Recent Posts

Disastrous Decorating During the Holidays

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Some may say the disaster comes from putting up your holiday decorations too early or too late. However the real travesty happens when the decorations prove dangerous to your family. No matter your timing, your local SERVPRO team stresses safety this season when it comes to festooning your home with festive decor.   

Decorating Guide

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to seasonal decorating and how to do it successfully and safely…  

Candles cause many fires on Christmas day for a few reasons: often they are in easy reach of curious children’s hands, left unattended, or kept too close to the Christmas tree. The rule of thumb for candles is to display them higher and on top of an easily monitored stable surface.

Though beautiful and aromatic, Christmas trees can be a hassle during the holiday season. No matter their actual size, a tree in your house often requires that you rearrange your living room each year. Before you start shuffling furniture, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to position your tree next to a fireplace. Regardless of where you display it, you’ll want to make sure you   water your tree daily. A hydrated tree poses less of a fire hazard than a dry one. 

Tinsel or other shiny decorations can catch the eye of curious children or pets, transforming quickly into a choking hazard. Make sure you can easily keep an eye on your decorations, especially when kids and pets are present.  

Overloading an electric outlet can easily cause a fire. Always be cautious of putting too many plugs into a power strip, lest you wind up with the need for fire restoration in your home! 

For more safe decorating tips or any fire restoration requests, contact your local SERVPRO team.

Best Snowstorm Reads

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

When the snow is heavy and the storm keeps raging, sometimes the best thing to do is stay in and cozy up with a good book. An ideal snowstorm read should be entertaining and also one you can look up from every now and then to appreciate your own personal winter wonderland right out your window. 

Not sure what to read? Or, if you’re like us, you’ve got a stack of books that have long been competing for your attention. 

Whatever the case, here are a few recommendations for best holiday reading to close out the year… and weather the storm. 

Renowned Reads

Get to your local bookshop or library before the storm hits and pick up some of these recommended winter titles

Here are just a few of the top picks… 

  1. A Castle in the Clouds: set in a luxury hotel right around Christmas time, this plot features everything from ghosts to jewel thieves. 
  2. Murder on the Orient Express: a classic murder mystery and great way to travel without actually going anywhere.
  3. Miracle on 5th Avenue: okay, it’s predictable but for a festive romance, this Christmas love story fits the bill. 

Explore other great titles from that list above and share some of your favorites with us on social media before the next big snowstorm hits!
Happy holidays from SERVPRO! Stay safe and contact us with any of your storm preparation questions or concerns!

Ice: Good for Skating, Bad for Pipes

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

As the winter gets colder, there are more fun activities to do outside, which makes the season more exciting. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in elements to protect your house from in order to avoid needing professional residential cleanup or restoration services. What’s a common denominator between the two? Ice. 

Great for skating and fun to sculpt, you don’t want ice coming in contact with your home’s pipes.  SERVPRO of Haverhill knows how to ensure the water stays flowing, so you can focus on the winter wonderland fun to be had outside.  

Keep The Water Flowing!

We do not want your pipes to freeze -- and neither do you. Frozen pipes can result in exploding pipes and ultimately, water damage throughout your home. How can this be avoided? 

Here is what you need to know!

  • Keep that garage door closed! This is the best way to protect your house’s water tank if it is kept in the garage or down below in the basement.
  • Keep interior doors open! Heat will flow more easily throughout the house if doorways are kept open.  
  • Speaking of heat, keep it on! Keeping the house warm ultimately keeps the pipes warm.
  • Let faucets drip! If it is dripping, water is able to continue to move through your pipes, preventing any potential backup or freezing. 

This winter, get out there to ski, sled, and skate whenever the opportunity presents itself! Just be sure to put these helpful hints into practice in order to keep any of that ice out of your pipes. 

When temperatures start to freeze, turn to the experts to keep your home’s water flowing. Your neighborhood SERVPRO team is always ready and prepared to help with any emergency service or potential water restoration needs! Contact SERVPRO Haverhill / Newburyport, 24/7!

Common Sources of Commercial Fires

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

The best way to combat a commercial fire is to know what to do and when to do it, along with who should do what. At SERVPRO, we can help you navigate this task and avoid chaos, should you encounter a fire on your commercial property. Our fire restoration services are second-to-none; however, we prefer you avoid a fire on site in the first place. 

The best course of action is to know how to respond ahead of time and then practice, practice, practice your plan of action.

Common Commercial Fires

Make sure you understand where your fires could be coming from on your commercial property. This is often fairly easy to determine based on the kinds of businesses your commercial property hosts. Consider restaurants. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 61% of restaurant fires were attributed to cooking equipment. Knowing this gives restaurant owners a better idea of how to stay ahead of the flames by placing a safety emphasis on proper maintenance and repair of all commercial restaurant equipment. 

Other Common Culprits of Commercial Fires

In addition to restaurant equipment, Unifour Fire & Safety reports other common culprits to be aware of in your commercial building: 

  • Electrical & Lighting Equipment are responsible for 12% of office fires and 10% of store properties. 
  • Heating Equipment: common in large offices and warehouses, they have a hand in heating up more than just the office space; 11% of office fires result from heating equipment.
  • Arson. Fires set intentionally are certainly hard, if not impossible to prepare for. While they have been attributed to 10% of fires resulting in office properties, they are far more common in educational buildings at approximately 36%! 

Plan like a Professional

Make sure that your employees know where to go in case of a fire. Also, have regular fire and safety checks to monitor the condition of heating, electrical, and kitchen equipment.  Practice your fire exit route and encourage your employees to take these drills as seriously as if they were dealing with a real fire. 

Pro-tip: Share some of the stats above with your staff to show them that while a fire might be unlikely, it is certainly not impossible! 

For this reason keep SERVPRO Haverhill / Newburyport in mind for any possible fire restoration  services, following a commercial fire. Contact us today!

The Threat of Fire and Falls from Holiday Decorating!

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Your business might be closed for holiday vacation, but fire safety should never take a day off. There are plenty of ways to make sure you are still protecting your business and avoiding any need for commercial fire restoration services. At SERVPRO we’re dedicated to sharing the knowledge necessary to enjoy a festive holiday that is still safe and fire-free, except for those “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” 

Fake is Not Foolproof

If your business celebrates the festive season by putting up a tree, don’t be fooled by the fake variety when it comes to fire safety. Fake trees may not need water and, therefore, are not at risk of drying out and possibly catching fire, but before you purchase a fake tree check to ensure it includes the all-important “fire resistant” tag. 

Avoid a “Festive” Fall 

Aside from the threat of fire, a lot of commercial decorating injuries result from falling. Avoid taking a bad tumble by securing a stable ladder wherever you intend to hang decorations, and recruit as an assistant to help and stay close by until your decorating is complete. It is better to wait until you have an extra set of hands to help put up the lights, rather than wind up needing a trip to the ER. 

Happy Holidays to our business community from SERVPRO, your local cleanup and restoration experts!

Thanksgiving Day: Family, Friends, and… Fire?

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

You are setting the table, catching up with grandma, perhaps watching the parade, when all of a sudden… you smell something burning. Despite all the cooks in the kitchen, the stove can be overlooked on Thanksgiving, making it a notorious occasion for house fires.

Gobble Day Gone Wrong

Recent data shows an average annual number of house fires totaling 2,300, resulting in $26 million in property damage and fire restoration. In addition, these events came with countless injuries, and unfortunately, a few reported deaths. 

Thanksgiving day house fires will typically occur during the hours of 10 am to 5 pm, peak prepping and cooking time, with the majority reported between the hours of 12 pm and 2 pm, perhaps in the hustle and bustle of guests arriving. 

Fix your Fire Safety

Stay ahead of fire safety this holiday season! Start now by checking your smoke alarms, planning your fire escape route, and practicing a safe exit strategy with your family. With the facts on your side, you will be ready for anything the season of giving throws your way. 

Don't be another statistic; practice fire safety this Thanksgiving and all year round, but know that SERVPRO is standing by with professional fire restoration services you can count on.

Power Outage: “Hurray!” or “Oh no!”

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

How you prepare for a power outage can make all the difference between making the most of the situation and maybe having some fun, or being cold, bored, and waiting for the storm to pass. In New England we are no strangers to storms that cause power outages and often require restoration cleaning services.

Even as seasoned storm weatherers, we can always be more prepared to turn a less-than-ideal situation into fun family memories with just a few key items!

Ready, Set, Lights out!
Before the storm hits, make sure you have the following on hand and in easy reach.

Always remember the basics, such as flashlights, batteries, battery-operated radios, blankets, and non-perishable foods… but what else should you keep in your power outage pack?

  • A manual can opener. Your electric can opener won’t do you any good and it won’t matter how many cans of non-perishable food you’ve packed if you can’t open any of them.
  • A bucket. You’re going to want to flush at some point during the power outage. Grab a bucket to refill the tank.
  • A deck of cards. Get all cozy and play some poker!
  • A sleeping bag. Extra warmth is key, especially for homeowners who do not have a generator on site. Snuggle in and catch up with a good book, flashlight in hand. Or, just catch up on some sleep! We could all use some extra shut-eye this season. 

Make the most of this storm season with these essential items. Remember to think outside the box and plan to have a good time when the power goes out!

Be sure to contact SERVPRO when you need help with storm clean up, post power outage. We have got your back all season!

My First SERVPRO Thanksgiving

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Here I am nearing my second month with SERVPRO, and I can truly say it’s different from any company I’ve worked with before. The charity work our franchise does is nothing short of amazing. With seemingly no hesitation, the employees - from our owners to the newest hire rise to the occasion with a donation of time or money to help others. Thanksgiving is no exception, with donations to local food pantries, Veteran Assistance Programs, and the homeless. 

One such example of SERVPRO giving back is when my manager and I connected with a local Veterans Affairs Office Director to donate gift cards for Thanksgiving meals. They were so overwhelmed by the gesture that they asked us to go before the Board of Selectmen to accept a gracious thank you in person. We were happy to oblige.

The holidays can be a very stressful and lonely time for some, so why not take the time to help your fellow neighbors, co-workers, friends, and just about anyone you can. I can now say that I am a part of all of this, and it makes me very proud and honored to be able to help so many people with our time and charity.

I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and always feel free to reach out to me if you or anyone you know are in need of help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Roy Moulton

Save Your Plumbing this Thanksgiving

11/21/2021 (Permalink)

As you probably know, the busiest day for travel is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That being said, can you guess what day is the busiest day for plumbers? Bingo! The Friday after Thanksgiving is the most common day for a plumbing problem. SERVPRO Haverhill / Newburyport is here to help you with all of your holiday maintenance questions.

There are common problems that arise post the big feast. Some of them are clogged sinks, no hot water, and, of course, backed-up toilets. If you are hosting this year make sure to stay alert for these common problems. 

Sink Situation

Your biggest enemy on Thanksgiving Day while you’re doing the dishes is “FOG.” This acronym stands for Fat, Oil, and Grease. These are common components in most traditional Thanksgiving foods. Whenever you start cleaning that mountain of dishes, all that gunk will start sliding down your drain and potentially clogging it. Find another spot for all this “FOG!”

No-go on Hot Water

As more guests come into your home, more hot water will be used. Your hot water tank grows for no one! Because of this, you are more likely to run out of hot water. The way to fix this is to encourage shorter shower times. It could be seen as an inconvenience but it’s a far better alternative to a cold shower!

Toilet Troubles

No doubt, you get the gist here: overuse and too much toilet paper. If your toilet is being used more often, the flushing will be near constant. This could lead to flooding and a need for water restoration. Make sure to stay ahead of this by using less toilet paper and keeping a plunger handy!

As always, SERVPRO is here to answer any of your questions and we hope you keep us in mind for  water damage and water restoration service if any of these problems get out of hand!

Debunking Common Lightning Myths

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to lightning, you’re probably already familiar with a few persistent myths. In fact, you might not even realize they are myths because they’ve become so commonplace. We’ve got the facts to keep in mind -- and keep you safe -- the next time a storm looms on the horizon. 

Five Storm-Related Myths about Lightning

Here are five storm-related myths about lightning we’re sure you’ve heard before. 

How many boxes can you check? 

  • “Crouching down will protect me from lightning.”
  • “I shouldn’t help a lightning victim because then I’ll get shocked.”
  • “Well, lightning never strikes the same place twice.” 
  • “It isn’t raining and there are no clouds above us, so we are safe from lightning.”
  • “Let’s shelter under this tree to stay safe and dry.” 

Let’s break these myths down, one by one. 

  1. Just because you are crouched down does not make you a smaller target for lightning to strike. If you’re outside when a storm approaches, it is best to run to a secure, indoor location until it passes.
  2. If someone is struck by lightning, the first thing you should do is start performing CPR. The human body is incapable of holding electricity. Because of this, there is no reason to not spring into action.
  3. Lightning has no rules… the same spot can be struck multiple times. Just look at the Empire State Building, which has been struck by lightning more than 50 times! 
  4. Rain or not, if you can hear thunder you are close enough to get struck by lightning. 
  5. Sheltering yourself under a tree during a thunderstorm could quite possibly be worse than standing there or running to a further point of safety. 

The best thing to do in a thunderstorm is to stay alert and know the closest indoor place to get to. 

For more information on thunderstorms, especially expert water removal, contact SERVPRO Haverhill/Newburyport