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Disaster Response Professionals outline holiday home fire prevention guidelines
Local Disaster Response Professional Says Keep the Focus on Fire Prevention for a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season SERVPRO® restoration specialist outlines holiday home fire prevention guidelines.
San Luis Obispo, CA (Grassroots Newswire) November 29, 2017 --
The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 showing nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. Joseph Powers of SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire.
Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your property, says Powers. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Powers notes that the ARC is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information.
The disaster response professionals at SERVPRO, a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, witness the devastation that home fires can cause far too often.
They also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no remediation possible. To keep the focus on fire prevention, rather than fire restoration, SERVPRO has teamed up with the American Red Cross by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder program, and in particular the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
As a Disaster Responder, SERVPRO pledges dollars and support in advance to help the ARC develop and distribute educational materials and respond immediately when they are needed.
As a SERVPRO professional, I know that even the most diligent fire prevention planning can't prevent all home fires. That's why fire safety planning, like installing and maintaining smoke detectors and having a family escape plan, is also important, says Powers. If a fire does break out in your home this holiday season, make sure all your family members follow this life-saving advice from the ARC: Get Out, Stay Out, and Call for Help.
For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo, please contact Joseph Powers at (805) 541-1271 or office@SERVPROsanluisobispo.com.
To Claim or Not to Claim: THAT is the Question!
When faced with a water damage situation, either at home or commercially, one of the first questions to ask yourself is “Should I file a claim?” There are a number of reasons why this is an important factor to consider once you have the mitigation (cleanup) portion under control.
Of course, the first step with any water loss is to get help immediately to stop the source of the leak, BEFORE you mitigate the loss (get it cleaned up)! Call a team like SERVPRO OF SAN LUIS OBISPO and ATASCADERO even if the water is still flowing—we help get the source stopped/shut off until repairs can be completed to prevent further damage.
By not acting fast, secondary damage can result in mold issues which may or may not be covered by your insurance policy. In California, there are restrictions as to how much coverage will be offered for mold remediation. So regardless as to whether or not you decide to file a claim, it’s still of vital importance that you act fast. In fact, your insurance company might even try to use your lack of action against you and try to deny the claim because you waited too long & inadvertently caused more damage than otherwise would have been the case. So always pick up the phone and call a team like SERVPRO OF SAN LUIS OBISPO and ATASCADERO right away.
Once the leak is stopped, it’s time to mitigate the loss and then evaluate the situation to determine if it’s actually worth it to file a claim with your insurance carrier. In many cases, smaller water damage losses can and should be paid out of pocket to save you money in the long run. Unless it’s very obvious that the claim is going to be a huge bill due to extensive damage, always take the time to weigh the pros & cons before you commit to filing a claim.
Don’t worry about having the work done before you call your carrier—they were going to tell you to get the work done ASAP anyway, and it’s YOUR CHOICE as the insured as to which vendor you choose to do the work.
First, request an estimate from the mitigation team—they should be able to give you some kind of ballpark dollar amount which you can use to weigh against your deductible as well as your total annual premium cost. Then, you’ll want to consider how much your premium cost stands to rise based on this new claim—you’ll want to contact your insurance agent who sold you the policy to discuss this with him/her. (Don’t bother trying to discuss this with an insurance adjuster, because they won’t be able to discuss premium rates with you).
In a nutshell, you need to try & calculate the cost for the loss to be cleaned up and repaired, versus your deductible and current/projected insurance premium. If it’s going to cost you less in the long run to just pay out of pocket, you’re better off not filing a claim. This is where the conversation with your agent comes into play—they can tell you how much your rates could be affected if you file a claim and show you on paper just how much money you stand to save over the course of time. This is largely dependent on the magnitude of the loss—if it’s obviously a huge water loss with extensive damage to the property, then filing a claim is the obvious choice. It’s the smaller incidents that might not prove worthy of filing a claim, because in the long run you might end up paying more in increased premiums than if you had just paid for the mitigation & repairs yourself. You’d be surprised how many people don’t stop for a moment & consider all these factors before picking up the phone and filing a claim.
Water damage losses, particularly in California, are the most common type of claim filed by homeowners. & They can get quite expensive depending on the severity of the loss. Insurance carriers have reacted to this trend by implementing new policies & lobbying for new laws by which YOU as the insured, carry a higher burden than you might expect: the claim can not only raise your rates for as long as you own the property, but depending on the insurance company, the claim could follow you even if/when you sell the property and buy a different property. Yes, you read that correctly: your premiums might be affected by a water loss at a different property than the one at which you filed the claim. A simple analogy would be that it can be much like getting a speeding ticket: the ticket affects your car insurance rates, and selling your car & buying a different one won’t make that speeding ticket go away. THIS is why it’s so important to take a moment to consider the long-term effects vs. the short-term gain. Ask yourself: “Should I file a claim?”
REMEMBER: regardless of whether or not you file a claim, keep in mind that you’re still going to have to get the work done by a professional reputable water mitigation team. SERVPRO OF SAN LUIS OBISPO and ATASCADERO is available 24/7 to respond to your needs from SLO to San Simeon and everywhere in-between, including (but not limited to): Paso Robles, San Ardo, Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Los Osos, Templeton, Santa Margarita…and more!
We hope this helps. We offer services ranging from water damage mitigation to mold remediation to fire/smoke damage. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or are in need of immediate assistance at your home or place of business, call SERVPRO OF SAN LUIS OBISPO and ATASCADERO—we’ll be happy to assist.
SERVPRO® Celebrates 6th Consecutive Year on Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List
Cleanup and restoration franchisor stands strong in the #7 position in the 2015 Franchise 500 rankings.
Water Damage San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA
January 21, 2015 – SERVPRO®, a
cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the No. 7 spot overall, out of a group of 927 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list in the recently announced 2015 Franchise 500 rankings, from Entrepreneur magazine. This recognition marks the sixth consecutive year Entrepreneur has included the company in its Top 10 list and the 12th consecutive year SERVPRO has earned the top spot on the magazine's list in its own industry, Restoration Services.
Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 selection process uses objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation, to help would-be entrepreneurs identify franchise investment opportunities. Some of the most important factors considered by Entrepreneur in developing the list each year are financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system.
It's very satisfying to represent the ongoing brand leadership of
SERVPRO® for disaster cleanup and restoration services in the San Luis Obispo area, said Joseph Powers, owner of SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo.
As a SERVPRO franchisee, we have the tools and knowledge, and the responsibility, to provide the best possible service to every customer.
According to Powers, SERVPRO continues to innovate with systems, processes and training designed to deliver faster, more consistent results to their customers. In the past year, SERVPRO customers benefited from the introduction of the following advanced features:
* The company's DryBook proprietary software, which provides franchisees with tools to capture and track the steps of a restoration project according to industry best practices and standards.
* The Here to Help® Connection, which provides homeowners with 24/7 access to real-time data, allowing them to track progress toward project completion.
* The Drying Chamber, which uses vacuum freeze-drying technology to vaporize water in water-damaged documents, a technique recommended by the Library of Congress. The process can recover and restore even the most
delicate items and preserve the integrity of a variety of media including irreplaceable files, medical files, books, x-rays, photographs and more.
SERVPRO® specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies. Like it never even happened. For more information about SERVPRO® of San Luis Obispo, contact Joseph Powers at (805) 541-1271 or office@SERVPROsanluisobispo.com. For more information about SERVPRO®, please visit http://www.SERVPRO.com.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of nearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.