Recent Posts

Heating Equipment Safety

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

portable heater Any time you use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety in order to decrease your property's fire risk.

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we begin to feel a chill in the air. It is this time of year when many homeowners and business owners start thinking about turning on their property’s heating system. Any time we use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety. In today’s blog, we’ll consider 3 statistical observations on the subject of heating safety risks from the National Fire Protection Agency and discuss ways in which you can prevent your property from becoming part of the statistics.

In a report based on annual averages between 2014 and 2018, the NFPA found that…

1. “Most home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.”

To prevent fires from portable heaters, be sure to keep them at least 3ft away from people and combustible objects, like blankets and upholstery.

2. “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”

Chimneys and other solid-fueled heating systems should receive professional cleaning services on an annual basis. Getting into the habit of having your chimney inspected and cleaned once every year can help decrease your property’s fire risk.

3. “Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.”

It can get extremely cold during the winter months, which makes it easy to want to keep portable heaters on 24/7. However, it is important to turn heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed, as fires can ignite when heaters are unsupervised.

Call SERVPRO Team Harloe for Fire Damage Restoration Services

Disinfect your workspace

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

desk pic Clean Desk

The physical environment of the workplace has a significant effort on the way that we work. When our space is a mess, so are we.

Whether you worked in an office or in a cubicle, you probably worked to keep it clean and disinfected. When you’re concerned about keeping yourself safe from sickness-causing germs, you’re probably ready to bust out some serious chemicals to help you to help you clean and disinfect your cubicle, desk, office, or home office. Unfortunately, while disinfectants can be a powerful safeguard against bacteria and viruses, they can also contain some pretty scary chemicals that can have serious health effects on you and your co-workers. All cleaning products are not created equal and not all of them are disinfectants. Only products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency which have gone under specific testing to ensure their efficacy. Also, just because a disinfectant can be used to effectively kill germs and bacteria does not mean it’s safe to come into contact with your skin, eyes and lungs.

SERVPRO of Pickens offers disinfection services. We work to clean and sanitize office buildings and other commercial facilities. We train our cleaners to sanitize surfaces based on the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We follow their guidelines and use various methods and products to clean surfaces and limit the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The best results come when the right tools are used, and consumer cleaning products don’t always provide the desired outcome. Our team has access to industrial strength chemicals, as well as specialized equipment that’s much more effective than that found in stores. All the cleaning supplies we use are registered with the EPA, so they’re sure to be eco-friendly.

When searching for a disinfection service, be sure to choose a company that is flexible and follows guidelines that protect workers’ safety and health. Call us at 864.855.3993

When does water cause mold Damage?

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Mold from leak

As weather pattern change and storms becomes more intense and prevalent, the potential for water damage and subsequent mold growth increases as well. Water in your home or building is disconcerting  thought. Whenever you have a water loss, it is a nerve-racking experience. You have to worry about cleaning up the water and drying out what’s affected. Sometimes you need to take care of these on you own, other times a professional company like SERVPRO of Pickens County, need to come in and assess and then clean. With any water loss, mold should be worry but when does water actually causes mold growth. Below are different types of water damage that can cause mold growth.

  1. Sewage back-up from flooding in the area.
  2. Plumbing or root lease
  3. Damp basement or crawl space
  4. Overflows from sinks from bathtub
  5. High humidity
  6. Any type of stagnant water in you home

Mold will begin to grow 24- 48 hours after the initial water damage. If you discover the source of damage, stop it quickly and clean the mess. If the water is not dried out within that time, a professional may apply antimicrobial products to prevent growth.

Experiencing a water damage disaster is enough stress on its own. Always seek for professional advice. If you experience these kind of emergencies, call SERVPRO of Pickens County at 864.855.3993!

Winter Safety Tips For The Upstate.

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

The New Year is finally here. We know you probably have a few New Years Resolutions for yourself, but now is the perfect time to prepare you and your family for the upcoming winter weather. The first step to overcoming or avoiding disaster is to prepare now. The more prepared you are now, the better you can handle an emergency. Below are a few winter safety suggestions you can use to keep you and your family safe. 

Prepare Your Car: 

Roadside emergencies can happen any time, but being stuck on the road during cold weather is the worst. Prepare for the worst by winterizing your car now, and save yourself from stress and headaches in the future. 

  • Check your tires and replace them with all-weather tires if necessary. Check your spare tire as well. 
  • Use a wintertime fluid in your windshield washer. 
  • If you do not already have one, make an emergency kit for your car. Whether you get a flat tire, you slip off the road, or you run out of fuel, an emergency car kit can help you get back on the road quickly and safely. Include bottled water, nonperishable high energy snacks, a first aid kit, multi-tool or swiss army knife, blankets, an extra change of clothes, flashlights, extra batteries, portable cell phone chargers, jumper cables, spare tire, a tire gauge, foam tire sealant, a jack and lug wrench, tow straps, extra cash for emergencies, rags and hand wipes (baby wipes are a great option), a small 5 lb fire extinguisher (class B or C), and emergency flares or reflective triangles. 
  • You should also include winter-specific items such as mittens, socks and hats, hand warmers, a bag of non-clumping cat litter (to help you regain traction if needed), a shovel, and an ice scraper. Once you have gathered all your supplies, store them in a box or container that you can easily access in your vehicle.   

Prepare Your Home: 

Winterize your home to protect you and your family from potential damage that cold temperatures may bring. 

  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. During the winter season, there is an increase in fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Checking these devices now can increase your chances of surviving a fire or avoiding CO2 poisoning. 
  • Check your heating systems. 
  • Clean out chimneys and fireplaces. 
  • Keep a power outage kit in your home. If you lose power for a significant amount of time, be prepared by having enough water and nonperishable food to last for three days for each family member, a first aid kit, extra batteries, flashlights, and baby items (if needed).
  • Invest in a portable generator for your home. Remember you should only use a generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Never use them indoors, in a garage, or close to your home. 

Prepare Yourself: 

  • Stay indoors during inclement weather
  • Be careful when you go out. Watch out for ice and snow on walkways. 
  • Keep your clothes dry. Wet clothing loses its warmth and rapidly transmits cold. 

If you experience damage from winter storms - don't panic! Call SERVPRO of Pickens County. No matter the size or type of disaster you experience, we will make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Tis The Season For Twelve Days Of Safety.

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Tis the season – to celebrate safely!

This time of year isn’t just the time of year that we eat more than usual and gather with family and friends; it’s also when we see an increase in household accidents and fires. To help make sure your holidays don’t go from merry to scary, remember these Twelve Holiday Safety Tips. 

Twelve Holiday Safety Tips: 

  1.  Keep your Christmas and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from any heat sources – especially those with an open flame, like fireplaces, heaters, and candles. Remember to extinguish your holiday candles whenever you leave the room or go to sleep. 
  2. The best decorations are safe decorations, so when decorating, make sure you never run cords under rugs or furniture, out of windows, or across walkways or sidewalks.Only use outdoor and indoor lights as indicated on their packaging.
  3. Natural Christmas trees are beautiful and bring extra holiday magic into your home. However, real trees can dry up and turn into kindling in no time at all, be sure to water it frequently to keep it fresh and safe. If you use a real tree, get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard, do not leave them in your home or garage. 
  4. Always turn off your lights and decorations when you leave your home and when you’re sleeping. The most deadly fires happen while people are asleep. 
  5. Be mindful of how you are using your electrical outlets. If you’re using extension cords or adapters that add receptacles, consider having a qualified electrician add more outlets to your home. Never plug multiple extension cords together, and always use a polarized or three-pronged extension cord rated to handle the electrical current your devices need. 
  6. Never leave cooking or baking unattended. Always stay in the kitchen even if you are baking or roasting-and set a timer to remind yourself to check on cooking food. 
  7. Remember that your phones and tablets should stay on your nightstand, not in your bed under pillows and blankets. We all love falling asleep to the muffled crooning of Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé, but overheated electronics are dangerous.
  8. Check all your smoke alarms to make sure they still work or if your alarms need new batteries. Install a working smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement if you have one. 
  9. If you’re using a space heater, always turn it off before leaving the room. It only takes seconds for a fire to start if a space heater tips over or comes in contact with a blanket or curtains.
  10. Inspect your decorations and discard any that are damaged or worn out. Safely discard frayed light strands, broken ornaments, or worn-out decorations that no longer work properly. 
  11. Keep batteries stored safely in their packaging and out of reach of anything that might try to eat them, like small children and pets. Eating a battery can be deadly. 
  12. Never share holiday or travel plans on social mediaDo not put your travel plans or pictures on social media until you return home. You could be unintentionally inviting thieves into your home while you are away. 

Carbon Monoxide and Your Home.

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Your first line of defense is installing a Carbon monoxide detector that is battery-operated or has a battery backup.

Carbon Monoxide and Your Home. 

Fall has officially begun in the Upstate, the leaves are changing colors, the weather has cooled off, and now you need to turn on the heat in your home. But before you make your home warm and cozy this fall and winter, did you know you are at a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning during the colder months? 

What is Carbon Monoxide (Co)? 

Carbon monoxide or Co is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause illness and death. Carbon monoxide is created when natural gas, propane, gasoline, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. Cars, boats, gas engines, stoves, and heating systems also produce CO. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals can be poisoned and die from breathing in Carbon monoxide. Below are several things you can do to prevent Carbon monoxide poisoning from happening to you or a member of your family. 

You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

What You Should Do:

  •  Your first line of defense is installing a Carbon monoxide detector that is battery-operated or has a battery backup. Install these on the wall or ceiling in every bedroom, sleeping area, and common area, including your garage. If your home already has these, remember to change the batteries every six months. Daylight savings is the perfect time to change the batteries as you set your clocks for the time change. 
  • Have a qualified technician service your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances every year. 
  • Leave your home immediately and call 911 if your CO detector ever sounds. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning.

What Not To Do: 

  • Never leave your car or truck running inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the garage door open. Never sit inside your running vehicle while it is in the garage. 
  • Don't use or burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented correctly. 
  • Never heat your house with a gas oven. Instead, opt for space heaters. 
  • Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning equipment inside your home, basement, garage, or outside less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent. 

What Does It Mean If My Carbon monoxide Alarm is Beeping?: 

Your carbon monoxide alarm has different beep patterns to alert you whether there is an emergency or you need to replace the batteries or unit. It is essential you know the difference between the beeps so you can act accordingly. 

  • Four beeps and a pause: This means there is carbon monoxide in your home. You need to seek fresh air immediately. Exit your home and call 911. 
  • One beep every minute: This means the alarm has low batteries, and you need to replace them. 
  • Five beeps every minute: Your alarm has reached the end of its life. You need to replace the unit with a new Carbon monoxide alarm. 

Potential Fire Hazards and How To Prevent Them.

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Potential Fire Hazards and How To Prevent Them.

No one ever believes a fire will start in their home, until it happens to them. Knowing what to expect in advance can help you prepare a plan. While a fire can start anywhere, at any time in your home, below is a list of the top four most common causes of fires and a few safety tips. 

  1. Kitchen Fires: Your kitchen is the number one area in your home where a fire can start. Burning food, cooking with grease, small appliances, water, constant people in and out, or electrical problems are all factors that can cause a fire in your home. Grease fires can get out of control quickly, spreading to other areas of your home before the fire department has arrived. When cooking with grease, always exercise extreme caution. Keep a lid, baking soda, or fire extinguisher within reach just in case you need to smother a fire quickly. Never leave food unattended while you are cooking.  
  2.  Electrical Fires: are the second most common cause of house fire. Old or faulty wiring, broken or outdated breaker boxes, faulty appliances, or the improper use of outlets can cause a fire.  
  3. Portable Heaters and Electric Blankets: can become hazards during the fall and winter seasons. If you are using a portable heater, always leave three feet of free space around the heater. Never place anything flammable on or near your heater. Whenever you leave the room, always turn it off. Even though modern electric blankets are considered generally safe, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of a fire. Never plug electric blankets or heaters into power strips; always plug them into the outlet. Never use an electric blanket that has signs of excessive wear, such as tears, scorch marks, frayed cords, or damage temperature control. Avoid using an electric blanket that has wires and attachments that don't fit tightly. 
  4. Smoking: is the fourth leading cause of fires. It is far more dangerous to smoke inside your home than outside. Many items in your home could catch on fire if they touched a lit cigarette or hot ashes. It does not take much for an ember to catch a chair, couch, rug, or curtains on fire. Always make sure you put your cigarette all the way out. Put water on ashes or butts or put cigarettes out in a bucket of sand.  
  5. How Can You Prepare: While you can do everything in your power to prevent a fire in your home, sometimes accidents do happen. In these moments, you and your family's safety is the number one priority. The difference between safety and tragedy is preparation. Take the extra time to prepare yourself and your family now. Create a fire escape plan with your family. Map out at least two exit strategies for each area in your home. Designate a meeting spot that is a safe distance from your home that everyone knows where to meet once they escape. Practice as often as possible. Check your smoke alarms to ensure they are in working order. If your smoke alarms are ten years old or older, replace the entire unit. Install carbon monoxide detectors if you do not already have them in your home. 

Don’t feel overwhelmed after a disaster - call SERVPRO of Pickens County at 864-855-3993. We respond immediately to any fire loss in an effort to mitigate the existing damage, prevent further secondary damage, and reduce restoration costs.        

If You Have Fall Candles, Read This Before You Light Them.

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

If You Have Fall Candles, Read This Before You Light Them. 

Fall is officially upon us. I know you are excited to decorate, prepare for thanksgiving, and enjoy all the activities that come with fall. As the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to change into vibrant colors, nothing gets you in the fall spirit quite like burning your new fall-scented candles. Whether you are using these candles to create a cozy and charming atmosphere in your home or you are using them to jump-start the fall season in your home, never forget that open flames are potential fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the careless use of candles causes nearly 10,000 residential fires each year. Here are some helpful tips you can use to avoid fires caused by candles.

Candle Fire Safety Dos:

  • Blow candles out whenever you leave the room or go to bed. 
  • Always burn your candles in well-ventilated rooms.
  • Keep candles at least one foot away from anything flammable, such as paper, decorations, plants, and clothing.
  • If you are using candle holders, always use sturdy candle holders that you know won't tip over easily. Place them on horizontal, stable, and heat-resistant surfaces.
  • If you are burning multiple candles in an area, keep them at least three inches apart to ensure that they don’t melt one another.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Always place them up high or in areas they cannot easily reach. 
  • Consider replacing burning candles with battery-operated flameless candles in your home. Most electrical candles look and smell like real candles.

Candle Fire Safety Don’ts:

  • If you are in a small room, don’t burn too many candles. Limit yourself to burning only one candle in a small area. 
  • Don’t burn candles in rooms with vents, drafts, fans, or air currents to avoid rapid, uneven burning, flame flare-ups, and soot formation.
  • Don’t use candles in bedrooms or other sleeping areas. Statistically, most fires started by candles occur in the bedroom. Opt for using a diffuser or flameless candles in bedrooms. 
  • Avoid burning candles all the way down to the bottom of the jar— put out candles when there are at least two inches of wax left or ½ inch if they are in a container.
  • Don’t move candles while they’re burning. Hot wax can drip and cause injuries or severe burns. Extinguish candles before moving them or move them before lighting them.
  • Avoid using candles during a power outage. Instead, use LED flameless candles, flashlights, or battery-powered lighting. 
  • Never use water to put out a candle to prevent hot wax from splashing. If your candle comes with a lid, never extinguish the flame by placing it on top of the burning candle. Use a candle snuffer to extinguish candles.

If you have fire or smoke damage caused by a candle and are unsure of what to do next, don't stress! Call SERVPRO of Pickens County (864) 855-3993. Our crewmembers have specialized equipment and resources that help them respond quickly and effectively to any fire emergency in the Pickens County community and surrounding areas. 

Fall Fire Safety Tips You Can Use In Your Home!

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

For professional fire damage repair and smoke remediation, call SERVPRO of Pickens County (864) 855- 3993.

Fall Fire Safety Tips You Can Use In Your Home! 

As the leaves change colors and the weather begins to cool down, you can start preparing for the fall and winter seasons ahead. You can't wait to start decorating your home and are excited to welcome your family and friends into your home for the upcoming holidays. Before you begin your holiday decoration and preparations, have you stopped to think about the fire safety risks that arise during the fall season? Below are a few fire safety tips to keep in mind during the fall: 

  • Change Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries and Test the Alarms.  We all have a love/hate relationship with Daylight Savings Time. However, this is a great time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detector. By changing the batteries during Daylight Savings Time, you can ensure the alarms will not fail when you turn the heat on in your home. Make sure you test each smoke alarm when you change the batteries to check the smoke alarm is still working appropriately. If your smoke alarms are older than ten years, replace the entire unit. If you have fire extinguishers in your home, check that they are in working order when you change your clocks each season.
  • Check and Service Your Heating Devices Before Turning On Your Heat:
    • Your HVAC system needs to be inspected, clean, and serviced by a certified HVAC contractor. It is also a good idea to check and replace your furnace filters with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.             
    • If you are using space heaters, allow at least three feet of space around the heater. I know it is tempting to place a towel, blanket, or article of clothing on a heater to warm it up on a chilly fall day but do not place fabrics or other flammable materials on space heaters. Always turn your heaters off before you go to bed. 
    • If your home has a fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Utilize the three feet rule and keep flammable objects away from the fireplace. If you can, install a mesh metal screen around your fireplace. 
  • Halloween safety – We know you can't wait to decorate your home and begin costumes preparations for Halloween. Remember to keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources, and use battery-operated lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns. 
  • Outdoor fire risks – As the leaves begin to fall, you may notice them and other debris building up around your home. Remember to cut back trees, rake leaves, and remove other flammable debris. When storing your lawnmower and other gas-powered tools for the fall and winter months, empty them of their fuel first. Keep your roof, gutters, and downspouts free of debris as well. 
  • Create a fire escape plan.  The first step in being prepared is to have a plan. Did you know if a fire starts in your home, you have just two minutes to escape? It is vital you create a fire escape plan and practice it regularly. Create at least two designated escape routes for each area of your home. Pick a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance away from your home. Also, practice escaping your home staying low to avoid breathing in smoke. If you live in a multi-level home, practice getting out through windows using emergency ladders. 

Follow these tips, and fire will not be able to ruin your fall! For professional fire damage repair and smoke remediation, call SERVPRO of Pickens County (864) 855- 3993. We will make it "Like it never even happened." 

How Prepared Is Your Business?

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pickens County recommends taking this month to revisit your emergency preparedness plan.

How Prepared Is Your Business? 

September is National Preparedness Month. As a business owner, you might be wondering, what does this month mean to you? SERVPRO of Pickens County recommends taking this month to revisit your emergency preparedness plan. According to the latest research, As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. Below are a few easy steps you can take to increase your emergency readiness for your business. 

Assess Your Risk

The first step in being preparing your business for disasters is to determine your risk. Determine which disasters you are still vulnerable to based on preparedness measures you have already taken. The most common disasters businesses in Pickens County face are flooding, tornadoes, freezing temperatures, and fires. Performing a safety audit is a great way to highlight any areas in your workspace that could present safety hazards during a disaster. Take note of any hazardous materials. Remember to think about any additional risks that could obstruct your evacuation from the building. Remove any heavy equipment or products stored on high shelves. Assessing these risks before a disaster will help better prepare you in the long run. 

Stay Up-To-date On Local and National Emergency News 

Stay up to date on emergency news by ensuring you have a way to listen to your local and national officials. Sign up for local and national alerts as soon as possible. 

Train Your Employees In Emergency Preparedness and Workplace Safety

You can develop the best safety strategy for your workplace, but it means absolutely nothing without proper employee training. You need to ensure you communicate your strategy and communications plans to all your employees. Hold regular safety training, crisis-specific safety drills, and emergency preparedness forums to give your employees a space to ask questions and obtain relevant information precisely when they need it.  

Keep Emergency Supplies On Hand 

As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your employees safe during an emergency. Have enough emergency supplies to last you and all of your employees at least three days. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a business emergency kit so that you don’t have to spend a ton of time assembling all of your individually-bought supplies into your own. 

Develop A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile 

It is never a convenient time to deal with natural disasters, water, or fire damage. Every hour you spend cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. Creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business will help you minimize 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 disasters can affect your business. An ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility that will help get you back into your building following a disaster. By developing an ERP, SERVPRO of Pickens County will be your designated disaster mitigation and restoration provider. Your ERP will also identify a chain of command specifically tailored for your business; this, in turn, will save you valuable time and money so we can immediately begin work. When your ERP is complete, we compile everything into one document that you have 24/7 access to via our app. 

Ready to Get Started? Call SERVPRO of Pickens County (864) 855 - 3993.