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Keep Autumn Fire Safety in Mind | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

a small campfire burning bright in the dark night Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.

Y’all feel it? The sweltering summer heat and dripping-wet humidity are finally backing off, leaves are showing their colors, and there are football games popping up everywhere.

Yes, everything is in place for the triumphant return of fall. Final warm-day plans are in place, and orange and brown decorations are going up everywhere.

As you welcome in the mild, crisp autumn air, let fire safety for the new season be part of your plans as well.

Campfire Safety

Fall may be the best time of year for camping. You’ll likely start a fire for nighttime warmth or roasting s’mores, but be sure that you both build and extinguish it safely.

Make sure any structures, tents or vehicles are at least 25 feet away. Only light your kindling with a normal lighter or matches; never employ the use of kerosene or lighter fluid to start or accelerate your fire. Then you can safely build the rest of your fire.

Never leave your fire to burn by itself while you’re out hiking, and extinguish it completely before you break camp by dousing it repeatedly until there are no embers remaining.

Leaf Burning

By now, your front yard is likely covered with dead leaves, and you want those gone for the sake of your grass. You have a few options—have them hauled away, mulch or compost them, or burn them.

If you opt to burn your trimmings and leaves, be sure you first acquire a permit from Georgia Forestry, and alert your local fire station that you’ll be burning.

Also, be aware that it’s illegal and hazardous to burn anything like household garbage, or anything inorganic.

If you have a metal barrel in which to burn your leaves, that’s best. And make sure your fire is safely away (50 feet or more) from your home or any flammable structures.


We’ll likely get into more detail on this later, but as you decorate, keep fire safety in mind.

Hanging decorations and cobwebs during the season of pumpkin-scented candles and bonfires can be more dangerous than you realize, especially if you’re hosting spooky-season parties with adult beverages involved.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

Preparing for Summer Storms | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike in a dark stormy sky If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is on the line, ready to make things right.

Summer is a most enjoyable season. It instantly conjures images of sunflowers in bloom, warm evenings at the ballpark cheering on the Stripers and maybe even a vacation to the coast somewhere. The days are long, the lemonade is cold and the sun is close.

But why does it perpetually seem like there’s a 30% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon?

If you’ve noticed storms are often predicted in the summertime, it’s not just you. Our area averages about 10 rainy days per month, during the summer, and the warm weather combines with the sticky southern moisture to turn those rainy days into stormy ones.

Be Storm-Alert

Storms are our most common weather danger, but that doesn’t mean we should ever treat them lightly. Consult local forecasts or weather apps for accurate forecasts and alerts. An NOAA Weather radio can be a great help as well, because it focuses solely on weather and can keep you informed even if a storm knocks out your power.

Flooding can be difficult to predict, particularly flash flooding, but if an alert is issued, you should reexamine any travel plans you may have, or get home if you’re on the road. If heavy winds are forecast, look around the yard and find objects you may need to move so they don’t get blown away or washed down the street.

Yes, preparing for a storm is mundane, and kind of a chore, but don’t ignore it. Storm-related incidents cause dozens of deaths every year, and an ounce of prevention could prevent a high percentage of them.

Be Storm-Safe

During a storm, be inside if at all possible. This gives you the most protection from lightning and wind. Stay indoors until rain has stopped and you haven’t heard thunder for a half hour—this indicates that the storm has moved far enough away that lightning is no longer a threat.

Tubs and showers are a no-no during a storm, as the water and metal conduct electricity and could harm you should lightning strike. Windows can shatter in heavy storms as well, so sit somewhere out of the way.

Stock up your emergency kit with water, food, medication and other items in case an extended power outage occurs or circumstances dictate evacuation.

Flood waters are dangerous in many ways and should be avoided at all costs. They can carry people and cars away, conceal washed-out roads and conduct electricity from downed power lines. On top of that, they can be full of gasoline and harmful chemicals. Just stay away.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.

When Lightning Strikes - SERVPRO of Gwinnett Co. SE&SW

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

The damage from thunderstorms is not always limited to high winds and flooding. Because of the nature of thunderstorms, even those without rain have the potential for lightning strikes, which can be dangerous or deadly.

Storms always carry an electrical charge, meaning there is always a chance they will produce lightning. Lightning bolts are dangerous to humans and objects in their path, as a lightning bolt can reach 500,000 degrees. Knowing the basics of lightning and the hazards it can cause is key to staying safe.

The Basics of Lightning

We’ve discussed that all thunderstorms carry an electrical charge, and a lightning bolt is just a physical manifestation of this electricity, which can strike the ground or across the clouds.

If the lightning does head toward the ground, it will typically seek an object to strike as the air is a poor conductor. If this object happens to be a building, it will make use of the water pipes and electrical wiring to travel toward the ground.

The Basics of Lightning Damage

It is always important to seek shelter if there is lightning imminent. Though the [damages that lightning can cause to a home] are frightening, they are much less dangerous than the damage lightning can cause to a human. If lightning strikes a home it can…

…start fires. Lightning poses a high risk of fire when it strikes a building because it reaches such high temperatures. It can ignite building materials on impact, in addition to causing damage to electrical wiring, which can start a fire later on.

…damage appliances. As lightning routes itself through a home’s electrical wiring, it can transfer its charge along the way. Any electrical appliance not connected to a surge protector is at risk if lightning strikes the home.

…send shockwaves through the home. Shock waves in the clouds are known as thunder, but shock waves on the ground can cause serious damage. These waves travel with lightning and can shatter glass, explode brick and damage a home’s structure with their force.

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.

Gwinnett Property Owners Can Trust SERVPRO | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

damaged furniture and other home items sitting outside of red brick house When you are dealing with any damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is your local restoration expert.

Property ownership, whether it be a home or a business, is rife with little fires that have to be put out—that’s part of the job. And as long as those fires remain metaphorical, you should be equipped to handle them.

But when a real fire or other disaster disrupts your status quo, you’re going to need someone outside of your expertise to step in and correct the situation.

That’s when you need us. SERVPRO is the nationwide leader in just this kind of predicament, and there are a hundred reasons why you’re best off with us.

Let’s talk about a few.

We’re Always Ready and Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’ll be onsite to take the reins of your emergency cleanup right away, because we have a team of elite professionals right here in Gwinnett on alert 24 hours a day.

We know every minute wasted means more aggressive mold growth, increased smoke damage or deeper water damage. A speedy response makes all the difference, and the presence of a SERVPRO franchise right here in Gwinnett County means you have a flexible, at-the-ready local team paired with the power and resources of a robust national network.

We’re Trained to Handle Residential and Commercial Services

No home or business is impervious—storms damage commercial and residential property alike. But we’ve spent the last half century crafting solutions to tackle disasters of all shapes and sizes, and we’ve got the right fix for whatever may come up in your home or business.

We’ll Make It "Like it never even happened."

It takes a special commitment to do intensive work and yet leave no scars behind, and that’s exactly what you can expect when we come in to help. We’ll restore your property to its original state or better, and leave no traces that remediation has been done.

We Offer the Services You Need in a Changing World

Disease prevention is more important than ever, and we offer certified sanitation solutions to squash the spread and risk of viruses and pathogens of all kinds. Your space gets clean as a whistle, and your patrons walk in with peace of mind.

Regardless of why you need cleanup or disaster recovery, SERVPRO has the tools, the technicians and the training to get your situation under control. When you’re ready to get help from the best, get in touch with SERVPRO.

Your Yard Can Protect Your House From Wildfire | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

a gated long brown pebble driveway tucked next to a large brick home If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is ready and able to repair any damage.

Wildfire is a homeowner’s fever dream—the helplessness of watching your home go up against a raging fire. Thankfully you live in Georgia, where that kind of stuff doesn’t happen, right?

Actually, property damage caused by wildfire is a more common occurrence than you may realize. Wildfires happen all over—and with their rate of acceleration and the abundance of fuel for them to devour, it’s a wonder we are ever able to stop them at all.

But we are not totally helpless; there are a few things we can do, other than simply being more careful, to stop the spread of wildfires.

Today we’re learning about “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

See, NASA has these missiles—no, wait, that’s not it; let’s try again. “Defensible space” is a buffer area with which you can surround your home.

By removing potential fuel like dead trees and leaves, adding hardscape and gravel to the immediate areas around your home, and using purposeful planting and pruning practices, you can decrease the odds that your home will be swallowed up.

Think of defensible space as a protective barrier (aka defense), designed to choke out a fire’s fuel sources as it comes near to your home. Additionally, it gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it breaks through your home’s perimeter.

Defensible space is not required by law in Georgia, but it’s a good fire safety practice to consider all the same.

Why Defensible Space Matters

You may think of wildfires as a California problem, but they can and do happen everywhere in the United States. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

Even if you remove California’s astounding 10,000+ fires from that number, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was still almost 1,000. And it’s not over—the first six months of 2021 have seen a 25% increase in wildfire occurrence over last year.

Here in Georgia we suffered 1,699 wildfires in 2020, losing nearly 5,700 acres of land to the blazes.

We should take advantage of anything that makes wildfires less likely to impact our homes. Defensible space is just one more way we can protect our property.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

A Clean That Puts Returning Customers at Ease | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, get in touch with the SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South team.

As recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues, families and communities are hoping that “normal” life is on its way back in full, and business owners are hopeful for a full return to economic recovery as well.

But a new challenge for business owners is here: How can you ensure that your business is clean, safe and sanitized, and how can you let returning employees and customers know they’re safe at the same time?

Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives you both. We’ll sanitize your building with a custom solution that’s proven effective against everything from MRSA to anthrax,, and equip you with ways to let your customers know before they ever walk through the door that their health is a priority.

It’s all possible because of the three C’s:

Consult. Your business is uniquely situated, and we know that means it has sanitation and cleaning needs that other area businesses may not have. We’ll work with you to determine the best set of options for you. It helps that SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is locally owned and operated, so we are already acquainted with many of the intricacies of the greater Atlanta area.

Clean. Once we settle on a sanitation plan, we’ll be hard at work making sure your building is next-level clean. We’ll disinfect your business with exclusive, hospital-grade cleaning methods no one else can offer, and you’ll end up with an extreme level of sanitation that meets or exceeds current CDC standards, is NSF-approved for food safety and is EPA-tested for use around children, elderly individuals and pets. And a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program goes past COVID-19 protection—this clean will fight the germs that cause any number of contagious diseases and virus, so your customers and employees can breathe easy and relax inside your store or office.

Certify. Now you can share your good news with everyone by displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield in your front window, on your door, your website and more. This lets returning customers and potential passers-by know that you care about them, because you’ve gone to lengths many business owners haven’t to care for their health and safety.

If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.

Severe Storm Preparedness

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

  • A severe storm is a common occurrence, but should always be revered as a possible threat. Any storm has the potential to cause significant damage or pose a threat to unprotected people. Make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your household safe. 
  • Knowing the difference between a watch and warning, rather it be a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Be sure to have emergency supplies stored near by and having a way to tune into emergency broadcasts to be as prepared as possible.

Be Aware of What Watches and Warnings Mean

When severe weather is on the way, local officials will generally issue watches and warnings to keep the public informed about the current conditions, so it is important to know what they mean. A storm watch is issued if conditions are particularly favorable for a storm to develop, but one has yet to occur in the area.

A storm warning is more serious, as it means storms have been spotted on the ground and are a threat to the area. During a storm watch, you can simply stay alert, but during a storm warning, you should take cover immediately

Have Ample Emergency Supplies Stored

If a storm is nearby, it is important to seek shelter and stay put until the threat passes—which is why having everything you need at home is so highly recommended. Be sure you have enough food and water packed for everyone in your family in case utilities go out, as well as flashlights and extra batteries so you have a light source. You should also have a “safe zone” in the home—somewhere you can go that is sheltered from external walls as much as possible where you can wait out the worst of the storm.

Have Multiple Ways to Tune Into Emergency Broadcasts

While most of us rely on our smartphones to get information about the weather, this method can have some drawbacks and is not reliable during severe weather. Because cell reception can be spotty during severe storms and electricity is often unreliable, make sure you have multiple ways to get alerts that do not depend on the traditional power grid. A non-electric weather radio powered by batteries or manually is often a good solution for this.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us at 770-448-5782. 

A New Record for Severe Storms | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

a large yellow warning sign stating that there is stormy weather ahead When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South to start the restoration process.

2020 was a taxing, even devastating year for many. And it wasn’t only because of COVID-19: In addition to being a year that brought a global pandemic and a months-long national quarantine, 2020 also set a new record for extreme weather in the U.S.

In fact, 2020 saw more weather disasters than any previous year on record.

The National Weather Service classifies a weather event as a disaster once it causes a billion dollars in damages. 2020 saw 22 such events in the United States, plus many other damaging that didn’t reach that financial standard.

In fact, for only the second time ever, the NWS ran through its complete list of planned storm names for the year and had to borrow from the Greek alphabet to be able to keep up—that’s how we ended up with Tropical Storm Zeta, which took out trees and power in Gwinnett County as it dumped flood-level rains on us in October.

Not Just Hurricanes

One might assume hurricanes are the big ticket item when it comes to storm damage, and they certainly are devastating. But actually, the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes: of the 22 major events in 2020, 14 of them were thunderstorms and cyclone cells.

For some perspective, here’s a look at the damage a single storm system can cause: In August 2020, a normal-looking line of storms in eastern Nebraska suddenly ramped up its intensity and developed into a disastrous derecho (which is a storm similar to a tornado, but brandishing razor-sharp straight-line winds instead of circular gusts). The brutal storm cut through over 10 million acres of Nebraska’s corn fields—that’s almost 50% of the state’s essential corn crop, and over 11% of the entire country’s corn production, all put in jeopardy by a single storm.

Not Just 2020

One would like to think 2020 was an abnormal year, a one-off occurrence that happened to set a new record. But in each year of the last decade, the NWS has registered at least eight billion-dollar disasters. 2018 and 2019 combined for $136 billion in total damages, and 2017 set a record $300 billion in damage costs.

The bottom line is that storms happen everywhere, and they happen year-round, so it pays for every home and business owner to take proper care when storms called for. But should those precautions prove insufficient in an overpowering weather disaster, remember that SERVPRO is right here with 247 emergency support.

When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.

Fireworks during Summer Holidays

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Fireworks are a great way to help celebrate the summer holidays. Keep these safety tips in mind before lighting up your celebration. Remember fireworks injure 10,000 people per year, so keep your family safe.

  • Always have adult supervision
  • Keep fireworks away from children. Sparklers can burn up to 1200 degrees
  • Always wear eye protection
  • Never light fireworks indoor or near grassy areas
  • Obey local laws regarding fireworks
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix
  • Follow label instructions
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Always have an bucket or water or hose near by
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Light one firework at a time
  • Never attempt to re-light a firework
  • Never have any portion of your body over the firework
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Buy only fireworks from a legal source
  • Keep your pets indoors and away from fireworks

Unfortunately, accidents happen. In case of fire or water damage call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County SE & SW at 770-448-5782. We are available 24/7 to help!

Grill Safely This Spring & Summer | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South to learn more.

Spring gives us a fresh invitation to life. Cold weather is behind us, days are growing long and the weather is mild.

Kids are anticipating school’s end, vacations are being planned and we’re all itching for some outdoor activity before summer swelters take over.

Spring also begs us to break out the grill and get cooking. Whether it’s a cookout or a reunion, a gender reveal or a graduation celebration, we’ll find nearly any excuse to grill some chicken wings, burgers or steaks.

But this increase in outdoor activity also portends a rise in accidental fires. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. So before you get fully into your backyard activities, let’s look at a few causes of backyard blazes you can take care of this season.

The grill. The combination of flame, heat, grease and gas makes grills a prime suspect for backyard fires, and rightfully so. Here’s a quick checklist for safe grilling: Make sure the grill is in good working order, with no leaks or rust holes, and keep it away from anything flammable (including the house). And don’t forget how important it is to keep your grill and its components clean. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. Conversations and marshmallows abound around the fire pit, and everyone loves to spend a cool evening at the social center of the backyard. But make sure you’re operating it safely; you’re literally hosting an open fire. Use a grill grate, and avoid adding leaves or pine needles to the fire, as they create embers that are easily carried by a gust of wind into the yard or toward the house. And use a bucket of water as a safety measure, allowing you to douse any errant flames and safely, slowly, extinguish the fire when the night is over. Make sure everything is cool to the touch before you go.

Chimneys and dryer vents. While fire safety is on your mind, clean the ash and soot from your chimney to avoid flammable situations in the fall, and check your dryer’s vent pipe to make sure there’s not built-up lint in there waiting to be ignited.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.