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ServiceMaster DSI | News & Tips

Animal Hoarders and Extreme Demand for Hoarding Cleanup in Indianapolis, IN

October 5th, 2017 · No Comments

animal hoarding

Hoarding has been a human condition for hundreds of years, but it has only recently been addressed as a mental illness in relation to compulsive disorders, addiction disorders, and dementia. Treating hoarding as a mental illness significantly decreases the dangers associated with the hoarder home. It may be an even more beneficial approach to animal hoarders. If you’re struggling with helping a loved one affected by hoarding tendencies, ServiceMaster DSI offers comprehensive hoarding cleanup in Indianapolis, IN.

Cleaning hoarder spaces can be a dangerous process without the right equipment and training. In many cases, a hoarder space contains biohazards and damaged structures or dangerous collections of items. Taking advantage of professional hoarding cleanup is helpful for all types of hoarding situations, but it’s especially important to call a professional like ServiceMaster DSI in cases of animal hoarding.

Animal Hoarding

In certain cases, the tendencies of the hoarder mind will fixate on animals we generally own as pets such as cats, dogs, birds, or rodents and allow those animals to roam free in the home. In some cases, the hoarder will even prevent their animals from leaving the building at all.

The problem with animal hoarding is that most hoarders cannot properly care for the large quantity of pets they own. In fact, this lack of finances, space, food, water, and health care for pets in animal hoarder homes has led the ASPCA to dedicate services to rescuing animals kept in hoarder homes.

Not only are conditions for animals in hoarder homes poor, they’re also unsanitary and unsafe for the people living in that home. Floors coated with animal waste, diseases spread between animals, fleas, parasites, and building damage from animals create an environment with extreme dangers of pathogens and other biohazards.

If you’re responsible for the cleanup of a building affected by animal hoarding, the safest, most effective course of action is to contact a professional. Our hoarding cleanup teams are trained in cleanup safety protocol and have access to state-of-the-art biohazard protection equipment and sanitization solutions.

Attempting cleanup of an animal hoarder space on your own could lead to incomplete cleaning results and personal injury. Take advantage of our cleanup services today. Contact ServiceMaster DSI at (844) 413-3130 for more information about hoarding cleanup in Indianapolis, IN, or to place a service request.

→ No Comments Tags: Safety ·

Safely Treating Crime Scenes and Car Accidents with Trauma Cleanup in Chicago, IL

September 11th, 2017 · No Comments

Accidents and crime scenes are morbid realities in Chicago, just as they are in any other city, town, or otherwise populated area. As much as people living in proximity builds a sense of support and community, it also breeds strife. From gang wars to car accidents, the urban landscape sees its fair share of gore. While those who live in areas where these events occur see the damage on the news each day, they don’t often see what happens when the news moves on from the scene. This means that many don’t consider the cleanup process. Fortunately, they don’t have to. ServiceMaster DSI provides comprehensive, large-scale trauma cleanup in Chicago, IL, for events with biohazardous or otherwise dangerous materials.

Because of the large population of Chicago—in combination with countless other variables—there are crime scenes and car accidents virtually every day.

Statistics

Each year, Illinois roads see around 700-800 car accidents each day. This adds up to over 250,000 accidents per year. Accumulated statistics show that these Illinois crashes, on average, kill around 900 people every year. Injuries involved in these accidents affect over 84,000 people yearly. Because Chicago makes up over 2.7 million of the 12.8 million population of Illinois, a significant number of the car accidents included in the average are within the metro limits.

In Chicago, like many other cities, car accidents are not the only cause of injury and death. This year alone, over 900 shootings were reported in Chicago limits. The total for the previous year surpassed 4,000, with a reported total of exactly 4,368. These shootings resulted often in death and injury, leaving behind a scene rife with pathogens and other biohazardous materials.

Despite the well-oiled system of public transportation in Chicago, many people and businesses still own and operate motor vehicles in the city, and still more cars are in use throughout surrounding suburban areas. Accidents happen every day, and Chicago residents need protection from the potentially hazardous materials left behind after each collision.

Similarly, crimes like shootings, homicides, and suicides are reported on the news each day. While these tragic events pose even bigger problems than the mess, it is still critical for any biohazardous or otherwise dangerous materials to be removed from the crime scene immediately to prevent further danger.

ServiceMaster DSI provides professional trauma cleanup for when dangerous situations get messy, including events like crimes, accidents, laboratory damage, hoarding, and more. For more information about our emergency large-scale trauma cleanup in Chicago, IL, contact us at (773) 770-4512 today.

→ No Comments Tags: Disaster Restoration · Safety ·

Firefighting Efforts Can Worsen Fire Damage in Kansas City, MO

August 16th, 2017 · No Comments

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Fire. It’s scary, lethal, and causes incredible damage to homes and businesses. From the time we’re young we’re taught about the dangers of fire and what to avoid. As adults in our homes, we install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. At our businesses, we invest in sprinkler systems and have escape routes planned for employees. Even with all this knowledge and preparedness, fires still ravage homes and businesses in Kansas City, MO, and comprehensive fire damage restoration is needed.

When a building is on fire, the firefighters responding to the scene are trained to do everything in their power to douse the flames and save the building. Unfortunately, some of those firefighting techniques can cause damage to the building in the process. The most common damage to a home or business are ventilation holes, which is a tactic used to create clear exits for smoke and heat so the firefighters can enter the building.  These ventilation holes will serve not only to let the firefighters into the building but also serve as an escape hatch for anyone that needs to get safely out of the building.  These large sections are made by opening the roof and floors in a multi-story building to allow the smoke and fire to ventilate vertically out of the building.

These ventilation holes play a critical part in the firefighting process because they allow clearer access, and they can save lives. However, when the fire is out and the smoke has cleared, these gaping holes pose a threat to the home as they allow access to the elements and vandals. ServiceMaster DSI can be on the scene quickly to provide board up services for ventilation holes as well as complete fire damage restoration services.

We also provide water damage restoration in the event the water used to put out the fire has damaged the home or business, as well as pack out services and full-service restoration.

Our restoration technicians are trained in post-disaster reconstruction, soot removal, and all other services necessary to return your home or business to its pre-loss condition. If you’re struggling with the after effects of a fire, contact us in Kansas City, MO, for fire damage restoration at 844-413-3130.

 

→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage Repair · Fire Damage Restoration ·

Drought-Causing Weather Patterns Increase the Need for Water Damage Restoration in Denver, CO

July 13th, 2017 · No Comments

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It’s common for Colorado to experience a drought or two for a certain period of time each summer, but the long drought that started off the spring and has worked its way with only small interruptions late into June might have a big effect on home and business owners. Because of the unusually high temperatures and extreme lack of rain, conditions have been ideal for wildfires and building fires alike. Sadly, this increase in fire damage goes hand-in-hand with an increased risk of water damage. During the drought season, you can count on ServiceMaster DSI for expert, comprehensive fire damage restoration and water damage restoration in Denver, CO.

While “drought” and “water damage” aren’t often conjoining topics of interest, summer droughts provide the heat and dryness perfect for unexpected fires inside and outside. This fire weather increases your risk of a building fire, and if that fire is put out by sprinklers and/or fire hoses, there’s a high chance you’ll have to deal with water damage in addition to smoke and burn damage.

A Dry Heat

The extreme drought has stuck around long enough to evaporate most of the moisture from the air and ground, leaving plants and other flammable materials across the Denver-Aurora metro area as great kindling for an unwanted fire. The abnormally high temperatures simply increase the risk of large scale fire damage and water damage.

Wildfires burning around the metro area rarely reach urban locations, but with drought conditions at a peak, the distance between wildfires and buildings can quickly diminish in high winds. Lawns and parks can be starting locations of fires that may burn large scale areas of urban neighborhoods and commercial districts.

The Denver Fire Department and the courageous people who fight wildfires are highly trained professionals, and they do a wonderful job of putting out flames and protecting the city. However, with each fire quelled, the aftermath remains. Fire damage and water damage are virtually inevitable at the site of each building fire, and cleanup can be difficult without help.

This drought season, be prepared for the possibility of a fire in your home or business, and remember to call ServiceMaster DSI for comprehensive large scale fire damage restoration and water damage restoration in Denver, CO. For more information, or to place a service request, please contact us at (844) 413-3130 today.

→ No Comments Tags: Water Damage · Water Damage Restoration ·

June 30th, 2017 · No Comments

Fourth of July Fire Prevention Tips from ServiceMaster DSI

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. It’s time to celebrate America’s independence and make memories for the future. Fourth of July, however, also brings fires to homes and businesses due to fireworks, fire pits/campfires, grilling, and other fire related celebrations. Here at ServiceMaster DSI, a fire restoration company, we see multiple residential/commercial fires come in around the Fourth of July. So, we want to offer some helpful tips that could help everyone have a happy and safe Independence Day.

Firework Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, fireworks cause an average of at least 18,500 reported fires per year. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals but if you are going to do your own display, below are a few firework safety tips to reduce fire damage to your home or business.

  • Always read cautionary labels and always follow firework instructions before igniting.
  • Always use fireworks outside in an open area.
    • Never light fireworks inside including a garage.
  • Only light one firework at a time and never relight a “dud” firework.
    • If a firework does not work, soak it in a bucket of water before throwing it away.
  • Make sure the person lighting the fireworks is a responsible adult.
    • Never be under the influence of alcohol and light fireworks.
    • Never give children fireworks.

Fire Pit/Campfire Safety

Often on the Fourth of July, Americans in the Midwest enjoy camping or sitting around a fire with their friends and family. Read the precautionary tips below to make sure your fire doesn’t turn into fire damage to your property.

  • Make sure your fire has an eight to ten foot radius from any flammable items including, property, tents, chairs, garages, aerosol cans, or anything that catches on fire.
  • If not using a pit from a store, make sure to boarder your fire by surrounding it with rocks, bricks or a metal circle. This will prevent your fire from growing.
  • Make sure there are no tree branches or brush hanging close above your fire.
  • Never operate a fire pit in a building or partially enclosed place.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher, water bucket or hose nearby in case a fire does get out of control.

Grilling Safety

Having a Fourth of July Cookout can be a lot of fun but be sure to read these grilling tips below so your fun doesn’t turn into the worst day of your life.

  • Grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Keep your grill at least eight to ten feet away from anything flammable such as your home/business, deck railings, awnings, tree branches, etc.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always clean your grill. Grease and fat can build up on your grill and cause a fire.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher, water bucket or hose nearby in case a fire does get out of control.

If you or someone you know has experienced a fire during Independence Day, call ServiceMaster DSI, the fire recovery experts at 844-413-3130. ServiceMaster DSI is open 24/365/7 even on the Fourth of July for any emergency disaster response.

→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage · Fire Damage Restoration · Fourth of July Safety Tips · Safety ·

House Fires During Grilling Season and Who to Call for Fire Damage Restoration in Indianapolis, IN

June 13th, 2017 · No Comments

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As warmer weather settles in and summer quickly approaches, spending time outdoors becomes an attractive option. For many households, this involves making the most of outdoor cooking opportunities. Grilling outdoors on a charcoal or propane grill, or using fires and outside cookware, is a great way to bring depths of flavor to a meal. With all the fun and good food that outdoor cooking offers comes an increase in the variety of ways an unwanted fire could start. This increased risk of fire puts your home in danger more than any other time of year. If you experience a grilling-related house fire this summer, ServiceMaster DSI offers comprehensive large-loss fire damage restoration in Indianapolis, IN.

Because outdoor cooking varies from household to household, there are many ways the danger of house fires can be increased:

  • Grease flare ups are the most common cause of fires during outdoor cooking sessions. Fats dripping from foods or old grease on a dirty grill can quickly and violently ignite, spreading the fire to nearby flammable objects like decking, buildings, or even grass, clothing, and hair. Unexpected grease flare ups can really ruin a dinner, but they can also lead to severe building damage caused by flames spreading to your home
  • Charcoal spills are another problem with charcoal grills. While it seems almost impossible for hot coals to escape the grill, there are a number of reasons why it may happen. For example, old or damaged grills might have small cracks along the bottom where sparks and hot pieces of charcoal may fall. Charcoal grills are also more lightweight than propane grills and can be knocked over more easily, spilling red-hot charcoals over your lawn, patio, or deck
  • Leaks in your propane grill pose a very dangerous situation when it comes to outdoor cooking. Whether the valve has a small leak or the gas line or burner assemblies are cracked, any leak creates a situation of poor grill integrity. These leaks can lead to unwanted flames that can ignite nearby structures
  • Flammable materials too close to the grill is another common cause of house fires when it comes to outdoor cooking. Loose clothing, towels, long hair, pet tails, tree branches, and structures are all flammable objects often close to grills that could potentially ignite. Unfortunately, many grills are also close to houses, and that proximity further increases the dangers of a house fire

If you experience large-scale damage this summer from outdoor cooking or any other cause of fire, ServiceMaster DSI can give you a full recovery with our professional fire damage restoration in Indianapolis, IN. Contact us at (317) 559-2231 today for more information.

→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage · Fire Damage Repair · Fire Damage Restoration ·

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for Homeowners

May 9th, 2017 · No Comments

attaching plywood to windows

For the third day of Hurricane Preparedness Week, ServiceMaster DSI created a hurricane preparedness checklist for homeowners.

Be Educated

  • Stay informed with your local media
    • Monitor weather reports and watch for incoming tropical storms.
  • Educate yourself on hurricanes and the damage they can do. Read about hurricane categories here.
  • Know where your gas/propane and water shut-off valves are located. If a hurricane hits and if you have a leak, turning these valves off could be the difference between saving your home and having to rebuild.

Protect Your Family       

  • Create an emergency supply kit that includes:
    • A week’s supply of water and food per person
    • Cash
    • Battery operated radio
    • Tools
    • First aid kit
    • Flashlights
    • Blankets
  • Fill your chainsaw with gas and test it. If you do not have a chainsaw, consider buying one. You may need to cut down trees to get to safety.
  • Create, plan and practice an evacuation route for you and your family members.
    • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank in case you need to evacuate.
      • Make sure you have a car charger for your cell phone.
    • Put all important documents and/or any medications in waterproof/fireproof containers including:
      • Social security cards
      • Birth certificates
      • Passports
      • Insurance policies
      • Titles to Cars
      • Mortgages
      • Wills

Protect Your Pets

  • Get your pet an ID Tag
  • Buy leash and carriers to keep your animals with you if a disaster occurs. They may run off if a hurricane hits.
  • Store pet food in your emergency supply kit 

Protect Your Home

  • Have a roof inspection to make sure your roof is sealed tight.
  • Consider purchasing a generator. If you already have one, test it to make sure it is working properly.
  • Cut down any loose shrubbery that could fall and hit your home.
  • Bring in any lawn and garden furnishings or equipment. High winds could pick up these items and hit your house with them.
    • Exception: If you have a gas grill, do not bring the tank inside. Try to anchor or store the tank outside where high winds will not pick it up.
  • Consider buying flood/hurricane insurance. If you have flood/hurricane insurance, review your policy and deductibles.
    • Take photos of your home before a disaster hits so you know exactly what needs to be replaced and how much your contents are worth.
  • Close and board up windows, doors and garage door.
  • Sandbag all entrances and openings to your home.

Recovering from a hurricane can be tough but the experts at ServiceMaster DSI have the knowledge and expertise to restore your home. If you are in need of hurricane damage cleanup, give us a call at 844-413-3130.

→ No Comments Tags: Disaster Restoration · Hurricane · Hurricane Preparedness Week ·

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for Businesses

May 8th, 2017 · No Comments

For Hurricane Preparedness Week, ServiceMaster DSI has put together a Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for Businesses.

Before a Hurricane

  • Know your hurricane risk.
  • Stay informed with your local media.
    • Monitor weather reports and watch for incoming tropical storms
  • Know the different hurricane categories and how much damage it could cause to your business. Read about hurricane categories here. 
  • Know your evacuation routes.
  • Evaluate your contingency plan, make sure it is up-to-date, and practice it. (Contact your ServiceMaster DSI Account Manager at 844-413-3130, if you need a SRM Disaster Recovery plan).
  • Develop a crisis communications plan for your employees, customers and vendors.
  • Review and understand your company’s hurricane insurance coverage and deductibles.
  • Back-up your company’s data and records
    • Test your recovery process. Don’t just assume the backup is working.
    • Identify a safe storage area within the facility where records can be relocated.
    • Make sure other employees in your company know how to recover the back-up data.
  • Mark and know where your shut-off valves are. Contact your ServiceMaster DSI Account Manager at 844-413-3130, if you need a SMDSI Water Shut-Off Valve Tag).
  • Identify emergency power requirements and determine if generator is available.
  • Determine personnel responsibility for maintaining the property and assign essential tasks like:
    • Storing lightweight, loose items that may be blown around in the wind
    • Checking security and flood lighting
    • Turn on generator and any emergency power systems
    • Shut-off valves, if needed.
  • Verifying that communications equipment is functioning properly
  • Build or restock an emergency supplies kit like:
    • First-aid kit
    • Battery operated radio and/or TV
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Tools to turn off shut-off valves
    • One flashlight per person working during the hurricane
    • Extra batteries
    • Food and water for staff assigned to maintain the facility during the hurricane
  • Provide employees with hurricane preparedness information.

Reduce the Risk of Damage to Your Property

  • Unplug small appliances and equipment. Turn off all electricity at the main circuit breaker including air conditioning units.
  • Board up all windows and doors.
  • Sandbag any entrances and the space around your building.
  • Cut down any loose shrubbery that could hit your building during the hurricane
  • Store files, furniture and equipment away from windows and doors.

Sometimes even if you have prepared, your business lies directly in the path of the storm and damage may be unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. ServiceMaster DSI can help you quickly recover and quickly rebuild your commercial operations to get your business back on track. Give us a call at 844-413-3130 for any commercial restoration needs.

→ No Comments Tags: Commercial Restoration · Hurricane ·

Recovering from Spring Flooding and Storm Damage with Professional Disaster Restoration in Chicago, IL

May 8th, 2017 · No Comments

Streets and road invaded by mud during a flood

April may have passed, but springtime rain showers are nowhere near an end. For the next month, high humidity and precipitation will continually sweep across the Midwest, soaking topsoil and raising water levels in rivers, lakes, and streams. In humid continental climates like the Midwestern U.S., spring is the time of year with the highest risk of flooding and water damage. If your home or business experiences large scale water damage from soggy weather this spring, ServiceMaster DSI provides comprehensive disaster restoration in Chicago, IL.

Chicago receives precipitation year round, but spring is the wettest season. Snow is a possibility, even into May, and frequent rains spread from March until June. Strong thunderstorms are also common during Chicago springs, blasting the city with high winds, damaging hail, and heavy rains.

On average, monthly spring and summer rainfall in Chicago reaches 4 inches, approximately 1 inch higher than fall and precipitation, and 3 inches higher than winter precipitation. This rapid accumulation of precipitation puts buildings at risk of water damage from the following:

  • Basement flooding from groundwater
  • Flooded crawlspaces from leaky roofs
  • Structure flooding from clogged gutters and leaky roofs
  • Location-based flash flooding causing severe property damage
  • Pooling water around foundations
  • Rains causing saturated and swollen lumber
  • Exposure to water and humidity causing material corrosion

Lake-effect weather also poses significant problems in the spring. With such a close proximity to Lake Michigan, the contrasting cold lake waters and warm spring air create a new source of weather patterns from high winds and thunderstorms to even more rain. Storm damage from lake-effect rains and inclement spring weather adds to the increased risk of large-scale water damage in and around Chicago, IL, during the spring.

From home to business, no building is completely safe from the potential of water damage. If you’re struggling with water damage or other disaster circumstances, you can count on ServiceMaster DSI for the best in professional recovery services. Our expert damage restoration technicians are trained and equipped to remediate all damage and return homes and businesses to pre-loss conditions.

For more information about our comprehensive disaster restoration in Chicago, IL, contact ServiceMaster DSI at (844) 413-3130 today.

→ No Comments Tags: Disaster Restoration · Water Damage Restoration ·

Understanding the Various Hurricane Categories and What Kind of Damage They Can Do To Your Property

May 7th, 2017 · No Comments

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The National Weather Service Agency deems May 7 – 13th as Hurricane Preparedness Week. As a national leader in hurricane restoration, ServiceMaster DSI has seen first-hand what a hurricane can do to a family, a home, and/or a business. This is why ServiceMaster DSI wants to be a “force of nature” and remind all of their friends, family and customers to be ready for a hurricane or tropical storm.

Any tropical disturbance making landfall with rain and wind can be a devastating experience. The first step to being prepared is understanding the various types of tropical systems and what kind of damage it can do to your property.

All tropical weather formations are rated based on the storm’s sustained winds and can change classifications by gaining or losing wind strength throughout the tropical disturbance’s life cycle. The higher the tropical system is rated, the more property damage it can cause if it makes landfall.

Tropical Depression: A tropical depression is a tropical weather system with winds from 23-38 mph. A tropical depression can cause light flooding and damage to home or businesses.

Tropical Storm: A tropical storm is a low-pressure weather system with winds from 39-74 mph. Minimal damage can occur such as shrubbery, signs and fences could hit your home and damage it. Once winds reach 74 mph, it is called a hurricane.

A hurricane can grow from a tropical storm to a hurricane classification quickly. Hurricanes are rated by a 1-5 scale from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

USE SCALE GRAPHIC-01

Category 1 Hurricane: Category 1 Hurricane is winds from 74-95 mph. Minor damage and flooding can occur especially in restaurants/shops on a pier and mobile homes.

Category 2 Hurricane: Category 2 hurricane is winds from 96 – 110 mph. Moderate damage can occur including door and window damage to homes and businesses.

Category 3 Hurricane: A major hurricane is any hurricane classified as a Category 3 or higher. A category 3 hurricane has winds up to 130 mph. Excessive property damage can occur.

Category 4 Hurricane: A category 4 hurricane is a hurricane having winds from 131 – 155 mph. Extreme property damage and flooding can occur from a Category 4 Hurricane.

Category 5 Hurricane: The highest category hurricane, category 5, consists of winds from 156 and up. Catastrophic damage can occur to your property if a Category 5 hurricane hits landfall such as, major flooding, complete roof failure, buildings and mobile homes being blown down and completely destroyed.

Time is of the essence if your property has been damaged by one of these tropical disturbances. You will want to call a board-up and mitigation team that you can trust to get your property restored. ServiceMaster DSI has been restoring homes and businesses after hurricanes for over 30 years and we will do whatever it takes to respond immediately, manage your recovery efficiently, and get your home or business restored fast. If you are in need of hurricane damage cleanup, give us a call at 844-413-3130.

Looking for more hurricane preparedness tips? In honor of Hurricane Preparedness Week, ServiceMaster DSI will be posting hurricane tips all week long. We urge you to follow us on social media all this week for ways to stay ahead of the tropical storms.

 

→ No Comments Tags: Disaster Restoration · Hurricane ·