Common Causes of Commercial Fires
One of the greatest defenses against commercial fires is to understand and mitigate your risks. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the five most common causes of commercial fires are cooking equipment, heating equipment, electrical and lighting equipment, smoking materials, and intentional fire-setting.
- Cooking Equipment: Most common of restaurants but possible in any business that serves food, commercial fires caused by cooking equipment are extremely common. The high cooking, temperatures, flammable oils and grease, and the hectic nature of commercial kitchens make this the single most common cause of commercial fires.
- Heating Equipment: As with any mechanical equipment, furnaces, boilers, and radiators run the risk of overheating and, ultimately, starting a fire.
- Electrical and Lighting Equipment: All modern buildings have electrical wiring behind walls for light or power. However, the presence of potentially defective wiring, overloaded circuits, loose connections, imbalanced electrical loads, faulty fuses, and any other electrical or lighting problems carries the inherent risk of starting a fire.
- Smoking Materials: Lit cigars, cigarettes, and other smoking materials often start fires if disposed of incorrectly. Despite a decline in the popularity of smoking and the introduction of “fire-safe” cigarettes, smoking materials remain the fourth leading cause of commercial fires.
- Intentional Fire-Setting: Although one may assume that intentional fire-setting is a nicely-put term for arson, arson only comprises a small percentage of commercial fires. Rather, an intentional fire can be defined as any fire which occurs as a result of the deliberate misuse of a heat source. This often leads to unexpected or accidental consequences by the fire-starter, rather than outcomes of criminal intent.
We at SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe know the extent of damage caused by commercial fires. Too often, we are tasked with cleaning and restoring a destroyed kitchen or charred office. That is why we provide you with information meant to help prevent the disaster from occurring in your business.
If a fire does affect your commercial property, be sure to call us at (480) 558-7620. Beyond our extensive knowledge covering all aspects of fire damage, we understand the urgency of the situation. Commercial fire damage means decreased productivity, so we make sure your business is back up and running at full capacity in the shortest time possible. “Faster to Any Disaster.”
With monsoon season in full swing, we at SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe feel that it is important to provide you with information regarding ways to protect your home or business from unnecessary damage.
Rains and Floods
One of the most powerful features of monsoons is water. With the ability to severely damage a home’s foundation as well as belongings should it infiltrate the structure, it is necessary that homeowners take the proper precautions before a storm hits. Here are a couple of tips to minimize or prevent damage in the case of a storm:
- To redirect water away from the structure, place sandbags in front of your door or around your home.
- Check your gutters and downspouts. Makes sure that their placement encourages proper runoff and clean them before rains hit to ensure drainage.
- As you check your gutters, examine the roof for loose shingles or leaks. Should you identify any areas of concern, fix them as soon as possible.
- Check the grading around your house. To properly move water away from your home, there should be a gradual slope downwards from the foundation. If your home shows improper grading, it can prove highly beneficial to invest in a landscaper to add dirt or gravel to improve it.
In the presence of strong winds, damage due to falling trees and cactus as well as flying debris is very likely. Trim branches from lower limbs of trees and remove any that may be rotted or broken in preparation for monsoons. You may also need to add supports or stake down a tree trunk should it be young, new to the soil, weak from prior damage, or if the soil is shallow and poor.
Unfortunately, monsoon season in Arizona often brings dust storms, also known as haboobs, which can cause damage that threatens the health and safety of those residing within the home. Below are some commonly affected areas to be aware of and measures you can take to ensure full functioning of your home:
- If dust enters your smoke detectors, they can malfunction. Therefore, it is important to change your air conditioner filter before and during monsoon season as well as consider turning it off during a storm. This prevents high volumes of dust from entering the home and affecting detectors.
- If you have filter or purification systems inside your house, keep an eye on them as they can quickly become contaminated with dust particles; preventing normal functioning
- Check that ductwork is properly sealed. This prevents dust from blowing into your home as covers can work loose throughout the year.
In consideration of monsoon season, staying on top of regular home maintenance pays for itself. We at SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe know firsthand the kind of damage caused by the storms that occur during monsoon season. As a franchise with fire and water cleanup and restoration, mold remediation, and reconstruction services, we are fully equipped to handle any size loss. Whether caused by excessive rain, lightning, wind-propelled objects, or dust, we can return your home to normal – "Like it never even happened."
Was it "Wonderwall" or "Waterwall"?
Especially as we enter the height of monsoon season, SERVPRO wants you to have the tools necessary to notice and react quickly in the case of water damage in your home. Caused by intense weather, old or loose pipes, and a plethora of other occurrences, leaks in your walls are never pleasant; but below are eight tricks to catching them quickly and avoiding costly repairs.
- Look for puddles of standing water near a wall – Wet flooring, especially near major water-using appliances, is one of the simplest ways to identify a leak in a wall.
- Look for discoloration on a wall – Irregular spots of discoloration are highly indicative of a leak behind a wall, regardless of the wall’s surface/material.
- Inspect walls for a change in texture – Walls with water leaks often show puckered, buckled, drooping, or bubble-like textures.
- Note any signs of mold or mildew – When a leak has been present for a substantial period of time, mold can grow on your wall. Oftentimes a dense cluster of black or brown dots, mold is a common result of water damage.
- Pay attention to any musty smells – Leaks that are not yet visible may make their presence known by smell, as water that soaks into walls and never has a chance to dry out can develop a strong odor.
- Listen for dripping sounds – If you hear dripping in the seconds after turning off the shower, flushing the toilet, or turning off the sink, do not ignore it. It can be a sign of a leak.
- Keep an eye on your water bill – If a significant amount of water is leaking in your walls, you often find that your water bill reflects it with higher prices.
- Check for clogged eaves and downspouts – Remove clogging material (pine needles, leaves, etc.) in the eaves and downspouts to restore water flow as overflowing water could eventually seep through the roof and walls.
At SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe, we know that water damage often feels overwhelming and expensive. If your home or business is affected by a water loss, whether in the walls or elsewhere, call us at (480) 558-7620. We make it a point to respond promptly and resolve your damages efficiently and effectively. ‘Faster to Any Disaster’, and quicker to leaving you to return to a leak-free home.
Wildfire Safety Tips
Tips for homeowners living in the High Sonoran Desert to prevent damage to your property from wildfires:
- Establish a “defensible safety zone.” Around your home or property, remove dry and dead vegetation so as to prevent highly flammable materials from collecting near your home.
- Maintain your trees. Trim the canopies and remove dead branches or accumulations of flash fuels and leaves below the tree. This is especially important within the “defensible safety zone.”
- Clear areas beneath wooden decks and overhangs of flammable items such as foliage.
- Keep gutters, eaves, and roofs clear of debris.
High Sonoran Deserts are an integral part of our community, providing diverse wildlife and immense beauty. However, their dry and significant vegetation also possesses the potential for wildfires. By adhering to the brief guidelines above you can greatly decrease your home’s likelihood of damage in the case of a wildfire in your area. Nevertheless, should your home sustain damage from a fire, call SERVPRO, “Faster to Any Disaster.” We will ensure the high-quality and efficient remediation of your damages in any situation.
SERVPRO In Your Community
As a cleaning and restoration company, it is not necessary that we take an interest in maintaining our role as partners in the community. Or that we strive to improve the wellbeing of those beyond our client base. However, we envision our name as one which can also be paired with terms such as “care,” “respect,” and “reliability.” We exist within a larger context and it important to us that we acknowledge that.
SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee South Tempe came under new leadership 4 years ago with the introduction of new owners, Tom Curran and Jim Tax. Formerly working in insurance, they both understand the importance of remembering the strength of the community and the client. Further, they do not forget the two are paired; and that it is necessary to support one to strengthen the other.
As a company which has actively taken steps to maintain the health and safety of first responders following COVID-19, encouraged donations to local food banks, rallied members of the community to support those in need of medical assistance, and made every effort to ease the burden of those who have suffered damage to their homes or businesses, we are with you. Trust SERVPRO because we strive to be more than a cleaning and restoration company. We strive to be a community partner and advocate.
The Science of Drying
Although simple in theory, there is actually a science behind the process of drying. When restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition, it is essential to have knowledge of psychrometrics. That being, the study of various properties of air and methods of controlling its temperature and moisture content or humidity. We at SERVPRO are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower any chances of incurring secondary damage. Should your property sustain damage, our SERVPRO professionals will:
- Inspect the structure to identify every wet component to help prevent secondary damage from occurring
- Measure the amount of moisture in wet materials and monitor whether they are drying properly
- Place professional drying equipment to speed up drying and prevent further damage
With time, a wet building will dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. However, nature often takes too long, causing secondary damages as the property dries. It is the expertise of our professionals, the sate-of-the-art equipment in place, and top-of-the-line technology that allows us to resolve water damage “Like it never even happened.”
If your building sustains water damage, call 480-558-7620 or visit our SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe website.
A Lightning Storm in the Sonoran Desert
Forced to manage thunderstorms, flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and dust storms in various regions across the country we, in the U.S., incur billons in damage each year. As homes and businesses fail to hold-up against extreme weather and thousands of lives are affected, it is increasingly important to prepare yourself before a storm affects you; ensuring your safety and taking the necessary steps to protect your property.
Know Your Risk. Take the time to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and where you work in addition to how it could affect you, your business, and your family. Become knowledgeable so that you are prepared before it affects you. Also, check the weather forecast regularly. Severe weather can come in many forms and remaining aware of local hazards can be beneficial to organizing a shelter plan or reacting in an appropriate amount of time.
Take Action. There are three steps most important to taking effective and efficient action. Create a communication plan for your home and business. Put together an emergency kit. And, keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example. After the threat has passed, share your story with your family, friends, and co-workers. Your preparedness story can inspire others to do the same as well as create a dialogue to enable improvement for future situations.
At SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe, our professionals can help you be “Ready for Whatever Happens!” Contact us at 480-558-7620 for more readiness tips and tools or if your home or business sustains damage from a storm or hazardous weather.
Commercial Water Damage
In the case of a water loss, fast response time paired with effective methods of restoration are crucial. Capable of incurring harmful effects to the building’s structure, furniture, and scent, water losses on a commercial property can be detrimental to the functioning of a business. Furthermore, with damage to a building, there is potential for a loss of income and production. However, at SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe, we are constantly working to mitigate those damages and manage each project through completion. Whether your emergency occurs in a small office building or a superstore, our team of highly trained and certified technicians will ensure that your business is operating at full capacity as quickly as possible.
Call us at (480) 558-7620. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When you need fast, reliable help to restore your business after water, fire, mold, or storm damage, we can get you back to business, “Like it never even happened.”
Preparing You For Haboobs
Daniel Bryant Photo
Frequently occurring across the Southwestern region of the United States, intense dust storms also referred to as haboobs, bring walls of dust billowing across miles of land during monsoon season. As monsoon season is upon us here in Arizona, it is important to be prepared in the following months and aware of the potential threats facing your home. Specifically, as dust storms can damage the integrity of your home and leave you vulnerable to further damages caused by the aggressive rain and storms that often follow. Here are a few preventative tips to help keep your property safe during a haboob:
- Trim your trees - One of the greatest threats faced by homeowners during a dust storm is from falling trees and branches. Further, because dust storms typically strike with little to no notice, it is particularly critical to maintain your trees throughout the storm season.
- Keep the roof in good shape – High winds from dust storms can be highly damaging to the roof of your home; particularly if you have shingles that are loose or starting to peel.
- Put away umbrellas and other potential hazards – Directly preceding a haboob, putting away umbrellas and other outdoor items is extremely important as they are likely to become wind-blown debris and cause serious damage to your home. As a further precaution, dismantle and safely store umbrellas during storm season when you are not home as they are particularly dangerous; capable of inflicting blunt-force damage from wind as well as serving as a lightning rod alongside other metal items.
- Keep windows and doors shut during the storm – During a haboob, ensure that all windows and doors are tightly shut to prevent strong winds from entering your home and damaging indoor items.
Beginning in June and continuing through September, monsoon season and the dust storms that accompany it are prevalent and highly threatening to residential and commercial property. However, with thorough preparation you can hugely minimize potential damage. In the case that your home or business is affected by a summer haboob or storm, SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe is there to help. Call (480) 558-7620 for the high-quality and efficient remediation of your damages.
Furniture in a Flood?
When a flood damages your home, it’s not easy to recover. Then, when furniture gets damaged, the impact can seem that much greater. At SERVPRO, we understand the strain a loss of belongings causes and have expert tools and resources to salvage all that is possible; however, we understand the importance of providing you with the knowledge to do it yourself should the need arise. Here are some tools and tips to help you salvage your flooded furniture:
- Salvage upholstered furniture – Unfortunately, although fabric cushions can sometimes be salvaged, they are often a total loss. If only slight and short flooding occurred, separate upholstery fabrics and other colored items to prevent color bleeding. Then, dry completely as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew. Please note that this is typical if more than 20% of the fabric is wet as it is easy for upholstered furniture to absorb contaminants from floodwaters. Due to the nature of upholstered furniture, it is advantageous to get an estimate to evaluate if it is worth saving before investing too much money. Additionally, if you do decide to keep your furniture, investing in a professional to clean it can be highly beneficial.
- Salvage mattresses – The process of salvaging mattresses is very similar to that of furniture as it too, easily absorbs water and fosters the growth of bacteria and mildew. Unlike it, however, it is more likely salvageable. Clean the surface and put the mattress in the sun to dry; keeping the wet side up. Further, rest it on blocks and place fans around it to facilitate drying. Should you notice a musty odor, it is an indication of mildew and requires either professional sanitation or disposal. Additionally, if your mattress or box spring has been submerged or has been sitting in water for an extended period, replacement is necessary.
- Salvage lightly damaged wood furniture – Clean and dry furniture first to avoid fungus and mold growth. Should white mildew spots appear, clean them with turpentine or a mixture of equal parts household ammonia and water. Finally, wipe dry immediately and apply cream wood restorers with lanolin to help restore the wood’s finish if necessary.
- Salvage heavily damaged wood furniture – Remove all parts to expedite drying (back panels, drawers, and doors) but do not force parts apart if they are sticking, wait until the furniture has partially dried and the wood has begun to shrink. Then, hose off mud and dirt while storing furniture in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
Salvaging wet furniture is a big undertaking, but it is achievable and can help you feel less stressed in your home after a flood. However, if you need help or feel most comfortable with expert technicians tackling the task, SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe is happy to help. Call (480) 558-7620 and we will respond with immediate assistance to ensure your belongings are best restored, “Like it never even happened.”