Recent Posts

Preventing Heating Fires

2/8/2024 (Permalink)

Photo of a fireplace burning with a cozy blanket and two presumably steaming mugs on the table in the forground of the photo Heat your home safely this season as cold outdoor temperatures persist.

While modern heating systems are designed to be more efficient and have built-in safety features that minimize the risk of fires, it is crucial to note that heating fires can still occur due to various factors.

Is your property at risk? Let us help you get prepared with our checklist of preventative measures. But remember, if your property does undergo damage, we are open 24/7, 365 days a year to help you through it and to make it "Like it never even happened."

Overall, there has been a decline in heating fires over the years, however, they still pose a significant risk to homes and individuals. By remaining vigilant, staying informed about safety measures, and taking proactive steps to maintain heating systems, we can continue to reduce the occurrence of these devastating incidents.

Checklist for preventing heating fires

  • Heat source proximity - Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, portable heaters, or candles.
  • Electrical issues - Always plug space heaters directly into an outlet, and make sure its cord isn’t damaged or frayed.
  • Improper usage - Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Maintenance - Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
  • More information - Visit the U.S. Fire Administration Home Fires page to learn about how to prepare for and prevent home fires including tips for individuals with disabilities and older adults.


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SERVPRO Team Cuthbertson in the 2023 Oak Ridge Christmas Parade

12/19/2023 (Permalink)

Servpro vehicle decorated with lights and antlers with empoyees waiving in the back of the truck SERVPRO employees waive to spectators in the 2023 Oak Ridge Christmas Parade

Our community is where our heart is and that’s why we like to invest our time and efforts in events like the Oak Ridge Christmas Parade. Each year, individuals, families, and businesses come together to celebrate the Christmas holiday with festive floats and decorated trucks and trailers. The streets are lined with spectators, including children who cheer, sing, and wave as the parade of brightly lit and decorated floats pass by. Holiday music can be heard all around, and Christmas Cheer is evident in the faces of all throughout the parade.

This year’s event, ?sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, was attended by hundreds of spectators and, according to Norm Nelson of the Oak Ridge Chamber, the 2023 parade boasted one of it’s largest float registrations in recent years.

Several news outlets were in attendance with live coverage of the event being broadcasted and recorded. One of these recordings can be viewed on the following Youtube link:

It is an honor to participate in family events like this one, and it is a testament to our community that it is such a huge success every year. The hard work and dedication of the people like Christine Michaels, Norm Nelson, and BreAnna Robinson of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce are the driving force behind these great celebrations, which enrich and inspire this community that we are humbled and grateful to be a part of.

Fire Prevention for Homes and Businesses

12/7/2023 (Permalink)

A house with fire damage The effects of a fire can be devastating.

If you didn't know, it's National Fire Prevention Week. As much as we here at SERVPRO are here to help clean up after fires, our priority is always to help prevent them in the first place. So, we want to share some tips with you that will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Fire is one of the most devastating disasters that can strike a home or business. It can cause extensive damage to property and possessions, and can even lead to loss of life. That's why it's important to take steps to prevent fires from happening in the first place.

Here are some fire prevention tips for homes and businesses:

Home fire prevention tips:

? Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms every month and change the batteries every year.

? Create and practice a fire escape plan with your family.

? Keep flammable materials away from heat sources.

? Be careful when cooking and using candles.

? Never smoke in bed.

? Have your electrical wiring and appliances inspected regularly by a qualified electrician.

Business fire prevention tips:

? Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your business. Test your alarms every month and change the batteries every year.

? Create and practice a fire escape plan with your employees.

? Keep flammable materials away from heat sources and electrical equipment.

? Be careful when using appliances and equipment.

? Have your electrical wiring and appliances inspected regularly by a qualified electrician.

How SERVPRO can help after a fire

If a fire does happen, it's important to call a qualified fire restoration company as soon as possible. SERVPRO is a leading provider of fire restoration services. We have over 2,000 franchises across the United States and Canada, so we're always nearby to help when disaster strikes.

Our team of highly trained and experienced professionals is equipped to handle all aspects of fire restoration, including:

? Emergency water removal

? Structural drying

? Smoke and odor removal

? Content cleaning and restoration

? Construction services We work with your insurance company to make the claims process as easy and stress-free as possible. We also offer 24/7 emergency service, so you can always count on us to be there for you when you need us most.

If you have experienced a fire, contact SERVPRO today. We're here to help you get your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible.

Additional fire prevention tips:

? Educate your family and employees about fire safety. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.

? Have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home or business and know how to use it.

? Keep your fire extinguishers in good working order by inspecting them regularly and having them serviced by a professional.

? Consider installing a fire sprinkler system. Fire sprinkler systems can help to extinguish fires quickly and prevent them from spreading.

By following these fire prevention tips, you can help to protect your home or business from the devastating effects of fire.

Ensuring Turkey Fryer Safety for a Happy Thanksgiving

12/7/2023 (Permalink)

Turkey going into a deep fryer Be sure to use our safety tips to help prevent a fire with using a turkey fryer.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, a delicious turkey feast. While many families enjoy the tradition of deep-frying their turkeys, it is important to be aware of the potential safety hazards involved. SERVPRO, a leading provider of fire damage restoration services, is committed to helping families have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving by providing turkey fryer safety tips.

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

  1. Choose the Right Fryer: Always use a turkey fryer specifically designed for outdoor use. Never use an indoor turkey fryer, as they pose a high risk of fire.
  2. Use a Safe Location: Place your turkey fryer at least 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials. Never operate a turkey fryer in a garage, shed, or any enclosed area.
  3. Keep Away from Flammables: Keep any flammable materials, such as propane tanks, gasoline, or lighter fluid, away from your turkey fryer.
  4. Fill with Proper Oil: Use only the recommended type of oil for your turkey fryer. Never overfill the fryer, as this can increase the risk of overflowing.
  5. Thaw the Turkey Completely: A partially frozen turkey can cause the oil to splatter and ignite. Always thaw your turkey completely before frying.
  6. Lower the Turkey Slowly: Slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil to avoid splattering.
  7. Never Leave the Fryer Unattended: Never leave a turkey fryer unattended while it is in operation. Always have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
  8. Dispose of Oil Properly: Once the turkey is cooked, allow the oil to cool completely before disposing of it. Never pour hot oil down the drain.

SERVPRO's Commitment to Safety

SERVPRO is committed to helping families have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving by providing turkey fryer safety tips and fire damage restoration services in case of an emergency. With over 50 years of experience, SERVPRO has the expertise and resources to help you recover from a fire quickly and efficiently.

Enjoy a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving

By following these turkey fryer safety tips, you can help prevent fires and ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving for you and your family. SERVPRO wishes you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

How Many Smoke Alarms Should You Have

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke alarm Ionization alarms tend to be better at detecting fast-burning fires

Keeping your home safe from the threat of fire can be a tricky proposition. After all, fires don't always happen when you're home — so how can you keep yourself and your loved ones safe? One simple way is to install smoke alarms in each room of your house. But how many smoke alarms should you have? And where should they go? Read on for answers to these questions, plus tips for choosing the best type of alarm for your home.

How many smoke alarms should I have in my home?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement. The NFPA also recommends placing one outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.

Additionally, there should be one smoke alarm in the kitchen and another in your basement or other areas below grade level. This is especially important for older homes with original wiring and electrical panels that could be easily damaged by water or fire.

Where should smoke alarms be installed?

The number of smoke alarms you should have depends on the layout of your home and how many sleeping areas you have.

If you live in a multi-story apartment building or condo building with an elevator or staircase, follow these guidelines:

Install at least one ionization or photoelectric/photoionization combination smoke detector per floor. You can add additional alarms if desired; this is up to local code requirements for multi-family residences (not just single-family houses).

All bedrooms should be within 10 feet of a functioning smoke detector, regardless of which type it is (i.e., ionization or photoelectric/photoionization combination). If this does not work for some reason (e.g., if there is already another working unit installed), consult with local fire officials about alternative solutions that would still meet safety regulations while also allowing for proper functioning of all other devices throughout restful periods such as nighttime when most people are asleep anyway so alarms aren't going off every time someone sneezes while watching TV before bedtime

What type of smoke alarm should I install?

You should have both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms in your home. The reason is that both types of detectors can help you detect a fire and alert you to the danger more quickly. Ionization alarms tend to be better at detecting fast-burning fires, while photoelectric alarms are better at detecting slower burning fires.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  • If you live in an apartment building, landlords must install ionization smoke detectors only if they want their tenants to receive federal assistance for housing. In either case, it’s up to state laws where landlords will be required (or not) to install both types of detectors.
  • If you live in a mobile home or trailer park, it’s recommended that all homes have dual-sensor technology installed by law. This includes ionization and photoelectric devices which will protect residents against both fast-burning house fires as well as small cooking fires that may start on stoves or hot plates

Houses with more than one story should have at least one smoke alarm on each level, as well as in each bedroom. If you're building a new home or renovating an existing one, make sure there are enough smoke detectors and they are working properly before moving in.

The Responsible Host’s Fire Safety Guide for Thanksgiving Day

11/17/2022 (Permalink)

Being aware of the possibility of fires, practicing safety measures to prevent fires, and knowing what to do in the event of a fire are important responsibilities for anyone who is hosting a Thanksgiving celebration.  

As you prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday and begin to plan the details for your gathering, be it big or small, exuberant or relaxing, there are several safety tips to keep in mind to promote a safe environment for you, your family, and/or your friends (and your furry family too!). 

How likely am I to have a fire on Thanksgiving Day?

According to The U.S. Fire Administration, cooking fires cause the most Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, occurring more often on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year.  On Thanksgiving Day, 74% of fires in residential buildings were caused by cooking followed by 8% of fires caused by heating.  By comparison, cooking caused 51% of residential fires that occurred on all days of the year other than Thanksgiving.  Over half (54%) of Thanksgiving Day fires occur between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. when people are preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  

Tips for preventing kitchen fires. 

  • Never leave your range or cooktop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn your range or cooktop off.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can hang down onto hot surfaces and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of combustible materials. Food wrappers, oven mitts or other materials left on or near the stove may catch fire.
  • Be sure to clean up any spilled or splattered grease. Built-up grease can catch fire in the oven or on the cooktop.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher readily available. Having an extinguisher nearby is important, but you also need to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage as it can ignite combustible materials. Be sure to let grease cool and consider disposing it in an old can, such as a metal coffee can.
  • Do not store food or other items in your oven. It can be easy to forget there is an item in your oven, and this could catch fire while preheating.

What to Do If a Cooking Fire Flares Up

By exercising caution in your kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. But if a fire does flare up, you need to be prepared.

  • Your safety comes first. If you cannot safely extinguish the fire, leave the scene, call 911 for help, and let the fire department control the fire.
  • If a small fire flares up and you are going to try to extinguish it, call 911 for help first. A fire may grow out of control more quickly than you anticipate. It is safer to have help already on the way.
  • Smother a grease fire – never throw water on a grease fire. The water can be superheated and change to steam, and can cause severe burns. Also, it can cause oil to splash up and spread the fire. If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If it is safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan; keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
  • If a fire starts in your oven, KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED & TURN OFF THE HEAT SOURCE. Keeping the door closed will help smother the flames. Do not open the door until the flames are completely out.
  • If a fire starts in your microwave, turn off the microwave and do not open it until the fire is completely out. Unplug the microwave only if you can safely do so.

With these safety precautions in place and the knowledge of how to handle a kitchen fire, you are one step closer to being a responsible host.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving 

to all of you responsible hosts out there!

From SERVPRO of North Knoxville

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Do Drain Cleaners Cause Pipe Damage?

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Advertisements drain cleaners, water pipe detergent with clear piping section in 3d illustration. When you think of drain cleaners, what comes to mind?

Do Drain Cleaners Ruin Pipes?

Drain cleaners are one of the most popular chemical cleaning products in the world. They are sold at grocery stores, hardware stores, and even auto shops. You can find drain cleaners that are made specifically to clean drains and pipes, or you can buy stronger chemical cleaners like Drano, Liquid Wrench and other brands that claim they will clear your drainpipes.

Drain cleaners may seem like a quick fix for clearing clogs in your sink and toilet, but these toxic substances can cause serious damage to your plumbing system if not used properly.

What is more important than what type of chemicals are used when cleaning drains is how often you use them!

In this article we'll explore why drain cleaners cause pipe damage, how often homeowners use them improperly and what our plumbers recommend instead!

Yes, drain cleaners do cause plumbing problems.

The short answer to this question is “Yes.” Drain cleaners can cause a lot of damage to your pipes, but why? It’s because they are highly corrosive and often contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

Clogged drains are common in homes and businesses across the country, so it’s no surprise that people want a quick solution when they need to get their clogged drain unclogged as soon as possible. Unfortunately, clogging drains is only one problem with drain cleaners; there are other problems that you may not even know about unless you read up on these products before using them.

The main issue with drain cleaners is their extremely high pH levels (the scale used by scientists to measure how acidic or basic chemicals are). These acids can cause corrosion on metal pipes which leads to leaks and other problems down the road

There are two major classes of drain cleaners:

  • Regular drain cleaners. These are the chemicals you'll find at your local hardware store. They're strong enough to unclog drains, but they can also cause damage if too much is used or if it's left in the drain for too long.
  • Natural drain openers. These contain natural ingredients that break down clogs over time without damaging pipes like regular cleaners do.

Lemon juice and soda

While soda and lemon juice are a great way to tackle a clogged drain, they are not as effective as chemical drain cleaners. If you have a stubborn clog that won't budge with these household items, it's time to call in an expert for help.

Drain cleaners can be quite dangerous if used incorrectly or in large quantities, but less-toxic alternatives like soda and lemon juice are safe enough for everyday use. However, like any other chemical product, they must be used correctly to avoid causing damage to your pipes or septic tank.

The use of harsh chemicals can cause more clogs.

Chemicals that are used to clean drains are designed to break down organic materials and other debris, but they also have the potential to damage pipes and prevent them from working properly. A regular build-up of grease or food waste can be removed with a simple plunger, or by flushing out the pipes with water. However, when you use chemicals on your drain instead, it could damage the pipes and cause further problems for you later. In addition to this issue, many drain cleaners contain harmful ingredients that contribute towards environmental pollution such as mercury or phosphates; these may not dissolve quickly enough in your sink's basin but instead end up in lakes or rivers downstream from where you live.

Call the experts at SERVPRO of North Knoxville to clean your drains, not those harmful toxic chemicals.

When you think of drain cleaners, what comes to mind? A bottle of sulfuric acid that you can buy at the local hardware store? Or perhaps a container of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) that says “DANGER!” on it in red letters?

These types of products are very dangerous and should be used with extreme caution. If you have any questions about whether they are safe for your pipes and drains, please call the experts at SERVPRO of North Knoxville. We can explain why calling them is better than using those harmful chemicals.

SERVPRO professionals understand that many homeowners do not know what kind of damage these chemicals can cause when used incorrectly or accidentally spilled down into your drains and pipes. Using these types of substances around water lines is very dangerous because they could cause severe burns if someone were to encounter them. The effects would be even worse if one were swallowed! Even if someone accidentally drops some on themselves – like their eyes – it can cause serious injury or even blindness since there's no way to see where those chemicals may have splashed onto other parts of their body before realizing what happened."

So, now you know the answer to the question, “Do drain cleaners cause pipe damage?” It should be no surprise to anyone that they do! Commercial cleaners are designed to eat through grease and soap scum – not only those in your pipes but also on surfaces around the house. If you have a clog in your line, it’s best to call SERVPRO of North Knoxville at (865) 947-9992 so we can take care of it properly. Our technicians will use an industrial strength solution that won’t harm your plumbing as well as offer 24/7 emergency service if necessary.

How Do You Estimate Fire Damage?

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed and burned in the hallway of a property Major fire damage in North Knoxville, TN.

How Are Fire Damage Estimates Made?

Fire damage is one of the most devastating events that can happen to your home or business. It's important to know how much fire damage you've sustained and how much it will cost to repair so you can begin the recovery process. Here are some steps you can take before hiring a fire restoration professional:

Fire damage can be devastating to your home or business.

We’re here to help you learn more about how much a fire damage estimate is, so that you can make an informed decision about how much coverage you need. The best way to do this is by calling (865) 947-9992. Our experts will guide you through the process of estimating your fire damages and help communicate with your insurance company find the right degree of coverage for your needs.

It’s important for homeowners and business owners alike to know about their options when it comes to securing property insurance against fire damages—not just because it protects them financially if something happens, but also because they may need an accurate estimation before making repairs or rebuilding.

Assess the damage.

  • Check for fire damage. Fire can cause significant damage to your property, so it's important to assess the extent of the fire damage before you begin estimating its cost.
  • Check for smoke damage. Smoke and soot can be a major problem in areas such as attics and basements, where they can accumulate over time and result in unpleasant odors that will make your home unpleasant to live in until they're removed or cleaned up by a professional cleaner.
  • Check for water damage. Water from firefighting efforts or water used to put out flames may have seeped into areas where you wouldn't expect it, like your walls or floors.

Calculate the cost of repairs.

As you analyze the damage to your home and belongings, you might want to think about whether some items are worth repairing. In many cases, it is more cost-effective to purchase new items than attempting to fix them. If so, add these expenses into your final repair estimate.

If you choose to repair your damaged goods, use this guide on how much it costs (and how long) to mend different items:

  • Carpeting: $3-$6 per square foot (see below)
  • Hardwood floors: $1-$2 per square foot (see below)

Determine what items are salvageable.

Once you've determined that the cause of your property's damage was a fire, you can begin determining which items are salvageable.

To do this, think about whether any of the following statements apply to any item in question:

  • If an item is damaged but not burned, it can be repaired.
  • If an item is burned but not damaged, it can be restored.
  • If an item is burned and damaged (e.g., melted), it will need to be replaced.

Calculate the cost of replacing items

Once you've estimated the cost of repairing damaged areas, it's time to figure out whether you need to replace any items. If your insurance company doesn't provide coverage for the entire cost of replacement and you decide to hire a professional, you'll need to consider:

  • How much this is going to cost.
  • Whether or not replacing the item yourself makes more sense financially.

Estimate fire damage as soon as possible after a fire.

Estimate fire damage as soon as possible after a fire. The sooner you estimate the damage, the better. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to estimate the damage and more risks that there are hidden issues that might affect your estimate. If you wait too long (e.g., one year), then insurance may not cover your losses since they cannot verify them or make an accurate determination of how much was actually damaged to pay out on their claim.

You should also keep in mind that if you do not notify your insurer within 30 days of discovering your loss and/or filing for benefits under your insurance policy, then some policies require payment for storage fees and additional charges before any funds will be released.

When you’re dealing with a fire damage estimate, it is important to know what you are getting into. This can be overwhelming for many people and that is why it is important to have someone who understands what they are doing so they can make the process easier on everyone involved.

4 Tips for Storm Preparation

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with orange glove cleaning a gutter with leaves Keep your gutters clean.

Storm Preparation

Some storms may spring up suddenly, but being aware of when storm season in Strawberry Plains, TN, is approaching can help you prepare your home for its arrival. By following these tips, you can weather the season’s storms better and hopefully stay above the flood water.

1. Stay Alert

You can’t protect your family and yourself against a problem you don’t know is coming. Your community probably has a severe weather warning system in place. Sign up for notifications, and keep an eye on the radar when your area is under a severe storm threat.

2. Update Protection

The moment you are standing in your flooded home is not the time to wonder about whether your flood insurance has expired. Storm restoration can be very expensive. Make sure that you always have adequate coverage for water damage, especially if you live in an area that tends to see significant flooding.

3. Maintain Regularly

There are ways to shield your home from extensive damage from flood water. Consider installing a sump pump in the basement. Make sure your gutters stay clear of debris, particularly during rainy seasons. Make sure valuables are stored in higher places so that are less likely to get wet.

4. Have a Plan

Everyone in the family should know what to do in an emergency. Outline evacuation routes and talk about safety precautions. Pack an emergency bag that you can just grab and go if you need to vacate your flooded building quickly. In this bag, be sure to include copies of valuable documents, such as the deed to your home and contact information for your insurance company and local flood restoration specialists. Know what you need to do before you need to do it.

Weather can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared. Taking precautions before the flood water starts to rise is key to getting through the storm.

4 Ways to Keep Plants Free of Mildew

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Mildew on plants Avoid plant mildew.

Plant Mildew Prevention Steps

Homeowners in Blaine, TN, know that humidity and wet conditions are part of the location. Bringing nature indoors is a great way to freshen the air and add charm to your home. Unfortunately, the outdoor environment may still lead to plant mildew and mold. While eventually needing the help of a water, mold and mildew damage company may be unavoidable, below are four tips to minimize it.

1. Monitor Humidity Levels
Even indoors, humidity levels can rise quickly. That is especially true in the kitchen, bathroom and basement. While fans can help, it is recommended to use a dehumidifier. Depending on your HVAC system, you may have settings that can help keep levels low throughout the home. If possible, keep levels below 50% but above 30%.

2. Circulate Fresh Air
When trying to avoid plant mildew, ventilation is key. On days when the outdoor air seems just right, open the windows to get air circulating. Using fans is another way to ensure that air is moving around the home and not staying stagnate. Proper airflow is also a key way to minimize areas of the home staying moist, which may quickly turn into breeding grounds for bacteria.

3. Dry Wet Areas
No matter which fungi you are trying to avoid, any excess moisture makes that much more difficult to achieve. From small spills to areas prone to condensation, ensuring they are regularly dried and cleaned helps keep fungi at bay. Appliances should also be regularly inspected, especially water heaters and washers, to ensure that no water is pooling.

4. Avoid Over Fertilizing
When it comes to mildew growth on plants, fertilizing is often another culprit. Depending on the type being used, it can have high nitrogen levels that may welcome unwanted growth. There are organic options available that may provide what you need without raising the risk of fungi growth.
While plant mildew may be annoying, it also is an indicator that the moisture levels in your home aren’t quite right. The above tips may help your plants thrive and your home environment fresh and enjoyable.