Recent Posts

Cleaning Up After a Flood

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

After a flood happens in Columbus, GA, homeowners may be faced with property losses and damage. Unlike a pipe leak, which is relatively clean water, the cleaning requirements for floodwaters are different. Along with potential black water in the mix, there can also be debris and loosened materials to watch for.

Assessing the Damage

Anything the flood waters touch will need to be addressed. If the flooding is overwhelming, a flood clean professional help you address the problem and provide services to get your home looking “Like it never even happened.” During an initial inspection, in addition to checking flooring and walls, check the following for any contact with the waters:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, cups, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Toys

While some of these may be able to be cleaned, such as appliances and furniture, some of them should be thrown away. Things like mattresses and stuffed animals can be difficult to completely clean. If a rug has been saturated more than 24 hours, it may need to be tossed. Any clothes, rugs and furniture should immediately be removed and set out to dry before cleaning.

A Thorough Clean

One of the main cleaning requirements for flood waters is a good flood disinfectant. It will not only eliminate bacteria, stains and odors but also help reduce the potential for mold to grow. Once any wet items have been dried, usually for at least 48 hours, the cleaning process can start. Be sure to clean anything that has been in contact with water and remember to take safety precautions during the process, such as:

  • Wear disposable gloves and clothing.
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes.
  • Refresh cleaning solution when it becomes cloudy.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning.

While cleaning requirements may feel overwhelming on top of all the other stresses from the flooding itself, it’s important to ensure everything is clean. That will ensure any mold or bacteria is stopped in its tracks before becoming an issue down the road. Call SERVPRO of Columbus at 706-568-1934, we are here to help!

5 Alternatives to Candles to Keep Your Home Safe

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Diffuser Diffusers are safe

Candles provide warm light and a refreshing scent in your home. They also pose a credible fire hazard. An unattended candle flame can contact a flammable object and create disastrous fire damage. Even though a fire restoration company can help you bring your home back, candle alternatives can prevent these incidents. Continue reading and consider some of the following options.

  1. Oil and Wax Warmers

Warmers are safer solutions that deliver both light and a refreshing scent without an exposed flame. They usually have a small dish with either essential oils or wax. The device powered by batteries or electricity, heats up the contents, providing aroma and illumination.

  1. Electric Candles

If you value the light and aesthetic value that candles give, then you might appreciate electric candles. These items operate on batteries. They largely resemble actual candles and generate around the same amount of light, but they can be left alone with no candle fire risk.

  1. Book Lights

When using light mainly for visual purposes like reading, book lights are the perfect candle alternatives. These devices come with clips so you can attach them inside books, near desks or on any convenient area. They give enough reading light without consuming too much energy or disturbing others.

  1. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are another flameless solution. These lights are powered by electricity or batteries and can be spread throughout the room to create relaxed, atmospheric lighting. Fairy lights can last for a long time and come in a variety of colors and shapes.

  1. Stick Diffusers

There are several options if you are simply looking for an elegant scent for your home. Stick diffusers deliver a strong fragrance without using any power source. Sticks such as reed absorb the scented oil in the bottle and spread out the pleasant smell.
Though candles may provide both illumination and fragrance for your Columbus, home, there are plenty of safe candle alternatives. Using any of these items can prevent a candle fire from destroying your house.

Fire Safety for Pets

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, according to their website – and also, they are the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you need a plan for your family in case of disaster, you should also have a plan for your pets.

Did you know?

  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.

The best way to protect your pets is to include them in your family escape plan, in case of disaster. Train your pets to go to you when you call their name that way in the event of a fire evacuation, you can leave with them easily and safely.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have provided the following tips:

  • Be sure your pet is not left unattended by open flames, such as cooking appliances, candles, or fire place. Be sure to extinguish any flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. A stove is the number one appliance involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – these candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle (something cats are notorious for).
  • Secure your pets while you’re away – keep them confined in secure areas that don’t present a potential fire hazard.

Some other tips? Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from your home and keep their collars on. Have leashes nearby and ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. You can also affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the cling to a front window. This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.

Pets become a part of our families, and we need to remember that we need to have plans in place for them too when it comes to safely evacuating a home in case of a fire. And remember, if you are victim of a house fire, SERVPRO® of Columbus Georgia can help.

Christmas tree safety tips

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

 Be safe during the holidays!

7 CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY TIPS FOR HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

For a wonderful while, it’s the most beautiful decoration in your home it may be tall, short, slender or plump, the Christmas tree stands at the center of holiday celebrations. It also stands as a seasonal addition to the house that needs to be treated with special care.

As you make plans to bring home this year’s fir or spruce, are you checking your Christmas tree fire safety list?

We offer this guide for keeping your Christmas tree safe based on our years of experience as Columbus’ most trusted fire cleanup company. We want you to celebrate the season with the security that comes from knowing your home is safe for the holidays.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, Christmas tree fires cause property damage totaling more than $14 million annually. That figure can’t account for the heartbreak of a house fire over the holidays. These seven simple tips can keep your home and family safe while you all enjoy the Christmas tree’s bright lights and warm glow.

1. CHECK FOR FRESHNESS

Look for a tree with soft, green needles, and confirm its freshness by closing your hand over a bough and gently pulling down. If needles fall off at your touch, the tree is already beginning to dry out, and that can pose a fire hazard.

2. GIVE IT A STABLE STAND

Safely show off your Christmas tree in a sturdy, weighted stand with screw-in stabilizers that help anchor its weight. A large stand also holds plenty of water for keeping a thirsty tree fresh inside your home.

3. STAND IT AWAY FROM HEAT

Make sure the tree is standing at least 3 feet away from any heat source including space heaters, radiators and the family fireplace. High temperatures, flames and embers are serious fire hazards around a Christmas tree.

4. WATCH THE KIDS

A beautiful tree can tempt little hands with pretty ornaments and inspire rowdy playtime around its base. Talk to the kids about home fire safety. Explain that running around close to the tree can topple it and start a fire.

5. WATCH PETS TOO

The family dog and cat can create Christmas tree fire hazards too. Discourage dangerous chewing and tangling accidents by hanging tree light strands and decorations above your pets’ playful reach.

6. TURN EVERYTHING OFF

Always unplug tree lights before you leave the house or go to bed for the night. Turn off nearby space heaters, extinguish candles, and make sure embers are out in the fireplace.

7. GIVE IT AN HONORABLE GOODBYE

When a Christmas tree stops taking up water and starts dropping needles, it becomes more of a fire hazard with each passing day. Give the tree an honorable goodbye at one of the recycling centers across Columbus.

HOW TO KEEP A CHRISTMAS TREE FROM DRYING OUT

This part of Christmas tree fire safety deserves special attention because it keeps your tree fresher through the holidays, and that reduces the risk of a house fire. Good tree maintenance starts before you set it up in its stand.

  • Saw 2 inches off the bottom of the tree stump, but don’t peel back lower bark or drill holes in the trunk. • If you can’t put the tree in its stand right away, prop it up in a large water bucket, and check it daily. • Monitor the tree’s water level every couple of hours on the first day. Afterwards, top it off every 24 hours.

CAN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CAUSE A FIRE?

We’re often asked about decorations this time of year, so we finish up our Christmas fire safety guide with important pointers about lights on the tree.

  • Always purchase Christmas tree lights that carry the Underwriters Laboratory UL Seal. • Inspect strands for frayed wires and broken sockets, and toss anything that looks damaged. • Don’t overload the tree with older incandescent lights or run too many strands from one extension cord. • Don’t connect incandescent and LED strands together, and keep them on separate extension cords.

WE’RE ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU

This year, gather the family around for a quick review of Christmas tree safety strategies. Make sure everybody understands how important it is to follow the guidelines.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Columbus Georgia send our warmest wishes to you and your family. It’s our honor to serve and be a part of this wonderful community, and we really value your support. Our teams are always here for you, with the best fire damage cleanup and fire restoration services available.

Bonfire Fun!

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Bonfire Bonfire Fun!

Bonfire Fun!

We at SERVPRO of Columbus have a few tips as we move into the fall grilling and bonfire season. 

Bonfire tips:

  1. Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby so that if an ember or spark gets outside the firepit that you are able to put it out.
  2. NEVER leave a bonfire unattended.
  3. Make sure everyone stays at least 3 feet away from the fire. 
  4. When you are done with the bonfire, make sure the entire fire is put out.  Use water to spray the area down. 
  5. Make sure to walk around the yard before going inside for the night. Check for any sparks or embers. 

Fun times can turn quickly into a catastrophe. We hope you have a fun and safe time having bonfires this Fall.  As always, we at SERVPRO of Columbus are here to help you in the event you have a fire or water damage.

deep frying turkey

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

turkey deep fry Be careful when you fry!

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey 

Be sure to be safe this Thanksgiving

With a dark, crispy skin on the outside and juicy, flavorful meat on the inside, deep-frying turkey has become a Thanksgiving favorite. With that in mind, deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous and the process can cause a fire quickly. SERVPRO of Columbus Georgia would like to offer these tips and hope you make safety a priority when deep-frying your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Location, Location, Location

Set the deep fryer on level ground a good distance away from any structure. Don’t put it on a wooden deck or under a tree. The center of a level driveway, away from vehicles is a good location.

Completely Thaw the Turkey in Advance

We’ve all heard that oil and water don’t mix. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it goes anywhere near the fryer. If not, when the cold ice hits the hot oil, it could cause the oil to rapidly boil over and cause a large fire.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Due to the potential for fire, you will want to have a fire extinguisher close by. A Fire can start and spread quickly, and you probably won’t have time to run inside to retrieve one fast enough.

Easy on the Oil

A easy way to know how much oil you will need is to place the turkey in The empty fryer, then fill the fryer with water. Then take the turkey out and notice the water line. The oil should be filled no higher than that line to make sure that it does not boil over when you add the turkey.

Slowly Place the Turkey in the Oil

Be very careful with the turkey, since it will likely be slippery. If you accidentally drop the turkey in the oil too quickly, the oil could splash or overflow, possibly burning you and creating greater risk for a fire. Lower the turkey in the oil slowly.

Wear Safety Gear

Hot oil is prone to splatter, causing burns, blisters and ruined clothing. Be sure to wear goggles, gloves and an apron, and don’t any stand closer to the deep-fryer than you need to be.

Use a Thermometer

Using a thermometer throughout the entire cooking process is a good idea. Make sure the oil is hot enough before you begin, but do not allow it to become too hot. Cook the turkey until it reaches the right temperature, remove it from the oil and immediately turn off the fryer.

Preparing For Holiday Travel

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

suitcases Are you ready for Holiday Travel?

Preparing for Holiday Travel

The Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays are quickly approaching. When leaving Columbus for vacation, few people consider prepping their homes against water damage. You go through your checklist of turning off the coffee pot and stove and locking all the doors, but what happens if you have a leak and need a water pipe repair while you are away? A broken pipe can do a lot of damage, especially if it is left unattended for several days. 

Prepping Your Home

Before leaving for an extended vacation, check your home for leaks. Examine the pipes under the sink and the water heater for any cracks or rust. Inspect the hoses that connect to any appliances. Insulate any exposed pipes if you are leaving in the winter. A pipe that burst due to freezing needs water pipe repair immediately. Ask a neighbor, friend or family member if they can check in on your home periodically. If no one can check on your home, turn off the main water and drain the pipes. 

Preventing Floods

It is important to not only prep your home to prevent damage from a leak but also from a storm. Make sure your gutters are cleaned and water can flow freely through them. Check your sump pump. Clear out any debris you see. Test it by filling the sump pit and turning on the pump. Check your window seals and your roof for any leaks. All of these checks are especially important if any heavy rains or storms are expected in your area.

Returning from a vacation to find your house flooded can be devastating. Standing water can cause real damage to your home. A simple water pipe repair can escalate into a big problem if no one is there to address the issue. Take the time to prep your home against intruding water before you leave. That way you can enjoy your time away without worries.

If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Columbus at 706-568-1934.

g, Christmas and New Year’s holidays are quickly approaching. When leaving Columbus for vacation, few people consider prepping their homes against water damage. You go through your checklist of turning off the coffee pot and stove and locking all the doors, but what happens if you have a leak and need a water pipe repair while you are away? A broken pipe can do a lot of damage, especially if it is left unattended for several days. 

Prepping Your Home

Before leaving for an extended vacation, check your home for leaks. Examine the pipes under the sink and the water heater for any cracks or rust. Inspect the hoses that connect to any appliances. Insulate any exposed pipes if you are leaving in the winter. A pipe that burst due to freezing needs water pipe repair immediately. Ask a neighbor, friend or family member if they can check in on your home periodically. If no one can check on your home, turn off the main water and drain the pipes. 

Preventing Floods

It is important to not only prep your home to prevent damage from a leak but also from a storm. Make sure your gutters are cleaned and water can flow freely through them. Check your sump pump. Clear out any debris you see. Test it by filling the sump pit and turning on the pump. Check your window seals and your roof for any leaks. All of these checks are especially important if any heavy rains or storms are expected in your area.

Returning from a vacation to find your house flooded can be devastating. Standing water can cause real damage to your home. A simple water pipe repair can escalate into a big problem if no one is there to address the issue. Take the time to prep your home against intruding water before you leave. That way you can enjoy your time away without worries.

If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Columbus at 706-568-1934.

Fall Safety Tips

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Now we know that it still feels like summer here in Columbus, GA, however, we are coming upon Fall/Autumn starting September 23. 

Here are some helpful safety tips:

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (when you turn back your clocks for Daylight savings time).
  • Yardwork/holiday decorations - use extra caution when climbing ladders 
  • Check and replace fire extinguishers if they have expired
  • Before turning on your furnace or starting that 1st fire of the year in your fireplace make sure to check to see if there is any buildup that may lead to smoke or fire damage

SERVPRO of Columbus, GA is always here for your restoration or emergency services. Give us a call if you are in need of our services. Enjoy your fall and hopefully some cooler weather. 

Protecting Yourself from Heat Stress

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Our Safety Tip for the Month of July:

Protecting yourself from heat stress. Heat illness can be a matter of life and death. Workers die from heat stroke every summer and every death is preventable. 

Here are the signs:

Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weakness
  • Wet skin
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Nausea or vomiting

WARNING: If you feel FAINT, CONFUSED, or if you Vomit- seek help fast.

Heat Stroke - symptoms

  • Maybe confused
  • Maybe unable to think clearly
  • May collapse
  • May have a seizure (fits)
  • May stop sweating 

TREATMENT

  1. Call the supervisor & ask for medical help (if in the working environment) 
  2. Move the person to a cooler place to rest in the shade. Stay with the person.
  3. Give the person water as long as he/she is not losing consciousness or vomiting.
  4. Loosen the person's clothing
  5. Help cool the person. Fan the person, put ic packs on the person's groin and underarms, or soak the person's clothing with cool water.

Remember SERVPRO friends and family to stay hydrated in this summer heat and to know what to do in case of an emergency. 

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

No one ever wants to come home to find that someone broke into their home/business. After the police level the property and release the scene what is the next step? 

SERVPRO of Columbus is here to help! We are certified in cleaning those type of scenes. Will working with your insurance company on the claim or self-paying clients. SERVPRO can be on the scene to assist. 

Services our local franchise offer's: 

  • Crime Scene Cleanup
  • Contents/Personal Property inventory 
  • Emergency Board-ups
  • General Construction Repairs (if any interior or exterior damages occurred)
  • General Cleaning (carpet/furniture)

We will work alongside you during this time of trauma. 

If you have any questions please reach out to our office for assistance.