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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Various Types of Water Damage Common After Heavy Rain | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

There are many things that can lead to a house sustaining water damage, and many of them happen slowly over a period of time instead of being sudden. We see many reports after general heavy rain comes through the area, as it has a way of finding areas where a home may be vulnerable.

Being aware of this as a possibility and understanding where it is likely to happen is the best way to reduce the likelihood of severe water damage happening to you.

How Water Damage Might Be a Possibility After Heavy Rain

Backup of clogged gutters. Clearing out your gutters regularly is more than just a home maintenance chore—it is an extremely effective way to reduce your chances of water damage. By clearing debris out, you are ensuring that water does not pool up in your gutters and begin to cause damage to your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. Windows and doors generally have protective seals around them, but as these seals become weather-worn, they can begin to allow more of the elements into the home. In the aftermath of heavy rain, this can result in soggy, warped wood that has become soaked over time.

Poor drainage around the foundation. Even foundations made out of cinder blocks or bricks can be vulnerable to water damage if the landscaping of your lawn allows water to pool up around the edges and seep into the building materials.

Leaks in and around the roof. Any roof can develop leaks, even those that have recently been constructed. While it can sometimes be difficult to catch a leak before it bleeds through to the ceiling, looking for signs of wear and tear can often indicate that something is amiss.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. To lower their risk of water damage (and save on their insurance), many homeowners choose to install a sump pump—but maintaining it is just as important as doing the initial install in order to reduce the chances of it breaking.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Any time something intersects with your roof, there is an increased chance of water damage issues developing. Seals around chimneys and skylights can begin to wear down over time and begin to allow water to work its way in.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

Evaluation for Your Business’ Disaster Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

The importance of planning ahead is not lost on business owners, but they may underestimate the need to plan ahead for a disaster or emergency.

Businesses that do not have a preparedness plan in place tend to be hit harder by disasters—not necessarily physically, but in the overall impact it has on the business. By doing an evaluation of your preparedness, you can determine where to strengthen your efforts and ensure you are fully protected.

By breaking preparedness into three sections, business owners can more easily determine where they are strong in their preparedness and where they could stand to do more. Here are the three categories we think all business owners should prioritize:

Your Commercial Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, commercial insurance coverage does not always provide adequate protection when it comes to a disaster. Not only can disasters cause damage that is more costly than the average policy, but some common scenarios are explicitly excluded, such as in the case of flood-related damage or loss of revenue due to damages. It is best to know in advance what your policy will cover and learn of your options for purchasing extra protections.

Your Emergency Plan and Supply Kit

When the alert is sent out about a natural disaster, or if an emergency like a fire occurs, there will often only be minutes to react. Having an evacuation plan is vital to keep both you and your employees safe in this scenario. It is also wise to plan for a situation in which you will have to await help and stay on-site during an emergency such as a power outage. Stock an office emergency supply bag with enough food, water and medical supplies to cover anyone who may be present.

Your Plan for Restoration and Recovery

Limiting the time that your business must remain closed due to a disaster is advised to minimize the negative impacts it has on your business. Picking your restoration company ahead of time is one of the best ways to do this—by calling them right away, you can get your restoration process started and prevent any scheduling delays. You should also be aware of the disaster assistance loan program from the Small Business Administration in case you are eligible.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster, you can contact us 247 for guidance on how to begin the commercial restoration process.

Weatherproofing Tips That Homeowners Should Know | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

There is no way to determine how much damage a severe storm will cause, but taking precautions to increase the resilience of your home can be helpful in preventing potential damage. Weatherproofing your home is a simple and cost-effective process that can come in handy should a storm roll through—and considering that half of all insurance claims are weather-related, it is better to be safe than sorry for certain.

The majority of the weatherproofing tips we have assembled do not take very much time or money but can significantly help your house stand up to storms. Read on to discover what we recommend to prevent damage to your home.

Top Weatherproofing Tips to Note

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
Roofs of any age can begin leaking, so keeping an eye out for the various warning signs of roof leaks is always wise. Your shingles are often the best indicator of your roof’s overall condition, so if you notice any are loose or missing, it might be time to call in a professional for repairs.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
The benefits of installing weatherstripping around your home are twofold. Not only can it reduce your chances of heavy rains leading to water damage by saturating miniature cracks in your exterior, but it is also advised by the Department of Energy as a cost-saving method for energy bills.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
Clogged gutters can quickly lead to water damage, so cleaning your gutters out each spring and fall is a smart choice. In between these regular cleanings, check in to make sure that there are no signs of an issue when it rains. Downspouts that are not draining, pooling water or leaks in the gutters might indicate the need for repairs.

Pick the Right Paint
If you are considering a paint job for the outside of your home, it is about more than just picking a color due to all the weatherproofing technology available. Many paints have built-in water defenses and UV protection to actually reduce the way your home is aged by weather over time by reducing water damage and general wear and tear.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

For Business Owners, It’s Wise to Lower Your Fire Risk | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Business owners are well aware of the importance of understanding the hypothetical risks their business faces, but many do not think about the real risks a fire can present. Fires in the workplace can cause serious damage, and when you own the building, they can also greatly impact your livelihood. The good news is that lowering your fire risk is easier than you might think.

To help business owners understand exactly what their risks are and how they can circumvent them, we have put together this guide of the fire safety tips we think every business owner should know. This way, you can not only reduce the risk that a fire will occur, but you can also be prepared in the event that there is one.

Tips for Business Owners Regarding Fire Safety

Follow code guidelines and inspection schedules. Being aware of fire safety guidelines for businesses is always the first thing to do when assessing your preparedness levels. The National Fire Protection Association puts together information regarding equipment inspection, exit routes and other must-know information for businesses to take note of.

Identify your specific risks. Because of all the factors that go into fire risks, every business faces different hazards that should be guarded against. For example, businesses with many flammable chemicals may face different risks from businesses with a plethora of electronics—making it wise to recognize these specific risks and prepare for them as well as you are able.

Create (and practice) a fire evacuation plan. Keeping your staff safe in the event of a fire is much easier when everyone has been briefed on what to do. Making everyone aware of fire evacuation routes, hosting regular escape drills and debriefing afterward can help you fine-tune your evacuation procedures and make sure everyone can exit the building in a safe and timely manner.

Have regular fire safety seminars with staff. In addition to your evacuation drills, general fire safety tip reviews during your debrief is also wise. This can cover matters such as where to find fire extinguishers, when to manually pull the fire alarm and any other specifics of your building or operations that may help employees practice fire safety every day they come to work.

If your business has experienced a fire, we’re here 247 to respond and begin restoration. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

Commercial Vandalism - What now?

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

When your business has been vandalized, allowing the damage to remain on your building give off-putting opinions or feelings from your employees, clients and customers. Our professionals at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest are available to you 24/7 – 365 days a year! We are licensed and work with most major insurance companies to be at your building within moments of your call.

We fully understand how your business can be disrupted by destructive acts of vandalism. This is why we work quickly to get your building back to “Like it never even happened.” Our knowledgeable and highly trained technicians have the innovative tools and experience to quickly and effectively remove paint and other substances from your buildings windows, floors, walls and upholstered furnishings. This will allow you to get your business back to normal quickly and efficiently.

Our services for vandalism include:

  • Board-up
  • Pack-Out & Content Management
  • Power Washing
  • Window Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Steam Cleaning
  • Anti-Microbial Application

Don’t know what to do next? We do. Call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest TODAY! 775-852-6480! We will be onsite and getting you back to business as usual quickly!

I have storm damage.... What can I expect by calling SERVPRO of Reno Southwest??

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Storm and wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening tiles or shingles on the roof. This can lead to moisture caused by rain and snow. This can lead to sagging ceiling and many more issues. Natural elements such as rain, lightning, wind and hail which can result in turning peoples homes and businesses upside down.

When you hire a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Reno Southwest to assist you with any storm damage suffered to your building or home you can expect the following:

  • SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will come to your property and have our trained and knowledgeable technicians will do an inspection of the interior and exterior of your building or home. This will allow them to determine the amount of damage already done and the scope of work that needs to be performed.
  • When the scope of work is agreed upon, work will begin. Depending on the extent of damage this will determine the type of equipment the technician will use.
  • If storm damage has created a loss or lack of power SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will provide alternative sources of power such as generators.

When a restoration company is called PROMPTLY following storm damage, it allows us the opportunity to RESTORE the building or home much more quickly and efficiently. Time is of the essence in situations with moisture intrusion in order to prevent secondary damage such as mold.

Call us today at 775-852-6480 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!!!!  

Spring Storms - Preventative Tips To Avoid Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Inclement weather can affect you with very little warning. Extreme wind, rain, hail and flooding can create a disaster for you to deal with. There are several ways you can help yourself prevent potential weather related damage.

Sealing your roof, doors, windows

PRIOR to any possible bad weather is the time to check the seals around your windows and doors. You will want to investigate for cracked caulking and loose screws. Make repairs as necessary.

Install A Back flow Valve in Basements

Heavy rain can cause municipal sewers systems to become overtaxed which can create the possibility for excess water to flow backward through your buildings sewer lines. Bathrooms in the lowest points of your home or building may be prone to sewer back-ups. It is important to consider installing a sewer back flow valve to divert unexpected water away from your own sewer lines and back  to the city’s sewage system.

Clean Out Gutters & Downspouts

Clogged drains, downspouts and gutters can create damage to the roof. Debris can cause water to unable to flow away from the roof line. Added weight can potentially cause the roof to collapse. Before spring storms start, make sure to fully inspect and repair any issues you find.

Cracks in the Foundation

Small cracks in your foundation or basement can put your building or home at major risk for severe damage during a storm event. When water seeps through your building or home you are in danger of flooding. High Winds can make existing cracks to widen which can cause structural damage. Doing an inspection PRIOR to a storm allows you the opportunity to properly repair the damage(s) to avoid disaster.

When storm damage happens, it can be a terrible experience for the building or homeowner but SERVPRO of Reno Southwest is here to help it “Like it never even happened.” Call us Today for a free inspection! 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!!!!

Water Damage - What are some signs?

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

water damage in basement and belongings of the owner including boxes chair and other belongings When water damage its your home it could be stressful and overwhelming. We at SERVPRO or Reno Southwest care about your property and belongings.

Water damage inside your home is very time-sensitive, the best way to mitigate damages is to find the water and source as soon as possible. Early signs of water damage can sometimes be overlooked. If you know what you are looking for, it will make it easier for you to spot the water damage you should be aware of in your home.

Visible stains and Discoloration  

Ceilings, walls and floors may also show spots or stains in areas where water is present. Water spots cause discoloration in many different shades and shapes. These marks may appear darker and then fade. This is a common trait of water damage.

Strong Musty Odors

Pungent, earthy and musty smells are almost always a giveaway that there is mold growth. Mold growth happens when excess water or moisture is present. Often times mold growth and water damage are coupled. Mold can cause severe respiratory symptoms in those who are exposed to it. Whatever the source of water is, will need to be stopped prior to any remediation efforts for the mold damage.

If you are unsure if you have any water damage issues SERVPRO of Reno Southwest offers our community free inspections to verify that your building or home are safe from water damage. Call Today at 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!!!  

Kitchen Hazards...... What to avoid to prevent fire and burns!!!

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

This blog is by no means an exhaustive list of kitchen fire hazards but we will cover the more common hazards that EVERYONE walking into a kitchen should know what to watch out for and how to handle the situations as they arise.

1. Burns

This is one of the most common injuries in a kitchen, burns are painful and sometimes require serious medical attention. One place that most people do not think about in regards to burns is the dishwasher, especially in a commercial kitchen. Dishwashers particularly commercial grade produce an extreme amount of steam which can burn you just as easily as open flame.

2. Slip and Fall

 With constant water usage from the sink, cooking liquids including oil, the floor can become incredibly slippery. Regular mopping and slip mats are great ways to prevent falls.

3. Overloaded Circuits

 Appliances and kitchen gadgets definitely make life easier for all of us in the kitchen! However you must be diligent in knowing how much power is being used and what appliances are being used at the same time. Having multiple appliances running at the same time can create an electrical fire. Having older outlets in your kitchen is never safe. Replacing them with newer models with built in safety mechanisms is crucial.

4. Loose Clothing and Hair 

It takes only seconds for clothing to catch on fire or hair to be wrapped in an appliance. The safest way to work in a kitchen is to have proper attire and hair pulled back and out of the way.

5. Fire

 Kitchen fires happen quickly and unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter if the circuits were overloaded or a pan got to hot and the oil ignited… KNOW where the PROPER fire extinguishers are and how to use them! It is important to also know when to NOT use a fire extinguisher.

 6. Chemicals

 Natural and organic cleaners are best there are some chemicals used when cleaning a kitchen regardless of who creates them. Always make sure to read safety guidelines to clean surfaces correctly. Be aware of all flammable products being used and avoid open flame or heating elements.

We here at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest wish you SAFE and happy cooking! If you have experienced a fire damage and need the knowledge of a professional company to help get you back to “ "Like it never even happened." “ call us today at 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a year!

10 Steps - After a Water Damage

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can be incredibly damaging and the effects can cause secondary damage very quickly. Below you will find 10 steps to take once a water intrusion has been found.

  1. Remain Calm – The calmer you are the more clearly you will be able to navigate the situation
  2. Close the water main / Shut off any water source so flooding STOPS
  3. If you can not stop the water yourself – CALL A PLUMBER
  4. Shut down the electrical breaker in the damaged area(s) – Do this PRIOR to unplugging any electrical devices from the wet carpet or submerged areas.
  5. Call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest at 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a Year
  6. Put a product such as aluminum foil under furniture legs to avoid staining on carpet
  7. Lift any curtains/ draperies away from water
  8. Lift and pin up furniture skirts made from upholstery
  9. Remove paper products such as: books, important documents, photos if damaged areas can affect them.
  10. Call your insurance company. Most insurance companies require the homeowner to report the damage “ as soon as reasonably possible “.

Water travels the path of least resistance but can and will go through building materials at very rapid speeds. By following these 10 steps you will be able to mitigate damages quickly and save yourself and your insurance company a lot of money. 

Commercial Bio Hazard? Call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest TODAY!

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

While owning or managing a commercial building do you know who to call for a blood spill? Urine or Feces Clean-Up? Both of these scenarios can happen easily in your place of business. By understanding the reasoning behind professional clean-up or restoration you will potentially save yourself, employees, tenants or customers much unneeded stress and potential health risks.

Blood Spills:

Blood spills are typically defined as ANY amount of blood that has left a body. This can mean a slip and fall with skin break or possibly a crime has been committed. Blood spills can pose major safety hazards that can result in disease if not handled by a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. We have the knowledge to restore the area so that they are free of diseases or risks such as hepatitis, HIV and other blood borne pathogens. Our work is not complete until we have removed and PROPERLY disposed of all the contaminated materials in accordance with state and federal regulations.

Urine and Feces Clean-Up:

Human and animal excrement are bio hazardous materials. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest’s technicians follow all of the professional safety norms all while utilizing specialized equipment and training protocols. If left untreated or treated poorly yourself, employees, tenants or customers may be subjected to disease or viruses such as: hepatitis A, E. Coli, rotovirus and norovirus. All of which can be easily avoided by calling in a bio hazard professional such as SERVPRO of Reno Southwest.

If your building has had a blood spill or other bodily fluid issue please call us today at 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!

Water is water right? Why do I need SERVPRO of Reno Southwest?

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

The majority of our population believes water is water. Without the knowledge of a trained and knowledgeable restoration company like SERVPRO of Reno Southwest missteps can happen easily that could have serious health risks to you, your family or pets. Understanding class and category of water is the first step in mitigating damages properly. Below you will learn the difference in class and category of water.

Categories of Water

Category 1
Damage originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. Category 1 damage can degrade into Category 2 or 3 if it sits too long.

Category 2
Damage contains significant contamination and has potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It involves damage from “grey water”, such as washing machine or dishwasher containing detergents. It may also involve water containing urine from toilet overflows.

Category 3
Involves grossly contaminated water. Category 3 water comes from sewage, river flooding and standing water that has begun growing bacteria and other microbes.

Classes of Water

Class 1
The least amount of water, absorption and evaporation. It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or pad is present.

Class 2
This involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation. It affects at least an entire room and has absorbed into carpeting and walls.

Class 3
The greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation. Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, pad and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated. Class 3 damaged is considered the worst.

Class 4
Specialty drying situations. Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, concrete and stone). These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

Fire Damage? Why call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest?

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

When you experience a fire damage it can be incredibly scary. Often times people tend to feel better about catastrophes once they can begin their process of getting their life back! It is extremely important to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that you and your family are safe to begin the process. Here are a couple of things to start your clean-up process.

GAIN Entrance Authority

Depending on the extent of damage caused by the fire, verify with the fire Marshall that the structure is SAFE to enter. There are numerous safety concerns with a property that has been involved in a fire such as: hot spots, unsupported beams, high levels of carbon monoxide all of which can have SERIOUS safety concerns. Electricity should NEVER be used without approval from the fire Marshall.

Document Damage

Taking photos is incredibly important. Photos are an easy way for your adjuster or restoration company a good place to start in putting your life back together. While going through your home to take photos remember that there are two types of smoke damage; visible soot and invisible odor. You will not be able to document the SMELL of the home. This can be verified through your restoration company of choice in order to verify that the insurance company knows and understands what you and your home are experiencing. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest has strong relationships with the  majority of major insurance companies and can work with your adjuster to make it "Like it never even happened."

Call A Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company

There are many things that you can do on your own such as  removing clothing items and linens that can be washed or taken to a dry cleaners. DO NOT ATTEMPT to handle items that have SEVERE damage from the fire. Contact a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Reno Southwest in order to PROPERLY mitigate your damages.

Call us TODAY at 775-852-6480 - 24/7 - 365 Days A Year!!!!!!! 

Mold Remediation in Commercial Buildings & Schools

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Concerns with indoor mold exposure has been steadily increasing as we as a society gain more knowledge of the adverse health effects it can cause. What are some things you as the building managers, custodians, and maintenance supervisors need to know?

Molds can be found on almost ANY surface particularly if it is porous material. Mold can grow on virtually ANY organic substance. Mold requires only the presence of moisture and oxygen to grow. Some molds can grow on paper, carpet, wood, drywall and insulation. Whenever you have excess moisture accumulating in buildings or on building materials there is a probability of mold growth. It is IMPOSSIBLE to eliminate ALL mold spores in the indoor environment, however with proper mitigation we can get the buildings contamination levels down to SAFE zones.

It is imperative that you reach out to a company such as SERVPRO of Reno Southwest to properly mitigate the damages caused by mold growth. We have the training, knowledge and equipment to be able to SAFELY mitigate ANY mold issues your building is experiencing. Call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest today to set up your free inspection and estimate!!!! 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days A Year!!!!    

Why choose SERVPRO of Reno Southwest?

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

For homeowners, if storms are in the weather forecast it is wise to consider the damage they could cause. All storms have the potential to cause costly damage—in 2018, $2 billion in damages were incurred by households after storms, making them one of the most common reasons why insurance claims are filed.

Knowing how you will handle your home restoration in the wake of the storm is a wise way to protect your investment in your home. When you choose us, you can count on receiving a quick response and quality work—and have the peace of mind that your home will be restored.

Why Trust Us With Your Home Restoration?

You Will Receive a Custom Restoration Plan
No two storm damage cases are the same, which is why we take a comprehensive approach that addresses all the various damages that are possible. We can handle water damage, structural damage and even mold buildup, so you can be assured that every piece of your restoration work is fully completed by the time we are done.

You Can Count on the Knowledge of Our Technicians
We believe in investing heavily in our workforce, and we have a focus on training to back that up. We start out with the guidelines from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to build our initial training materials and also provide extensive options for educational and career development for our technicians.

You Know You Will Receive Top-Notch Service
Because we are a local business with the backing of the nationwide SERVPRO® brand, we can guarantee that we have the resources to handle any size disaster and give you adequate service no matter how widespread the damage is in the community. Whether you have an isolated incident or your entire neighborhood has sustained storm damage, you will get the same quality and level of service regardless.

You Can Trust Our Good Reputation
Following a large band of thunderstorms or other disasters, scams are unfortunately extremely common. It is wise to be wary of any “new” or “from out of town” companies that try and win your business with false promises and instead go with an established leader in restoration such as SERVPRO®.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Customers' opinions matter

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green box truck, van and yukon parked in a parking lot SERVPRO of Reno Southwest pride ourselves in our customers and will work to the best of our abilities to make sure you're happy with our results.

Here is an example of Why SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. We pride ourselves in our customer service, we are so pleased to get reviews like this. 

 1/25/2020  

When my house flooded from my bathroom to my walls and down my stairs I started to freak. I didn't know what to do, I started grabbing towels, mops, buckets but nothing was working. The water started to come out of my fire detector down stairs and that's when I know this was out of my hands. I found SERVPRO and decided to go with their company because of their reviews. Dekon Brodie was the first to respond and set my mind at ease. He was very professional,  very polite and very knowledgeable about the situation I was going through.
I couldn't be happier with my estimate because I thought it was going to cost me a fortune.
I will absolutely use SERVPRO again in the future if something unexpected occurs with my home or business needs.
Thank you again for all your help.

-Cassi Oswald 

On behalf of SERVPRO of Reno Southwest, Thank you. 

Important Facts About House Fire Prevention | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

a middle class homes garage up in flames Here at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest want to help you prevent any future fire damage

Here at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest like to help the community prevent any possible damage due to fire, water or mold. We at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest pride ourselves in customer service and our community and like offer advice on how to prevent possible damage. 

Despite how dangerous and damaging house fires are, many people are unaware how frequently they occur and how best to prevent them. Having your home or business affected by a house fire is something we all hope to avoid, and these fire prevention facts will help ensure you are doing all you can to prevent it from happening to you.

House Fire Frequency Statistics

House fires occur with shocking regularity—at almost three times every 60 seconds, according to the NFPA.

Since cooking is something that many do every day, it is not surprising that it is the leading cause of fires in residential buildings. However, that is not the only thing that can put you at risk for a house fire.

Important Tips for House Fire Prevention

If you have ever seen a fire simulation, you know how quickly flames can spread. By preventing flames from growing in the beginning, one can lessen their risk that they will get out of control.

Here are the most important things to do to prevent house fires and keep your home safe:

Smoke alarm battery tests. Testing the batteries in your smoke alarm takes only a few seconds and will ensure that your unit is working. Most will have a test button to make this easier, and it is recommended to test every 30 days.

Dryer tray clearing. Because of the heat they generate, dryers can be a dangerous appliance. The lint that collects into the lint tray is highly combustible, and if it is built up, can easily catch flame. Make it a habit to clear the lint tray after each load.

Vigilance with open flames. Flames can spread surprisingly fast, even if the fire has previously been contained. Never leave cooking, candles or fireplaces unattended.

Cable checks. While phone chargers and TV cords are not often thought of as a fire hazard, the second they are frayed they become one. Cords should be checked often and replaced when worn.

Safe storage of household chemicals. Household cleaners and products in aerosol cans can be highly flammable—if there is any doubt, the label should indicate what precautions to take. Keep these away from heat sources to prevent creating an environment for combustion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Surviving A Winter Storm Trapped Outside

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

1. STAY INSIDE YOUR CAR OR TENT DURING A WINTER STORM

 In the event that you are out in the world when a severe winter storm hits in is imperative that you STAY where you are, either in your vehicle or tent.  Going out in a winter storm either by foot or in your vehicle is NOT recommended.

2. KEEP WARM AND DRY

 Keep tent flaps closed . Doors and Windows to vehicles need to be shut tightly. DO NOT OPEN EITHER UNTIL THE STORM HAS STOPPED COMPLETELY. If you have coats, blankets or anything that will help keep you warm… USE IT! In order to avoid hypothermia or frostbite you will need to stay as dry and warm as possible. If you have another person  or animal ( DOG ) with you use body heat as a survival tool.

3. STAY HYDRATED

 People tend to only think of hydration being an issue in summer months. This is not the case. During winter months our lungs have to work harder in order to warm up and humidify the cold dry air we are breathing in. This creates a need for extra water consumption. If you are trapped using snow to your benefit in this case is your best bet.

4. DETERMINE WHAT TO DO WHEN THE STORM IS OVER

 When the snow has stopped, it is now time to determine what comes next. If you are physically able to dig your way out then DO it. If digging out looks to be impossible or even more hazardous for your safety, stay put and wait for rescue workers. During winter months specifically it is imperative that you ALWAYS have a shovel in your vehicle.

5. SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IF NECESSARY

 If you or someone in your group is experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, you will need to take off your cold, wet clothes as fast as you can and replace with dry ones. Get to medical treatment at the earliest availability.

How to avoid winter storm damage hazards to your home!

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information even individual weather events are capable of causing billions of dollars in damage to not only commercial buildings but your home as well. You need to know the different ways that cold weather can impact your home. The major issues to watch out for are damage to your roof, gutters, as well as damage created by snow melt.

 Roof Damage – Wind

 When wind blows shingles loose or takes off gutters, the resulting damaged areas can let in moisture from snow melt, rain, ice melt. In order to verify that your roof is in good repair we recommend you contacting a roofing specialist yearly for inspection. If you miss the damage, the resulting water intrusion can create thousands of dollars of damage. Keep tarps handy for a quick temporary fix.

Roof Collapse – Heavy Snow

 As little as two feet of packed snow can be enough to cause a roof collapse, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. In places that it is to cold to melt between storms this can create a disaster. After a storm always make arrangements for the snow on the roof to be removed as soon as possible.

Gutter Collapse – Ice

 If ice has been allowed to build up in your gutters the weight can yank them off of the home. Even with the absence of snow enough sleet, rain and cold temperatures can cause dangerous amounts of ice to build up in your gutter system.  Make sure to keep gutters clean of debris so that rain can run out easily. If icicles form on your gutters, SAFELY knock them off of your gutters and make sure they are out of any walk-ways.

Water Damage – Snow melt

 As heavy snows melt your home is at risk for water damage or intrusion issues. Water damage creates a host of other issues such as microbial growth. One foot of snow melts to approximately ONE inch of water. Any roof issues you may have will now become apparent as the snow melts and water comes in your attic, upper floors, walls and insulation. Remove snow on your roof as quickly as it is safe once snow has stopped coming down. If you experience leaks or water damage put tarps and buckets under any drip sites.   

Just a few preventative measures can help you avoid any serious winter storm damage to your home.  If your home is experiencing water damage from a winter storm call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest at 775-852-6480!!!!! We are always here to make it “Like it never even happened. “

Commercial Fire Loss - What do I do?

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

CONTACT A FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION COMPANY

Business owners face special challenges after a fire loss. Property damage is just ONE thing a business owner has to consider. The impact of a fire reaches your customers, employees, tenants, inventory and business interruption. You need to work with a company that can help you make it “ "Like it never even happened." ”. You need a company that has the knowledge and the power behind them to get you back up and running with as little lag time as possible. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest IS that company. By contacting us you will have quality and well trained technicians walking you thru the process of securing and protecting from additional damage, properly cleaning and sanitizing. This will allow your business to get back up and running at the earliest possible time frame.

“ The data we’ve gathered reveals a consistent pattern of business failure shortly after the start of a fire, which can lead both to inventory problems and a difficulty attracting customers “ said SBA ( SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION) administrator Karen Mills whose staff researched business that had experienced fires, in preparing the report.   

Mold in a Commercial Building...... What happens next?

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

What is Mold Remediation??

Mold is in fact present EVERYWHERE! An excess of mold growth in your business can adversely affect your indoor air quality ( IAQ ) in many different ways. Mold issues can develop even in the cleanest building. Mold Remediation is the process of bringing mold levels in your commercial building back to normal levels.

How do I know if I have a mold problem?

Mold often times is not a visible issue. Damp, musty odors, allergy sufferers, or an increase in asthma symptoms are all possible signs of increased mold growth. This is the time to call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest as mold continues to grow until the source of moisture is identified and repaired.

What are the possible health and safety concerns in regards to mold for my employees, customers or myself?

Whenever there is an overgrowth of mold, there are several health concerns to be thinking about. People without asthma can still experience coughing, sneezing, and other breathing problems. People with an actual allergy to mold can experience severe health issues and in some extreme cases can lead to an infection in the lungs. People who are asthmatic are advised NOT to enter an area that there is possible mold over growth.

Can’t I just take care of this myself? I mean its JUST mold……..

Trying to repair the damage caused by mold growth by yourself can actually create even bigger issues for you by spreading the spores into unaffected areas. Without proper training and equipment you can make the issue at hand much worse, which can increase the cost of remediation by significant amounts. A company such as SERVPRO of Reno Southwest can help you find the source of the mold, repair the issue and complete the remediation process. Save yourself a lot of time, money and valuable resources by call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest today at 775-852-6480!!!!!

Severe storm weather and your business.... 8 Steps to prepare!

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Here are 8 steps to take BEFORE a winter storm hits!!!!

 1. Stay Informed

 Monitor for severe winter weather at the NOAA ( National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ) National Weather Service.

 2. Know Terminology

 In order to appropriately prepare for a winter storm, you need to know and understand the major weather terminology.

  • Winter Storm Watch: Severe winter conditions, such as ice and/or heavy snow are possible in the next 12-36 hours. – START PREPARING NOW!
  • Winter Storm Warning : Severe winter conditions are EXPECTED in the next 12-24 hours; 4-6 inches of snow or sleet, or ¼ inch or more of ice is expected. – SEEK SHELTER
  • Blizzard Warning: Snow and strong winds ( gusts up to 35 mph or greater ) can produce a blinding snow ( near zero visibility ), deep drifts, and life threatening wind chill that is EXPECTED to occur for three hours or longer.

3. Emergency Supplies – STOCK UP!

 Stocking up on emergency supplies is imperative to your business surviving severe winter weather. Items to consider purchasing are: a stand by electric generator for emergency power, sandbags, shovel, road salts for parking lots or ice melt.

4. Establish shelter location on your property

 Employees and customers should always be informed about shelter locations on your property. Wherever you choose to have shelter locations the following are things to think about as you create that space:

  • Can this space house your employees and customers comfortably for hours to possibly days?
  • Do you have flashlights – enough for one per person?
  • Do you have some form of nourishment in the event of a blizzard?
  • Do you have enough water for each person?
  • First Aide Kit
  • Blankets

5. Have a business emergency or continuity plan

 You must be prepared for power outages. You need to determine what kind of electric generator will best suit your needs. Maintaining  an on going inventory of all equipment and assets for your business in the event of any structural damage. Install surge protectors to protect electronic equipment like desk top computers.

 6. Determine a back-up heat source

Heating sources should only be used in a well ventilated room to avoid lethal carbon monoxide gas. Fire extinguishers should always be on hand whenever using electronic or a secondary heating system.

7. Use battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

When there is a lack of power electronic monitoring equipment can quit working or malfunction. For this reason we always suggest using battery powered detecting equipment.

8. Adjust Employee Hours

 Consider whether you will need to reschedule work hours. Possibly encourage employees to work from home if possible. AVOID all strenuous outdoor labor and postpone nonessential meetings or tasks.

Our Quality Fire Cleanup Process | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

house on fire with smoke coming out all windows that are broken When you home has been affected by a fire its important that a company you trust to restore it as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

With winter approaching, there is no better time to make sure you are fully prepared for a fire. The rate of home fires peaks in the winter months, especially December and January, according to reports from the Red Cross, so checking up on your preparedness in advance is what experts recommend.

Ensuring your household knows the emergency fire escape plan is the first step toward preparedness, but planning for the aftermath is also wise. By picking the restoration company you will work with in advance, you can immediately make the call to begin the restoration process and have your home back to its pre-fire condition as soon as possible.

The Cleanup Process After a Fire

When your home has been affected by a fire, it is normal to want things restored as quickly and efficiently as possible, which is exactly what we are here to do. By having the equipment and expertise to handle every aspect of a fire cleanup, we provide you with peace of mind and quality work to make your recovery process as simple as possible.

Structural Cleaning

A fire can damage many parts of a home’s structure, requiring both cleaning and reconstruction. By testing the area to determine the extent of the damage, we can formulate an action plan to begin this work right away. Our technicians will begin removing soot and damaged materials, then clean and reconstruct areas that have been compromised.

Content Cleaning

Replacing your belongings after a fire is not only a hassle, but it is also often less cost-effective than having them restored. Utilizing both wet and dry cleaning methods, we are able to restore most types of belongings following a fire, including electronics, upholstery and bedding. This advanced cleaning ensures your items will be sanitized, deodorized and fully safe to use.

Deodorization Services

Smoke and soot particles can linger in the air, not only becoming a nuisance but also becoming a health hazard. Proper air purification is essential to your health following a fire, which is why we have air scrubbers and foggers to fully remove these particles instead of simply covering up the odors. This ensures your air is safe to breathe once more.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

BEFORE A Fire Evacuation - What do I do? How do I prepare?

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Here’s everything you need to do before, during and after a fire.

Before A Fire Evacuation

Preparation is the most important part of any good evacuation plan.

Disaster Relief Kit

The following is a list of items to have ready and easily available for you and your family.

  1. Extra Cash
  2. Clothing Items for each family member: shoes, socks, sweatshirts, sweats.
  3. Emergency Health Information ( WATER PROOF BAG )
  4. Medications for each family member
  5. Extra phone charger(s)
  6. Vital Statistic Information: Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, Marriage Certificates ( WATER PROOF BAG )

There are many companies on the internet that sell evacuation kits. This may be a great option for your family’s needs as well.

Family Preparation

The best way to handle any emergency is planning. This is why family preparation is so crucial to survival of a fire!

  1. Have a meeting spot ( This can be anywhere easily accessible to all members of your family )
  2. Have ALL family members phone numbers saved in your phone for easy communication.
  3. Take the time to teach young children the plan!
  4. Have a clear understanding of fire safety
  5. Have a clear understanding of HOW to evacuate the home

Transportation

How will you and your family leave the scene of a fire? How will you escape the blaze? This is a crucial element of the planning process that so many forget. If you own a car it is recommended that you never go below a half a tank in case of emergencies. If you do not own a vehicle what are your options for public transport? Do not be one of those of people who thought of everything BUT transportation!

Commercial Water Damage Tips

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Inspect, Repair, Repeat

Stuff gets old. It breaks. It fails. When plumbing or water-management equipment in your commercial facility fails, the resulting water damage restoration costs can stack up fast. So the operative word for commercial water damage prevention is maintenance.

  1. Routinely inspect all visible plumbing
  2. Test Basement Sump Pumps
  3. Check Exterior Gutters and Downspouts
  4. Muck out drainage ditches and storm drains
  5. Ensure roof structures are in good condition  

One thing most commercial property managers agree on is that water damage in a commercial property is one of the most costly problems you can have. Often time costing thousands of dollars in mitigation repairs and loss of income. Proper property maintenance is essential in lowering this risk. Do not cut corners on repairs or maintenance. The dollars saved will not ever compare to the dollars lost by shoddy workmanship on the property.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Call SERVPRO OF RENO SOUTHWEST

A huge key of any emergency planning is knowing HOW to get the help you need WHEN you need it! SERVPRO of Reno Southwest is the company Reno/Sparks and surrounding areas business owners trust when faced with potentially scary and costly commercial water damage issues. If you find your business disrupted by water damage, call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest today at 775-852-6480!!!!

Flood Damages to Homes | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

brown couch garbage bags carpet and padding all laid outside of a customers home due to water damage when the unexpected happens and water overcomes your home, its important to trust a company that is highly trained in this industry to help you.

While floods were once considered a mostly isolated incident, their frequency continues to rise, making it a wise choice for homeowners to begin practicing preparedness.

Though being located in a floodplain can increase your chances of experiencing a flood, many incidents lead to flooding in many places. This also makes the damages they cause variable. However, by understanding the most common types of damage, homeowners can find themselves better prepared.

Types of Damages Floods Lead To

Foundational Damage. A house’s foundation is often damaged in a flood due to the soil underneath shifting and swelling after being saturated with floodwater. This can manifest itself in cracking, uneven flooring and off-kilter door and window frames.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Water-damaged drywall and mold go hand-in-hand, so a drywall replacement of any panels that have come into contact with floodwaters is typically in order.

Insulation Saturation. Most insulation can absorb water if the walls around it become soaked through, making it a prime spot for both water damage and mold growth. Some types of insulation are non-absorbent, so having a professional assess your damage is key.

Temporary Frame Swelling. A house’s structure is typically made up of solid lumber, meaning it will swell if it is soaked through. However, the good news is that once it is fully dried out, it will often return to its normal size and original structural integrity, not sustaining any lasting damage.

Appliance Ruining. Appliances are insulated to regulate their temperature, but this also makes them a culprit for water damage. Not every appliance is constructed this way, however, so getting a professional assessment can prevent you from needlessly finding replacements.

Furniture Damage. Mattresses and other upholstered items are exceptionally vulnerable to flood damage as well as mold growth, but wood and metal furniture can often be salvaged. Anything you intend to reuse should be thoroughly and professionally cleaned to prevent contamination, but once this is done, it will generally be safe.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Lightning Damage to Check for After a Strike- SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

bright lightning striking in a dark vibrant cloudy sky Storm and lightning damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience

Lightning bolts are how a storm expels its electrical charge, and they are also a source of some of the most violent thunderstorm damage there is.  

Lightning bolts can start fires, ruin electronics and cause severe damage to buildings structures, in addition to posing a severe risk to anyone without shelter. It is important to understand what causes lightning and types of damage it can cause in order to take precautions and stay safe.  

How Electricity Becomes Lightning 

Thunderstorms all contain an electric charge, which is where thunder and lightning stem from. The bolt of lightning stem from. The bolt of lightning we see is actually discharge of this electrical energyand the thunder heard is the sound of the shock waves it creates.  

Lightning either strikes between clouds or toward the ground, and when striking towards the ground, it will often travel through an object on its way. This is what makes it so dangerous to homes in particular because it travels through electrical wiring with great force.  

What to Check for After a Lightning Strike 

The background about lightning and the main types of damage it can use to a houseare essential in knowing what to inspect for after a strike.  

  1. Wiring damage. With temperatures up to 500,000 degreesit is not uncommon for lightning to catch a building on fire as soon as it strikes. Even if it is not immediate, the damage that it can do to wiring can lead to electrical fires starting spontaneously later on. The local fire officials or an electrician can typically preform tests to assess your risk after a strike.  
  1. Ruined electronics. As lightning darts through the electrical system of a home, it fills the wires with an overloaded charge that can transfer through outlets and up the cords of electronics. This can be prevented by unplugging things before a storm and installing sure protectors on outlets.  
  1. Damage to the structure. The same shock waves that produce thunder can also cause harm when lightning strikes the ground. They are powerful enough to crack foundations and shatter glass, so it is wise to do a home inspection after a storm if lighting has struck nearby.  

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning- related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly 24/7 

Actions for Business Flood Preparedness SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water A flood can happen when you least expect it. If your business experiences any water damage, contact SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. We will get your back o

Actions for Business Flood Preparedness SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

It is important to not underestimate the usefulness of disaster planning when your own a business, especially when floods are concerned. Though you may not feel particularly at risk for flooding, the majority of natural disasters lead to floods and they are more common that most might think.

Preparing for a flood is not only a great way to make your business safer, but being prepared will also put you in a position where you know exactly what you need to do to recover and get the business reopened once waters begin to recede.

Ways to Increase Your Business’ Flood Preparedness

Though businesses in various industries might have different preparedness actions they need to take, we’ve put together some universal tips that every business owner can use:

  • Look up FEMA’s Flood Map as a way to get an overview of the risks specific to your area
  • Copy essential paperwork and keep the copies secured in a secondary location where they are less likely to be affected by a flood.
  • Keep an official Emergency Action Plan on file and use it to train employees on the emergency protocol.
  • Have disaster drills often in order to make sure employees know what to do.
  • Start a conversation about flood coverage with your insurance agent- man companies require it to be part of a separate policy.
  • Always have a well-stocked emergency kit in the office.
  • Place computers on shelves or other elevated areas to protect them from rising waters.

Keep the Right Paperwork Secured

Making sure you have the right paperwork you need make the difference between reopening quickly and having to wait to get everything in order. Some of the best documents to copy and keep secure are:

  • An overview of what needs to be done to continue operations
  • The information to get in touch with any third parties you regularly work with, such as vendors and maintenance workers
  • Your business insurance policy, as well as flood coverage if you have it
  • Information on file recovery from computer backups
  • Loan information, lease documents and any other pertinent financial info

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help.Call us 24/7 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track

What Qualities Should You Look for in a Restoration Company? SERVPRO Reno Southwest

1/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO van lime green with orange parked on a street on a sunny day SERVPRO green van restoration for carpet cleaning water damages fire damages

It can be disheartening to find out any property has suffered damage from a natural disaster, but for business owners, it can derail their livelihood. FEMA recently reported that after a disaster ,40 to 60 % of businesses cannot reopen.

To ensure your business will be able to recover, finding a reputable commercial restoration company to restore your commercial property is key. Here are some qualities to look for as you decide who to work with:

Their Emergency Response Time

When it comes to damages, even a few hours can make a big difference. The longer the damage is left untreated, the more severe it can become- meaning more time and money for business owners. Choose a company with a rapid response time so you know your damage will be attended to as soon as possible.

One key thing to look for is an emergency line that’s on 24/7- having around the clock service allows us to spring into action as soon as damage is reported, so business owners can focus on other things they need to do to recover.

Their Technician Training Program

Not all training programs are created equally, and you want to be sure your business is in the best hands of technicians you can trust. Being aware of how technicians are trained can go a long way in providing this peace of mind.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides industry standards, which is what we train all of our technicians to abide by. Electronic classes and certification programs are also provided, in order to keep our employees fully up-to-date in the field.

The Equipment They Use

When it comes to commercial restoration, having the right tools makes a big difference in the quality of the work. Look for a company that takes pride in keeping its fleet updated and maintained to ensure corners are not being cut.

The IICRC also has standards for equipment, which is what we base our machinery decisions off of. This way, we can be sure we have the highest caliber tool for the job, not matter what the job entails.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7 - contact us today.

Local fire and what to do if a fire occurs in your home

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire at local casino Sands couch caught fire authorities are investigating it  Fire at casino, fire department, news, and officers at the scene.

Here is a link to a local fire that happened in Reno, Nv at a casino Sands. 

https://www.ktvn.com/story/41601065/rfd-investigating-fire-at-the-sands-on-n-arlington-ave

The Reno Fire Department is investigating a fire that broke out early Thursday morning at The Sands on North Arlington Avenue. 

 

RFD got a call just after one a.m. Thursday morning to reports of an activated fire alarm at The Sands in Reno.

 

When fire crews showed up to the scene, they found smoke in the basement. When crews couldn't locate the initial source, they called for backup trucks.

 RFD says they found a chair on fire on the second floor. Officials say the sprinklers were activated in the room. Crews quickly put it out and downgraded their units.  

Crews on scene say nobody was evacuated or hurt and the only damage to the building is a "V-shape" singe on the wall as a result of the fire. 

 

Fire officials are still investigating what caused the initial spark. 

 What to do if there is a fire in your home

Everyone in your home needs to know what to do when a fire occurs.

  • try not to panic
  • tell everyone in the house
  • use your pre-planned escape route to get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible
  • smoke rises, so stay low or crawl on the floor in the cleaner air where it's easier to breathe
  • do not stop to collect any valuables or possessions
  • do not stop to look for pets
  • if possible, close the door to the room where the fire is located and close all doors behind you as you leave (to delay the spread of fire and smoke)
  • before opening a closed door, touch it with the back of your hand; do not open it if it feels warm - the fire will be on the other side 

Do Not GO back into the building

  • find somewhere safe near the building and wait for the fire service to arrive
  • if someone is still inside the building, tell the fire service and give details
  • by going back into the building, you'll prevent the fire service from doing what they need to do and put your own life at risk too
  

What do I do to prepare for an EXTREME Storm Event?

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

  • Prepare your home:
    • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
    • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
    • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
    • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
      • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
      • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
  • Prepare your vehicle:
    • Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction.
  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
  • Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
  • Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.

Lessening the Risk of Disaster at Your Small Business

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

While natural disasters are often unprecedented and unpredictable, that does not mean that planning for them is a waste of time. In fact, planning ahead for natural disasters is one of the smartest moves that small business owners can make.

When you own a business, any interruption in operations can be critical, and by putting a disaster recovery plan in place in advance, you can minimize this interruption as much as possible.

Natural disasters continue to occur with more frequency around the U.S., so knowing how to handle the moment a disaster strikes as well as planning how you will help your business recover are key things to consider. Read on to discover our top tips for small business preparedness.

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Though many assume their general business policy is all they need, if you are preparing for natural disaster-related issues, you may need to discuss the option of supplemental commercial insurance with your agent. There are many scenarios that a general business policy will not cover, so it is important to be aware of what those are and how you can avoid encountering a costly repair bill.

2. Create Your Action Plan
Obeying evacuation orders quickly and safely is one of the most important things you can do in a natural disaster, and having an emergency action plan makes this much easier. Knowing what evacuation route to take, where to seek safety and medical attention if necessary and how to take provisions for your business in the moment before you leave will make all the difference in your personal and commercial safety during this stressful time.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
Create a safer workplace for all by preparing any on-site staff for a disaster as well. Train everyone on the emergency protocols and make time for regular workplace emergency drills in order to ensure everyone understands how to handle any kind of emergency or disaster scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Because a loss in operational hours can be devastating for businesses, choosing a restoration company to work with in advance of the disaster is key. This way you can do your research and vetting in a low-stress time, ensuring you are finding the best commercial restoration company in the industry. Look for professionals who have a 24-hour response time and extensive expertise in commercial restoration.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

MOLD!!!!! What do I do now?

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

What to do until SERVPRO of Reno Southwest arrives?

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO of Reno Southwest for mold remediation services.

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. 

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

Winter Weather - Tips On How To Survive Freezing Temperatures!!!

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.

Bio Hazard Cleaning

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Of Reno Southwest  offers bio cleaning services that include homicide, suicide, natural deaths, and unattended deaths.

Not only will a thorough and effective decontamination process occur, but any odor associated with death can be removed in the bio hazard cleaning process.

We understand this is a difficult times for family and friends of the deceased and we will do our best to deal with these issues with compassion, privacy, and care. We can even recover items in the house for you when if it is unsafe to enter or re-enter the property.

Biohazard remediation is regulated by the federal government and requires very careful consideration to rules and regulations set forth by agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Failure to adhere to these laws can result in severe fines and potential imprisonment.

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will properly establish the contaminated area/s, prevent cross-contamination, remove existing bio matter, decontaminate, and deodorize if necessary.  

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest only practices the most thorough decontamination procedures because we know how important it is that your home, business, or vehicle is safe.   

Drug Lab Cleaning & Restoration - A sad truth.... Do you know how to rectify it?

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

How to Clean Meth in 9 Steps: 

1. Surveying the Area

Inspecting the property and the surrounding area is arguably one of the most important steps. It gives the cleaning crew an idea of the level of contamination and sets the course of the entire cleaning process. When surveying the area, our technicians are equipped with the latest personal protective equipment, as any exposure to toxic substances can be hazardous. This includes special protective glasses, gloves, steel toe boots, and protective suits.

2. Ventilating the Building

Allowing clean and fresh air to enter the contaminated building is crucial. Using blowers and negative air scrubber machines is also necessary to completely replace the air inside. If there is a functional HVAC system in the building, it should be shut down to avoid spreading toxic particles into the air.

3. Developing a Cleanup Plan

After assessing the property, conducting tests, and performing the initial decontamination phase, it’s time to define the scope of work and develop a plan. This comprehensive plan should cover a variety of scenarios and outline what kind of cleanup methods are required in order to restore the property successfully.

The plan should cover things like:

  • The levels of contamination in each room of the building.
  • What kind of protective equipment is necessary
  • What type of cleaning machines are required
  • Security concerns and structural integrity
  • Cleaning and waste disposal methods
  • Cost estimates

A well-laid-out plan can streamline the cleaning process, making it less time-intensive and more cost-effective.

4. Removing Contaminated Objects

Once a plan is in place, we can commence the cleaning process by removing every affected object, including all carpets. Some of the items will be discarded entirely as they are too contaminated to be cleaned. After removing everything affected, we will once again ventilate the area for at least 24 hours.

5. Vacuuming the floors

We use commercial-grade vacuums equipped with special HEPA filters that are ideal for all floor types as well as above-ground areas such as walls. Vacuuming walls will remove any particles and is necessary before washing them.

6. First Stage of Washing

Once we’re done with vacuuming the area, it’s time to commence the first stage of washing hard surfaces. We make sure to reach all the nooks and crannies, especially those that are not visible at first. Using our previous experience and comprehensive test kits, we make sure the entire property is thoroughly washed. We do not use bleach as it can react with the toxic chemicals associated with Meth, producing a toxic gas as a result. Instead, we opt for detergent water solutions.

7. Addressing the HVAC System

The HVAC system needs to be completely shut down prior to and during the remediation process. It also needs to be thoroughly tested using special test kits in order to determine the level of meth residue found in the system, as well as the spread of contamination. Disinfecting air ducts is a challenging task that can compromise the remediation process at any time. Luckily, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest’s professional technicians have the necessary equipment and experience to handle this daunting task.

8. Second Stage of Washing

The second stage of washing involves using an effective cleaning agent that does not react with common chemicals used in the production of Methamphetamine. We clean from top to bottom, meaning we start from the ceilings and finish with the floors to prevent spreading contamination onto the lower sections. Each wash is followed by a thorough rinse using clean water. Exhaust vents, lighting fixtures, and hard surfaces such as counters and shelves are cleaned several times.

9. Clearance testing

After the job is completed, we will make sure to determine if the clearance levels are satisfactory and that they meet the standard set by state and local laws. If the re-occupancy clearance levels are not met, the site should be cleaned once more. Encapsulating the walls and the ceiling with primers is also advisable in this case.

If you’re dealing with a property that’s been deemed an ex-drug lab, call SERVPRO of Reno Southwst today.

Flood Damages to Homes

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

While floods were once considered a mostly isolated incident, their frequency continues to rise, making it a wise choice for homeowners to begin practicing preparedness.

Though being located in a floodplain can increase your chances of experiencing a flood, many incidents lead to flooding in many places. This also makes the damages they cause variable. However, by understanding the most common types of damage, homeowners can find themselves better prepared.

Types of Damages Floods Lead To

Foundational Damage. A house’s foundation is often damaged in a flood due to the soil underneath shifting and swelling after being saturated with floodwater. This can manifest itself in cracking, uneven flooring and off-kilter door and window frames.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Water-damaged drywall and mold go hand-in-hand, so a drywall replacement of any panels that have come into contact with floodwaters is typically in order.

Insulation Saturation. Most insulation can absorb water if the walls around it become soaked through, making it a prime spot for both water damage and mold growth. Some types of insulation are non-absorbent, so having a professional assess your damage is key.

Temporary Frame Swelling. A house’s structure is typically made up of solid lumber, meaning it will swell if it is soaked through. However, the good news is that once it is fully dried out, it will often return to its normal size and original structural integrity, not sustaining any lasting damage.

Appliance Ruining. Appliances are insulated to regulate their temperature, but this also makes them a culprit for water damage. Not every appliance is constructed this way, however, so getting a professional assessment can prevent you from needlessly finding replacements.

Furniture Damage. Mattresses and other upholstered items are exceptionally vulnerable to flood damage as well as mold growth, but wood and metal furniture can often be salvaged. Anything you intend to reuse should be thoroughly and professionally cleaned to prevent contamination, but once this is done, it will generally be safe.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

 

Your Guide to Boosting Household Fire Safety

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

While there are many things that can start a fire, one of the smartest things that individuals can do to keep their home and family safe is to focus on preventing what they are able to. No matter how small, a fire can be a devastating occurrence that is better off avoided.

In order to help individuals know exactly how to implement more fire safety measures in their homes, we assembled a list of our top tips for increasing your household fire safety. By implementing these tips, you can have peace of mind and a fire-safe home.

Note These Vital Fire Safety Tips

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Smoke detectors are one of the best ways to increase your home’s safety from fires. By installing them in bedrooms and on each floor of the home and checking them on schedule (typically every 30 days) you can rest assured that you will know immediately if a fire breaks out.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Having a plan of action in place in case a fire starts in your home is another must for fire safety. Designate two exits from each room and rehearse the plan with family members regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Being aware of how to operate a fire extinguisher will allow you the opportunity to put out a fire if it is small enough to do so safely. This can make the difference between a disastrous event or a mild one, so it is a good skill to possess.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Flames from stoves, fireplaces and candles may seem harmless, but they are actually some of the most frequent causes of house fires. An open flame can spread in a moment, so it is best to never leave the room while something is lit to prevent this from happening and turning into a calamity.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. The most deadly fires often start in the middle of the night, but sleeping with bedroom doors closed is one of the best ways to combat this. A closed door will slow down a fire’s spread, allowing for an extended reaction time that could be crucial in a fire scenario.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

Tips for Fire Prevention During Winter Weather

1/18/2020 (Permalink)

white Snow covered pine tree in the glistening light fire damage, smoke, oder, soot

When the temperatures begin to fall in the wintertime, there is a lot to consider in order to prepare around the house. However, one of the most important things individuals can keep in mind is fire safety, as winter is when the rate of home fire peak around the country. 

Knowing why this occurs and how to prevent it will be extremely valuable in your winter preparations. 

The Reasons Behind Winter Fires 

An Increase in Cooking

Cooking is consistently the No. 1 cause of home fires according to the NFPA reporting, and this is true during the winter months especially, with meals and baked goods, leading to more kitchen use and more cooking dangers. 

The Risk of Heaters

Using only your home's centural heat can get expensive, causing many to  turn to additional methods such as portable heaters and fireplaces to stay warm. Because these are so popular, incidents with them are, too- unsafe heating practices are the second highest cause of fires throughout the winter months. 

Candles and decorations 

Candles and other winter decor are a fun way to get ready for the holidays as long as they are utilized safely. Unattended candles can put homes at a high risk for a fire at any time of the year, but in the winter they tend to be more readily utilized. For electronics components such as string lights, it is important that they are inspected for tears or frays and are not allowed to get too hot. 

Wintertime Fire Prevention Guide

While none of us hope to go through a house fire, accidents happen and flames can quickly spread. However, by practicing both common and season-specific fire safety, individuals can lessen the chances that this will happen to them. Here are some of our favorite fire tips:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years. 
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shutoffs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs. 

Don't Let Appliances Cause Water Damage

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

She is frustrated from her new appliance leaking all over her kitchen, she grabbed a bucket and towels but it is not working. Broken appliance causing water damage to your home, kitchen, walls,floors.

When water damage happens to your home, it van be a difficult thing to process regardless of he source. 

However, when you discover appliances have been causing hidden water damage right under your nose, it can be even more frustrating to deal with. The good news is that through regular check-ins and inspections, homeowners can prevent this altogether. 

Inspect These Household Appliances to Prevent Leaks

Hot Water Heater

The recommended lifetime of a hot water heater is anywhere between 10 and 15 years, but they have many components that can begin leaking before that. Hoses and pipes connected to the heater can begin to fail and cause water damage around the unit if it is not regularly inspected for leakage. 

Refrigerator 

The majority of refrigerators that are connected to a home's water line are connected via hoses in the back, which can easily lead to water damage that remains hidden until the refrigerator is moved away from the wall again- which might be a while.

Dishwasher

The same remarks about refrigerators can also apply to dishwashers, which move an even larger volume of water. Couple this with the fact that insurance won't always cover dishwasher leaks  and it can cause an even larger problem. Pulling the dishwasher away from its cubby often is the best way to combat this. 

Washing Machine

The hoses that connect the washing machine to the water supply should be checked once a month for leaks or any signs of wear and tear, as they are common culprits of leaks. Even if they look perfectly fine, they should be replaced every five years to be safe. 

Air Conditioner 

The condensation that builds up while the air conditioning unit runs is generally a small amount that is quickly drained away. When issues to the drain system arise, however, they can cause water damage to the unit as well as surrounding structures. Performing your regular HVAC maintenance as recommended is the best preventative, as well as checking it regularly when it is running often for performance issues. 

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you'd like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you contact us to learn how we can help. 

Carbon Monoxide Safety

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a good story from a local mom raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Local-mom-raises-awareness-to-help-prevent-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-503000902.html 

In January of 2018, Karen Weiss' son, Hunter, died because of carbon monoxide poisoning. He and a friend were driving home when they decided to pull over to sleep and keep warm using a small propane heater.

"I'm sure the boys thought by having one window open that would be enough," she says. "But I have since learned that you need to have a cross draft in order for that not to happen."

Weiss says she wants to use this tragedy to help make sure this doesn't happen to other families.

"I don't want any other moms, or dads for that matter, to go through what I've gone through because it's horrible and if we can just save one more life then I've done my job," Weiss says.

Experts warn that heating devices that burn fossil fuels like portable camping and heating stoves can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

"Those are the items that produce carbon monoxide and when it's not properly ventilated the person becomes sick with flu-like symptoms, headache and becomes nauseous," Reno Fire Marshal, Tray Palmer, says. 

Palmer says it's especially dangerous because carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. He says if anyone is experiencing these symptoms, they should call for help.

"Don't be afraid to call," Palmer says. "That's why you pay taxes. W're here to respond."

Palmer says that RFD receives a higher volume of carbon monoxide related calls during the winter months because people turn on their heating systems and mistakenly warm their cars in garages.

Palmer recommends you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home near the bedrooms.

The CDC has these additional tips:

- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year
- Do not use portable flame less chemical heaters indoors
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished
- Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly
- Never use a gas oven for heating your home
- Never let a car idle in the garage
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

 

Masonic Building

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a stroy from a building downtown that is being torn down with lots of history to the community.

https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Lost-history-Reno-loses-its-oldest-building-502745061.html

In our rush to build the future where we will live, we often waste little time on a backward glance. So, after a century and a half of history, there's little beyond museum photographs to track where we came from. 

Today's downtown skyline contains few tangible mileposts of that history. Longtime residents remember some landmarks, now gone, and the rare debates that preceded their passing.

A few of those discussions were contentious. The Mapes Hotel imploded after years of argument in spite of its listing on the National Historical Register. The Virginia Street Bridge, an easier call after a series of Truckee River floods, is still missed by some.

We gave little thought to the two-story brick building at Commercial Row and Sierra Street. It never ranked as a landmark in our eyes, but its place in our history should be noted as we're about to bid it goodbye.

Built in 1872 as Reno's Masonic Hall, it's just about our last link to that time when Reno was growing from a dusty frontier crossroads to a real community. 

"It was a hub,"says Sheryln Hayes-Zorn of the Nevada Historical Society. "Freight trains and freight coming in and out of Reno, going to California, going up to Virginia City. It was a booming and bustling community."

Reno's Masons erected an imposing structure for its time right on Commercial Row, then the center of all that our city was becoming. It served not only them, but other fraternal organizations, the kinds of groups that make a community more than a collection of buildings and people.

"That's how people got together, had socials, raised money for their members and for people who had disadvantages."

The lodge was on the second floor. The first was always occupied by a retail store. For 70 years it was home to Reno Mercantile, selling hardware, groceries and just about everything else a growing community needed.

Built of brick, it survived two major fires that destroyed much around it. It also survived depressions and recessions, and the periods of expansion that doomed its contemporaries and most of what followed.

As the downtown evolved, retail moved elsewhere, the Masons too; it found no new purpose. In recent decades it's been closed, used only for storage. 

Truth is, most of us gave it little if any thought.

Soon it too will be gone, making way for a multi-story extended stay hotel connected with its next door neighbor, the Whitney Peak. Interior demolition has already begun. Soon the walls that witnessed all that history will also be just a memory.

"It's just one more that's going away and it's sad, but there's so much growth. They have new ideas what they want to use the space for."

Can your bedroom door keep flames and smoke out?

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a good video on how safe your bedroom could be during a fire. These little tips could definitely help any person during a fire situation. Enjoy the video. These little tips could keep your family safe and alive. Hope this helps any husband, wife or parent. Here is the link for the story.

https://www.today.com/video/fire-safety-can-your-bedroom-door-keep-flames-and-smoke-out-1344392259981?v=raila&cid=public-rss_20181015

Officials are issuing an urgent alert when it comes to home fires – sleep with your bedroom door closed. Turns out, this simple decision dramatically increases your chance of survival if your house were to catch fire. TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports and has an eye-opening demonstration.

#Vegasstronger

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Please take a moment to pray for the families who suffered a loss one year ago at the hands of pure evil. Here is the link for the story.

https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Reno-honors-Las-Vegas-shooting-victims-by-going-dark-494779501.html

The City of Reno will join the statewide #VegasStronger movement by going dark Monday, October 1, 2018 from 10:01 to 10:04 p.m.

To demonstrate its commitment to remembering last year’s 1 October shooting victims, the City will turn off power to the following for three minutes starting at 10:01 p.m.:

-The iconic Reno Arch on Virginia Street
-The Space Whale art sculpture on City Plaza
-The Reno City Hall roof signs, including the normally lit “RENO”

The Atlantis Casino resort will also go dark Monday night at 10:01 p.m.

In southern Nevada- all marquees on the Las Vegas Strip and the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign will go dark at 10:01 p.m. for three minutes of remembrance and quiet reflection.

Fire Danger

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to a local wildfire in Dayton.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/crews-respond-to-brush-fire-on-highway-50-near-gold-ranch-in-dayton

Crews are responding to a brush fire in the area of Highway 50 near Gold Ranch in Dayton, according to the Lyon County Sheriff's Office dispatch.

According to Trooper Matt McLaughlin with the Nevada Highway Patrol, both directions of traffic are currently closed at Gold Ranch Casino.

The fire was approximated to be five acres involving heavy brush and cottonwood trees as of 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday.

You are asked to avoid the area until further notice.

News 4 has a crew en route to the scene and will continue to bring you the latest as it becomes available.

A nice visitor eating your food

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about a bear breaking into a home in South Lake Tahoe home.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/A-bear-breaks-into-a-South-Lake-Tahoe-home-485640211.html

A South Lake Tahoe family got this surprise on June 13, 2018, after a bear broke into their home and it has happened more than once.

 

More than 20 years of living in South Lake Tahoe, Lane Sykes and Carole Scofield consider themselves lucky.

"It's a discomforting feeling to think, oh dear, do I dare leave the house," said Carole Scofield, Homeowner.

That discomforting feeling lingered from what took place this Wednesday evening.

"I still couldn't understand how a seven foot bear, 300 pound could fit through that (window)," said Lane Sykes.

But that's exactly what happened, Lane, Carole and their friends left the house for more than an hour. But what happened next, shocked them. 
A bear managed to get inside the house through a small window and helped itself to a free dinner.

"The doors were locked. We left the back window open, which is a small window; I have never thought a bear could get in that window,” said Sykes.

The bear made several food trips while the residents were gone. When they returned home, a friend saw the bear in the kitchen.

"I thought she was kidding and then I said, ‘oh no, it's Tahoe,’ it could be because she looked frightened and very scared," said Scofield.

Carole says this was the second time this bear has broken into their house. Last year, it broke down the front door. Over a 15 years ago, the family says they have had six incidents with bears.

Even though the Lane and Carole laugh about the incident now, they hope others can learned from their experience and close all entry points, no matter how small.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife says bears usually get their food from garbage cans, but now have expanded their food search further.

"Some point in the bear's life gained type of food reward by breaking in a cabin or a home, so they remember that, so the behavior is likely to be repeated," said Lesa Johnston, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Johnston suggests residents living in bear country, never leave food out people should call 911, if a bear breaks in.

Lane and Carole are glad it was only clean up required this time around.

"We are very lucky. Both major break ins we were very lucky. I know a lot of people have not been. It has been very costly," said Scofield.

The couple are talking with the State Game and Fish regarding the incident to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Johnston says if a bear breaks in, make sure you do not block the exits, so the bear can get out to a safe location.

Rain Storms

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Our late spring rain storms has brought on some damages to our roads and homes in the area. Please be careful out there. Here is a story from a mudslide from Alpine Meadows.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/two-small-mudslides-close-of-portion-of-alpine-meadows-road-near-squaw-valley

Two small mudslides have shut down a portion of Alpine Meadows Road.

 

One slide is at Bear Creek Drive and Alpine Meadows Road and the other is a the Five Lakes Trail and Alpine Meadows Road, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Office.

The road will be closed overnight, but is expected to be cleaned up first thing Friday morning.

Memorial Day 2018

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

We would like to thank all of our men and women who are currently serving. We would like to thank the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. Without these individuals who have given their life, my family, would not have an opportunity to live in this country. If you are out this weekend please remind yourself that this weekend is not about sales or an extended weekend so we can have a barbecue. Please stop for a few minutes to remember the men and women that have given their life so that we can be in a free nation. Without their work our nation would be a different place. Without our countries support of the military they cannot survive. Please if you can donate your services, products or time to a special veterans group that is near and dear to your heart. Have a blessed weekend!!

Topaz Lake

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about flooding that occurred at Topaz Lake.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Mudslide-blocks-US-395-at-Topaz-Lodge-483277591.html

A portion of U.S. 395 near the Topaz Lodge is closed following multiple mudslides. U.S. 395 is closed in both direction from SR 208 to the Nevada/California state line. The closed area is at mile marker 1 in Douglas County.

The incident happened around 6:38 p.m. Monday, May 21, 2018. Douglas County officials say approximately 20 occupied vehicles were impacted on the roadways.The Topaz Lodge was occupied with about 200 people who sheltered in place during the event. No one was hurt in the mudslides.

Officials say last year's Slinkered Fire in Douglas County contributed to the debris flow.

The Nevada Department of Transportation has sent a plow and a loader truck to remove mud from the road. Emergency personnel are doing further assessment to homes and county infrastructure below the lodge and along Topaz Park Road.

Northbound traffic is stopped on the California side. Southbound drivers are being diverted onto SR-208 through Wellington. There is no estimated time the road will be cleared.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County SAR and the Douglas County Public Works Road Department responded to the incident. Cal Trans, Mono County EMS, California Highway Patrol, and Antelope Valley Fire assisted from the California side.

Local homeowner with Mold

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Here's a story of a local homeowner who's home experienced a flood last year in Lemmon Valley.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Lemmon-Valley-resident-left-with-few-options--482342681.html

There's a strong smell of mildew, and she says there's mold on the ceiling.

The home was in a state of renovation when the flood waters from Swan Lake came over their ten acre property--flooding the back yard, as well as their double-wide.

The septic went out, and the county declared their home unsafe.

“We call it the zombie house now. We have a lot of cracks in the wall. Our skylight shattered, it had to be from settling, but we aren't sure. Our doors don't shut. The front door has to be dead bolted or else it doesn't stay closed,” says Hall.

Of the many displaced, Hall is one of the more calm.

Tracy Hall opens the door to her home on Pompei Way.

She says she worked with the county and state and was able to get an apartment paid for her, her husband and granddaughter.

But now word that the subsidy is going away at the end of June.

It's just another slap in the face she says.

“We don't want to live in our front yard. We’re thinking because this is city water floating around our house, they should come up with some kind of funding to let us stay home, or stay there until we have some answers,” says Hall.

She says she was offered money from FEMA to buy her now flood prone home.

But the money was so low, there would be nothing she and her family to buy in the area.

Then there is this.

Water being pumped across Lemmon Valley on the east side into Swan Lake.

The move she says has increased water levels on her side of the lake.

She says it's all for developers who she says are receiving more compassionate treatment from the county and city than local residents do.

“We can only raise the land under our home 24 inches no more. We can't expand that out at all to protect the property. But his Prada Development is raising their land 10 feet,” says Hall.

For now their RV parked on the side of her house will be her new home beginning in July.

That's if all goes as planned.

She says if the flood waters should rise again that could put the electric to the trailer in jeopardy.
:

“We pay taxes out here. You mind our own business do the right thing. Where does that get us? Homeless,” says Hall.

All reasons she says, she'll be joining the class action suit against the city who she says is responsible for the hardship she and her neighbors face.

Hawaii Lava Flow

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

https://abcnews.go.com/US/lava-flow-intensifies-hawaii-eruptions-spews-200-feet/story?id=54968317

Here is the story about the volcano erupting in Hawaii.

After a day of relative calm, Kilauea roared back in full force on Sunday, spewing lava 300 feet in the air, encroaching on a half mile of new ground and bringing the total number of destroyed structures to 35.

Activity from the volcano, which erupted on Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday, also opened new vents on Sunday, bringing the total to at least 12 by Monday, according to Hawaii's Civil Defense Agency. The agency said Monday many of the vents which had caused so much destruction on Sunday had calmed down.

There have been 1,800 residents evacuated from their homes in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods where cracks have been opening and spilling lava into the subdivisions.

"There's no sign of this slowing down," Hawaii's Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said Sunday. "We had some pauses yesterday, but there seems to be a lot of magma underground."

Roof Damages

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to the wind advisory that will be affecting us the next few days.

http://www.kolotv.com/weather/alerts

Winter Weather Advisory

Areas Affected: Greater Lake Tahoe Area

NWS Reno (Western Nevada)

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 AM PDT THURSDAY... 

* WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 7 inches, with 6 to 12 inches above 7000 feet, are expected. 

* WHERE...Greater Lake Tahoe Area. 

* WHEN...From 5 PM this afternoon to 9 AM PDT Thursday. 

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS... Gusty winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph will cause choppy conditions on Lake Tahoe through the evening. Plan on slippery road conditions, including during the evening and morning commutes. Be prepared for reduced visibilities at times and travel delays over the passes.

Even light snowfall causes major travel delays, especially during periods of high traffic volume. Be sure to allow extra time to reach your destination. Leave extra space between vehicles since it takes longer to stop on slick roadways. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Truckee River Flood

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Please be prepared this weekend. Here is the info about the flooding for the weekend.

http://www.kolotv.com/weather/alerts

Flood Warning

Areas Affected: Washoe

NWS Reno (Western Nevada)

...The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a Flood Warning for the following rivers in Nevada... Truckee River At Reno affecting Washoe County Truckee River At Vista affecting Storey and Washoe Counties For the Truckee River...Minor flooding is forecast for Reno and Minor to moderate flooding is forecast for Vista. A strong atmospheric river will impact the Truckee River Basin Friday evening and Saturday...with heavy rain in the eastern Sierra and western Nevada. Snow levels are expected to rise to over 10,000 feet during the period of heaviest precipitation. These river forecasts are based on forecast rainfall and temperature conditions at time of issuance. If actual conditions vary from these forecasts...river conditions will vary accordingly. River forecasts include current and planned reservoir releases. The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a 

* Flood Warning for The Truckee River At Reno. 

* from Saturday morning to Saturday afternoon...Or until the warning is cancelled. 

* At 2:15 PM Wednesday the stage was 8.2 feet. 

* Flood stage is 11.0 feet. 

* Minor flooding is forecast. 

* Forecast...Rise above flood stage to near 11.1 feet by early Saturday afternoon. The river will then fall back below flood stage Saturday afternoon. 

* Impact...At 11.0 feet...Flood Stage...The river will be running near bankfull with minor impacts to parks, trails and low lying areas along the river from Mogul to Highway 395. Flows are expected to crest Saturday afternoon at levels similar to February 10, 2017 and significantly below January 9, 2017. &&

Excessive rainfall may also generate rock and mud slides in steep terrain. Persons living near rivers, creeks, and streams in far western Nevada should monitor the latest weather information at weather.gov/reno and be prepared to take action. PREPARE NOW by clearing drainages and ditches of debris and move items near the river to higher ground. The next forecast update for this location will be issued Thursday.

Douglas County Flooding

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

This is for our neighbors to the south of Reno. Please be prepared.

http://www.kolotv.com/weather/alerts

Flood Warning

Areas Affected: Douglas

NWS Reno (Western Nevada)

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a 

* Flood Warning for... Douglas County along the East and West Forks of the Carson River including the main stem of the Carson River from the confluence to the Cradlebaugh Bridge on Highway 395 in western Nevada... 

* Until 1100 AM PDT Sunday 

* Excessive rainfall and snowmelt is forecast for the warned area starting Friday and continuing into Saturday. The biggest impacts are expected to occur Saturday morning through Sunday morning on the rivers and starting as early as Friday afternoon on smaller creeks. The wave of water is currently expected to move downstream of the warned area by Sunday morning. 

* Minor to moderate flooding is expected. Rivers, creeks, streams, urban areas along the river, farmland and pastures, roads, and the low lying area in the Carson Valley are at the greatest risk for flooding. High flows may also impact Cradlebaugh Bridge along Highway 395. 

* Over 2 inches of rain is expected in the upper reaches of the basin with snow levels rising above 10000 feet. Expect snowmelt out of the low and mid level snowpack and runoff to significantly contribute to the amount of water moving through the Carson River system. 

* This includes the following streams and drainages...Daggett Creek... Carson River from the confluence to Cradlebaugh Bridge...Indian Creek...Bryant Creek...Brockliss Slough... Johnson Slough...East Fork Carson River...West Fork Carson River... Home Slough and Fredericksburg Canyon.

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Follow the directions of emergency management officials. Stay away from river banks and culverts which can become unstable and unsafe.

Good tips for personal rentals

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a good article if you have any rental properties or are living in a rental property.

https://www.today.com/money/3-tips-make-sure-your-rental-home-safe-carbon-monoxide-t125921?cid=public-rss_20180327

3 tips to make sure your rental home is safe from carbon monoxide and fire

The death of a family of fourfrom Iowa at a property in Mexico has illustrated the potentially lethal hazards when renting a home or condominium for vacation.

Authorities say Kevin and Amy Sharp and their two children were found dead on March 23 after theyinhaled a toxic gas in their vacation rental in Tulum.

Websites like Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO), which rented the condo to the Sharp family, indicate that the company is not responsible for the condition of the property.

So how do you know if a vacation rental property is safe for your family?

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen spoke with an expert who provided three things you should do the moment you first arrive at your vacation rental in order to protect your family.

Experts believe the toxic gas that killed the Sharp family was most likely carbon monoxide, which is tasteless, odorless and invisible.

Dave Hamilton with the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in New Jersey noted to Rossen how it's not possible to tell that a hot water heater is leaking gas even by standing right next to it. So there is a crucial item to bring on vacation - a carbon monoxide detector.

Hamilton suggests mounting a battery-operated or plug-in carbon monoxide detector, which can be purchased for under $30, right outside the room that contains the furnace and water heater. Those are usually the common generation points for carbon monoxide.

In many popular vacation destinations in foreign countries, carbon monoxide detectors are not necessarily required by law.

"One of the best things you can do is take one, and put it in your suitcase,'' Hamilton told Rossen. "Travel with it. They're going to protect you."

Another potential danger in vacation rentals is fire, as you would have no idea if the home you rented is up to code.

Hamilton suggests immediately learning where the fire extinguisher in the rental is located and double-checking so that you know how to get to it quickly in case of an emergency.

Hamilton's third tip is making sure you know where all the exits to the home are located so that you have a fire escape plan.

"Not just the front door, you need to know where the secondary exits are,'' he said. "For example, there's a doorway hidden behind this curtain and there's also another doorway half way down the stairs that you would not be able to find in thick black smoke."

Three simple steps - bringing carbon monoxide detector, locating the fire extinguisher and knowing all the exits - can make sure your family can fully relax on vacation.

Hoarder

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a great story about how to recognize and help a hoarder. Also some of the problems that could occur if the home is not cleaned.

https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/help-hoarder/

How to Identify Hoarding and Find Professional Help

First, take some time to learn about the disorder. Hoarding is a serious condition that can have emotional, social, financial and even physical effects on a person. The behaviors and situations below are hallmark signs of compulsive hoarding:

  • Avoids throwing away possessions that have no value to them or anyone else.
  • Experiences mild to severe anxiety about getting rid of anything.
  • Repeatedly adding to the hoard without recognition that there is a problem.
  • Rooms in their home can no longer be used for their intended purpose.
  • Possessions are negatively impacting their safety, health or hygiene.

Hoarding tendencies can vary in severity, but if you recognize more than one of these symptoms in your loved one, you need to find professional assistance before moving forward.

The International OCD Foundation can help you find a local therapist who specializes in hoarding disorder.

Helping a Hoarder Clean Up and Organize Their Home

Once you’ve brought in professional help and addressed the underlying issues of their hoarding tendencies, you can start helping your loved one clean their home.

Assess the situation and decide if you can take this on without a professional organizer. Gauge the severity of the hoard, as well as how many people will help you with the cleanup. You should also consider your loved one’s personal progress. A professional organizer can be a huge help if your resources allow.

“A trained professional organizer with hands on experience working with large amounts of clutter will be able to provide sorting and organizing help as well as be able to provide structure to the clean out process,” says Rachel Seavey, Professional Organizer at Collector Care.

If you decide to work with an organizing professional, they can guide you through the process. If not, use the steps below to get started.

Local Flooding

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Here is the story about our local flooding issues that we are having. Be safe out there.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/washoe-county-residents-urged-to-prepare-for-upcoming-storm

Washoe County is experiencing some localized flooding throughout the county on Thursday, March 22.

 

"According to the county the following locations have reports of flooding:

  • Verdi: Minor flooding (infrastructure only) along Hill Lane
  • South Reno/Virginia Foothills: Minor flooding (infrastructure only) along Kivett/Toll Road
  • Belli Ranch along the Steamboat Ditch: Crews are monitoring and have reached out to Steamboat Ditch Co.

Residents are asked to be prepared and take precaution to protect their property as heavy rain and localized flooding is expected throughout the week. 

"With our recent snows, the ground is saturated which is why we are urging people to be prepared as we could see some localized flooding across roadways and properties in flood prone areas” says Operations Division Director, Eric Crump. “While it is natural for some water to be pushed on to the road with high winds, always use caution and never drive through flooded roadways.”

Possible flooding

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about possible flooding in the Reno area.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/With-an-eye-on-the-forecast-the-county-is-prepping-for-potential-flooding-477335663.html

It all depends on the weather, but the other elements are all there. A fair amount of snow from last week's storms. The ground saturated with moisture and a forecast for another round, possibly much warmer. 

Add to that all the water still left from last year's winter in closed basins like Lemmon Valley and there's ample reason to be prepared.

"So, we get the rain on snow. We get a lot of moisture coming down into some of those drainage systems," said Eric Crump, the Operations Division Director for Community Services. "It can overwhelm a system pretty easily."

If needed, there are nine sandbag locations throughout the county. They've been there throughout the season. In Lemmon Valley walls now contain Swan Lake and there are pumps stationed to send water back in the lake if needed.

"We have the Hesco walls, the Hesco barriers and if we need to pull the trigger on road closures, like Lemmon Drive or something like that we have the triggers in place and we'll do that. We're not expecting right now that this storm could do that, but if it does, we're ready."

But he says the public can help by clearing culverts and drainage channels where possible, calling the county if needed.

"We have hundreds of miles of drainage systems and culverts throughout the county. We do our best. We know where those flood prone areas are. We try to keep our eye on those, but the public is our best ears and eyes out there.

"So, I would just advise the public, if they see water over the roadway don't travel over the roadways. Be safe, be smart. Travel smart and, if they see anything call us at 328-2180."

Car Crash

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story of a drunken driver who crashed their vehicle into a barber shop. The barber shop experienced minimal damage but the windows were broken. This is a great example of our services that we at SERVPRO can do for any business that needs to be boarded up and then cleaned up after the accident.

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2018/03/07/driver-crashes-into-downtown-reno-barbershop-destroys-waiting-area/404245002/

An unidentified driver crashed an SUV into Derby Supply Co. barbershop in downtown Reno at 3 a.m. Wednesday. The vehicle punched a hole in through a window and two-foot thick brick, destroying custom furniture, photographs, antiques and causing water damage to the interior.

“I’m so glad it didn’t happen during the day," said barbershop owner Vinnie Gravallese. "If I was working at my station and someone was over (in the waiting area) it would’ve definitely taken me, and anyone waiting, out.”

Reno Police have not yet provided additional details about the driver or other circumstances of the crash on First and Sierra streets next to the parking garage. The story will be updated when police compile a report

After Flood damage recommendations

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a few tips from the EPA on what to do and not to do after a flood damage in your area:

https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/flooding

Limit contact with flood water.

Flood water may have high levels of raw sewage or other hazardous substances. Early symptoms from exposure to contaminated flood water may include upset stomach, intestinal problems, headache and other flu-like discomfort. Anyone experiencing these and any other problems should immediately seek medical attention. Do not use the sewage system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the house. If you have a home-based or small business and your septic system has received chemicals, take extra precautions to prevent contact with water or inhaling fumes. Proper clean-up depends on the kinds of chemicals in the wastewater. Be sure children are protected from chemicals and diseases in flood water. Behavior such as crawling or placing objects in their mouths can increase a child's risk of exposure and sickness.

Standing Water

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is another tip from the EPA about removing standing water in your home:

https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/flooding

Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed

Mosquitos can sharply increase after a flood, due to the sudden availability of standing water which they require for breeding -- even very small amounts of water. As flood waters recede be sure to drain, overturn, or empty areas -- no matter how small -- to reduce mosquito breeding areas and help reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

Control Moisture after Flooding

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to a few ideas from the EPA about mold and moisture control after floods:

https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/flooding

Mold

During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

Possible Cleaning Solutions

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to some ideas on what you can do to clean mold yourself or when to call in a professional:

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home

Mold Cleanup

If you already have a mold problem - ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause.

 Leaky window - mold is beginning to rot the wooden frame and windowsill.

Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques. However:

    • If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.
    • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
    • If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building.
    • If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.
  • If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.

Defensible Space

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link and the story about defensible spaces:

http://cityofsparks.us/resources/resource/fpb-defensible-space/

DEFENSIBLE SPACE

LIVING IN NEVADA MEANS LEARNING TO LIVE IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT BURNS

As our community moves closer and closer to the wildland urban interface – the area where the “city” meets open land – there are practical and specific steps you can take to protect your home from wildfires.

Defensible Space is the area around your home where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat. The size of a home’s defensible space varies, depending upon property size, location, and topography. Sometimes a defensible space is simply a homeowner’s properly maintained backyard. Yet another property owner might need to provide over 200 feet of defensible space around their property. To calculate an effective defensible space for your home, go to http://www.livingwithfire.info. Click on “before the fire” and then go to the “defensible space” section. Please explore this website. It will give you great information on many aspects of how to protect your home from wildland fire. 

The purpose of defensible space is two-fold. A properly designed defensible space can provide our firefighters with a safe place from which to defend your home from an approaching wildland fire. At the same time, homes with adequate defensible space are more likely to survive a wildland fire, even without firefighter assistance.

The Sparks Fire Department would like to encourage you to create a defensible space around your home. You can do this by implementing the three “R’s” into your landscaping design: Removal, Reduction, and Replacement. Remove dead or flammable vegetation. Reduce vegetation by pruning or mowing. Providing space between plants and trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist throughout your yard. The more continuous and dense the vegetation in your yard, the greater the wildfire threat to your home. Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices. Shorter plants are better than taller plants, and non-woody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

It is also important for the safety of our firefighters, should they respond to a wildland fire in your area, that your address is clearly posted and readily visible from the street, and that the street signs are posted and unobstructed. Clear vegetation along both sides of your driveway; and, if your driveway is longer than 150 feet, a turnaround suitable and large enough for fire equipment is required.

As more and more of us move into what was formerly open spaces, it becomes increasingly important that we work together, as neighbors, to keep our homes, our subdivisions, and our communities safe. Ideally, we should all have appropriate defensible space around our homes.

For more information on wildland fire safety visit http://www.firewise.org.

Fire Prevention

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some good ideas for every family to implement in case of an emergency:

https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week

Fire Prevention Week  

Thanks to everyone who participated for a great 2017 Fire Prevention Week campaign. Our 2018 theme will be announced on June 1.

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. That’s why our 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” was so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here were some key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Causes of Local Fires

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link t City of Reno Fire that discusses some of the causes of fire and some ideas of how we can all help our community by preparing and helping prevent fires. 

https://www.reno.gov/government/departments/fire-department/fire-prevention/wildfires-and-living-in-the-wildland-urban-interface

Living among the foothills in Reno is known as living in the Wildland Urban Interface or WUI. Reno weather often brings high winds, low humidity, and hot temperatures during summer months however recent years have shown that fire danger can exist all year round.

While lightning strikes account for many wildfires in our region most fires are caused by people. In an effort to reduce the number of wildland fires, below are some common ways fires are started.

Causes of Wildfires

Fireworks

Fireworks are illegal in Reno and Washoe County but still account for many fires every summer. Possession or use of fireworks can result in misdemeanor charges, fines and up to six months in jail. If caught offenders may be held responsible for the cost of fighting the fire as well as any property damage.  Anyone wishing to dispose of fireworks can contact the Division of Fire Prevention at 775-334-2300 to have them picked up, or may drop them off at any fire station.

Shooting Safety

Every year fires are started due to illegal target shooting.  Target shooting is allowed only in designated shooting ranges and shooting within the City limits of Reno is illegal. Target shooting is prohibited on our region’s federal lands due to the high fire danger. The use of exploding targets or tracer rounds in the city of Reno, Sparks, and federal lands are prohibited. 

Equipment Use

Practice vehicle safety. Vehicles and power machinery can cause wildfires from overheated equipment, exhaust particles, fuel leaks and friction from motor parts. Don’t drive over dried brush and grass. Make sure engines are maintained to avoid equipment failure that would produce extensive heat or sparks. Maintain proper tire pressure to avoid blowouts and make sure brake pads are not worn out as friction from metal-to-metal contact may create sparks. Practice safe towing. Use appropriate safety pins and hitch ball to secure chains so they don’t drag.

Smoking

The National Fire Protection Association reports that smoking materials started 47% of the brush or grass fires. Flicking a cigarette butt on the ground, or out of a moving car, can easily catch the dry vegetation on fire.

Grill Safety

An outdoor grill in a bad location can easily cause a fire and damage or destroy your property, or threaten loved ones. It is recommended to have at least 10 feet of space between the grill and the house or trees and vegetation.

Be sure to pour water over coals or ash before disposing of them to make sure the fire is out.  Always check your grill before starting it to make sure the connection between the propane tank and fuel line are clear with nothing flammable on the burners. If your grill flares up, close the lid. This will cut oxygen to the fire and help extinguish it.

Campfires

Only build a campfire in designated campgrounds or use authorized fire pits away from any dry vegetation, trees, bushes or ground cover that could catch fire. Never leave a fire unattended or allow it to get out of control and be sure to have water or something near by you can put it out with. Always put the fire out before leaving by pouring water over and throughout the fire area, then spreading dirt on top to ensure that there are no hot embers left behind.

Power lines

Loose tree limbs, Mylar balloons, flying debris, even squirrels can cause a spark if they make contact with a power line. Do not release balloons outside and keep loose items tied down. Our strong winds can cause power lines to come together, creating sparks and a hot metal globule that can fall to the ground sparking a fire. Call NV Energy immediately if you see any potential hazards that may come in contact with the line or damage to the power poles or insulators.

Arson and Children Playing with Fire

Wildland arsons account for 20% of brush fires that have been set intentionally.  Most arsons happen during the daytime and are set for many reasons, including vandalism, crime concealment, extremism, profit, excitement or revenge. A wildland arsonist typically looks for opportunity such as areas with dead and dying brush, trash or abandoned furniture. If you see someone leaving the scene of a fire, capture as much information about the subject and immediately pass it on to law enforcement or a fire official. 

Children under 12 playing with fire, usually out of curiosity, is the main cause. These cases usually involve more than one child and occur around residences, schools, playgrounds and makeshift campsites. Always supervise your children and keep make sure they do not have access to matches or lighters. 

Spontaneous Ignition

Examples of materials that are prone to spontaneous combustion are oily rags, hay and other agricultural products. 

To safely dispose of oils and oily rags, preferably use a metal can or container with a tight fitting lid. Place dirty and used rags inside and fill the rest of the container with a mixture of water and soap, seal the top shut and do not open it. This will prevent the oils from oxidizing, and keep the rags from heating up and igniting.  Another alternative for oily rags is to spread them out individually on a concrete slab away from any combustibles and let them dry. Once fully dried, the rag will become hard and brittle, about 24 hours in our climate depending on heat and humidity, and will no longer be in danger of spontaneous ignition.  It can then be disposed of with regular trash. 

For information on how to dispose of hazardous materials, visit the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful website.

Helping each other

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Here are a few things that we can do to help each other prevent fires. 

Make it easy for firefighters to get to your home

It is also important for the safety of our firefighters, should they respond to a wildland fire in your area, that your address is clearly posted and readily visible from the street, and that street signs are posted and unobstructed. Clear vegetation along both sides of your driveway and, if your driveway is longer than 150 feet, a turnaround suitable and large enough for fire equipment is required. 

Work together with your neighbors

As more and more of us move into what was formerly open space, it becomes increasingly important that we work together, as neighbors, to keep our homes, our subdivisions, and our communities safe. Ideally, we should all have appropriate defensible space around our homes. If you and your neighbors would like help organizing or making a plan, please do not hesitate to contact the Division of Fire Prevention at 775-334-2300.

New downtown district

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story from KOLOTV about a new district in the community.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/BID-Renos-newest-district-coming-soon--475942573.html

From getting rid of the trash to helping the homeless, cleaning up the downtown area has been a priority for the Reno City Council. 

Neoma Jardon, Vice Mayor for the City of Reno, says the creation of the Business Improvement District, or BID, will make the area safer and more inviting.

"Well, I think that anybody that's been downtown can see that downtown needs some attention," says Jardon. "From the cleanliness of the streets to augmented security and having ambassadors downtown that will really interface with our homeless to connect them with services. That is a big part of the Reno Business Improvement District and something that is sorely needed."

As part of the plan, property owners in the downtown area would be charged a fee, which would fund a private organization that would oversee BID functions and services and champion downtown. The fee would be based on property value and would replace the fees of Special Assessment Districts already in place. While the City says the vast majority of homeowners in downtown would see their assessed fee go down, this would be a new fee for churches and nonprofit organizations that have been exempt from the SAD fees. 

Neoma Jardon, Vice Mayor for the City of Reno, says the creation of the Business Improvement District, or BID, will make the area safer and more inviting.

"Well, I think that anybody that's been downtown can see that downtown needs some attention," says Jardon. "From the cleanliness of the streets to augmented security and having ambassadors downtown that will really interface with our homeless to connect them with services. That is a big part of the Reno Business Improvement District and something that is sorely needed."

As part of the plan, property owners in the downtown area would be charged a fee, which would fund a private organization that would oversee BID functions and services and champion downtown. The fee would be based on property value and would replace the fees of Special Assessment Districts already in place. While the City says the vast majority of homeowners in downtown would see their assessed fee go down, this would be a new fee for churches and nonprofit organizations that have been exempt from the SAD fees.

Careful

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Here is another local story to show the dangers of fire and how we should not be playing around with it. 

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Man-recovering-after-being-intentionally-set-on-fire-475812283.html

A man is recovering after being intentionally set on fire in Reno. 

It happened around 3:30 a.m. Monday, March 5, 2018, near the Farris apartments on 4th and Sage Street.

The Reno Fire Department got a call of a man that was doused in gasoline and lit on fire near the area. Firefighters and REMSA arrived on scene and transported the victim to Renown Hospital. The fire department says the victim might have to be transported to Davis Medical Center for further treatment.

Shortly after transporting the victim, the Fire Department got a second call of a shipping container on fire behind the Hi-Way Motel near the area where the victim was burned. When firefighters arrived on scene they found a working fire and were able to knock it down.

Since the two incidents were so close in proximity, firefighters are investigating if the incidents are related.

The shipping container had evidence of someone living there and the man who was set on fire was homeless.

The incident is still under investigation.

Lemmon Valley

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to a story about the Lemmon Valley floods that happened over a year ago.

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2018/03/05/rgj-investigates-reno-knew-lemmon-valley-would-flood-but-allowed-development-anyway/317123002/

"Last winter yielded record precipitation. Strong early season storms left a significant snowpack on Peavine Mountain. Then, a series of nine atmospheric river rainstorms hammered Lemmon Valley, one after another."

"The rain completely saturated the soil and the water poured into Swan Lake. In closed basins such as Lemmon Valley, Stead and Cold Springs, there is nowhere for the water to go but the lake and no way for the lake to empty but through the slow process of evaporation."

"As the rebounding economy fuels a boom in new construction — much of it slated for the North Valleys, including areas currently underwater, and in other flood zones — city officials are grappling with how much to restrict developers in the closed basins so as not to make the flooding situation worse."

Enjoy the rest of the story on RGJ's website.

 

Avalanche and Flooding concerns

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

People all over the Truckee Meadows woke up to at least several inches of fresh powder March 3, 2018. 

While that is a welcome sight, there are concerns this weekend that people not being careful could trigger an avalanche in the back country.

The Sierra Avalanche Center says there is "Considerable Danger" of an avalanche for Saturday, if skiers and snowshoers in the back country, aren't careful.

They are warning people, if they do go out into those areas this weekend, be aware. They say don't let "Powder Fever" get in the way of good judgment. 

Please let's be careful out there while we are on the mountain for our safety and the safety of others. Over the weekend we had several people get caught in avalanches already. With the extra snow fall we will have to be mindful of the Truckee River flooding this spring as well. 

Large Loss Disaster Recovery

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

At SERVPRO of Reno Southwest, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest.

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:

  • Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • Hospitals

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Here locally we took care of our community with the Washoe Fire and the Caughlin Fire. We hope that as a community we do not go through this again but we are a high desert with strong winds. It could definitely happen again. If you do need our services please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest.

Donner Snow Storm

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Recently we have had a string of snow storms in the area. We have had a late winter this year. Although it is not like the one we had last year but it will do. Let's hope that it continues to snow in the area to help out the ski resorts and all of the hospitality venues in the area. Please drive carefully while you are out on the roads. Let's be mindful of all of the new drivers who are not from the Reno Tahoe area. There are plenty of new residents who are still not used to driving on snowy roads. While we have snow in the area please get out there to enjoy it and have some fun with the family. Remember if you ever need us please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. "Like it never even happened".

How we can help

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike your commercial property at any time. Water damage can sideline your business, regardless if the damage occurs from a major storm event or a broken water line. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when you have an emergency water event, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest offers fast, 24 hour emergency services, 365 days per year.

At SERVPRO of Reno Southwest we have the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

We are here to help in any way possible to get you back into doing what you do best, serving your customers. Just like our tagline states "Like it never even happened."

Mold

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

A little info about Black Mold

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

What is Black Mold?

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

What to do until SERVPRO of Reno Southwest arrives?

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO of Reno Southwest for mold remediation services.

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. 

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

Commercial Cleaning Services

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in your local team at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO of Reno Southwest to make your work space look its very best.

We at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

Some of our services include:

Devastating

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm and flood damage can be devastating. Immediate action is needed, and you need the company with storm damage experience. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest has the expertise and the resources to handle any size disaster and can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources. 

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

Annual Snow Pack

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story of our local snow pack levels in the mountains. At this same time last year we were well above average and that caused severe flooding in our area. 

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/California-gauges-snowpack-amid-dry-winter-472132353.html

California's water managers are carrying out their mid-winter snowpack survey as the winter's dry spell persists.

The Department of Water Resources on Thursday will carry out manual measurements of the Sierra Nevada snowpack. The snow in a good year supplies water to millions of Californians as it melts throughout the spring.

Electronic sensors show snow levels are about 30 percent of average statewide. Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson says water officials are concerned. Carlson notes there are still two months in the rainy season.

Last year, near-record rains in Northern California snapped a five-year drought in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state's drought over less than a year ago, in April.

Severe Storms

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is an article of what to do before a severe storm. This is very helpful for the family to be prepared. I know outside it does not seem like much of a winter for our part of the country but we have had instances where we do need the info. Enjoy!

https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Prepare your home:
    • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
    • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
    • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
    • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
      • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
      • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
  • Prepare your vehicle:
    • Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction.
  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
  • Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
  • Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.

Extreme cold

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is another article that could help someone prepare for what to do during extreme cold and large severe storms. Hope the info helps.

https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.

Floods

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is another great article about what flooding is and what you can do to help your family be prepared.

https://www.ready.gov/floods

Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods. Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee. Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

Basic Safety Tips

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.

  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.

  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Some Mold Facts

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

This article is for information purposes only. We have found a good article with some facts about mold or mildew. I hope that you enjoy the info as we did.

https://www.medicinenet.com/mold_exposure/article.htm

Molds are various types of fungi (singular = fungus) that grow in filaments and reproduce by forming spores that can travel through the air. The term mildew is sometimes used to refer to some kinds of mold, particularly mold in the home with a white or grayish color or mold growing in shower stalls and bathrooms. Mold may grow indoors or outdoors and thrives in damp, warm, and humid environments. Mold can be found in essentially any environment or season.

Molds reproduce by forming tiny spores that are not visible to the naked eye. Mold spores are very hardy and can survive under conditions in which mold cannot grow, such as in dry and harsh environments. These spores travel through outdoor and indoor air. When the mold spores in the air land on a surface where moisture is present, mold can then start to grow.

For our dry area in Reno/Sparks we still can have mold. If you do believe you have mold please don't forget to call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Where can mold be found?

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a little more info of where homeowners can find mold in their home.

Although bathrooms (particularly shower stalls) and basements are typical moist areas prone to mold growth, any moist area in the home can be moldy. Drywall, ceiling tiles, carpets, furniture, ductwork, roofing, paneling, wallpaper, under sinks, and the areas around plumbing pipes are examples of areas in the home that can become infested by mold if the ideal growing conditions are present.

Mold spores from the outdoor air can enter the home through open doors, windows, and vents. It may also become attached to clothing, shoes, and pets and therefore be carried indoors.

Mold can have many different colors (including brown, green, and black) and sometimes appears as spots. Additionally, a musty odor may be present. Mold growth may also be hidden underneath carpeting, on the back side of wallpaper, and behind drywall or wall paneling. Saunas, greenhouses, and construction areas are places where mold is commonly found.

Again if you believe you have mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest so we can make it "Like it never even happened."

Thank you to our Fire fighters

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Yesterday in the area we had windy conditions. Our local fire fighters responded to a small wild fire that could have been disastrous for our community. Thank you Reno Fire for being quick responders. Here is the story from My News 4.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/brush-fire-reported-at-s-virginia-south-meadows-in-reno

Crews are responding to a fire reported in the area of S. Virginia Street and South Meadows Parkway Thursday afternoon.

According to the Reno Fire Department, southbound Virginia is closed for the response. Northbound lanes have reopened.

Reno Fire Chief David Cochran said via Twitter the fire was knocked down after reaching about five acres off Foothill Road. No damage to structures or injuries were reported. Thank you to our local fire fighters. Great job again Reno Fire. we are grateful for the quick response.

Carbon Monoxide: A silent cold weather killer

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Oftentimes, it is the result of faulty, improperly used, or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine powered equipment, such as portable generators. 

However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees from deadly CO fumes.

Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by perfroming regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms.

Consider having all fuel burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.

For additional CO safety information visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov

Here is a story that occurred here locally.

http://www.ktvn.com/story/37293921/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-suspected-in-lcso-crash

Quick Response

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

I want to say thanks to Sparks and Reno Fire for responding so quickly to put out the abandoned gym fire. It could have been worse due to it being so close to cheat grass field and the trees near the river. Here is the story:

Crews with the Reno Fire Department are mopping up an early morning structure fire at a vacant building on E. McCarran Blvd. between Mill and Greg streets. A spokesperson confirms the structure fire partially collapsed the old Bishop Manogue High School gym on Mill Street.

The building was abandoned and no injuries are reported.

Authorities say a fire investigator will remain on scene for several hours to determine the cause of the blaze. 

Thanks again to our local fire departments. Keep up the great work and we will do our side of the clean up when we are needed. 

Mudslides

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lately our part of the country has experienced some terrible storms. The west coast was first hit with severe wild fires and now California experienced torrential rain storms. This a story from CNN about the mudslides after the rain storms.

The mudslides came in the early morning hours of last Tuesday, destroying an estimated 65 homes and damaging hundreds of others, the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection said. 

The rain poured down on hillsides charred by recent wildfires, which burned vegetation that otherwise could make the terrain more resistant to mudslides.The Thomas Fire -- the largest wildfire in California's recorded history --burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from early December into this month. It wasn't fully contained until Friday. For days, rescuers searched frantically for the missing after mud and boulders barreled into neighborhoods in and nearMontecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara. The mudslides demolished homes and left roads impassable.Now, what had been a search-and-rescue operation authorities is a search-and-recovery undertaking. The crews probably won't be hampered by bad weather most of this week. The first chance of rain will come Thursday night to Friday and it is estimated to amount generally to less than a third of an inch, CNN meteorologists said.  Please keep the families of California in your prayers. 

Martin Luther King Jr Day

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

We would like to wish everybody an amazing Martin Luther King Jr Day. Please remember the struggles that our country has gone through. Just like our team at SERVPRO it only takes one person to start to make changes in a community. Remember what Dr. King started and let's continue to work towards the vision Dr. King had for our country as we work diligently towards a more perfect union.  Here are a few of his quotes:

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

—from Oberlin College Commencement speech, 1965

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." 

—from Strength to Love, 1963

“If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, 'brethren!' Be careful, teachers!”  

—“The Purpose of Education” from Morehouse College student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, 1947

Martin Luther King Jr Day

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

We would like to wish everybody an amazing Martin Luther King Jr Day. Please remember the struggles that our country has gone through. Just like our team at SERVPRO it only takes one person to start to make changes in a community. Remember what Dr. King started and let's continue to work towards the vision Dr. King had for our country as we work diligently towards a more perfect union.  Here are a few of his quotes:

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

—from Oberlin College Commencement speech, 1965

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." 

—from Strength to Love, 1963

“If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, 'brethren!' Be careful, teachers!”  

—“The Purpose of Education” from Morehouse College student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, 1947

Earthquakes

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a just a friendly reminder that we still live near a fault line.

 Did you feel them!? The University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismological Laboratory reports an ongoing swarm of earthquakes near south Reno, in the area of the Mt. Rose Highway and I-580.

Since Thursday night, more than 90 events have been located. The largest recorded are four magnitude 2 quakes. There have been no reports of damage, and about 38 people have reported feeling the small earthquakes.

 “The activity notably increased late last night and this morning,” Ken Smith, seismic network manager and associate director of the seismological lab, said. “We’re monitoring the swarm closely and updating local emergency management officials in case this sequence evolves to a larger, damaging earthquake.” 

As a public safety reminder local and state agencies urge the public be prepared in the event an emergency causes you to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue.

No injuries or damages have been reported at this time.

This story came from MyNews4.

Avoid bursting pipes (and costly repairs) this winter with these simple tips

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a nice article from an insurance provider about some helpful tips for this winter:

According to the insurance company Chubb, homeowners are more likely to experience water damage during the winter than any other time of year.

"In the wintertime, the water in the pipes gets cold; it freezes," Jim Magliaro, Risk Consulting Technical Leader at Chubb, told TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "Water goes everywhere."

How can you prevent damages that could potentially run to thousands of dollars?

Insulate your pipes. You can buy simple insulation for about 25 cents a foot.

Replace rubber hoses. Check your washing machine to make sure the hoses aren't rubber. Steel-braided hoses are inexpensive, costing about $10 each.

Know how to shut off the valve under your sink. "Once a week, you look under the sink and you look for any puddles of water and move your hand along the pipes to see if there are any leaks," Magliaro said. If there are, shut off the valve.

Check for puddles behind your refrigerator. Many refrigerator leaks are due to the water line that feeds the refrigerator. Magliaro suggests you pull your refrigerator out once a month and look for puddles behind it.

Know how to shut off your water main. With the holidays approaching, many of us are leaving for vacation or visiting family. Experts say if you're heading out of town, you should shut off your water main. It's an easy way to prevent major leaks or bursts while you're away.

The main water shutoff valve is usually located at the point where the main water line enters the home. In homes with basements, it is usually in the basement. In homes that are on a crawl space or slab, it can be in the garage (if one exists), in a first-floor utility closet, or, in many Southern climates, outside of the home.

There are typically two types of shutoff valves to a water main: a gate valve (shown left above) and a ball valve (right above). Either is still used today, but the ball valve is becoming more popular. A ball valve is easier to use and shuts off water a little more quickly. With the ball valve, if the handle is in line with the pipe, it is in the “on” position; if perpendicular to the pipe, it is off.

Happy New Year

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

It has been an amazing year for our business!! We would like to say thank you to every one of our employee's who have continued to provide excellent service to our clients. We would also like to thank our clients for trusting our franchise and allowing us to enter into your personal home or business. Thank you to our amazing office staff who provide empathy to every phone call that comes into the office. We would like to thank our production staff who are not only the front line of our staff but also the faces that our clients see day in and day out at their home. We have been blessed in this amazing life. Thank you to Reno/Sparks, Tahoe area and any other surrounding areas for giving us the opportunity to earn your trust. Help us bring in 2018 with an amazing and SAFE bang!!!

Happy New Year 2018

Merry Christmas 2017

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

We would like to send everybody this season a Merry Christmas from our family at SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. We would also like to remind our community to please drive carefully in the snow. We are having some smaller storms and are expecting more, so please be mindful of other drivers. They may not have as much experience driving in the snowy conditions. If you are leaving town for Christmas,for any length of time, please make sure to leave your heat above 60 degrees. We do not want you to come back to a nice wet mess in your home that you have worked so hard to repair, pay for and your spouse has decorated. Please for your own personal sake take care of your home, vehicle and especially your self and have a Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas,

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

Fun for the Kids

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Even with all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we must take little time out to remember the little things of life. This weekend in the City of Sparks there will be fun events on Friday December 8th and December 9th. It will be held at Victorian Square. Bring the family and have some fun with the community. Here is a lit of events

Friday, December 8:

Event Hours: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

4:00 p.m. - Display lighting, food trucks and booths open

4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Free rides on Engine 39

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Santa Visits - Free

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. – Excel Christian School Live Nativity Scene

7:00 p.m. – Retro Radio Dolls Musical performance

9:00 p.m. - Event Closes

Saturday, December 9:

Event Hours: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - Food Trucks and vendor tent open

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Fate Awaits: Teen local band

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Ugly Sweater Making

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – Excel Christian School Live Nativity Scene

2:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. - Visit with Santa - Free

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Free Rides on Engine 39 train

4:00 p.m. - Display lighting

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. - Laughing Owl Preforms: Egg Nogged (A tale about a clumsy Elf)

5:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. - Visits with Santa - Free

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - Free Rides on Engine 39

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. – Excel Christian School Live Nativity Scene

7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. - Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble

9:00 p.m. - Event Closes

We will be taking our families down to the event. Say hi if you see us at the event. 

Merry Christmas

November 2017 giving Tuesday

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

With such large needs in our communities here is a great way for all of us to help build our community from within.

https://www.givingtuesday.org/

This is what they stand for in their own words

" #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We've created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community."

Lets all work together to help our home town prosper and lets continue to be a thriving community in the Silver State!!

V Week for Cancer

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

As a person who has lost somebody to cancer, lets all band together to do the most we can to further cancer research to help save your own, a friend, a co-worker, or even your own family members life. Here is a video from the founder of the Jimmy V foundation, Jim Valvano:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E

Here is also the mission statement for the foundation in their own words;

"The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. The V Foundation seeks to make a difference by generating broad-based support for cancer research and by creating an urgent awareness among all Americans of the importance of the war against cancer. The V Foundation performs these dual roles through advocacy, education, fundraising and philanthropy." 

They have a large vision. Let's continue the fight against Cancer.

Happy Thanksgiving

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

From our family at SERVPRO we would like to wish your family an amazing and Happy Thanksgiving!!! This is an amazing time to remember all of the blessings that have come our way this year. As a community we have been blessed with getting more rain than usual to help with our drought. We have had a great ski season from 2016 thru 2017 which helped our tourism and our local economies. We are grateful for the members of our family, new spouses, new children and new co workers. Without them we would not be a complete home and work family. Please remember all of those blessings. For all of the people who are planning to prepare and cook food in their own personal home, please keep safety in mind and prevent any home fires. If you  do need us please remember to call  SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Veteran's Day 2017

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

We would like to thank all who have served in our armed forces. We  send our prayers out to those who gave their lives for our great nation. Without the men and women who have served we would not have many of our freedoms we enjoy today as a nation. We know that as a nation we may seem divided , but when we have issues or disagreements we will make it due to our resilience as American's. Please , when you see a veteran this year, don't just walk by but thank them for their service. They served proudly under any administration. Even if we have disagreed with our current or past commander in chief, the men and women of our armed forces  who served so proudly. To our Veterans, from our family , we salute you and thank you for those who sacrificed for us. 

Thanks,

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

Happy Halloween

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2017

We would like to wish from our family to yours a safe and productive Halloween. With all of the people out on the streets we urge from a parent to another please drive carefully. Also wear reflective materials so that others can see you. We recommend the color SERVPRO green. It is bright and very noticeable this time of year. Also don't forget that it is starting to get a little colder. Please make sure that you stay warm. Those pipes could freeze and you could have a serious water damage. These types of problems tend to happen when we least expect it and when we are having fun. If you do encounter a problem please don't forget to call the company that makes it "Like it never even happened."

Nevada Day

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Happy Birthday

We would like to wish everybody a happy and safe Nevada Day Celebration. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will still be open. We will be handing out candy to anybody who wants to show up during our actual state birthday, October Thirty-first. Please drive carefully on the roads because there will be plenty of kids and parents out on the streets. Please drive thru neighborhoods. Treat it as if it is your kids out there trying to get their fill of their favorite candies. We are here to help if any disasters occur while we celebrate our wonderful states birthday. For many it will be a 3 day weekend and please keep the roads safe. If any issues arise over the weekend please call with any questions.

2017 World Series

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

In celebrating America's pastime between the Houston Astros and the LA Dodgers, Taco Bell, has promised to give FREE Tacos to everybody if a player has a stolen base. In last nights game, Cameron Maybin, had the series' first stolen base. We have attached a link to Taco Bells twitter feed about their giveaway!!!! Enjoy!!

https://twitter.com/tacobell/status/923413224761917440

Congratulations to the Houston Astros. This is their first World Series title in franchise history. This was a great series that played all the way to the 7th game. Hats off to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a well played series. It could have gone either way. Fortunately for the Astros more went their way. The last 2 years we have enjoyed baseball a its finest where the series goes to the 7th game. I'm looking forward to 2018.

Labor Day

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

The Story of Labor Day

Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and began as a tribute to workers who have allowed the United States to proper. At first it was a holiday adopted state by state. Over time the celebration began to catch nationwide and, in 1894, Labor Day was approved as a national holiday to be observed on the first Monday of every September.

There is some dispute as to who is truly the father of Labor Day. Traditionally it was attributed to Peter J. McGuire, a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. However, historians in recent years believe a New York Central Union secretary named Matthew Maguire could have come up with Labor Day first.

McGuire or Maguire, it is still a great holiday celebrating workers of this United States!

Have a wonderful Labor Day and celebrate your right to this day off with family and friends.

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

775-852-6480

Prater Fire

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

I would like to thank all of the emergency personnel who helped in controlling the Prater fire as well as all of the police officers that kept everybody safe and away from the fire. Many of us live in the area and had to evacuate along with our neighbors. If anybody in the area needs any assistance or has any questions as to whether they need our services please feel free to call and we can assess the damages and then make any necessary recommendations. Also contact your insurance agent to ask any questions. They are well equipped to answer your questions. Please continue to be safe out there during the next few days because we are still experiencing thunder storms. As usual we will make it "Like it never even happened"

Wildfire Season

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

As we have been pushed into a hot, hot hot summer season we must remember that there is quite a bit of cheat grass that has grown due to our wet winter. Anything can ignite it and can cause serious damage to our area. We have the Earthstone fire, which is believed to be caused by man, Winnemucca Ranch fire, cause unknown and several others in neighboring areas. Please be careful out there. If you are going caming please make sure you take proper precautions to turn off the camp fire. If you do smoke please make sure you turn off your cigarette butts. Please do not use fire works due to our hot weather and high winds. We all live in the area and we would like to make sure that nobodies home, pets or self is put in any danger. Thanks again and if there is any smoke or fire damage please call the team that can make it "Like it never even happened."

Thank you

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Here is another great example of our work from our staff:

"Your staff was so efficient and organized. I can not praise them too highly. They came when they said they would, they called when they said they would. They were incredible representatives of your company, especially Robert Harrison, crew chief."

Thank You,

Jane 

This brings smiles to our franchise that another customer is happy with our work. This also just shows how much our employees will treat your home is if it is their own. It is also great that our office staff cares about our clients like family. Thanks again for all of the hard from the office, field techs and all the way to the crew chiefs who lead the way at the front lines of your personal home. Thanks again for the letter Jane and if anybody needs us to make it "Like it never even happened" do not hesitate to call.

2017 Memorial Day

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

Thank You!!!

We would like to thank all of our men and women who are currently serving. We would like to thank the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. Without these individuals who have given their life, my family, would not have an opportunity to live in this country. If you are out this weekend please remind yourself that this weekend is not about sales or an extended weekend so we can have a barbecue. Please stop for a few minutes to remember the men and women that have given their life so that we can be in a free nation. Without their work our nation would be a different place. Without our countries support of the military they cannot survive. Please if you can donate your services, products or time to a special veterans group that is near and dear to your heart. Have a blessed weekend!!

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