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A Safe Thanksgiving

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Turkey Fire Putting too much oil in the fryer or dropping in a frozen or partially thawed turkey lead to most turkey fryer fires.

As you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family, at SERVPRO we want to help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire hazards.

According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA,  an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking.

The USFA recommends the following tips to keep your holiday safe.

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
  • Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
  • Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
  • Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the turkey.  And deep-fried turkey has become a favorite Thanksgiving tradition in many households.  But if used improperly, an overloaded fryer can easily tip over and set an entire house ablaze.  USFA offers the following helpful tips to backyard chefs who plan to deep-fry a turkey for Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

Tips to thaw out a frozen pipe

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Freezing temps turns lead to frozen pipes. Use these tips to help get the water flowing and avoid burst pipes.

Thawing a frozen water pipe quickly is important. However, it is just as important to thaw the frozen pipe correctly. Here are seven tips to follow to help you get the water flowing and to help you avoid a burst pipe and potentially damaging flood at your property.

Tip 1: Locate the Frozen Pipe
In order to thaw a frozen pipe, you must first determine which pipe or pipes are frozen. Turn on the faucets in your property.


If no water comes out, or only a slight trickle escapes, then a pipe leading to the faucet is likely frozen. If one pipe is frozen, there is a chance others have frozen also.

If the pipes are exposed, such as pipes under sinks, in basements or along the exterior of the house, you may be able to see the frozen portion of the pipe. Frozen pipes often have frost on them or may have a slight bulge. If the blockage is located in part of the pipe that you have access to, you will have more options for easily thawing the pipe than if the frozen portion is enclosed behind a wall.

Tip 2: Open the Faucet
Before you begin attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, you will want to open the faucet that the pipe feeds water into. Make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. This will help to relieve pressure in the system and will allow the water to escape once you begin to thaw the pipe.

Tip 3: Where to Begin the Thawing Process
You should always begin the thawing process near the faucet then work your way down to the blockage.

This will help ensure that the melting ice and steam is able to escape through the open faucet. If you start the thawing process closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage, creating more pressure in the pipe and increasing the chances the pipe will burst.

Tip 4: Thawing Exposed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area you can easily access, you have several options for attempting to thaw the pipe.


You should continue to apply the heat until the water escaping from the faucet returns to full strength. Here are four options for thawing an exposed pipe.

  • Hair Dryer- One of the easiest ways to thaw a pipe is by using a hair dryer. Simply turn the dryer on and point the heat at the pipe, beginning with the portion closest to the faucet. As with any electrical product, take the proper precautions and avoid coming into contact with water when operating the device.
  • Heat Lamp or Portable Space Heater- Another method to thaw the pipe is to use a heat lamp or portable space heater. Position the device so that the heat is able to reach the frozen pipe. This indirect heat can help to quickly thaw a pipe. Again, make sure to comply with the safety measures and precautions on the device you are using and keep the device away from water..
  • Hot Towels- Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap towels that have been dipped in hot water around the pipe. This can help to slowly thaw the blockage.
  • Electrical Heating Tape- A final option is to apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipe. This tape distributes heat throughout the pipe. You can purchase electrical heating tape that you plug in and unplug as needed or you can purchase heating tape that shuts off on its own.

Tip 5: Thawing Enclosed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area that you cannot easily access, you have three options for thawing the pipe.

  • Turn the Heat Up in the Property- You can attempt to thaw the frozen pipe by increasing the temperature in the property. Turning the thermostat up may be all that is needed to allow the ice blockage to melt.
  • Infrared Lamp- If you know where in the wall the frozen pipe is located, you can attempt to thaw the blockage by placing an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the pipe is located. The heat from the lamp may be able to penetrate the wall and allow the pipe to defrost.
  • Cut Out a Section of the Wall- If you are comfortable doing so, you can cut out the section of the drywall in front of the frozen pipe so that you can easily access the pipe. You can then use one of the methods for thawing out an enclosed pipe listed above.

Tip 6: Things to Avoid
Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame, such as a propane torch. This can not only damage the pipe, it can also start a fire in your property.

Tip 7: If the Pipe Bursts
If a frozen water pipe does burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the main water line into your property. This will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. You should know where the shut-off valves are for each of your properties and for each unit. There are usually smaller shut-off valves located near sinks and toilets, but the main shut-off valve is often located near the water meter.

Call a Professional
Call a Professional- If you are unable to thaw the pipe, unable to locate the frozen pipe, do not feel comfortable thawing a pipe yourself or if a pipe bursts, you should call a plumber or other professional. They will be able to remedy the problem for you.
Risks of Thawing a Frozen Pipe
There are two main risks you should be aware of when attempting to thaw a frozen water pipe.

Fire- When using any heat source to thaw the frozen pipe, you can run the risk of starting a fire. Make sure to follow all safety instructions and never leave the product unattended.


Burst Pipe- If you do not begin the thawing process correctly, you could cause the pipe to burst. Always start thawing closest to the faucet.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is available 24/7 to help with your water and fire damage needs. If you have questions, give us a call at 716-694-7776

Reduce Fire Risk: Keep Your Dryer Lint-Free

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer Vent A little lint in the wrong place can cause a fire hazard

Don’t you love the convenience of washing and drying your own clothes at home? The time, money, and energy you save is great. But SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County knows the handy convenience of a home dryer can turn into a fire risk.

Dryers Cause 14,000+ Fires
According to Consumer Reports, every year, firefighters across the country respond to about 14,630 home fires caused by clothes dryers. One-third of these fires is caused by an accumulation of lint, which means that not cleaning out your dryer vent can set you up for a dangerous situation. This is far more serious than the decrease in drying efficiency caused by partially blocking your dryer's duct work.

To avoid this risk and stop the build-up of lint fire, properly maintain your dryer. Regular maintenance means frequent cleaning and may require professional help when necessary.

Check For Lint Every Time
Every time you use your clothes dryer check for lint. Most dryers have a lint filter or screen that’s easy to access and clean by hand. It may take 10 seconds to clean it. Remember, lint is very dry and combustible. A fire can happen easily if the lint hiding inside your dryer ignites.

Do go beyond just cleaning the lint screen. Clean every part of the dryer where lint can accumulate. This means:
•    Removing lint from filter after every load.
•    Cleaning the pipe that vents your dryer to the outside once every three months.
•    Scrubbing the lint filter twice a year to remove buildup.
•    Replacing accordion-style ducts (these are risky because they can sag and allow lint to build up at low points and trap lint in their ridges. Use a rigid metal duct instead.)
•    Using duct connectors and metal clamps (or foil tape) to join sections of duct. Avoid sheet metal screws because they can catch lint and cause buildup.
•    Calling for professional cleaning if your dry times become longer.

Fire remediation experts advise cleaning the whole machine to reduce the chance of fire.

Check Your Dryer’s Ventilation System, Too

Your dryer’s indoor vent should be inspected before the dryer is installed to make sure that it’s not damaged. Protect the outdoor vent from weather and small creatures that enjoy making a home inside of it. That usually means covering the outdoor vent so that the vent stays open when the dryer is on (so that lint can escape) but closes when the dryer isn’t being used. By taking the entire ventilation system into account, you are less likely to experience a fire due to excess lint.

Fire Risk Assessment

We can do a full house fire risk assessment for you. We can examine your dryer, the ventilation system, and other typical home situations that increase a fire risk.

Call us : 
Hundreds of people have called us for help with their fire, storm, and water damage issues. They tell us that three main reasons they choose SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County are because we:
    1. Respond immediately and work quickly
    2. Have experience and solutions for virtually any water or fire damage problem
3. Answer all questions and will help with insurance claims  

Call SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County 716-694-7776 anytime, 24/7/365.

Halloween Wind Storm

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

https://www.wivb.com/news/photos-wind-knocks-down-trees-causing-damage-and-blocking-roads-in-wny/

Strong winds came whistling through WNY late Halloween night. Winds were soaring 45-60mph, with gusts up to 70mph. Many homes in the WNY area were reported to be with out power.  National Grid estimated approximately 5800 without power this morning. Many trees and power lines were down on the sidewalk and roads. In result, many schools were cancelled or delayed. Alongside with the wind, torrential rains had fallen for the past two days. This caused flooding issues also.

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County is here to help! There is no job too BIG or small for us. Call us at 694-7776. We provide free estimates.

* Storm Damage

* Water Damage

* Flood Damage

5 Tips to preventing mold

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

5 Tips for Preventing Mold

When it comes to mold growth in Western New York, even your business may be at risk. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help mitigate the problem.

1. Fix Water Damage ASAP

Mold spore growth most often occurs in areas of darkness and humidity. This means that areas affected by water damage are the most susceptible. It's best to repair any such places as quickly as possible.

2. Dry Damp Areas Thoroughly

If you have areas of dampness or flooding in your business, whether due to a storm or a broken pipe, then it's best to dry the area as thoroughly as possible. This can help prevent the creation of a spore growth habitat, as spores tend to dislike dry areas. You may also want to use a dehumidifier.

3. Use Proper Ventilation

One step you can take to help prevent mold growth, is having a ventilation system installed in your building. This can help prevent high humidity in the space, which in turn can help discourage the growth of mold spores.

4. Keep Things Clean

Another way you could help mitigate potential mold problems, is to keep your business clean. Doing so may allow you to spot potential problem areas, and take appropriate measures before a mold problem occurs.

5. Call an Expert

If you believe you may have mold on your business property, it's best to contact a professional remediation service. These professionals have the equipment necessary remove the mold before it spreads further.
If you're hoping to prevent mold growth on your business property there are a few steps you may be able to take. Keep your business dry, fix any water problems you may have as quickly as you can, use a proper ventilation system in the building, and do your best to keep the area clean. If you do believe you may have found mold it's always best contact professional.

Here are the 8 most common fire hazards in the home

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

1. Candles

Who doesn’t love the romantic glow of candlelight? But, even if you enjoy their fragrance and ambiance, you might want to think twice before lighting a candle and leaving the room. From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

About one-third of these fires started in bedrooms, causing 39% of the associated deaths and 45% of the associated injuries. More than half of all candle fires start because of candles that were left too close to flammable items. They should always be kept at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

2. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

3. Electrical & Lighting

Electrical fires can have a number of different origins. They can be caused by an equipment malfunction, from an overloaded circuit or extension cord, or from an overheated light bulb, space heater, washer, dryer or other appliance.

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. 

4. Dryers and washing machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

5. Lightning

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, those caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

6. Children playing with fire

The NFPA says that children start an average of 7,100 home fires per year, causing approximately $172 million in property damage. July is the most active month for these fires, and males start the majority (83%) of them. Younger children under the age of six are more likely to start fires inside, using matches or a lighter as the ignition source. The most frequent sites for fires are the bedroom (39%), kitchen (8%) and living room/family room/den (6%). Older children are more likely to start fires outside.

7. Christmas trees

Like candle fires, Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights and a fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

8. Cooking

The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Several years ago in Florida, investigators saw a pattern of fraudulent house fires that started in the kitchen when the owners left food cooking on the stove while they ran to the store for a missing ingredient. Grease would catch on fire and the flames spread from there. 

Contact a Fire and Smoke damage Restoration contractor, for any Fire Damage and Smoke damage to your property

Commercial Property Services

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

A commercial property is always at risk of being damaged by natural elements. If your business gets hit by a disaster, you’ll need a commercial restoration company with real-world experience and the resources to return your property to its normal state. SERVPRO Restoration has over years of experience in residential and commercial restoration services. Our team of experts offers:

Our professionals have the training and equipment needed to restore your business after common issues with minimal interruption to your daily operations. SERVPRO also provides disaster planning to ensure that your property fortified in case future damage strikes.

At SERVPRO, we offer 24/7 commercial restoration and reconstruction services for damage caused by water, fire, smoke, mold, storms, and other disasters.

Why SERVPRO Commercial Restoration?

What makes SERVPRO Restoration different from other commercial restoration services? We offer multiple services through one point of contact. This means you only need one number to reach our reconstruction, emergency services mitigation, contents cleaning, training, insurance claims assistance, and disaster planning teams. You can depend on us for additional commercial damage services like cost savings, streamlined catastrophe planning, and minimized disruption.

SERVPRO has a longstanding heritage dedicated to innovation, resourcefulness, empathy, and outstanding customer service. Our franchise organization is proud to provide fast, high-quality cleanup and restoration services to both commercial and residential properties. We always put your property first at SERVPRO.

Call SERVPRO ! 757-431-1400

 Commercial Water Loss

When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bath tub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores

House Fires

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

House fires are caused by a number of things, such as lightening, brush fires, electrical shorts, candles, fireplaces, heaters and more. Fire damage is often doubled with water damage due to the fire fighters efforts to extinguish the flames. 

Home fires are dangerous. The best precautions to take are having a plan in case of emergencies and having working smoke detectors in the home. A plan needs to be in place of how each person will get out of the house and where to meet in the event of a fire.

Fire is fast and deadly. The smoke is just as dangerous as the flames. Once you are outside of your home during a fire, NEVER re-enter the home. The smoke will make it hard to see and breathe. Wait for the fire department to do what they are there to do. 

Should you experience a fire damage, give us a call. We are #HereToHelp.

We are here for YOU!

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County offers specialty cleaning services ranging from cleaning office upholstery to making storefront windows crystal clear. We have the specialized training and products to get your commercial or residential property clean, safe, and healthy again.

A Clean Business Keeps Customers Coming Back
Your business represents you.  A clean and attractive business keeps customers coming and leaves a positive impression. SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine. 

Our commercial specialty cleaning services include:
•    Air Ducts and HVAC
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
•    Biohazard and Sewage
SERVPRO is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
•    Trauma and Crime Scene
Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. We will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
•    Carpet and Upholstery
Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery.
•    Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Your heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property.
•    Odor Removal and Deodorization
SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
•    Vandalism
Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.


We’re Here Whenever You Need Us 
The team at SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County also has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup. 

Call SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara at 716-694-7776.

Back to School Cleaning

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

With the kids preparing to go back to school it's time for you to prepare for a quieter house.

It's the perfect time to deep clean your home and remove any stains from carpets, furniture or walls that might have occurred during summer break or from the cleaning you'd been planning since last summer.

From the carpets to the air ducts our skilled technicians here at SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County. Worth have the expertise to clean it all. Schedule an appointment today For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and Professionals trained to the highest standards, so that all the dirt you can see, and the dirt hiding under the surface can be swept away leaving a cleaner, healthier and fresh smelling home.

The holiday season is fast approaching. Don't wait till the last minute to schedule that cleaning before the in laws arrive.

Need Cleaning Services?
Call Us Today – (716) 694-7776

We are here to help 24/7!