base of the tank. If you will be gone awhile, it might be a good idea to turn off your hot water heater as well, or set it to vacation mode, to save energy.

Make sure that all exterior windows and doors are locked, including the garage. If you have a hide-a-key, think about moving it inside, or giving it to a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency. If you have a fireplace, close the flue to prevent animals and birds from coming inside from that route.

Aside from ensuring that your home avoids accidental damage in your absence, you want it to appear that you are not gone. Set lights on a timer, ask your neighbors to check on your property, and do not post about being out of town on social media. By following these suggestions, you will be in a good position to enjoy your holiday season! 

SERVPRO® PRO Tips: Fire Extinguisher Use

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the word PASS.

  • Pull the pin, pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with it before a fire breaks out. Encourage your family members and coworkers to do the same.

Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility.

Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

  • Class A: This is the most common extinguisher, and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
  • Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electrically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
  • Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are becoming more popular in the residential market for use in kitchens.

Our SERVPRO Pros are Fire and Water Damage Specialists

The professionals of SERVPRO®  have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Have Questions? Call Us Today- 508-393-7898

Fall Fire Safety Tips for Your Grafton, MA Home

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of  firepit fire If you've had any amount of fire damage calling us is the first step toward restoration. Faster To Any Size Disaster. 508-393-7898

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe from potential fire hazards.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Here are some helpful hints when cooking your fall family dinners.

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, or hand towels, away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the flames.

  • Call 911 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

If you are doing any outdoor cooking around a fire pit, consider the following to keep it a fun, but safe time for all:

  • Check the wind conditions prior to starting the fire. Wind can make it hard to light the fire or blow embers around to surrounding brush or structures.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby, like a water hose or water bucket.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • Keep all children and pets at least three feet from the fire.

Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Typed words "Emergency Escape Plan" If you've had any amount of fire damage calling us is the first step toward restoration.r, Faster To Any Size Disaster. 508-393-7898

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.

To make the most of what little time you have, be proactive and establish a fire escape plan. Having a plan in place and practicing that plan will ensure everyone knows where to go when disaster strikes.

As a family, walk through your home and look at all possible exits, doors and windows. Create a map of your home, so everyone can visually see two ways out of every room, a primary and secondary evacuation route.

As you develop your family escape plan, consider the following steps, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside every sleeping area on every level of the home.
  • Walk through your plans with the family, making sure everyone can access the exits easily.
  • Set an outside meeting point for the family once they've escaped.
  • Once you're out, stay out and wait for help to arrive, do not go back into the burning structure.

Once you have a plan in place make sure all your fire safety supplies are in place and up to date. Smoke detectors need to replaced every 10 years, also replace the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months. Fire extinguishers need to be replaced every 12 years. Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the necessary areas of your home, the kitchen, utility rooms, garage, etc.

If your home has two floors, an escape ladder is a necessity for the safety of your family. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window, so everyone knows how to do it safely. Escape ladders can be placed near the windows on the second floor, providing additional escape options. You don't want to be searching for it during a fire.

Take all the necessary steps to prepare your family for a potential fire. Minutes of preparation now can save a life when it matters most.

If you have questions or concerns about smoke alarms or how to make a home escape plan, please contact your local Fire Department, or visit nfpa.org/public-education or  cpsc.gov/safety-education for more information.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Teaching-tools/Community-tool-kits/Fire-Safety-for-Multigenerational-Families-Living-Together

If you've had any amount of fire damage calling us is the first step toward restoration. SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough, Faster To Any Size Disaster. 508-393-7898

SERVPRO is thrilled to announce its support of the First Responders Children’s Foundation.

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO, along with its more than 1,900 franchise owners across the U.S. and Canada, is proud to be able to give back

to first responders in two ways in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this summer – and beyond.

SERVPRO is thrilled to announce its support of the First Responders Children’s Foundation. FRCF does the noble work of

providing financial support to children and families who have lost a parent in the line of duty or who are enduring hardship

due to tragedy. Beyond that, FRCF funds educational programs operated by first responder organizations that benefit

children and the communities in which they live.

To launch the relationship with FRCF, SERVPRO is donating an initial $100,000 to help support FRCF’s mission.

“As CEO, I cannot overstate how proud SERVPRO is to present the Firefighter Appreciation Program or how excited we

are to announce our support of the First Responders Children’s Foundation. We applaud the foundation’s work, and we are

proud to support the children and families of first responders,” SERVPRO CEO Rick Isaacson said.

FEMA’s National Preparedness Month Spotlights the Importance of Understanding and Managing Risk

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough disaster mitigation specialist urges area residents to create a disaster management and recovery plan before the unexpected happens

Shrewsbury, MA (Grassroots Newswire) August 18, 2021— September is National Preparedness Month, part of the ongoing “Ready”1 initiative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to FEMA’s “Are You Ready”2 guide, the first step in effective disaster preparedness is to understand your specific risks—first by identifying the hazards that could possibly affect you and then by evaluating your actual vulnerability to those sources of danger.

“Once you understand your risks, you can effectively plan to mitigate them by decreasing your vulnerability and then manage their consequences quickly and effectively if the worst does happen,” says disaster mitigation specialist Donny McKendall of SERVPRO® of Shrewsbury/Westborough. “Of course, individual home or business owners’ risks vary depending on their location, but regardless of where you live or work, FEMA’s guide has some basic steps that everyone can take to prepare for the unexpected.”

  1. Create a family communication and shelter
  2. Sign up for emergency alerts, including FEMA alerts3.
  3. Build your savings if possible and keep a small emergency fund of cash on-hand at
  4. Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit4: Gather and safeguard critical documents like deeds, medical information, insurance policies, and a list of your household belongings.
  5. Create an emergency kit5 with basic tools and enough food and water to last 72 hours and keep the contents fresh and up to date.

In addition to the planning tools and checklists provided by FEMA, businesses like SERVPRO that specialize in disaster mitigation and restoration offer free tools that make disaster recovery easier. The free SERVPRO READY app6 allows home and business owners to store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed in seconds with a mobile device. Local business owners who designate SERVPRO of Worcester as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider benefit from a no-cost assessment of their facility along with help completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

“The uncomfortable truth is that no amount of preparedness will prevent disasters from striking, but preparedness can help disaster victims survive and then recover,” says McKendall. “When disaster strikes, sometimes it’s difficult to even know where to start picking up the pieces. Having critical documents and details at your fingertips helps, but so does having access to professionals who know

how to help you return to normal, "Like it never even happened." The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough know what to do when you don’t know which way to turn. We’re here  to help when you need us.”

For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com.

1 2021 Preparedness Calendar | Ready.gov

2 https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/are-you-ready-guide.pdf

3 https://www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/mobile-app-text-messages

4 https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ready_emergency-financial-first-aid-toolkit.pdf

5 https://www.ready.gov/kit

6 https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

About SERVPRO

For more than 50 years, SERVPRO® has been a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation, and biohazard and pathogen remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,900 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small – from million-square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes. When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners, and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

When Water Damage Strikes Your Westborough Property, Restoration Through Mitigation Is Less Expensive Than Replacing!

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Water Damage Icon When water damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. Call us today (508) 393-7898

When water damage affects your Westborough property, you want it restored as soon as possible. Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO® of Shrewsbury/Westborough Professionals arrives on-site to perform water cleanup, the better the results – including lower claim costs.

Lower Recovery Costs – The SERVPRO® System Helps Save Money

  • Emergency Mitigation Services help minimize additional property damages.
  • SERVPRO® of Shrewsbury/Westborough Professionals use specialized test equipment to determine hidden water.
  • Restoration versus replacement of contents saves heirlooms and money too.
  • By using advanced drying techniques, SERVPRO® of Worcester Professionals monitor and ensure your property is properly dried.

Components of Proper Water Damage Restoration

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key components of a proper water damage restoration are Fast Action and Thorough Drying. It’s important to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property.

When water damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. Call us today (508) 393-7898

When Disaster Strikes Your Northborough, MA Restaurant We’ll get you back to Service Fast!  

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

Northborough, MA. The restaurant business and food service industry are numbers-driven. When fire or water damage strikes every minute your facility is closed is money lost.

AT SERVPRO of Northborough our number one priority is getting your business and dining room back in operation as quickly as possible. When disaster strikes your restaurant or manufacturing center, you need the expertise of a team who is trained in food service cleanup. At SERVPRO our specialists are trained in health codes, regulations and the use of food-safe products. We understand the importance of getting your dining room, kitchen or production operational with minimal or no interruption at all. We’ll work to ensure all surfaces are restored and sanitized to health and food safety specifications, and you are able to get back to business quicker.

Our experience in the food service industry has given us the ability to provide a variety of detailed services for the following types of facilities:

  • Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Food Distribution Centers
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • Fine Dining Restaurants
  • Senior Living Facility Kitchens
  • School Cafeterias

Call SERVPRO of Northborough 508-393-7898 to get you back in service faster.

When Damage Threatens The Hospitality Industry In Westborough, MA There’s One Number To Call.

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough Commercial Building Restoration Services

24 hours a day and seven days a week, SERVPRO of Shrewsbury / Westborough responds quickly to your Westborough business’s fire, water, and mold damage emergencies. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough Commercial Building Cleaning Services

When the dirt, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you can trust the professionals of SERVPRO of Shrewsbury / Westborough. We’ll get the job done right and get it done quickly. Our highly trained technicians use top-of-the-line equipment to make your business shine again. Learn more about our commercial cleaning services:

At SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough we understand that keeping your guests satisfied is your top priority, and you can rest assured that you are ours.  When water or fire damage strikes Call 508-393-7898, we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."®

How Can I Prevent BBQ Fires & Burn Injuries? Ask a SERVPRO Pro

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Ask a SERVPRO PRO words on a black & green background Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (508) 393-7898

In our July installment of “Ask a SERVPRO Pro” we speak with, Donny McKendall, President and Owner of SERVPRO of Worcester &  SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough. Donny offered safety tips to help outdoor chefs prevent fires & burn injuries.

Summer is almost here! That means people are spending more time outdoors entertaining and cooking. Local fire and disaster remediation specialist Donny McKendall of SERVPRO® of Worcester, SERVPRO Of Shrewsbury/Westborough knows that the number of grill fires will increase, peaking in July. “Charcoal and gas grills, barbeques and the like are involved in an average of more than 5,000 structure fires each year and almost 5,000 additional outdoor fires,” said McKendall. Beyond that, McKendall adds, grilling accidents result in 19,700 trips to the hospital annually. Thermal burns account for 9,500 of those visits, and children under the age of five account for an average of 2,000, or 39 percent, of those burns.1 McKendall knows that families can take steps to protect their home from damage and their family from injuries and still enjoy home-grilled, summer meals.

Before you grill: 1

  • READY: Clean grill racks and grease trays. For gas grills, check the gas tank hose for leaks at the beginning of the season.
  • SET: Choose a safe, firm, level spot for the grill away from coolers, running children and pets, and mingling guests. Grill outside, never in a garage or under the awning on a deck, the eaves of your home, or low-hanging branches.
  • GO: Prepare the grill for cooking carefully. For charcoal grills, use a charcoal chimney with newspaper, a charcoal starter fluid, or an electric charcoal starter plugged into an outdoor-rated extension cord. For gas grills, open the lid before turning the grill on. If you smell gas after the grill is lit, do not try to move the grill. Get away from the grill and call the fire department.

While you grill: 2

  • SAFE ZONE: Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the hot grill, both while you are cooking and after you serve the food. Grill surfaces can remain hot for an hour or more.
  • SAFE TOOLS: Use long-handled grill utensils in good condition; avoid loose, flowing clothing; and wear flame-retardant mitts to adjust vents to help prevent burns.
  • SAFE COOKING: Keep the fire under control. Manage flareups by adjusting grill height, using grill controls, or spreading out the coal bed. Keep baking soda within reach to control grease fires. Watch for blowing embers and have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose, or a bucket of sand handy to extinguish spark-triggered fires. Never attempt to move a hot grill.

“Home fires can be devastating, both financially and emotionally, because smoke and water damage often amplify the destruction to both the structure and its contents,” says McKendalll “While our SERVPRO-trained professionals are here to help you recover "Like it never even happened," if you do experience a structure fire, we believe that prevention is better than a cure. Fires and burn injuries caused by grills are not strictly a summer phenomenon. Nearly half of home grillers use their grill year-round, so it’s important to keep these safety guidelines in mind all year long.”

About June’s Featured “ SERVPRO Pro”

Donny McKendall, President
SERVPRO of Worcester & SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough

Drawing on generations of restoration knowledge and a commitment to excellence Donny has led the SERVPRO of Worcester team to new heights in capacity and capabilities.

A once young, rudimentary restoration service has developed into one of Central Massachusetts most reliable and capable full-service restoration companies.

Holding himself to the same high standards he sets for his team, Donny holds the following IICRC certifications: Applied Microbial Remediation Technician, Applied Structural Drying Technician, Commercial Drying Specialist, Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician, and Water Damage Restoration Technician.

About SERVPRO®  of Shrewsbury/Westborough

The highly trained and certified professionals of SERVPRO of Shrewsbury/Westborough are experienced in cleaning and restoring a fire, mold or water-damaged building and its contents, including wall, ceiling and floor surfaces; furniture; fabric; fixtures and more. They also offer cleaning and restoration of special items, such as: HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers; and documents that have sustained water damage.

Additionally, SERVPRO® Shrewsbury/Westborough is highly trained and experienced in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination. Adhering to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry standards (CDC, RIA, IICRC) and using EPA approved cleaning products you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO® to deliver the highest standard of clean.

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,800 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(508) 393-7898