Recent Posts

Why charging your phone on your bed is a fire risk

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Charging cables sometimes cannot handle the current flowing through them, so it has to let off heat and damage the wire. When you have your bed and pillow trapping the heat, allowing it to build up, it gives the energy necessary to ignite combustible material. Fire risks from wires are common for households since 53% of teenagers charge their phones on their bed or under their pillow, and electrical failures cause 13% of home fires

Causes for phone charger fires 

Bad cables 

Wire tears  

  • There are two main ways of how a charger could start a fire with torn wires. One way is when some of the internal strands of wires are disconnected. The wire then relies on a smaller number of copper strands to pass the current through the full wire, putting more strain on the strands, deteriorating them further, and causing a need for heat to dissipate the overflow of energy. As this heat builds up, it can be trapped by the bed and the pillow, igniting combustible cotton. Another way the wire tear can catch fire is if the wires are close enough but torn, they can create a free spark as a short circuit and ignite any combustible cotton in its path. 

Kinks and tangles 

  • Kinks and tangles can make it harder for the direct current to flow through, creating heat dissipation and further deteriorating the wires. Most kinks and tangles do not cause enough heat to ignite the cotton. However, it adds to the heat when it occurs alongside other electrical malfunctions. 

Poor current rating 

  • There can be too much current flowing through a wire. Having a current exchange mitch match happens when you put a heavy-duty charging brick with a low-quality wire or vice versa. It also happens with extremely long wires, where the gauge of the wire cannot handle the current flowing through, or the wire is simply too thin, and the electricity is too much for it.  

Bad charging brick 

A charging brick can have multiple reasons for causing a fire. Some of the main reasons are a bad resistor or a bad capacitor inside of the charging brick. If a resistor is bad, it cannot properly reduce the voltage, so the wires will take on more current than they can handle. 

Capacitors are like little batteries inside of the charging brick. They are used to store energy and release that energy at a steady current so the rest of the components and your phone can handle the currents. Capacitors are only rated to handle a certain voltage. It is similar to if there is too much pressure in a water balloon, it will pop. When there is too much voltage, this can release energy abruptly, break other internal parts, create a short circuit, and create a loose spark. 

Combustible materials 

Being near a bed and curtains can give ample fuel for a spark to cause a flame. The heat and material used can affect the likelihood or danger of a flame. Insulating a wire with a heat-trapping material like a pillow lowers the energy needed to start a flame by a wire.  

Phone malfunctions 

Phone batteries can cause a fire, especially when overheated or damaged. If the material that separates the chemicals in the battery is broken down, damaged from a drop, or deteriorated over time, then the chemicals that are used to slowly produce power will come in contact and have a harsh reaction. This process can be accelerated by the phone being too hot, like when you see a phone explode from a microwave. It can also be accelerated from critical damage to the battery, damaging its critical safety components.

How are storms predicted

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Storms are predicted by using data collected by satellites, Doppler radar, dual-polarization radar aircraft with specialized technology, balloons with measuring equipment, and specialized software. This data includes temperature, humidity, movement of debris, movement of rain, and wind speed. The software then takes this data and uses different algorithms to make further estimates. Electromagnetic wavefields are the main reason satellites can detect these moving debris, rain, and wind. This detection of rain gives the ability to pick up certain movement patterns that alert for the different types of storms. 

What is dual-polarization 

Dual polarization radars are local radars that detect debris or changes in the atmosphere on a horizontal level. These radars can be used alongside the vertical Dopler radar in order to give a 3D representation of rain patterns in the local area.  

How are thunderstorms detected

Using radars and the Doppler radar, it is possible to see certain patterns that form in the atmosphere and disrupt the rain. These patterns can be recognized by weather software and reported back to meteorologists. When a certain rate of lighting occurs in a given area, a thunderstorm warning is then triggered. The thunderstorms are often predicted for a given area based on the area's location relative to the already detected thunderstorm and the given wind direction. 

How are hurricanes detected

Hurricanes are the easiest to detect out of other storms. The rain and wind patterns picked up by Doppler radar can be used to determine if a hurricane is forming. Once a hurricane is formed, wind speed and previous direction can help point where the hurricane will be heading next, how strong it will be, and where it will stop. Still, these estimates are simply predictions and usually change but can give great insight to the people in the path of the hurricane. 

How are tornadoes detected

Doppler radar, satellites, and dual-polarization radars can determine the velocity and direction of wind and rain speed and use pattern identifying algorithms to alert meteorologists when the wind begins to spin. Once these are detected, local meteorologists use tools to spot the formation of tornadoes and alert the public. They cannot predict the formations, but they can estimate the windspeeds. The wind direction and velocity and the past positions of the tornado is then used to estimate the possible direction of the tornado, which is slightly reliable.  

How are floods detected 

Radars cannot accurately predict flash floods for small areas. Still, the rate of rain and the duration of rain that is estimated by using the Doppler radar in conjunction with dual-polarization radars can give an estimated amount of rainfall when calculated by meteorologists or the software they use.

Importance in air quality for gym performance

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Gym goers are more likely to have better results in less time at gyms with better air quality and odor, influencing them to switch gyms. These findings are based on research that indicates that a gym's air quality affects health, performance, customer perception of quality, and irritation from odor.  

Health

Why poor gym air quality is worse for health:

If there are pollutants in the air and a gym goer starts breathing more from physical activity, they are also increasing the rate they take in those pollutants. This is specifically bad for gyms that have had mold, soot, or pest buildup in their HVAC and air duct systems. Gyms should mainly worry about the soot and mold that come from various problems with HVAC units, like overheating near combustible material and rapid temperature changes enabling mold growth. 

Performance 

Why poor gym air quality lowers performance:

The effects of poor performance from poor air quality can be observed by simply putting a face mask on during high-intensity training. Studies show that exercise in high-polluted air resulted in a significant reduction in performance at submaximal levels of physical exertion. Poor performance can also be seen with stagnant air, causing sub-optimal oxygen concentration and CO2 buildup. This stagnant air is usually caused by poor ventilation and high gym occupancy compared to the building size. 

Odor irritation

Why poor gym odor lowers performance:

With poor air circulation and a high gym occupancy, odors intensity increases. Foul odors can negatively impact their attention and willpower in the gym. From anecdotal experience and testimonials, odors can impact a gym goer's workouts positively or negatively. Smelling salts are a prime positive example of how the CNS can be shocked, and their adrenaline is leveraged for lifting heavier. On the other hand, they can be in the middle of a rep and smell a foul odor, taking their mind off of the rep and not giving it 100%. Foul odors can simply lower a gym goer's enjoyment of the gym or be an added excuse to why they cannot tolerate going. 

Negative perception of quality 

Why poor gym air quality lowers perceived quality: 

With stagnant air, lower performance, and poor odor, members are more likely to perceive a gym with a negative halo effect, looking down on other parts of the gym as well. Once one negative perception comes up, members tend to find others and tell friends about these findings, even if you are investing heavily in providing all the right value possible for your members. Luckily, all it takes is consistency over time, and the way your brand is perceived can be changed for the better. 

How to improve air quality

  • Regularly cleaning all surfaces 
  • Control occupancy rate 
  • Regular maintenance on HVAC
  • Reduce rapid temperature changes 
  • Reduce overheating  
  • Clean any soot or mold immediately
  • Clean air ducts regularly 

What is air duct cleaning

Air duct cleaning is when specialized equipment is used to agitate and vacuum out dust and debris from the air ducts. These air ducts are connected to the HVAC system and circulate the air inside of the building. Air duct cleaning is commonly used because of dust buildup, increased mold risk with dirty and clogged air ducts, and pest infestations. 

Why Air Ducts Need Cleaning

If there is inefficient filtration, dust can accumulate and break off then re-enter the air. Dust can also build up, and if a water leak or high condensation occurs, then mold can grow and lower air quality. Pests can also burrow in the dust and bring in debris and allergens or remains, allowing particles they bring into the vents to be kicked up and pushed back into the room. When this debris builds up and creates thick bundles, they can be pulled into the HVAC, causing inefficiency, strain, and possibly damage. The more dust there is in a unit, the more the coils in the air conditioner are covered and can expend unnecessary energy. 

How to clean air ducts

Air ducts can be easily damaged, and debris can easily be dislodged into the air, so hiring the right team with the right equipment is crucial for inspection and cleaning. SERVPRO is IICRC certified and has the equipment necessary to get the job done right. You can trust we will inspect your gym properly and inform you if you require an air duct cleaning.

Fire safety checklist for the workplace

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

In order to reduce the possibility of fires and damage from fires in the workplace, your organization must consider, Prevention, Detection, Protection, Elimination, and Restoration. 

Prevention 

How to prevent workplace fires

  • Checking electrical outlets for improper voltage
  • Ensuring heavy machinery and high voltage equipment is handled by highly trained personnel
  • Ensuring a great standing with employees and customers to prevent the possibility of arson
  • Investing in a security system to further deter arson 
  • Keep fire extinguishers up to date and ensure sprinkler systems are functioning properly 

Detection 

How to detect workplace fires

  • Ensure each smoke alarm is regularly tested 
  • Make sure employees have proper means of communicating in the event of a fire 
  • Employees are educated on what the building’s fire alarm sounds like
  • Removing personal use of earbuds that prevent hearing the fire alarm
  • Introduce sound protection with slight noise spill so workers can hear alarms
  • Having quick lines of communication with each employee

Protection

How to protect employees from workplace fires 

  • Clear pathways, so people are not blocked in the event of a fire
  • Reduce the amount of flammable material that can block pathways 
  • Make sure employees are educated on locations of exits, alerts, and extinguishers 

Elimination 

How to eliminate workplace fires

  • Keep fire extinguishers up to date and ensure sprinkler systems are functioning properly
  • Close doors when exited to reduce the amount of fire 
  • Add a security system that alerts authorities
  • Contact the authorities as soon as possible  

Restoration

How to restore the workplace after a fire

Having a clean-up and restoration crew on standby is important to mitigate further damage. Businesses need to act quickly in the restoration process, or there will be further water and possibly mold damage. As the sprinklers go off in order to prevent the fire from spreading and causing loss of life, it will flood the affected floors. The water damage needs immediate assessment in order to reduce further damage. Having a team that can perform all levels of cleanup, construction, and restoration from the fire and sprinkler water damage will save you time and get the commercial work back in business quicker.   

A quick fire safety checklist for the workplace

  • Perform a risk assessment  
  • Update your evacuation plan 
  • Test fire alarms 
  • Make fire extinguishers available 
  • Check that the fire extinguishers are up to date
  • Educate employees on fire extinguisher locations, exits, and procedures 
  • Clear pathways to the fire exits and ensure the cleaning crew regularly clears paths
  • Check that electronics are pulling the right voltage compared to the outlet 
  • Ensure combustible materials are being stored correctly  

Main fire risks to the workplace

Electrical components 

  • Overloaded outlets 
  • Faulty equipment 
  • Proximity to combustible materials 

Heavy machinery and high voltage equipment used by untrained workers

Insufficient training of workers 

Improper storage of combustible materials

Arson 

Comprehensive list for an emergency storm kit

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

The best time to make an emergency storm kit was yesterday. You can never go wrong with taking simple precautions to ensure that you and your family have all the basic things to survive during an emergency situation. You want these kits to be easy to carry, non-perishable, ready-to-go, and last more than three days in the worst conditions. These kits should be based on your family’s individual needs and comfort level, but in general, there are essential items every family needs and nonessential items that would simply make a disaster situation more comfortable.  

Essential items 

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Three day supply of at least 1000 calories of food per person
    • Peanut butter 
    • Canned foods and a manual can opener
    • Mass gainer or powdered calories for saving space
    • Emergency food supply kits 
  • Water-proof flashlight and batteries or charger
    • Flashlights that strap to your head are a great tool for when you have to get things done with an inevitable power outage 
  • Portable charger to charge your phones, radios, flashlights, and portable stoves
  • Hand crank radio to stay informed even if your phone dies 
  • First aid kit with any necessary medicine 
  • Whistle to alert nearby rescue teams 
  • Water-proof matches or lighters
  • Local Maps and compass in case all phones die 
  • Water-proof bag or container for cash and important documents copies
  • Toiletries for personal hygiene 
  • Hurricane ponchos to keep your clothes dry and you warm and well insulated 
  • Gloves to protect your hands and improve your grip 

Nonessential items 

  • Water filter if your water runs out 
  • Bug spray
  • Tarp for securing preventing water from seeping into damaged areas in the home
  • Duct tape
  • Tent 
  • Extra pairs of clothes
  • Flare gun 
  • Portable stove 
  • Solar panel or solar charger  
  • Self-defense equipment 
  • Generator 
  • Candles 
  • Entertainment 

With all of your essential items in a water-proof bag or container assigned to each family member, you have a higher chance of being more comfortable and prepared after a disaster. It is important to take time to understand your family’s individual needs and prepare accordingly. Taking the time to plan out procedures and get the right supplies ready can greatly help your family if a tragedy does strike. If a disaster does take place, take the time to contact SERVPRO, so we can help get your home back to living condition again by cleaning, restoring, and reconstructing your home and belongings from storm damage.

Why your fire alarms randomly go off

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Bugs 

Yes, bugs can crawl into your fire alarm and trip the sensor. The main culprit happens to be spiders because of their small sizes and nesting habits. 

Chemicals in the air

Harsh chemicals can have large enough particles to set off the fire alarm by simply going through the electrode sensors. 

Batteries or electrical power surges 

Depending on their programing, a lapse in power or a low battery can set the alarms off. 

Near a bathroom shower 

The steam from the bathroom shower can become so dense and seep out into the smoke alarm. The moisture can trip the sensors by blocking the signal from hitting the second electrode.  

Cooking 

Cooking can produce steam and smoke and can easily cause the smoke alarm to go off. The alarm usually goes off when the smoke or steam rises and builds up with no kitchen vent, creating dense smoke even if the food is not burning. 

Rapid changes in temperature 

Temperature changes can cause high humidity or condensation. The alarm can trip if there is fog or steam buildup in the sensor. Droplets of water can also go in the sensor and trip the alarm. Smoke alarms are usually tripped by humidity and condensation in the early morning from the air being warmed up by the rising sun. 

Steam

Steam can come from cooking, rapid temperature changes, or taking a shower near the fire alarm. Steam is a dense gas, like smoke, so it has the properties to trip the alarm. 

Broken sensor 

The electrodes or photoelectric sensor can somehow be damaged, and with certain movements or lapse in power, they can give false positives.  

Water leak

If there is a water leak or broken pipe, the water can drip down into the sensor and either causes a malfunction in components or go into the sensor and trigger the alarm. 

Dust 

Dust can build up over time in the sensor and result in even less steam or smoke needing to be present to set the alarm off. 

Location 

The location of your alarm can be the reason it randomly goes off. It may be in a spot of the house that is not well insulated, so it is subject to rapid changes in temperature. It can be near a shower, causing steam to trip the sensor. It can also be near an air vent where dust is normally being pulled through. It can also be near the kitchen, where there is regular smoke buildup. 

How to fix random smoke alarms 

Change the alarm's location 

  • Move the smoke alarm’s location slightly further from the bathroom but still near the recommended placements.  

Air cleaning 

  • Blow compressed air into the fire alarm to clear out dust, debris, and insects.
  • Check your HVAC unit, air ducts, and air filters for dust buildup.  

Check for leaks 

  • Check and fix any leaks or points of condensation.  

Improve kitchen ventilation 

  • Adding a kitchen vent can dramatically improve the airflow and reduce the smoke buildup that causes the alarm to go off.

Where to go in Dothan for storm shelters

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

During a storm, your family's safety and seeking shelter are the top priorities. Most cities have public storm shelters prepared mostly by nonprofit organizations and any other organizations willing to help. Having a list of known shelters and understanding what makes a building safe can help increase your likelihood of safety when you are out during harsh conditions.   

Places to go to during a tornado in Dothan  

Every situation is different, but, in general, if an area in a building has more walls and ceilings in the way of you and the storm, it is more likely to deflect debris and reduce structural damage near you. It is also important to stay out of places with a lot of windows or hazardous materials that could be projectiles, fall, or combust in the case of a storm.  

Churches

  • Each church is different, but some churches have dedicated storm shelters, like First Baptist Church, and usually prepare for storms by opening up to the general public if the storm is predicted. 

Department stores

  • Department stores will be the easiest area to spot and are more commonly open. They are much better than being in you car, in a mobile home, or out on the street. Be aware of ceilings collapsing and dropping, the distance from the parking lot, and the front windows. 

Hotels 

  • Hotels are usually open, so you will be able to enter the lower floor for safety. The additional floors act as layers that can help blunt the force of the storm's debris. 

Medium-sized retail spaces

  • Some retail stores around Dothan do not have high ceilings, are not surrounded by glass, and can be structurally sound enough to handle F3 tornadoes directly.  

Make sure to note the time and day, seeing if the buildings are open, so you do not have to get out and waste crucial time. First Baptist Church is usually open to the public and prepared to shelter you if the storm is expected, and the local weather channel may broadcast shelters near you. If you are already inside, do not risk leaving during a storm.  

Places to avoid during a tornado in Dothan 

Gas stations

  • Gas stations have hazardous materials near them, windows all around, and are not built to withstand above F2 tornadoes. 

Restaurants 

  • Restaurants and fast-food chains do not have a lot of open space or cover during storms, which will put you close to the walls and windows. They also usually have combustible cooking materials that have the potential to start kitchen fires, increasing the safety risk. 

Service shops 

  • Service shops, like mechanical shops, usually open designs with large windows and loose construction similar to gas stations. They will not be safe in the event of an F2 tornado. 

Small commercial buildings 

  • Like restaurants and service shops, the open and large windowed designs lower the safety of these buildings and do not give good coverage during storms, but still provide a building with a foundation and no hazardous material.  

Schools

  • Schools are safer for students but are usually locked for students' safety. The faculty and staff are usually making sure that the students are accounted for and will not be able to open the door for you. This can leave you stranded outside. 

Safest part in your house for a storm

Homes are not built to withstand tornadoes. However, there are general precautions you can take to help make you and your family safer. You should mainly have a plan and know your risks, to reduce the need for quick decisions. Pick a center room in the house with the most walls between the room and the outside. The room should have the least amount of glass and loose furniture as possible and not be underneath any heavy appliances in the attic. It is also important to take into account any trees and where they may fall on the house. Falling trees can make any room completely unsafe, but the rooms underneath the roof's highest point tend to have the most protection from falling trees. 

  • In the center of the house
  • Least amount of windows around
  • Not under heavy attic appliances
  • Not in the path of a possible fallen tree  
  • Not with loose overhead appliances 

What to do after a storm 

Be ready to call us to mitigate further storm and water damage. We will be there to clean, restore, and construct your home back to pre-damage conditions.  

SERVPRO of Dothan is: 

  • 24/7
  • Locally owned and operated
  • IICRC certified and highly trained fire restoration technicians 

Proud to be IICRC certified

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Certified cleaning and restoration company in dothan servpro IICRC badge

The IICRC certification is another demonstration of how SERVPRO of Dothan is operating to the highest of standards regarding inspection, cleaning, and restoration. IICRC is a certification organization that upholds the standards of our industry and certifies that we are up to those standards. 

Who is the IICRC 

The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization for the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Industries. They were founded to uphold the standards of the cleaning industry, which is why SERVPRO of Dothan is proud to be certified up to those standards. This certification is important to our services to demonstrate that we also perform at the highest level of technical expertise when completing complex jobs giving you peace of mind that the scope of work is completed. The IICRC, originally named the International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Inc. (IICUC), was founded in 1972 by Ed York. Since starting in 1972, the IICRC has evolved into a global organization with more than 49,000 active Certified Technicians and more than 6,500 Certified Firms around the world. 

Why Are Certified Firms Important?

IICRC Certified Firms perform at the highest level of technical expertise when completing complex jobs giving you peace of mind that the scope of work is completed right the first time. Firms can work in both residential and commercial environments, depending on their specific business qualifications. You can verify any IICRC Certified Firm and their qualifications on the IICRC Global Locator, or contact the IICRC with the company name and they can verify our credentials. 

Check out our certification here

You can check our certification by going to the IICRC Global Locator or by visiting Credly.

Our new air duct cleaner

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Our equipment is built to make your property’s cleaning and restoration as quick and effective as possible. We invest in top-of-the-line equipment to ensure these are are up to standards. We now have a more efficient and effective air duct cleaner, the Brush Beast. 

Benefits of our air duct cleaner 

Higher RPM

  • By changing the rates per minute that the bristles are spinning, the cleaning process is able to be optimized. This ensures more debris can be dislodged quicker and easier without damaging the air ducts.   

90% increase in vacuum power

  • Our new air duct cleaner has two more motors added for vacuuming. By increasing the vacuum power, the job can get done quicker and more effectively. This saves you more time and ensures that more odors, allergens, and debris are removed.   

Bristles built for air ducts

  • These bristles are used to move the debris, dirt, and soot so the vacuum can more easily grab a hold of them. These bristles are able to do this all while not damaging the air duct like other, more traditional, air duct cleaning bristles. 

New filtering system

  • With a new and improved filtering system, less soot and allergens are able to escape when compared to traditional air duct cleaners. This improves the odor of the home and reduces allergens that are 0.3 microns and above. 

Lighter and more maneuverable

  • With a lighter and more maneuverable design, we are able to get in and out of the property more efficiently, saving you more time and getting your property back to normal quicker. 

Reasons to clean your air ducts

  • Odor build-up 
  • Allergen and irritants build-up
  • Rodents, infestation, and remains cleanup 
  • Debris build-up

Handling apartment water damage steps - who is responsible?

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

First actions to take for apartment water damage

  • Call your renters insurance and landlord to make them aware of the situation.
  • Take pictures for proof of damages quickly, their causes, and the timeline of damages.
  • Look into the lease agreement for the responsibility of belongings versus building and appliance damage to understand your responsibilities. 
  • Be proactive in making sure other damages do not occur by taking belongings out of the damaged or risk area and repairing what you can. Moving valued items lowers the claims amount and possible risk of damages, further reducing restoration time and insurance costs. Once you ensure no more damage can occur, you can take these items to a storage unit. By being proactive, you can further reduce the risk of your responsibility. Insurance and landlords can put you at fault for being negligent for allowing more water damages to occur when you could have prevented it. 
  • If you are responsible for the water damage, call a water damage restoration company to prevent further damage and get the apartment up to living conditions as quickly as possible. 
  • After everything is dry and repaired and ensure no mold is growing, you can move in your items.

Who is responsible for paying for apartment water damage

Responsibility for paying is based on fault and if they have insurance that covers the damages. Try to read the lease to understand what parts of the apartment the landlords say you are responsible for. In the lease, renters are usually responsible for personal belongings, and landlords are responsible for building and appliance damages. However, these can be overruled when negligence is extremely bad for one side. You can prove extreme negligence for neighbors and roommates. Still, it is even harder to prove which roommates are responsible for water damage originating from common areas, and responsibility may be split evenly.  

At the end of it, most responsibility is determined by the contract before moving in and then the compromise of all parties involved on who is responsible plus their insurers. Check below to see the causes and who most likely has to pay. These are common reasons for water damage in apartments and who is responsible for paying for them. These aren’t always right, and many more factors and investigation must go into each case. 

Landlord pays for these apartment water damages

  • Broken pipes
  • Leaking from the ceiling
  • AC unit leak
  • Malfunctioning washing machine 
  • Malfunctioning dishwasher
  • Leaking refrigerator

Renter pays for these apartment water damages

  • Leaving water running 
  • Overloaded washing machine
  • Misused washing machine 
  • Open window 
  • Clogged toilet 

Why SERVPRO for water damage in apartments 

  • Works with renters insurance 
  • Get your belongings dried, not replaced
  • Can clean clothes from mold and contaminated water without damaging them
  • 24/7 so you can clean up quickly before you get more problems 
  • Being local means we are most likely already handling other properties near you, making the process even quicker 
  • IICRC certified so the finished job will be up to standard