Recent Posts

How Well Do You Know Disinfectants?

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Not all disinfectants are created equal. Some are not safe to use around food. Some are not safe to use around children. Some require different levels of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves or a respirator. Some have to be applied to surfaces in amounts sufficient to keep the surface wet for 15 minutes or more. Some have harmful chemicals in them. 

When COVID-19 made its way to the US, cleaning products disappeared from the shelves of stores everywhere. People were buying up whatever they could find. The EPA list of approved products to use in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 was long and often confusing to understand. Distilleries and other factories began producing disinfectants and hand sanitizers. 

With school back in session, teachers and daycare facilities are getting donations of disinfectant products to use in their classrooms. This is a thoughtful and generally appreciated gift, but these products should not be used until the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) information has been reviewed thoroughly as well as the directions.

SERVPROXIDE is a product created in the SERVPRO lab (yes, we have our own team of chemists). It is an EPA registered hospital grade disinfectant. SERVPROXIDE carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating. This product is safe for everyday use. SERVPROXIDE is a stabilized chlorine dioxide based antimicrobial, which means it fights mold as well as harmful germs and bacteria. 

For more information on SDS sheets, follow the link here.

For more information on the approved list of products used to fight against COVID-19, follow the link here.

iCAT Contents Management

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County is proud to announce we are now using the iCAT contents management system on all jobs requiring a pack-out. A pack-out usually happens on fire damage jobs, but can happen on other types.We carefully pack the contents of a home into boxes and move them to our facility. At our facility these items are cleaned by our highly trained and caring staff with our special machines and cleaning products.

The iCAT contents management system has streamlined this process and caught the whole operation up to the technology we use daily (DryBook and Xactimate). With iCAT gone are the days or handwritten lists of salvageable and non salvageable contents. Customers, insurance agents, adjusters and our staff are loving this professional and easy to use system for more detailed contents tracking.

This software program works with an app downloaded onto our production team's iPads and iPhones as well as a small printer. Labels are printed with bar codes on them that are registered to the customers name. As contents are packed up a photograph is taken of all sides to log any damages as well as help identify what content items are in what boxes. The labels are placed on the outside of the boxes. 

With a scanner, the bar code can be read and the list of the contents (with pictures) can be viewed. A paper copy can be printed of both salvageable and non salvageable contents, but we usually copy it to a flash drive for space saving purposes. The lists can also be sent to agents and/or adjusters to be able to view contents damaged in the loss.

For more information on the iCAT contents management system we are using, call our office today at 256-236-8889.

We Can Help You Protect Your Commercial Property

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Do you own a business or commercial property? Do you have a plan for emergencies? Most companies have a plan for what to do if a fire or tornado hits, but what about water damage? What about the aftermath of a fire or storm? Do you have a plan for that part? Does everyone know what to do for each emergency?

This is where SERVPRO of Gadsden can help. We offer a free program called the Emergency Ready Profile or an ERP. A sales representative would schedule time to come to your location. They would walk the property with you, or they could go alone if you wish.

They would capture information such as the following:

-Where the water shut off is and who the contact is for the water board. 

-Does your property have gas lines to it? Natural or propane? Where are the shut offs located?

-Where are the electrical panels? Who is the contact at the power company? 

-Who is the property manager? How can they be reached?

-Does your facility have a sprinkler system? If so, where is the shut off? 

These are just a few examples of the information captured in an ERP. This information is packaged in a nice packet for you to keep. But it is also entered into an app that can be downloaded on your phone or a tablet. This app can be shared with as many people in your company as you wish. This helps prevent further damage when someone doesn't know who to call. 

For more information, call our office today to speak with a sales representative.  

The EAS System

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

The letters EAS have different meanings to different people. For the military it stands for “End of Active Service”. For us it’s the Emergency Alert System. This system is how most people now receive news about watches and warnings for severe weather. Cell phones are equipped to receive these alerts the instant they are issued. 

This was put into place by an Executive Order (13407) signed into action by President Bush in 2006. This system can also be used by state and local authorities to alert the public about AMBER alerts, SILVER alerts and other important events that require action to be taken. 

Alerts are not to be taken lightly. Severe weather can strike at any moment and leave a trail of devastation. These alerts are intended to save lives, and can when they are taken seriously. Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? Watches mean that conditions are favorable for the type of severe weather they are talking about. For example, a tornado watch is issued when conditions are conducive to tornadoes forming. A tornado warning means that a suspected tornado is on the ground. 

When severe weather is approaching it is best to keep an eye on these alerts. They will let you know when you should seek shelter, move to your indoor safe space, and when it is safe to exit your safe space. It is also best to have more than one method to receive these alerts. If you are relying on television, but the power goes out, you are now blind to what is going on unless you have an alternative method to receive weather alerts.

One of the most important things to note here is the fact that you should never rely on outdoor warning sirens. These sirens can fail or be down for service and repairs. A weather radio (with batteries) tuned into the correct station for your area is one of the best methods for receiving EAS messages. Many news stations have apps available for download that can also provide you with EAS messages. 

Should severe weather strike and your home be damaged, remember that SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County is always #HereToHelp at 256-236-8889.

That's A Lot Of Water

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO vehicles parked outside a commercial facility. SERVPRO of Anniston is #HereToHelp.

Early in May, our office received a call for an emergency water damage. A local commercial property was flooded and needed our help. Our on call crews responded quickly to discover that a leak from the fire suppression system had severely impacted the facility. 

Without hesitation, our crews jumped in and began extracting what ended up being over 300,000 gallons of water. They used our extraction trucks and vans as well as ride-on commercial grade water extractors (they look like a Zamboni). That's a lot of water! An Olympic size swimming pool holds roughly 605,000 gallons of water, so you can imagine what this commercial property was experiencing.

Once the water was extracted drying equipment was placed (air movers and dehumidifiers), non-salvageable items were cataloged and disposed of, and the floors mopped to ensure no slick spots. For the next few days, a crew member would monitor the drying progress and adjust equipment as needed. This facility was back to business as usual in just a few short days. 

If you own a commercial property, ask about our priority service agreements and emergency ready profiles to get you back to business faster after a water, fire or mold loss. You can also ask about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program. Call our office today at 256-236-8889.

We Can Help You Protect Your Commercial Property

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO staff member showing the ERP app to a customer. The information contained in an ERP could make the difference in how your staff respond to different losses on you commercial property.

Do you own a business or commercial property? Do you have a plan for emergencies? Most companies have a plan for what to do if a fire or tornado hits, but what about water damage? What about the aftermath of a fire or storm? Do you have a plan for that part? Does everyone know what to do for each emergency?

This is where SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County can help. We offer a free program called the Emergency Ready Profile or an ERP. A sales representative would schedule time to come to your location. They would walk the property with you, or they could go alone if you wish.

They would capture information such as the following:

-Where the water shut off is and who the contact is for the water board. 

-Does your property have gas lines to it? Natural or propane? Where are the shut offs located?

-Where are the electrical panels? Who is the contact at the power company? 

-Who is the property manager? How can they be reached?

-Does your facility have a sprinkler system? If so, where is the shut off? 

These are just a few examples of the information captured in an ERP. This information is packaged in a nice packet for you to keep. But it is also entered into an app that can be downloaded on your phone or a tablet. This app can be shared with as many people in your company as you wish. This helps prevent further damage when someone doesn't know who to call. 

For more information, call our office today to speak with a sales representative.  

Fire Damage Care Boxes

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard of fire care packages? This is a free service we provide. Our marketing support coordinator packs small boxes with hygiene products that someone may need after experiencing a fire in their home. Items include:

-Shampoo and conditioner

-Toothbrushes and toothpaste

-Brush and comb

-Manicure set

-Tissues

-Body wash and scrubbies

-Shaving cream and razors

Our first responders have these boxes in their vehicles and hand them out to fire damage victims that are displaced from their homes. Our goal is to help these people get through the first few days afterwards.

One customer told us that his wife had been distraught over not even being able to care for her nails. She broke down in tears when she saw the nail file and clippers in the box. It’s small comforts like these we hope that others can garner from these boxes we provide at zero cost. It’s just a small thing we can do to help fire damage victims when they are still in shock over what has happened before the restoration and repair process has begun.

For more information on these fire care packages, please call our office at 256-236-8889 and remember that SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County is #HereToHelp.

Traveling to Columbus, Ohio for Storm

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Back in May Columbus, Ohio had another round of torrential rain which caused widespread flooding throughout the city and its surrounding areas. The local franchises were inundated with calls from customers with flooded basements or houses. What we like to call a storm event was activated throughout the SERVPRO system. Franchises from all over the country answered the call for help and sent crews and equipment to the affected areas. 

Our crew hit the ground running in Columbus. They worked long, hard hours helping people who were frustrated, most were dealing with the second or third water damage this year due to the rain. They saw water damages of every shape and size. Some were small and taken care of quickly, others were much larger and took a little longer. 

During this storm event, another was happening in Michigan. Again, more SERVPRO franchises answered the call and sent crews and equipment to get these damages handled and help the homeowners through the process.When we say we are ready and here to help, we mean it. No loss is too big or too small. And when needed, we can always call on the SERVPRO family to come in and help with large scale events like the ones in Ohio and Michigan this past May. 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Anniston, Gadsden and Marshall County today at  256-236-8889 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

Grilling Up Goodness Safely

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

A propane grill sitting in a yard with the SERVPRO logo. SERVPRO is always #HereToHelp.

It’s warming up outside and we all know what that means….it’s time for all the barbecues to get fired up. May is actually National Barbecue Month, but before we all run out to start up light that charcoal or propane, remember to be safe and take the proper precautions.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration states about 5,700 fires start on residential property each year from grills. The majority of these fires are caused by malfunctioning gas grills. Grill related fires cause an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 fatalities.

Remember that grills (both charcoal and propane) should only be used outside away from structures, foliage and other flammable materials. Be aware of what hangs over your grill as well. A grill should never be left unattended once it has been lit, especially if there are children or pets around. A 3-5 foot perimeter should be kept around the grill by all who are not cooking. These precautions can prevent personal injuries and fires. Wildfires and home fires can be caused by coals not being disposed of correctly after they have cooled.

When using propane grills, check that the propane tank and the hoses are in good working condition with no holes or leaks. Check out this video from the NFPA on how to check your gas grill for leaks.  

Follow these safety tips from the NFPA and enjoy the tasty treats your cook on your barbecue grill. SERVPRO is always #HereToHelp should you experience a grilling related fire (or any other fire).

Sources: 

https://www.nfpa.org