Recent Fire Damage Posts

Home and Garden Show

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had so much fun at the Home & Garden Show in Hiawassee hosted at the Events Center at Fieldstone! We were able to meet customers and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!

Understanding The Fire Restoration Process

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

It is imperative that IICRC-approved fire restoration should be implemented as soon as possible after a house fire is out. The longer the delay in contacting a restoration company, the more opportunity there is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. A homeowner’s insurance company should be able to refer an approved and experienced restoration firm. It is surprising just how well restoration works in light of how destructive a fire can be. Depending on the damage, a home can often be restored to its before-fire state. A restoration team has a difficult task to perform, and a great deal of responsibility, but IICRC-approved technicians are well-equipped to return a home to its original condition.

The fire restoration process involves the repair of any structures damaged by smoke, fire, or water. Carpets undergo a chemical process to remove smoke odor. Sub-floor materials undergo inspection for damage and may need to be replaced. Upholstery and curtains are subject to a similar process. Furnishings are taken to a separate location and restored to pre-fire condition. The home is aired out for as long as needed to diminish the effects of odor and mildew, and deodorization efforts continue throughout the process. Through the cooperation of the insurance company, the restoration team, and the homeowner, a home can be restored and made safe to live in once again.

www.IICRC.org

Grilling Safety

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Summer time is grilling time. We all love to either cook on a grill or eat what has been cooked. Just thinking of all the mouthwatering goodies that can come off a grill makes me hungry, but before eating, comes safety! When grilling weather finally gets here after a long, cold winter, a lot of us will go drag the grill out of the garage and fire it up. If we don’t take time to check things out and clean everything properly (which ideally was done before putting it away last year), we are asking for trouble. Safety tips and procedures are given to us for a reason- our personal safety and the safety of our surroundings. In 2014 alone, over 16,000 people ended up in emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. A failure to properly clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire and a close second was having the grill too close to a flammable object, such as the house or porch railing. It can seem like a waste of precious grilling time to clean everything before firing up the grill, especially if you have done so before storage for the winter. You must remember that dust and insects can get into places that could cause a problem while your grill is in storage. Here is a comprehensive list of sensible rules to follow so that your grilling season will be a safe and happy experience:

1.Read the owner’s manual. I know, who reads those things. We all should so that we understand the proper way to use our equipment. Even if you have been grilling for years, when you buy a new grill, it is extremely important to read the manual. All grills are not the same.

2.Grills are for outside use ONLY. Both charcoal and gas grills should never be used indoors, never inside a tent and garage or any other enclosed space. Grills produce carbon monoxide, which may accumulate and kill you.

3.Use only in a well-ventilated area. Always set up your grill in an open area away from structures. Avoid dry leaves or brush and high traffic areas. No one wants little Bobby to come running around the corner and knock the grill over, that would spoil your whole day.

4.Follow electric codes. If you use an electrical apparatus, such as a rotisserie, with your grill, make sure it is up to code and the cord is place so that it is not a trip hazard.

5.Use long handled utensils. Barbecuing tools are made with extra-long handles for a reason, to avoid burns on your hands and arms. Use them.

6.Wear safe clothing. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to wear a fancy shirt or dress while barbecuing. Even if you are hosting a big party. Close fitting garments are best as they are less likely to come into contact with hot coals or gas burners. Those cumbersome oven mitts can be your best friends while grilling; scorched fingers from hot items are no fun.

7. Keep the fire under control. Keeping a close watch on the temperature of your fire can lessen flare-ups. If you must douse a flare-up with a mist of water, remove the food first. A fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand or even a water hose should be close by in case of a problem. Use baking soda to put out a grease fire; using water in this instance will just spread the fire.

8. Never leave a hot grill unattended. Just because the cooking is done and the fire is out doesn’t make a grill safe. It can stay hot enough to cause problems for up to an hour after being extinguished. Wait until it has cooled off before trying move it. And don't let people play around the grill while it is still hot. Grilling out is one of the best things about summer time. Hot dogs, hamburgers, even chicken all seem to taste better when cooked on the grill. This year you may want to try your hand at more exotic dishes such as Ginger-soy glazed Mahi-Mahi or Grilled Shrimp in a Banana-leaf Pouch. Whatever you decide to cook on your grill this summer, be sure to follow the safety rules so that you and your loved ones will have a fabulous summer with no trips to the emergency room.

For more tips and tricks to help you prevent leaks, fires and more sign up for occasional email newsletters OR please visit the SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties website!

Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

In 2011, there were 1.3 million house fires in the United States.

1.3 million families temporarily displaced.

We attach our memories to things. We often scoff at materialism and we even poke fun at those who tend to accumulate lots of “things” … but the truth is, sometimes, things have meaning.

Your grandmother’s quilt, photos of your children, artwork, the shoes you wore on your first date with your husband, a movie ticket from a special day with a good friend … these are all seemingly meaningless things. Some of us are more sentimental than others.

Out of 1.3 million, it’s a safe bet that some important “things” were lost. We helped approximately 240 customers last year and though we restored a lot of belongings, some items were too far gone. Some of those things were not replaceable. Worse than things are people injured or killed. Nearly 25 thousand people each year are injured or killed by fire and that’s why prevention is so important.  Here are some less common tips from Ready.gov, a website dedicated to disaster prevention.

Electrical

·         Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

·         Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

·         If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

·         Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

·         Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Cooking

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

·         Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

·         Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·         Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

·         Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Fires can spread from nearly harmless to engulfing in less than 30 seconds. Reavy.gov reports many people do not realize how incredibly fast fire is. Fire is not bright and glowing as it would seem. Especially in a house it quickly produces thick black smoke making everything dark. Additionally, it’s smoke and toxic fumes from the various materials in a home that usually kills people. These hard facts should be enough to help you create a fire escape plan for your family.

As for those belongings, put precious mementos in fireproof safe or box. Have your photos scanned so you have digital copies of all family photos, old and new. Terry and Tonya, two of our team members who help inventory belongings and restore items have thoroughly enjoyed breathing new life into “Grandmother’s China” and even finding lost treasures in the process of moving furniture and cleaning up after a disaster.

Here at SERVPRO, we are used to working with insurance companies to help restore or rebuild homes. In the Blue Ridge area, one of the agents we are blessed to work with is Kevin Panter, who offers the following advice “Insureds need to take their annual review with their insurance agent seriously.  It is often determined during a time of loss that the insured’s building limits and personal property contents limits are not adequate.  Having proper documentation and adequate limits will help make the claim process much easier.   Having cell phone videos and storing proper documentation off the premises will help greatly should a claim arise.” You can reach Kevin through his company http://www.kevinpanterinsurance.com/ .

“Our whole reason for existing as a business is to help our customers feel confident and comfortable as we restore their homes or businesses to preloss conditions. When disaster, small or large, strikes, you feel like you’ve lost control. We want to help you get it back. Our crews are often praised for their compassion. It is truly heartfelt,” explains Carnie Wall, co-owner.

Apple Blossom Festival

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!

About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Fireworks Safety

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

Smoke Alarm Campaign

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 706-896-1880

Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

www.IICRC.org

Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

In 2011, there were 1.3 million house fires in the United States.

1.3 million families temporarily displaced.

We attach our memories to things. We often scoff at materialism and we even poke fun at those who tend to accumulate lots of “things” … but the truth is, sometimes, things have meaning.

Your grandmother’s quilt, photos of your children, artwork, the shoes you wore on your first date with your husband, a movie ticket from a special day with a good friend … these are all seemingly meaningless things. Some of us are more sentimental than others.

Out of 1.3 million, it’s a safe bet that some important “things” were lost. We helped approximately 240 customers last year and though we restored a lot of belongings, some items were too far gone. Some of those things were not replaceable. Worse than things are people injured or killed. Nearly 25 thousand people each year are injured or killed by fire and that’s why prevention is so important.  Here are some less common tips from Ready.gov, a website dedicated to disaster prevention.

Electrical

·         Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

·         Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

·         If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

·         Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

·         Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Cooking

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

·         Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

·         Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·         Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

·         Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Fires can spread from nearly harmless to engulfing in less than 30 seconds. Reavy.gov reports many people do not realize how incredibly fast fire is. Fire is not bright and glowing as it would seem. Especially in a house it quickly produces thick black smoke making everything dark. Additionally, it’s smoke and toxic fumes from the various materials in a home that usually kills people. These hard facts should be enough to help you create a fire escape plan for your family.

As for those belongings, put precious mementos in fireproof safe or box. Have your photos scanned so you have digital copies of all family photos, old and new. Terry and Tonya, two of our team members who help inventory belongings and restore items have thoroughly enjoyed breathing new life into “Grandmother’s China” and even finding lost treasures in the process of moving furniture and cleaning up after a disaster.

Here at SERVPRO, we are used to working with insurance companies to help restore or rebuild homes. In the Blue Ridge area, one of the agents we are blessed to work with is Kevin Panter, who offers the following advice “Insureds need to take their annual review with their insurance agent seriously.  It is often determined during a time of loss that the insured’s building limits and personal property contents limits are not adequate.  Having proper documentation and adequate limits will help make the claim process much easier.   Having cell phone videos and storing proper documentation off the premises will help greatly should a claim arise.” You can reach Kevin through his company www.KevinPanterInsurance.com .

“Our whole reason for existing as a business is to help our customers feel confident and comfortable as we restore their homes or businesses to preloss conditions. When disaster, small or large, strikes, you feel like you’ve lost control. We want to help you get it back. Our crews are often praised for their compassion. It is truly heartfelt,” explains Carnie Wall, co-owner.

Grilling Safety

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Summertime is grilling time. We all love to either cook on a grill or eat what has been cooked. Just thinking of all the mouthwatering goodies that can come off a grill makes me hungry. But, before eating, comes safety! When grilling weather finally gets here after a long, cold winter, a lot of us will go drag the grill out of the garage and fire it up. If we don’t take time to check things out and clean everything properly (which ideally was done before putting it away last year), we are asking for trouble.Safety tips and procedures are given to us for a reason- our personal safety and the safety of our surroundings. In 2014 alone, over 16,000 people ended up in emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. A failure to properly clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire and a close second was having the grill too close to a flammable object, such as the house or porch railing. It can seem like a waste of precious grilling time to clean everything before firing up the grill, especially if you have done so before storage for the winter. You must remember that dust and insects can get into places that could cause a problem while your grill is in storage.Here is a comprehensive list of sensible rules to follow so that your grilling season will be a safe and happy experience:

1.Read the owner’s manual.

I know, who reads those things. We all should so that we understand the proper way to use our equipment. Even if you have been grilling for years, when you buy a new grill, it is extremely important to read the manual. All grills are not the same.

2.Grills are for outside use ONLY. 

Both charcoal and gas grills shouldneverbe used indoors, never inside a tent or garage or any other enclosed space. Grills produce carbon monoxide, which may accumulate and kill you.3.Use only in a well-ventilated area.Always set up your grill in an open area away from structures. Avoid dry leaves or brush and high traffic areas. No one wants little Bobby to come running around the corner and knock the grill over, that would spoil your whole day.

5.Follow electric codes.

If you use an electrical apparatus, such as a rotisserie, with your grill, make sure it is up to code and the cord is place so that it is not a trip hazard.

6.Use long handled utensils.

Barbecuing tools are made with extra-long handles for a reason, to avoid burns on your hands and arms. Use them.

7.Wear safe clothing.

It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to wear a fancy shirt or dress while barbecuing. Even if you are hosting a big party. Close fitting garments are best as they are less likely to come into contact with hot coals or gas burners. Those cumbersome oven mitts can be your best friends while grilling; scorched fingers from hot items are no fun.

8. Keep the fire under control.

Keeping a close watch on the temperature of your fire can lessen flare-ups. If you must douse a flare-up with a mist of water, remove the food first. A fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand or even a water hose should be close by in case of a problem. Use baking soda to put out a grease fire; using water in this instance will just spread the fire.

9. Never leave a hot grill unattended.

Just because the cooking is done and the fire is out doesn’t make a grill safe. It can stay hot enough to cause problems for up to an hour after being extinguished. Wait until it has cooled off before trying move it. And don't let people play aroung the grill while it is still hot.Grilling out is one of the best things about summer time. Hot dogs, hamburgers, even chicken all seem to taste better when cooked on the grill. This year you may want to try your hand at more exotic dishes such as Ginger-soy glazed Mahi-Mahi or Grilled Shrimp in a Banana-leaf Pouch. Whatever you decide to cook on your grill this summer, be sure to follow the safety rules so that you and your loved ones will have a fabulous summer with no trips to the emergency room.

For more tips and tricks to help you prevent leaks, fires and more ... sign up for occassional email newsletters OR please visit theSERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Countieswebsite!

Home & Garden Show 2017

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home & Garden Show 2017 Julie Seabolt (Marketing SMR) at the Home & Garden Show

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had so much fun at the Home & Garden Show in Hiawassee hosted at the Towns County Recreational Facitlity! We were able to meet customers and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!

Understanding The Fire Restoration Process

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

It is imperative that IICRC-approved fire restoration should be implemented as soon as possible after a house fire is out. The longer the delay in contacting a restoration company, the more opportunity there is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. A homeowner’s insurance company should be able to refer an approved and experienced restoration firm. It is surprising just how well restoration works in light of how destructive a fire can be. Depending on the damage, a home can often be restored to its before-fire state. A restoration team has a difficult task to perform, and a great deal of responsibility, but IICRC-approved technicians are well-equipped to return a home to its original condition.

The fire restoration process involves the repair of any structures damaged by smoke, fire, or water. Carpets undergo a chemical process to remove smoke odor. Sub-floor materials undergo inspection for damage and may need to be replaced. Upholstery and curtains are subject to a similar process. Furnishings are taken to a separate location and restored to pre-fire condition. The home is aired out for as long as needed to diminish the effects of odor and mildew, and deodorization efforts continue throughout the process. Through the cooperation of the insurance company, the restoration team, and the homeowner, a home can be restored and made safe to live in once again.

www.IICRC.org

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 706-896-1880

Apple Blossom Festival

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!

About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke Alarm Campaign

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Fireworks Safety

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

Grilling Safety

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

 Summertime is grilling time.  We all love to either cook on a grill or eat what has been cooked.  Just thinking of all the mouthwatering goodies that can come off a grill makes me hungry.  But, before eating, comes safety!  When grilling weather finally gets here after a long, cold winter, a lot of us will go drag the grill out of the garage and fire it up.  If we don’t take time to check things out and clean everything properly (which ideally was done before putting it away last year), we are asking for trouble.     Safety tips and procedures are given to us for a reason- our personal safety and the safety of our surroundings.  In 2014 alone, over 16,000 people ended up in emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.  A failure to properly clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire and a close second was having the grill too close to a flammable object, such as the house or porch railing.  It can seem like a waste of precious grilling time to clean everything before firing up the grill, especially if you have done so before storage for the winter.  You must remember that dust and insects can get into places that could cause a problem while your grill is in storage.   Here is a comprehensive list of sensible rules to follow so that your grilling season will be a safe and happy experience:  1. Read the owner’s manual.  I know, who reads those things.  We all should so that we understand the proper way to use our equipment.  Even if you have been grilling for years, when you buy a new grill, it is extremely important to read the manual.  All grills are not the same.    2. Grills are for outside use ONLY.   Both charcoal and gas grills should never be used indoors, never inside a tent or garage or any other enclosed space.  Grills produce carbon monoxide, which may accumulate and kill you. 3. Use only in a well-ventilated area.  Always set up your grill in an open area away from structures.  Avoid dry leaves or brush and high traffic areas.  No one wants little Bobby to come running around the corner and knock the grill over, that would spoil your whole day.   5. Follow electric codes.  If you use an electrical apparatus, such as a rotisserie, with your grill, make sure it is up to code and the cord is place so that it is not a trip hazard.    6. Use long handled utensils.  Barbecuing tools are made with extra-long handles for a reason, to avoid burns on your hands and arms.  Use them.     7. Wear safe clothing.  It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to wear a fancy shirt or dress while barbecuing.  Even if you are hosting a big party.  Close fitting garments are best as they are less likely to come into contact with hot coals or gas burners.  Those cumbersome oven mitts can be your best friends while grilling; scorched fingers from hot items are no fun.   8. Keep the fire under control.  Keeping a close watch on the temperature of your fire can lessen flare-ups.  If you must douse a flare-up with a mist of water, remove the food first.  A fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand or even a water hose should be close by in case of a problem.  Use baking soda to put out a grease fire; using water in this instance will just spread the fire. 9. Never leave a hot grill unattended.  Just because the cooking is done and the fire is out doesn’t make a grill safe.  It can stay hot enough to cause problems for up to an hour after being extinguished.  Wait until it has cooled off before trying move it. And don't let people play aroung the grill while it is still hot.     Grilling out is one of the best things about summer time.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, even chicken all seem to taste better when cooked on the grill.  This year you may want to try your hand at more exotic dishes such as Ginger-soy glazed Mahi-Mahi or Grilled Shrimp in a Banana-leaf Pouch.  Whatever you decide to cook on your grill this summer, be sure to follow the safety rules so that you and your loved ones will have a fabulous summer with no trips to the emergency room. For more tips and tricks to help you prevent leaks, fires and more ... sign up for occassional email newsletters OR please visit the SERVPRO of Union, Towns,  Fannin & Gilmer Counties website! 

Fireworks Safety

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention Tips from to prevent fires and good advice from local insurance pros.

In 2011, there were 1.3 million house fires in the United States.

1.3 million families temporarily displaced.

We attach our memories to things. We often scoff at materialism and we even poke fun at those who tend to accumulate lots of “things” … but the truth is, sometimes, things have meaning.

Your grandmother’s quilt, photos of your children, artwork, the shoes you wore on your first date with your husband, a movie ticket from a special day with a good friend … these are all seemingly meaningless things. Some of us are more sentimental than others.

Out of 1.3 million, it’s a safe bet that some important “things” were lost. We helped approximately 240 customers last year and though we restored a lot of belongings, some items were too far gone. Some of those things were not replaceable. Worse than things are people injured or killed. Nearly 25 thousand people each year are injured or killed by fire and that’s why prevention is so important.  Here are some less common tips from Ready.gov, a website dedicated to disaster prevention.

Electrical

·         Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

·         Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

·         If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

·         Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

·         Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Cooking

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

·         Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

·         Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·         Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

·         Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Fires can spread from nearly harmless to engulfing in less than 30 seconds. Reavy.gov reports many people do not realize how incredibly fast fire is. Fire is not bright and glowing as it would seem. Especially in a house it quickly produces thick black smoke making everything dark. Additionally, it’s smoke and toxic fumes from the various materials in a home that usually kills people. These hard facts should be enough to help you create a fire escape plan for your family.

As for those belongings, put precious mementos in fireproof safe or box. Have your photos scanned so you have digital copies of all family photos, old and new. Terry and Tonya, two of our team members who help inventory belongings and restore items have thoroughly enjoyed breathing new life into “Grandmother’s China” and even finding lost treasures in the process of moving furniture and cleaning up after a disaster.

Here at SERVPRO, we are used to working with insurance companies to help restore or rebuild homes. In the Blue Ridge area, one of the agents we are blessed to work with is Kevin Panter, who offers the following advice “Insureds need to take their annual review with their insurance agent seriously.  It is often determined during a time of loss that the insured’s building limits and personal property contents limits are not adequate.  Having proper documentation and adequate limits will help make the claim process much easier.   Having cell phone videos and storing proper documentation off the premises will help greatly should a claim arise.” You can reach Kevin through his company www.KevinPanterInsurance.com .

“Our whole reason for existing as a business is to help our customers feel confident and comfortable as we restore their homes or businesses to pre-loss conditions. When disaster, small or large, strikes, you feel like you’ve lost control. We want to help you get it back. Our crews are often praised for their compassion. It is truly heartfelt,” explains Carnie Wall, co-owner.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 706-896-1880

Smoke Alarm Campaign May 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.


We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Apple Blossom Festival 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!


 


About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties


SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.


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