Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup
Biohazard symbol from the CDC
The SERVPRO team is well known in the Green Bay area for our work with fire, water and mold damage restoration, but our technicians’ skills go well beyond those subjects. Did you know they’re trained to handle biohazard, crime scene and vandalism cleanup as well?
Hazards like biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health risks to people and animals. If you experience an issue with these kinds of contaminants, you can put yourself in danger trying to handle the cleanup on your own.
SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely, efficiently and effectively remove these biohazardous substances. They have the necessary equipment and cleaning products to ensure your home or business will be clean and safe once more.
It’s important to note, SERVPRO teams are trained to meet all OSHA, EPA, state and local health regulations.
A few examples of the biohazards our technicians can take care of include:
- Bloodborne Pathogens – Techs are trained to remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other pathogenic substances that may result from accidents, trauma, crimes or deaths. The technicians will thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize following any such incident.
- Methamphetamine (Meth) Labs – The chemicals that go into the meth making process can be volatile and dangerous. Such chemicals are often left behind after a meth lab is found. SERVPRO professionals follow state and federal guidelines to properly clean these up.
- Crime Scene Residues – Our techs are able to clean up anything from fingerprint power to tear gas and pepper spray residues, ensuring safety and cleanliness.
- Vandalism – SERVPRO’s team can clean up vandalism like graffiti.
The technicians are not limited to those four categories, some more biohazard incidents they’re prepared to handle include:
- Sewage Backups
- Animal Waste
- Certain Chemical Spills
- Black Water Intrusions
SERVPRO of West Brown County is here for any home or business owner with biohazard, crime scene or vandalism cleanup. Simply give us a call, any time day or night, at 920-434-8224.
Summer Safety for Hot Cars
Graphic from NHTSA
Our final installment in this early summer safety series with Jason Weber is all about hot cars. The bottom line of this blog? Do not leave children or pets in a car when the weather is warm.
As a reminder, Jason Weber is the Vice President of the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association. He shot a brief video with SERVPRO of East Brown County recently, just reminding people that it is extremely dangerous to leave ANYONE in a hot car, even for a few minutes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 744 children have died in hot cars since 1998. The NHTSA says about 3 in 10 heat stroke deaths happen when children gain access to unlocked cars on hot days.
So, it’s a good idea for parents and caregivers to always keep their cars locked to ensure children don’t climb inside and get locked in. The NHTSA also recommends parents with children in car seats take a stuffed animal along for car rides, leaving it on the front passenger seat as a reminder there is someone in the car seat in the back. Always check to make sure everyone is out of the car!
Weber says even if you’re only planning a quick stop, take your child or pet inside. The temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes. On days that are around 60 degrees, the temperature inside a car can reach above 110 degrees. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Even though the Green Bay area is known as the “Frozen Tundra,” our summers can get very hot and humid. So, please make sure you children and pets are safe when it comes to hot cars!
Fire Safety for Four-Legged Family Members
Boo, the SERVPRO of West Brown County office dog
We at SERVPRO of West Brown County consider our pets to be part of our families. We suspect most pet owners feel the same way. So, it’s important to consider your four-legged friends when planning for emergency situations. Top among those emergencies are house fires.
According to the United States Fire Administration, about 500,000 pets are affected by fires each year.
The Red Cross says the easiest and most important way you can protect your pets is by including them in your fire plans. That means practicing your escape routes with your pets and training them to come when you call.
As important as our furry friends are, however, you should NEVER waste time during a fire to go looking for your pets. Do NOT put your life or your families lives at risk.
Luckily, there is more you can do to ensure your pets’ safety. You can help firefighters find them by putting a pet alert cling in your front window with the accurate number and types of pets you have written on it. Your local fire department likely has these clings available.
You can also make sure to keep any crated pets close to the door to help firefighters find them right away. In addition, keeping leashes or carriers near the door can help too.
Aside from planning for your pets, the Red Cross says you should also make sure to keep your four-legged friends from STARTING fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 1,000 pets are responsible for starting house fires each year.
The Red Cross recommends you follow these steps to help prevent a similar situation in your home:
- Keep pets away from open flames like candles or fireplaces. Cats and dog tails can easily knock over lit candles.
- Invest in flameless candles or air fresheners.
- Take knobs off the stove when you’re out of the home.
- Block pets, particularly young pets, from any possible fire-starting materials with crates or baby gates.
We know how much you love your pets. So never underestimate how important it is to make family plans for emergencies and include the furballs in those plans.
And should fire damage ever strike your home, we are here to help you recover. You can call us, day or night, at 920-434-8224.
Explaining the ERP: Emergency Readiness Profile
It’s estimated 50% of businesses that are hit with a disaster never reopen. And you can never predict when or where a disaster will strike. That’s why preparing for the worst can be such a valuable step to take.
One of the services our marketing team provides can help you prepare your business for the worst. That service is called an “Emergency Readiness Profile, or ERP.” It’s FREE and doesn’t take much of your time.
The goal of the ERP is to compile a long list of information that you will need following a disaster like, let’s say, a tornado that damages your business and causes flooding. The information compiled includes emergency phone numbers to call, locations in the building to turn off (or on) water and electrical supplies and steps to take to start cleaning up the damage. The profile also includes photos that go along with the information showing exact locations of things like entrances and exits, locations of water and electrical shut offs and any security codes.
SERVPRO’s marketing team members will walk through your business with you to perform the ERP free of charge. It takes just an hour or two of your time.
Once the ERP is complete, SERVPRO will be able to provide you with digital copies (via email or flash drive), as well as a hard copy. This way it will be accessible the moment you need it.
The idea behind the ERP is that it will jumpstart the cleanup and recovery process so that business downtown is at the bare minimum. (SERVPRO’s contact information will also be in there so we can get to the scene ASAP, should the damage require our services!) The goal of the ERP is to ensure YOUR business is in the 50% that DO reopen should the worst happen.
If you’re interested in an ERP, please give SERVPRO of West Brown County a call at 920-434-8224!
Meet Brandon Sweeney: Production Technician at SERVPRO of West Brown County
For this week’s profile feature, we are pleased to introduce production technician and crew chief Brandon Sweeney. Brandon has worked at SERVPRO of West Brown County for about a year and a half.
Brandon is one of the people you may meet if you need our help at your home or business. He is qualified to do just about every job you can imagine: from cleaning up after water losses and fire damage, to carpentry, assisting in reconstruction after a clean up job. Brandon describes himself as a ‘jack of all trades!’
Brandon says he likes working here because of the people, most of all. He says the SERVPRO team is made up of “really good people,” who are great to work with.
Brandon has some very exciting news! He just married his (now) wife Tierney about a week ago in a beautiful ceremony at Heritage Hill. Brandon and Tierney have a three-year-old daughter.
Outside of work Brandon says he most enjoys spending time with his family.
Brandon is originally from Green Bay and says he loves living here because of the Packers!
Meet Brandon Selisson: Production Technician at SERVPRO of West Brown County
It is our pleasure to introduce you to SERVPRO of West Brown County team member Brandon Selisson. Brandon has been a part of the team for about a year.
Brandon is one of the friendly faces you may see doing restoration at your home or business. Brandon performs just about every task we cover: from water and fire restoration to mold remediation, biohazard to crime scene clean up.
Brandon says he enjoys working here, because he gets to help people every day. He gets to come in and clean up after disaster strikes, setting everything right again. Brandon says he especially likes seeing how he and his teammates can take something that was destroyed and make it beautiful again.
Brandon is engaged to be married next year to his fiancée Kayla. He has two daughters, a step-son and a step-daughter.
Brandon was raised in the Green Bay and Oconto areas and says he loves living in Wisconsin because of at least three of the seasons (we’ll let you guess which one he doesn’t love so much)!
In his spare time Brandon enjoys getting outside, doing activities like fishing and grilling.
Meet Alex Ronallo: Sales and Marketing Coordinator for SERVPRO of West Brown County
In this profile we’re introducing Alex Ronallo. Alex is one of the newest employees at SERVPRO of West Brown County. She has worked here as our Sales and Marketing Coordinator for a little more than two months.
Alex’s responsibilities are mostly internet-based. She is responsible for keeping our website updated with new blogs, photos and videos. She also runs all our social media accounts. In addition, Alex helps the marketing and sales department as needed.
Alex says she likes working here, because this is a new environment. She used to be a news reporter, so she likes being able to continue using her writing and social media skills. Alex also likes the fact that she gets to learn something new about the restoration business every day.
Alex is originally from a small town in Pennsylvania called Oxford. She has lived in Wisconsin for about 8 years and says she enjoys living in this state because the people are so nice, the food is great and the summer weather is the best!
Alex has been married to her husband Tyler for 4 years. They live in Appleton with their cat Warren and their dog Ladybird.
In her spare time, Alex enjoys activities like cooking, reading and writing.
Summer Safety for Keeping Your Property Safe from Theft
We’re into our third week talking with Jason Weber, the Vice President of the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association. This week, Jason has some advice for folks to keep their property safe from theft this summer.
Jason says the warm weather can bring with it a rise in so-called “crimes of opportunity.” Those tend to be thefts from unlocked cars, garages and homes. He tells us many thieves won’t waste time or energy trying to break into a locked vehicle or building, rather, he says, those thieves are much more likely to go for an easy (unlocked) target.
So, a simple solution is making sure you lock up every, single time. Lock your car doors when you’re out and about, lock your car doors when you’re at home. Also, be sure to close and lock you garage. In addition, Jason advises always locking your house doors and windows, and having some outdoor lights on at night to deter thieves.
Jason says it’s a good idea to take things a step further and remove all temptation for would-be thieves. This means taking any valuable items out of your car, or at least hiding them in the trunk. He tells us it’s a good practice to also try to avoid having any valuables in plain sight in your garage or home.
As the weather warms up, be sure to play it safe with your property this summer!
Water Damage Timeline
Water damage at a home in the Green Bay area
When flooding or water damage happens at your home or business, time is of the essence. The faster you call team SERVPRO for help, the less damage that unexpected water will be able to do.
According to the American Insurance Association, 37% of all homes will suffer water damage each year. Of the water damage that occurs, the association says 93% of that damage is preventable. According to the association, the first 24 to 48 hours are the most crucial when dealing with water damage.
SERVPRO has a timeline that lists the damage you can expect following a flood or water loss:
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
The message here is that if water ends up where it does not belong, you should NOT WAIT to call for help. Getting someone on the scene ASAP will only save time and money in the long run.
We’ve heard before that people will sometimes not even realize they’ve experienced a water loss until days, maybe even weeks later. For example, they may have a basement they don’t go into very often that floods. So, we recommend checking those isolated areas on a regular basis and after any major weather event, like torrential rains.
There are some steps you should also take while waiting for help to arrive. SERVPRO recommends as follows:
- Stop the source of the water: if, for example, you have a broken pipe, make sure to turn off the water supply to prevent anymore leaking.
- Remove items of value: move any valuables and furniture away from the water, to prevent permanent damage to those items.
- Prevent the spread of moisture: as best you can, try to soak up any water by toweling or mopping the area. This will be a good temporary help. (Only do this if the water is clean!)
- Take notes and photos for your insurance company.
- Stay Safe! Make sure to turn off any electrical connections that could pose a danger in the flooded area. DO NOT mop or towel up any water that may be contaminated, if it came from a sewer backup, for example.
As we have said, time is not on your side when it comes to water damage. So, the sooner you call for help, the better!
You can always contact us a SERVPRO of West Brown County at 920-434-8224. We’re faster to any size disaster!
Meet Alyssa Doubeck: Production Technician at SERVPRO of West Brown County
For our latest team profile, we would like to introduce you to Alyssa Doubeck. Alyssa has been working as a production technician at SERVPRO of West Brown County for about a year.
Alyssa has past experience in restoration and content cleaning. She works on all the jobs our team encounters out in the field from water and fire damage to mold remediation and general content cleaning.
Alyssa says she likes working here because she does something different every day. No two jobs are the same and that helps keep things interesting!
Alyssa is originally from Green Bay and says she likes living here because this is where her family is.
Alyssa has three sons, who certainly keep her busy outside of work! When she does have spare time, Alyssa enjoys spending it with her sons, doing things like going to the beach and having picnics.
Alyssa is one of the people who might come to your home or business if you need team SERVPRO’s help someday!