Biohazard: The precautions we take!
Axel Shattuck displaying our PPE protocol.
In SERVPRO of Linn County’s line of work, we face a lot of jobs that pertain to biohazard, including exposure to blood or bodily fluids. We are here with the tools necessary to clean up situations that normally would not be safe for the average individual.
Our franchise is there to clean up after deaths, sickness, sewage, or accidents, so you don’t have to!
Part of the precautions that we take to keep our techs safe, is proper training, and continuing education; we are never done learning how to be even better at our jobs. This includes weekly meetings where we go over a particular subject, and trainings.
Another part to how we keep our techs safe is through proper PPE, also known as “Personal Protective Equipment”. One of our weekly meetings this month was on how we apply our PPE.
One of the important requirements for our techs is to have or acknowledge the need for a Hepatitis B vaccination.
For extreme biohazard risk, our techs (like Axel who is featured in the photo), will apply a suit, gloves, face mask, and then seal it with tape, to ensure full security from biohazard elements.
At SERVPRO of Linn County, we always ensure the safety of not just out customers, but our employees too!
Cleaning: We do all sorts, even cars!
One of our marketing vehicles.
SERVPRO is not only known for their Fire and Water restoration, but we do plenty of cleanup jobs in our community.
Mostly, we do home cleanup, or business cleanup, but every once in a while, we get the opportunity to clean vehicles.
Recently, we had the honor of cleaning out a police cruiser for one of the local police departments in our area, it was pretty fun seeing it in our warehouse getting cleaned.
People will need car cleaning in the event there is a biohazard, like blood from an accident or someone gets car sick, excessive amounts of dirt, or smoke damage from smoking in the vehicle. We’re here to help when the job needs to be done!
SERVPRO of Linn County has all the equipment necessary to clean pretty much anything; including cars!
Mold: The pink stuff in the bottom of your shower is actually mold
Courtesy of Google Images
When you picture mold, most people immediately think of black mold, the scary stuff.
However, there are all kinds of mold, from bread mold that was used to make vaccinations, to black mold.
But did you know, that the pink stuff in the bottom of your shower is a form of mold? When water pools in an environment like the shower, it grows a pink mold called “Serratia marcescens” which is a bacteria that feeds off soap scum.
It tends to grow on the floor of the shower, and in crevices like where grouting is.
Ways that you can clean it is easy, according to the cleaning company “The Maids”, the easiest way to kill it is by placing white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, spraying it onto the mold, and letting it sit an hour before washing it off.
According to “The Maids”, vinegar kills up to 82% of species of mold, which can be useful in smaller jobs like light mold removal from a shower.
ERP's and the Importance of Them
Courtesy of SERVPRO corporate
Being a business owner can have many responsibilities, and you may have to take on multiple roles.
In most cases, disaster is the last thing you are thinking about, but every business owner, regardless of how new or old your business is, should have a plan and guide for what to do in the event of a disaster.
SERVPRO of Linn County offers a free community service called the "Emergency Ready Plan", or an ERP.
ERP's are handy little guides that we make at SERVPRO that contain basic information regarding your property, who owns the property, and where your emergency shut off locations are.
We document and photograph where your electrical, water, and gas shut offs are, as well as your sprinkler system and security system. We also have the contacts for those utilities companies in the event that you must make contact.
Key contacts are also listed in the ERP, such as the owner, the insurance agent for the property, the SERVPRO representative, and the managers of the building.
The emergency contacts and services page has the fire department and police department's emergency and non-emergency numbers as well, that way, if contact is needed, you know where to find all those phone numbers and contact points.
It's very beneficial to have an ERP because although the business owner might know where everything is and who to contact, your employees might not know. Having a guide like this can help so much if the business owner is not present.
ERP's are very convenient as well, we are able to provide a paper copy, and we can provide a digital version on the Ready Plan app! Which makes ERP's very easy to access in times of need.
When you run a business, it's good to prepare for not just the next day's shift, but for the things that happen unexpectedly.
SERVPRO of Linn County is always here to help!
October fog is coming a little early this year.... that means more wet weather!
Many old homes within our great Willamette Valley are historic and lack many of the protective features that many new construction homes have.
New construction has treated wood, insulation, and barriers, that prevent mold and water damage; in older homes, however, many lack these great features and thus more are adept to water damage.
Basements especially! In older and newer homes, basements flood. Pipes run above the basement and can brake in frozen conditions, which then lead to flooding.
According to Waterdamagedefense.com, 98% of basements experience some sort of water damage in its lifespan.
In addition, 14,000 people in the U.S. experience some sort of water damage emergency each day. That's a lot!
The good news is, SERVPRO of Linn and Benton county has all the equipment and expertise to fix any water damage situation. Our crews are trained to handle whatever the situation is.
As a franchise, we also follow the "1-4-8" rule.
-Within 1 hour we are in contact with the customer.
- Within 4 hours mitigation has begun.
- Within 8 hours we are speaking with the adjuster about your situation.
Following these steps makes the secondary halt, and help, we make it "Like it never even happened".
Did I leave the oven on? You better double check!
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Don’t forget to turn off that oven!
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), between the years of 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 170,200 house fires each year involving cooking equipment.
In the study, the NFPA outlined that “Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home structure fires and civilian fire injuries and the second leading cause of home fire deaths,” and accounts for over 47% of all reported home fires.
Timewise, most cooking fires occur during the holiday season between November and December, however, the risk is always there. Be cautious, and aware of all cooking equipment.
Here are some tips:
- If there is a fire in the oven, shut it off, and do not open the door. By opening the door oxygen is now free to feed the fire, which does not solve the problem. Keep the door shut, and the lack of oxygen will eventually cause the fire to die out.
- Do not leave dirty pans on the stove, anyone, especially children, can walk by and accidentally bump the knob and thus turning on the oven.
- Do not pour water on a grease fire! The water will sink to the bottom, and steam will make the flames rise higher. Use a fire extinguisher. In addition, 55% of non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurs when the victim tries to fight the fire themselves!
Enjoy your meal, but please be careful of the dangers of cooking equipment. But if the unthinkable happens, don’t be afraid to call SERVPRO of Linn County, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Ducts need love too: Why it’s important to clean your air ducts, even as a business!
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
It’s easy to forget that in our homes and our commercial spaces, that there is a cooling and heating machine in the ceiling, or in the wall, that requires maintenance.
Like how after a certain number of miles, your car requires an oil change; your forced air system and ducts require attention as well after a number of uses.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, how often you need it depends on where you are located. Some locations in the U.S. tend to be more damp, which can lead to mold in the air ducts.
In addition to regular servicing, other times that you want to have those ducts cleaned are:
- If you see, or smell mold within the duct system, many people in the U.S. have mold allergies, which can make your business and home life difficult.
- You see or smell rodents within the duct system.
- If the ducts are covered in dirt and debris
- If you own pets that produce dander (which means cleaning the ducts more frequently)
By cleaning those ducts, you lower the chances for allergy attacks, and get to breathe clearly (see what we did there), knowing your air is clean. Energy savings is great too, by keeping your ducts clean, it keeps your air system from having to work harder, using more energy, which ends up costing you more. As the National Air Duct Cleaners Association says “Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system taken air in and breathes air out.”
When you are running a business, customers are your number one responsibility, so get those ducts checked out and know that SERVPRO is always by your side!
Storms: SERVPRO makes the jump to help others impacted by disaster
SERVPRO of Linn and Benton County crew during California's wildfires.
As we enter into Fall, with Oregon weather comes lots of rain and moisture in our environment.
The rain is the precursor to storm weather, however the way we at SERVPRO interpret storms are in terms of great disaster.
A couple months ago, fires scorched California forests, which led to the damage of many homes within the area.
During disasters like this, SERVPRO will issue out a storm alert, and notify all the SERVPROs, this can be SERVPROs from the next town over, to all the way across the country.
SERVPRO crews stay in disaster zones sometimes up to a month, depending on the severity.
The crews will drive from their respective locations to the disaster and begin to sell jobs to start the reconstruction process. The sooner reconstruction commences, the less damage can occur. When damage, whether is be fire or water, is left and no intervention is done immediately, secondary damage can occur, and end up costing more.
The crews will complete the process quickly, so residents that “weathered through the storm” can move back in to their homes, and resume life “Like it never even happened”.
Disasters can be scary, but your local SERVPRO is always up for the challenge to help our community!
Importance of a Working Smoke Detector
A working smoke detector can give you time to safely escape a fire
We took a call from a client who got an unpleasant early morning wake up call: her smoke alarm was going off. She awoke to discover a small electrical fire had started in her kitchen. With the early warning, her son and her were able to put out the fire and minimize the damage before it spread. Now, imagine, if a fire started in the early hours in your home, while everyone was sleeping….and there was no Smoke Detector to awaken you and your family?
Since they came onto the market in the early 70’s, smoke detectors have reduced fire fatalities roughly in half. Most fire fatalities are from smoke inhalation, a working smoke detector can get you responding sooner!
Here are some Smoke Detector tips to help keep your family safe:
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
If you and your family do experience a fire, call upon your Fire Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Benton and Linn County today! 541-745-2097
Wildfire Season is here...
although we cannot keep every fire from starting, there are steps we can take to help reduce the risk of a wildfire.
With the volume of rain we see every winter here in Oregon, it is surprising how quickly the landscape dries out each summer! When you couple the lack of rainfall during summer months with the drying vegetation, we have officially entered what's become known as, "Wildfire Season".
Homes and property are damaged, even destroyed, every year because of wildfires. It’s not just the fire that damages homes, the smoke, ash and soot can get into homes as well.
While quite a few wildfires are started by lightning strikes, unfortunately, many are started by human activity. Being aware of how your actions may impact your environment can help reduce the occurrence of wildfires. Please visit:
to learn how some simple actions from you can help prevent forest fires.
If your area is impacted by a wildfire, please follow any evacuation instructions given to you by authorities. Getting yourself and your family to safety is most important! And if you do find your home has been damaged by fire or smoke, do not hesitate to call upon your Fire Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO!