Recent Posts

Pet Fire Safety

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.

It's important to keep animals away from open flames such as candles. Make sure your candles are in a secure location that cannot be knocked over. 

In the event of a fire, if your pets are not able to make it out of the house with you, let the responding firefighters know that. They will do everything they can to recover your animals from the home. 

Make sure you have all your pets records in a secure place so they can be accessed in the event of a fire. 

Pets are like family. Make sure they are apart of your fire evacuation plan. 

Fire Pit Tips

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Here on the MS Gulf Coast, it's common to hang out by the fire pit! Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe this Fall.

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:

Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.

Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.

Check wind direction before lighting a fire.

Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.

To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning. 

Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke. 

Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.

Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.

Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.

As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can.

Grilling Safety Tips

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Every year we see house fires related to backyard grilling. Here are our helpful grilling safety tips. Did you know that on average 8,900 house fires are caused by grilling each year? And, an average of 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard grills each year? We didn't either.

Don't Let a Grilling Accident Ruin your Fun

    • Set up the grill at least 10 ft away from the home - this includes 10 ft away from your wooden deck! Do not grill on the deck.
    • Favorite team playing? Bring your radio or TV outside. Don't leave a grill unattended.
    • Only turn on the gas when the grill lid is open.
    • Raining outside? Wait for it to pass. Don't operate a backyard grill indoors.
    • Check for gas leaks before use.
    • Dirty grill? Clean it before using. Cleaning regularly prevents grease buildup - AKA more fuel for your fire.
    • Prepare for the unexpected. Even the most experienced cooks can have a fire. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.

Understand Accidents Happen

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is equipped to handle any sized smoke or fire loss. Whether it's your home or your business, we know that fires happen when they are least expected. And, we understand that fire and smoke damage can be stressful. Fast response and quick mitigation by our team of trained professionals are keys in reducing the amount of damage and time that you spend out of your home or business. Let us make it "Like it never even happened." We are available 24/7: 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Residential House Fire

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

This attic was affected by water, smoke and fire. This photo was taken during the initial walk-through before work was perfor This attic was affected by water, smoke and fire. This photo was taken during the initial walk-through before work was performed.

We performed fire and smoke restoration in this home. The cause of the fire was car engine overheating in the garage. While the fire damage was largely confined to the garage, soot and smoke odor traveled throughout the home affecting 100% of our customer's structure and content. There was also water damage in the Kitchen, Laundry, Garage, and Finished Attic where the fire was put out by first responders.

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg was called in to clean up the damage. Our team of experts evaluated contents and structure to determine what could be restored. We performed the following services:

  • Contents Evaluation and Inventory
  • Move Out and Content Restoration
  • Walls, Ceiling, and Hard Floor Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Textile Cleaning
  • Deodorization

During the final walk-through, our customer said, "Everything looks fantastic. You made a difficult process extremely easy!"

We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve our community. From Hattiesburg all the way down to the MS Gulf Coast, we are YOUR disaster restoration contractor, and we are here for you. If you experience fire or water damage, reach out to our team of professionals: 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450 

National Preparedness Month: Week 3

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

September: National Preparedness Month

Week #3 – September 13th-19th, Goal: Educate Yourself About Disasters and Emergencies

Different areas have different threats for natural disasters, along with non-natural disasters. For this week of National Preparedness Month, take the list of disasters you may experience, and visit www.ready.gov/be-informed to learn more about each one. Each of these emergencies are covered in depth through ready.com: household chemical emergencies, hurricanes, landslides & debris flow, nuclear power plants, pandemic, power outages, radiological dispersion device, severe weather, snowstorms & extreme cold, space weather, thunderstorms & lightning, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, active shooter, attacks in public places, avalanches, bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, cybersecurity, drought, earthquakes, explosions, extreme heat, floods, hazardous materials incidents, and home fires.

There is also information about what you can do to recover from these disasters. Some of the subjects include how to get involved with the community, citizens corps, community emergency response team, talking to your neighborhood/neighbors about their plans, and lists of organizations active during disasters.  

Other Resources for Your Use:

Parents of Young Children www.ready.gov/kids

Business Owners www.ready.gov/business.

National Preparedness Month

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, recognized to promote community disaster planning. Preparing yourself, your loved ones, and your property for a disaster is crucial, especially in the unpredictable year of 2020. Ready.gov offers weekly National Preparedness Month themes to help organize your preparations:

Week 1 (September 1st-5th): Make a Plan

Determine lines of communication, designated meeting places in case of separation, and responsibilities for each member of your household.  Depending on the needs of your family, you may require additional planning steps.

Week 2 (September 6th-12th): Build a Kit

Gather supplies for each member of your family.  You kit may include food, clean water, medications, pet foods, communication devices, and batteries.  Keep your kit as compact as possible, and in an easily accessible location, in case evacuation becomes necessary.

Week 3 (September 13th-19th): Prepare for Disaster

On the MS Gulf Coast, one of the most common disasters you may face is a hurricane.  To prepare for such an event, be sure to follow local and national news as it pertains to hurricane tracking, check your insurance coverage, and make sure your disaster preparedness kit is built. If a storm is forecasted to hit in your area, follow the direction of local officials concerning shelter and evacuation orders.

Week 4 (September 20th-26th): Teach Youth About Preparedness

Make sure children’s needs are included in your preparations.  Include their items in your disaster kit, talk with them about protocols and procedures in the event of a disaster situation, and answer any questions they may have.

As a leader in clean up and restoration, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is Here to Help in the event your property is damaged by a hurricane or other disaster situation. Our team is “Faster to Any Size Disaster!”  To learn more about our services, call 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit https://www.ready.gov/september

 

National Preparedness Month: Week 1 & 2

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Week #1 – September 1st-5th, Goal: Make A Plan.

The goal of this week can be accomplished in 4 simple steps.

Step #1- Put a Plan Together

Different areas of the county are more at risk for different types of natural disasters. Your first step to put together a plan is to assess what disasters are the most heavy in your area, and make a list. Once you have a list, it will then help you with the rest of the steps.

With your list in mind, ask yourself these questions.  

•How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

•What is my shelter plan?

•What is my evacuation plan?

•What is my household communication plan?

•Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

This will help you identify anything you may have forgotten, and help you find holes in your plan.

Step #2- Consider Specific Needs in Your Household

You can easily look up lists of items to have on hand in case of an emergency, but this step makes your supplies list specific to your family’s needs. Look at each member, and think of any daily items they may need that is not on the list. This can include the daily care of infants/small children, elderly family members, how each member communicates, pets, or anyone with specialized medical equipment or medicine. Having these items on hand is very important when disaster strikes, and you may not be able to easily obtain them.

Step #3- Fill Out a Family Emergency Plan

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/create-your-family-emergency-communication-plan.pdf

Above is the Family Emergency Plan that ready.gov has put out to use. Whether you choose to use this one or not, it is a great reference in what information to have!

Step #4- Practice Your Plan with Your Family/Household

Now that you have your plan started, practicing and running over this plan thoroughly will help you identify any other weaknesses. It may also help your family members feel safe and comfortable after discussing this hard topic, especially with small children. Making sure they feel fully prepared and safe is a great way to put their minds at ease!  

Week #2 – September 6th-12th, Goal: Build A Kit  

The goal of an emergency kit is to help your family survive without assistance for at least 3 days.

Basic Kit Items:

•Water (for each person)

•Food (for each person) Hand crank can opener

•Local maps

•Cell phone chargers & a backup, portable battery

•First aid kit

•Whistle

•Dust masks & cloth masks

•Battery operated radio and/or weather radio

•Flashlights

•Extra batteries

•Wipes

•Trash bags

•Wrench & pliers (for cutting off emergency lines)

•Plastic sheeting & duct tape

Additional items to consider including:

•Cash

•Sleeping bag or blanket for each person

•Complete change of clothing for each person (including shoes)

•Fire extinguisher

•Activities for any children

•Soap & hand sanitizer

•Matches (make sure to store in a waterproof container!)

•Personal hygiene products

•Disposable paper products

•Prescription & over the counter medication

•Contact lens solution (if applicable)

•Copies of important family documents, in waterproof container or saved electronically

•If applicable: formula, bottles, diapers, wipes & diaper rash cream

•If applicable: pet food & water

Maintaining Your Home Kit:

Now that your kit is stocked and ready to go, you will need to update it regularly. A good idea is to update the kit each time you take a look at your emergency plan you created last week. This ensures it is kept up to date, and all items are ready to be used at any time. This also gives you the chance to update any specific items. For example: if an infant no longer needs bottles, remove those items from the kit to save room. You may then need to add in some jars of baby food.

Other Kits:

Now that you are on a roll, consider making smaller kits for work, and to keep in your vehicle. These kits should be much smaller and are a lot easier to create.

Your Work Kit should prepare you to stay at work for at least 24 hours. Also include a comfortable pair of walking shoes in this kit, as you may not be wearing comfortable shoes at work when an emergency takes place.

Your Car Kit should always be in all cars you may have. This kit should include jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, an ice scraper, extra cell phone charger (with car charger), blanket, map and cat litter or sand (to help you gain traction if stuck). 

Labor Day 2020 Safety Tips

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Labor Day means cookouts, fireworks, and even campfires as people take advantage of one of the end of Summer.

It is definitely relaxing and fun to enjoy a backyard fire with friends and loved ones, but it’s important to make sure everyone involved stays safe.Here's a few easy fire protection and prevention tips:

Remember this list of four Labor Day fire safety tips:

  1. Keep a bucket of water close by. On the off chance that something floating out of your fire catches nearby items on fire, you don't want to have to run to get water to put it out.  With water right there, you can quickly and safely extinguish the issue.
  2. Don’t let barbecue grease accumulate. Built up grease and food on a grill grate has a high likelihood of igniting. Before, during, and after using your grill, clean the grate using a wire brush.
  3. Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire.  Make sure to keep as many flammable items away from your grill or fire as possible.  Paper plates and napkins catching on fire are a leading cause of fire damage during Labor Day weekend.  This is especially important if you are grilling near your house or on a deck.
  4. Completely extinguish the fire when you are finished. Never leave a grill unattended after cooking, and never go to sleep without ensuring that it is fully out.  A breeze can send embers that are still hot into the air, and they could land on your roof or other parts of your home, leading to a fire.

If you happen to have any fire damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg at 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

20 Tips for a Safe Labor Day Weekend

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

2020 Labor Day weekend is here! Whether you are relaxing at the beach, hanging by the pool, or enjoying the outdoors, it's important to stay safe! Here are 20 safety tips from the American Red Cross.

DRIVING SAFETY

  1. Be well rested, alert, and use your seat belts. Pay attention to speed limits and follow the rules of the road. Clean your headlights for driving at night.
  2. Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver or call an Uber/Lyft.
  3. Pay attention to the road & avoid distractions such as cellphones.
  4. Use caution in work zones & look out for construction projects on the highways.
  5. Don't drive too close to the person in front of you.

HEAT SAFETY

  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially if drinking caffeine or alcohol.
  2. Avoid extreme temperatures.
  3. Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothing. Beware the dark colors absorb the sun’s rays.
  4. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, and make sure to take a break from the heat...especially if you plan on spending your weekend outdoors.
  5. Postpone outdoor games and activities if you feel overheated or dehydrated.

BEACH SAFETY

  1. If you plan to swim in the ocean, lake or river, be cautious that conditions are different than swimming in a pool. Wear a life jacket if needed.
  2. Only swim in designated swimming areas. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards and ask them about local conditions.
  3. Make sure to always swim with someone else. Don't push your limits, and make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
  4. Never dive headfirst. There's no way of knowing how deep the water actually is. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life. Water plants and animals can be dangerous.
  5. If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

BE SAFE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

  1. Take a First Aid/CPR course so that you will know what to do in case help is delayed. You’ll learn how to treat severe wounds, broken bones, bites and stings and more.
  2. Know your groups level of ability in the environment around you. Plan accordingly. Sprains and falls are some of the most common accidents travelers may face.
  3. Beware of dehydration. Make sure to bring enough water and stay hydrated.
  4. Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor or friend.
  5. Pack a First Aid Kit – be sure to include insect repellent, sunscreen and personal medications."

source: American Red Cross. link here: redcross.org

Salvaged Items | Mold Damage

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know Mold can grow on more than just your walls?

It can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.

1. Leather Goods

Leather bags, jackets, and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.

2. Clothing

While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke, and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.

3. Paintings

Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth. 

What to do...

When you find mold growth on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting SERVPRO of Hattiesburg for removing your items from areas where mold is present. Our team can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.