It Takes Just a Few Hours to Protect Your Newtown Business From Fire Damage
Apartment complex fires can cause massive damage to multiple units.
As a business owner, you are aware of the multitude of building codes that must be strictly adhered to in order to protect your building from fire damage. Yet, despite all of the precautions, fires still can, and do, occur at commercial properties. In fact, according to research done by the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015, there were 113,500 fires in non-residential structure fires, which resulted in 1,425 injuries, 80 fatalities, and $3.1 billion in damages.
Although our customers who own businesses in the New Fairfield area can’t eliminate all risk of a fire at their commercial property, there are some precautions that can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of extensive damage.
- Eliminate the hazards: We’re talking maintaining your machinery and electrical systems in your building. Storing flammable and combustible materials properly. If you have tenants, provide clear guidelines that address the “Big 3” - smoking, cooking and candle burning - in their apartments.
- Install and maintain current safety equipment: A small fire can turn into a big fire very quickly if it’s not quickly identified and then spreads. Well-maintained fire alarm and sprinkler systems can help to mitigate fire damage. Inspect them regularly to make sure they are up to date and functioning.
- Implement fire emergency procedures: A fire alarm can only do so much. You need quick thinking and knowledgeable people on site who know what actions to take first. Train your employees on how to respond to a fire. This should include escape routes, tenant accountability measures, an emergency responder plan, and a safety point person. Contact us to set up an Emergency Ready Plan free of charge.
When you take a look at our action items above, we are talking about a minimal time and financial investment that can save your building - and lives - if you do have a fire.
SERVPRO Offers Home Construction Services in Fairfield County
Chuck Lynch, our Construction and Repair Manager, has over 2 decades in this business and is a CT licensed contractor.
As our business has grown, we’ve expanded the services that we offer to our customers.
Most people know that SERVPRO cleans up water, fire and mold damage in homes and businesses. Many of our customers are surprised to discover, however, that our franchise also has a state licensed contractor and crew on board.
After the fire is put out, the water is extracted, the structure dried, the odor removed, the mold remediated, and the contents cleaned, there is often still the issue of returning the physical structure back to preloss condition. When our restoration crew has completed the clean up of water and fire damage in a structure, our Building Services Manager, Chuck Lynch, and his team will take over for the rebuilding phase. Using SERVPRO for your construction needs streamlines the process for you, enabling you to get back into your home as soon as possible.
Our professional and licensed contractors will meet with you to assess the damage and formulate a plan to rebuild your home or business.
Some of the services that we offer are:
- Board Up
- Carpet Repair and Installation
- Document Drying
- Dry Cleaning
- Drywall Installation
- Drywall Removal
- Electronics Restoration
- Fine Art Restoration
- Furniture Restoration
- General Contracting
- Hardwood Floor Repair
- HVAC Services
- Linoleum Floor Repair
- Marble Floor Repair
- Move Out
- Portable Power
- Roof Tarp
- Roofing Services
- Scalable Resources
- Temporary Fencing
- Temporary Warehouse Space
- Tile Floor Repair
- Tree Removal
Our goal is to leave our customers a home that is even better than before their disaster happened.
After a huge tree fell on this home, causing massive damage. Our team rebuilt the home, including installing new walls, flooring, a kitchen and bathroom, a new fireplace and roof.
High winds caused a tree to fall on this Brookfield home, damaging the roof, which we repaired.
After a water heater leaked in the finished basement of this Fairfield house, new walls, molding and carpeting were installed.
2019 By the Numbers
We wish all of our friends, customers and families a Happy New Year!
As the year (and decade!) ends, we thought it would be fun to look at our year by the numbers.
Our Jobs in 2019:
81 Commercial Properties
618 Residential Properties
346 Water Damage Restoration
72 Fire Damage Restoration
36 Mold Remediation
14 Smoke Damage Restoration
43 General Cleaning
47 Sewage Clean Ups
17 Packouts and Content Cleanings
11 Odor Removal
And 125 “Other” - which primarily consists of biohazard cleanups, tree removal, rodent waste cleanups, reconstruction work and duct cleanings.
Phew! It's been a busy year and looking back at our numbers, no wonder why! What we are most proud of is that with almost 700 jobs in the past year, we've managed to maintain the high standard of work and customer satisfaction that we committed to when this company was founded over a decade ago.
We wish all of our friends, customers and families a wonderful 2020!
Furnaces Puffbacks: When Your Home is Covered With a Layer of Soot
A sure sign of a puffback is black "spiderwebs" that are caused by the explosion.
With the arrival of cold weather in the New Milford area, the calls coming to our office take a different tone.
Winter brings calls from homeowners who have had burst pipes and chimney fires as well as furnace puffbacks. A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. Puff backs happen when your oil burning furnace doesn't ignite when it should. This causes oil vapors to build up which results in an explosion when the igniter finally triggers. The result of this is soot and other debris is forced from the furnace's exhaust system. The soot then enters the homes heating system and gets blown throughout the home.
If you see signs of a puffback in your home, call your oil company immediately for an inspection of your furnace. If a homeowner hasn't experienced a puff back before, they might mistake the soot on their surfaces for dust and attempt to wipe it away. However, soot cannot but easily wiped away- it requires specialized cleaning by your local SERVPRO franchise.
At SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, we have the tools, training and experience to get your home back to properly remove soot in your home. Call us at (203) 743-5362 for immediate service.
With Winter in Connecticut Comes Ice Storms
Ice storms cause tree limbs and electrical wires to become heavy, causing a danger to homes in Fairfield County.
Most of us in Connecticut are quite adept at handling snowstorms. We know when to stay home and when we can safely drive. The majority of residents have an alternate heat source, whether that be a wood stove or kerosene heater and a generator to get us through the power outages that high winds might cause. We own roof rakes and snow blowers and know how to use them. Quite a number of us also have a tarp and emergency supplies "just in case".
It's inevitable that we will experience an ice storm or two during the winter here. The unpredictable nature of ice and sleet on roads can make it difficult to drive safely for even seasoned drivers. Sidewalks, steps and your entire driveway may become so slippery that they are impassable. The weight of the ice on tree limbs can cause them to break and fall, causing roof damage to homes. Ice might accumulate on your roof, and even make its way under shingles- dislodging and breaking them. This, combined with the warm weather that has followed the ice storms, puts homes at risk of water damage from roof leaks.
There's no escaping the snow, ice and freezing temperatures when you live in the Northeast. Hopefully, your home won't be damaged by falling limbs or roof leaks. However, if you do have have a leak or hole in your roof, give us a call. Our team has the experience of several decades of Litchfield County winters and will come right out, assess the situation and restore your home from the damage.
Don't Let a Kitchen Fire Ruin Your Holiday
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends, family and customers!
Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, parades, football and, of course, food!
The kitchen is the heart of home, especially during the holidays when most of us in Litchfield County are preparing a meal with many more recipes, in larger quantities and with more cooks in the kitchen than usual!
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day also has the highest number of home fires annually. In 2013, Thanksgiving Day had 1,550 reported kitchen fires, which is 230% above the average number of fires per day. Keep these kitchen safety reminders in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast!
"Be on time"
With so many things on your "to do" list, guests coming and going and multiple items cooking, be sure to set timers so that you don't remember to take something out of the oven too late! (nobody likes their stuffing THAT dry!)
“Stand by Your Pan”
Have a designated cook in the kitchen at all times so that food is not left unattended. This is the most common source of kitchen fires. It only takes a moment for a kitchen fire to start and with a vigilant cook in the kitchen, catching it immediately is the key to avoiding the fire spreading.
"If you fry, don't make it too high!"
The popularity of deep frying the turkey has soared (We at SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County haven't gone this route because we are traditionalists but we hear it's quite delicious!). An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. Play it safe and fry your bird outside.
"For grease fires, water makes it go higher!"
Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water or a wet towel. Water will cause the flames to flare up and spread quickly. Turn off the stove and cover the fire with a lid if it is safe to do so, thereby removing the oxygen from reaching the fire. Use a fire extinguisher, which should be stored in a convenient kitchen location (not hidden under the kitchen sink!) If you do not have a fire extinguisher, baking soda is also effective at putting out grease fires however you do need to use quite a bit of it.
We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!
House Fire Safety Precautions with Your Fur-Baby in Mind
Placing a Pet Rescue sticker on your window lets rescue personnel know that there is a loved one inside!
Not only are house fires devastating because of the damage they inflict to your home, but many people also lose their pets in such fires. There are safety precautions that can be taken to help protect your pets in the case of fire.
If you leave your pet home unattended (whether for an extended period of time or daily while you are at work), consider installing a monitored smoke detector. If the alarm goes off while you are away, emergency services will be alerted.
Also consider placing a pet rescue sticker on the door or window. Such stickers inform emergency responders information about the pets inside of your house, such as how many and what kind are inside.
During your household fire drills, include your pets. Know where your pet may hide in the event that they are scared of the fire itself, the smoke alarms and fire trucks. Practice your drill with your smoke detectors ringing so that your pet will associate the noise with the evacuation routine.
Have a plan in place. Designate a family member who is responsible for each pet as well as a backup. If your pet cannot be safely located because of smoke or flames, leave windows and doors open as an escape route. Always have identification tags on your pet, as they sometimes run away out of fear. Tags will ensure their return if they are found.
Nobody expects to experience a house fire, but having a safety plan in place will help keep your fur baby safe in the event that you do. If you have a house fire in the New Fairfield, CT area, give SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County a call at (203) 743-5362.
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When Your Home has Storm Damage, Call the Local Experts.
Greg Geaski, the owner of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County, understands the unique needs of Connecticut home and business owners.
When storms hit the Ridgefield area, the SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County crew is ready to respond immediately. Our owner, Greg Geaski, has lived in the area his whole life and knows it well. With a firsthand knowledge of the area and the weather it brings, he knows how to respond and what resources are needed. Kathy, Alexis, Keri and Theny, our office staff, are available to answer your call and assess the situation and your needs immediately. Our crew is on call nights and weekends and able to respond to your call quickly.
By responding quickly, we can lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce the cost of restoration. Storms don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Whether you have a tree down on your house, a broken window that requires boarding up or flooding in your basement, our team is ready help.
Do you have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at (203) 743-5362.
With Freezing Temperatures Comes Frozen Pipes. Here's What to Do.
If the pipes freeze and burst in your Sherman home, call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern LItchfield County to clean it up.
The most common call we get in the winter here in the New Fairfield, CT area is from customers whose pipes have frozen and burst. Often, a homeowner isn't aware that their pipes have frozen and they walk into their home after a thaw to a flood. As devastating as this might experience can be, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage while you wait for help to arrive.
Turn off your water and electricity.
If you live in a house, turn off your water supply (and don't wait until a pipe bursts to locate it!) as well as the electricity to the area of the house where the burst has occurred. If you live in an apartment building or condo, be sure to alert your building manager immediately as the water could also affect neighboring units.
Place a catch bucket under the leak
If water is coming through the ceiling, place a bucket or garbage can under the leak to catch the water. If the ceiling is bulging or the leaking is widespread, piercing a hole in the sheetrock will allow the water to flow through one spot.
Drain your pipes
Run all of the faucets throughout your house with cold water to clear as much water from the pipes as possible. Flush the toilets as well. Turn off your hot water heater and run the hot water from all faucets.
Call a plumber
Again, preparing ahead will work in your benefit. It can be difficult to find a plumber who is immediately available to respond to your frozen pipe emergency. Choosing and establishing a relationship with a local Litchfield County plumber ahead of time will go a long way in getting quicker service.
Call SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County
Our water mitigation team will respond quickly and begin the clean up process. The sooner we are called to dry the home out and remove wet sheetrock, carpets, flooring and other materials, the less the damage can spread and cause additional problems.
Call your Insurance Agency
The sooner you submit a claim, the quicker you will be reimbursed for payments made to plumbers and contractors. Our experienced office staff, Keri and Bianca, will handle insurance negotiations and paperwork from our end so that you don't have to.
Discovering that your home is flooded because of frozen pipes can be a stressful experience. We've been told by many customers throughout our twenty years as a franchise that having our team come out quickly and efficiently mitigate the damage has taken much of the stress out of the situation. Give us a call at (203) 743-5362 24/7 if your pipes freeze this winter in the Brookfield area!
What Does it Mean to be an IICRC Certified Restoration Firm?
Not all restoration firms are IICRC certified. SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is.
When seeking a fire, water or mold restoration company in the Fairfield County area, it's important to choose a reputable company whose employees have been highly trained. A poorly conducted restoration can cause a home or business to have secondary problems such as mold down the line.
SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County is an IICRC certified restoration firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County
SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.