Monday, May 3, 2021

Use Precaution During the Grilling Season

 

Use Precaution During the Grilling Season


For many households, the return of warm weather signals the beginning of the outdoor cooking season. Before people fire up the grill, we ask them to take a few moments to think about grilling safety. Doing this at the start of summer can go a long way toward limiting grill accidents.

A key concern with gas or charcoal grills is inappropriate placement: NFPA explained that more than one-third of all gas and charcoal grill home fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.

U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 8,800 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,800 structure fires and 5,000 outside fires. These 8,800 fires caused annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 reported injuries and $96 million in direct property damage. (nfpa.org data)

Here are the following safety tips for reference when grilling:

Make Fire Safety a Priority

·         Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

·         The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

·         Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

·         Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

·         Never leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal grills

·         There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

·         If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

·         Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

·         There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

·         When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Gas grills should be thoroughly inspected before using for the first time each year. Check for propane cylinder hose leaks by using a light soap and water solution applied to the hose as it will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles.

If you find bubbles (or if there is an odor and no flame) immediately turn off the propane tank and grill. If the leak stops after taking this step, get the grill professionally serviced. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. Also, if you smell gas while cooking, immediately step away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.

For more grilling safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s web site at www.nfpa.org

Thursday, December 17, 2020


 

This has been a difficult year for many of us. Businesses struggling, some closing, and more to close, leaving people in further financial distress. You cannot turn on the news without hearing about all of the tragedy in the world. People are even losing family and friends because of their political views.

 

Those of us in the customer service industry have been challenged with trying to grow or maintain the relationships that keep us earning a living. We want you to know that Savage Restoration is here for you, more than ever, to help you with the relationships you have with your customers. Too many in the insurance industry have made the choice to avoid claims and send their customers to an 800 number when they are in distress. Better than 60% of our business currently comes directly from insurance carriers and third-party management programs. We still get to assist your customers, but you do not. This process works but is not the friendly customer service experience your customers would appreciate. There are claim representatives on the phone assigning companies like Savage Restoration to mitigate their losses. By the time the claim reaches us a day may pass, while your customer is waiting for help. The personal touch is not there until we arrive. Because of COVID, most carriers are not even sending a field adjuster. The only adjuster they are in contact with is on the phone somewhere in another state.

 

Make 2021 the year you choose to reconnect with your customers and provide the excellent customer service your customers deserve. It is what you would want if you needed help. Encourage your customers to call YOU when they need claim help. You can have them call Savage Restoration for a fast, professional, and personal service experience. Without you, we might still be assigned the claim, but without you getting credit for helping your customer when they needed you most.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

 How-to Stay Safe During the Holidays

Festive celebrations, flickering lights, and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one. Here are the 4 hazards that can cause a trip to the emergency room.

 

Holiday Lights and Candles

Every year, more than 50,000 home fires are started by electrical problems, according to the NFPA. So, when it comes to hanging lights, follow the directions on the box closely. Follow the obvious:

  • ·      Only use outdoor lights.
  • ·      Always inspect lights before you hang and plug them in. Check for frayed wires, broken bulbs and sockets, and loose connections.

Also, be sure to keep a watchful eye on candles; keep them away from the tree, decorations, and other things that can burn. The U.S. Fire Administration states that candles cause more than 10 deaths, 175 injuries, and $20 million in property damage each holiday season.

The Fireplace

Fireplaces can lead to hazardous fires. Follow the list below to prevent fireplace fires:

  • ·      Be sure your home has working smoke alarms on every level.
  • ·      Dispose of ashes with great care to assure that an unexpected fire will not start due to hot ashes.
  • ·      Only burn seasoned firewood, meaning wood that is low in moisture.
  • ·      Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet.
  • ·      Never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace.
  • ·      Do not throw wrapping paper into the fireplace.
  • ·      When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.
  • ·      Have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean the fireplace and chimney annually. Maintenance is crucial to prevent creosote buildups and potential fires. 

Christmas Trees

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 240 home fires begin with Christmas trees every year. These fires result in deaths, injuries, and roughly $17 million in property damage. When choosing a real tree, opt for one that is green. If you are going with an artificial tree, be sure to choose one that is fire-resistant (look for a label). Remember that trees with built-in electrical systems should also have the label of an independent test laboratory that is approved to perform safety testing. The safest tree is a flame-resistant artificial one; follow this advice if you want to bring a fresh one home.

Savage Restoration is always willing to help you and help your insured’s get their properties back to a pre-loss condition. Whether it be WATER, FIRE, MOLD or BIOHAZARD property damage we are “There When You Need Us”


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fall Cleaning Matters

 


Fall is officially here!  The most colorful season of the year. Also, my personal favorite!  However, it can be one of the most daunting times of year for bi-annual heavy clean-up. Not only are you dealing with remnants from summer sand beach days, but you now must deal with falling leaves.   

An important part of being a responsible adult is recognizing that when the leaves either start to fall off trees, it is time to do fall cleaning all around.  Contrary to popular belief, fall cleaning is as important as spring cleaning. 

If you are in the know with social vernacular the term #cantadjulttoday is the common theme from 2020.  Well it is time to start adulting! Even as a respectable adult you are probably forgetting a few key places that have created colonies out of your neglect. You know how birds and bees will turn practically anything into nests and hives if they are certain to not be disturbed? Mold plays by those rules too, so you should probably start cleaning with a little more discipline.

Let us start with some basics….

Embarrassing facts about refrigerators.  Not only is my refrigerator a place that I store my weekly groceries, but It doubles as a shelf in times of need for non-discarded mail.  There is zero logic behind it other than you cannot throw away the no expiring 100th Bed Bath and Beyond coupon. I dare you to try not to cough when cleaning that dust pile up.

Now let us talk about air movement in the home.  Whether it is a ceiling fan, window a/c or a stationary fan eventually that dust will take a jolt of unfortunate physics and spread like a cloud of fresh snow across all your belongings.  Think about breathing that magic in!  Take the time to thoroughly clean all cooling devices in your home. 

So, say that it is too late, and the cloud has consumed your entire home.  Its not just surface cleaning that will suffice.  Get those moving buddies out because the next step is cleaning hard to reach spaces. Look behind your bed-frame, I can guarantee that you will find a layer of dust. Keep in mind having dust mites does not mean you are a dirty person.  Out of sight, out of mind!

These are just a few things to keep in mind.  Do not get overwhelmed, do a little at a time. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Clutter vs. Hoarding: When to Get Help

                   


                                     Clutter vs. Hoarding: When to Get Help

Who here has gone into their basement and thought, “How in the world have I amassed all of these things”? Am I possibly considered a hoarder? Hanging onto every one of your children’s VHS tapes or all the birthdays cards you’ve ever been given doesn’t make you a hoarder: most people like to keep things that hold some sentimental significance, it’s completely normal. But if you are placing as much value on every newspaper dating back to 1999 as you do on your car, you may be getting into dubious territory.

As an adolescent you were taught to keep your room tidy, never eat outside of the kitchen, and always maintain a certain level of cleanliness overall.  This may not be an option for certain individuals. Compulsive hoarding can sometimes be affiliated with extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and may start during childhood or adolescence but does not usually become severe until later life. Hoarders are often perfectionists, and the fear of making wrong decisions about what to keep or throw away can leave them frozen with indecision. They simply choose to keep it all – in case. 

Because we are a restoration company and not psychologists, we are not going to go in-depth on why and how someone is a compulsive hoarder. 

Hoarding can range from enormous collections, recyclables, including paper and plastic, food, clothing, trash, human feces, animal hoarding, etc.  All of which have their different levels of clean-up.

Savage Restoration performed a clean-out for a clients’ hoarding deceased brother. This space was no bigger than 600 sf, all of which was floor-to-ceiling Styrofoam take-out containers, toilet paper/paper towels cardboard rolls and layers of potato chip bags heavily stapled to the walls.   To fully comprehend the number of aforementioned items removed, it took a 30-yard dumpster and 10 technicians to complete this job.  When the technicians we able to see the remaining furniture and walk around they found over 100 plastic bags of human feces hidden under the bed.  Situations like this can be extremely unpredictable upon first evaluation. 

You never know what is going to trigger someone to become a compulsive hoarder. Most known hoarders have an underlying issue from a certain tragedy in life. I just read a story about a woman in her mid-to-late 50’s who lived a really successful life working in the NY stock exchange.  Due to the recession, the company she worked for had major layoffs.  At 50 something, she could not even fathom what her next steps should be.  In a very short time, she went into a deep depression and started to amass dubious amounts of books to the point where she could not even walk with a clear path to the bathroom.  She had no local family for support. After months of default mortgage payments, the bank repossessed the home with the current hoarding situation.  This happens often with foreclosures.  

Most hoarding situations are inherited by bank foreclosures or a family member. 

If you have inherited or are struggling with a hoarding situation, help is available. Savage Restoration is always willing to help you and help your insured’s get their properties back to a pre-loss condition. Whether it be WATER, FIRE, MOLD or BIOHAZARD property damage we are “There When You Need Us”

Monday, June 1, 2020

Mold, Moisture, and your Home



Mold, Moisture, and your Home


With the unending pandemic, everyday we are learning that small businesses are struggling to keep their ‘lights on’.  With the state of New Jersey slowly opening in phases, customers are more receptive to allowing essential workers in their homes to help with emergency services. 

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day.  With the social distancing/working from home approach, we must consider that ½ of these losses were caught much faster, leaving little to no damage.  However, the other ½ tried mitigating the affected areas on their own.   Depending on the insureds’ policy there could be a very big problem if the damages were not addressed properly. 

How does one move forward? 


The microorganisms that turn into mold colonies are always in the air around us, so mold growth will start quickly—within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. Mold will continue to grow if the moisture level is high. In buildings, mold is most fond of organic porous surfaces. 

So, here is the issue.  Will insurance carriers pay for mold remediation caused by not mitigating properly?  The answer is - it is too soon to tell.  However, think about the health risks you are exposing everyone to. 

Having a professional come and remediate is always preferable, but under the circumstances it was understandable that people were frightened.  But fear not of Savage Restoration!

Savage Restoration is working hard following CDC protocols mitigating customers homes.  Do not let the mold damage get worse.  Call us today!