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How To Keep Your Home Safe From Fire

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector Maintain and inspect smoke detector.

Fire Preparation Measures

Discovering a fire in your Midway, WI, home could be one of the scariest things you ever experience. Nothing is guaranteed, but there are fire preparation measures you can take that go a long way in helping prevent a home fire.

1. Use Caution With Home Heating
Never use space heaters unattended and unplug them when they're not in use. Make sure that space heaters have an automatic shutoff for overheating or tipping over events. Keep anything flammable at least three feet from any sources of heat or flames.

2. Be Careful With Open Flames
Never leave candles or other open flames unattended (e.g., when you are out of the room, asleep or away from home). Use sturdy candle holders and keep them out of reach from children and pets and out of high traffic areas. One of the most critical fire safety lessons is never using an open flame where medical oxygen is used, even if the machine is turned off.

3. Maintain and Inspect Smoke Detectors
A critical part of your fire preparation is regularly maintaining and inspecting your fire alarms to ensure they're in good working order. You'll need to replace the batteries at least once a year and replace the units themselves every 10 years. Vacuum or dust off the units a couple of times per year to ensure the sensors are clear of debris.

4. Practice Safe Cooking
Stay in the kitchen to monitor food cooking on the stove, broiling in the oven or cooking in the toaster oven. Prevent hot pots and pans from falling off the stove by turning their handles toward the back of the stove. Fire damage restoration experts will advise you to keep a pot lid and fire extinguisher at hand's reach to snuff out flames if need be.
Avoid a disaster by putting a fire preparation plan together as soon as possible. Then, go over it with your family to make sure everyone knows about fire safety.

3 Possible Causes of a Flooded Basement

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. If your basement is flooded quick and decisive action must be taken.

3 Possible Causes of a Flooded Basement

In the event that you experience a basement flood in your West Salem, WI, home, quick and decisive action must be taken. One thing that can help the restoration process go faster is knowing why the flood occurred. If you're unsure about how this could happen, here are three possible causes of a flooded basement.

1. Ineffective Sealing
If your basement's tiling wasn't properly sealed, water can easily leak into your home. This is particularly relevant if you live in an area that's prone to events such as these:

  • Hurricanes
  • Snow storms
  • Wind storms
  • Rain storms

In the event that your basement is continually flooded during large storms, ineffective sealing is likely to be the reason for it. Be sure to get the seal inspected and fixed immediately.

2. Eavestrough Blockage
Eavestroughs are gutters that line the perimeters of roofs. The purpose of these troughs is to direct water away from your roof and through the downspout. However, an eavestrough can malfunction if debris begins to plug it up. This is especially possible if you live near several trees. In this event, the overabundance of water may create a leak that starts a basement flood. If this is the issue, all you need to do is have the eavestrough cleaned.

3. Wrong Home Location
This problem may have a simple answer - your home was built in an inappropriate location. Generally, houses are built on a slope so that water will move away from the structure. Your house may have been built near the slope's bottom, which would result in the draining water creating a basement flood. Unfortunately, there's not much to do if this is the case. Try to put up barriers and wait for erosion to rectify the issue.
Dealing with a flooded basement requires some investigation. If the flood's cause is discovered, the water damage restoration process may be able to move faster.

Benefits of Hiring an Emergency Restoration Service

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

green van SERVPRO of Onalaska, WI will have your business running again in no time.

Benefits of Hiring an Emergency Restoration Service

Water damage can halt your business operations, causing you to lose profit. SERVPRO of Onalaska, WI, is Faster to Any Size Disaster, and they'll have your business up and running again in no time. They'll arrive fast to mitigate damage and start repairing your building right away, saving you time and money.

Fast Response
Calling an emergency restoration service that's Faster to Any Size Disaster is important for many reasons:

  • Stopping the source of the flooding
  • Containing water to one location to prevent further damage
  • Fully drying the area to prevent structural damage
  • Sanitizing surfaces to stop mold growth

All of these things can save you time and money that would be spent on repairs if the problem is not addressed quickly.

Flooding can be dangerous for the building's inhabitants. The water can contain harmful pathogens if it is contaminated by substances such as sewage. These pathogens can spread through the air or by contact with the water if you aren't careful. Even if the water is not contaminated, there is a risk of electrocution if it is in contact with any electrical circuits. If the flooding is not properly cleaned, harmful mold could grow on moist surfaces. Lastly, if the water is not dried quickly, it can damage building materials such as wood or drywall. A professional restoration surface will be able to contain and kill harmful pathogens, shut off the power to prevent electrocution, prevent mold growth and repair structural damage.

A prompt response from an emergency restoration service can minimize damage. That makes your repairs less expensive, meaning your insurance claim will be smaller. They can also list all of the damaged property and create a restoration plan that will help your insurance provider determine how much capital you are owed.
When flooding occurs, an emergency restoration service in Onalaska, WI, that's Faster to Any Size Disaster will help keep you safe and minimize damage.

What Is Pollution Liability Coverage and Does It Cover Mold?

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Man holding a portfolio with an insurance form Call your agent to find out if you are covered.

As a contractor in La Crosse, WI, it's important to you to maintain your reputation as a professional. Of course, your reputation is built primarily on your skill and communication during a project, but one element that has a big impact is how you conduct yourself when something goes wrong. When something goes wrong is when insurance companies get involved, and for contractors, it's important to have the right type of coverage that will protect your business as well as give you the means to do right by your client. Since many General Liability policies don't cover a mold claim that requires inspection or remediation by a mold remediation specialist, you need to make sure that you have the right kind of coverage. What is it and how does it work?

Pollution Liability Coverage

Pollution liability covers you in the event that your client claims that they sustained damages from pollutants caused by your work. In most GL policies, any mention of mold insurance claims triggers the mold exclusion policy. Adding pollution coverage can protect you in a few ways.

Covers Gaps in Your GL Policy

When you get a pollution policy that specifically covers mold, you are protecting yourself from at least some of the exclusions that are often found in general liability policies. This will also protect you while you work at a job site other than your office.

Customizable for Your Business

If you regularly work with any sort of contaminants, this extra policy can be written specifically with your job type in mind. You can include enhancements such as coverage while loading and unloading materials, while on the road, and during storage.

Works with Other Policies

You don't have to stop with general and pollution policies. Other types of environmental liability insurances and umbrella policies can all work together to protect you from mold insurance claims. Consider obtaining all your policies through one company to avoid any back and forth when submitting a mold claim.
Mold insurance claims can be daunting when you don't have the proper coverage. Review your policies on a regular basis to ensure that your business is well protected.

How To Prepare a Business Continuity Plan

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept If you own a business in La Crosse, WI, creating a business continuity plan is critical.

Here Are A Few Critical Steps For Developing Your Plan

If you own a business in La Crosse, WI, creating a business continuity plan is critical for protecting your organization in the event of a major disaster, such as a hurricane or fire. Having a well-documented plan will ensure that your business can continue during difficult times and that you can mitigate losses.

1. Perform an Analysis
One of the first steps for creating a business continuity plan is taking a step back and conducting a Business Impact Analyst to determine the impact that a catastrophic event could have on your business. While performing this analysis, you should identify the critical functions of your business and the necessary resources and to support them. Use surveys and questionnaires to gather this information.

2. Create and Document Recovery Strategies
Using the information from the BIA surveys, you should record and document all essential processes needed to keep your business operating. These strategies are should take all necessary equipment, materials and people required to maintain operations into consideration. Facilities and technical resources should be included as well. Conduct a gap analysis to identify the gaps between the current state and your business’s capabilities in a recovery state.

3. Develop a Formal Plan
Compile all information into one formal document that includes an emergency response plan, any relocation plans, and disaster recovery procedures. Any recovery teams that have been formed to execute this plan should be outlined in the document, in addition to the contact information of any vendors required to assist with recovery, such as professional flood cleanup services and electricians.

4. Conduct Training Exercises
Once the plan is developed, create a training and testing plan. Disaster simulation exercises can help familiarize employees on how to respond in the event of an emergency.
You cannot always predict when a major disaster will strike. You can, however, control how you respond when it does. Having a thorough business continuity plan will help ensure your business stays protected and mitigates any major downtime.

Do You Have a Small Business Claim Waiting To Happen?

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Business Insurance. Business Concept on Clipboard. Composition with Clipboard, Calculator, Glasses, Green Flower and Office Every business insurance policy is different

Ways You Can Lower The Risk Of Damage

You rarely think about the structures behind your walls, but have you ever considered what would happen if a pipe burst inside? According to a study by The Hartford, water and freezing damage is the second most common type of business claim made by small business owners. 

1. Check for Indoor Risk Factors
Prepare your indoor space by covering pipes in areas exposed to extreme temperature changes. The added protection can prevent them from bursting in freezing temperatures. Move valuable items to shelves a few feet off the floor to prevent water damage from flooding, and make sure you know how to shut off the water main in case of emergency. Finally, keep the indoor temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

2. Check for Outdoor Risk Factors
Outdoor hazards are another source of damage that may cause you to file a business claim. While you can’t prevent storm runoff or sewer backups, you can lower your risk by preparing in a few different ways. Inspect the property for cracks in the exterior and foundation and seal them. Check gutters and drainage areas for blockages and clear them of debris. If snow and ice are frequent in your area, learn how to remove it from the roof.

3. Check Your Insurance Policy
Every business insurance policy is different. Don’t assume you have coverage for every type of water event that may happen in Mindoro, WI. For instance, a policy may cover a pipe break but not storm runoff. Ask your insurance agent if there are any exclusions in your policy. If so, you may be able to purchase an add-on that will augment your existing coverage. You should also ask if your policy covers emergency restoration services.
Experiencing an event that requires filing a business claim is never ideal. By following these steps, you can minimize the risk of water or freezing damage to your business and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Types of Smart Smoke Detectors for Your Home

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Smart smoke alarm on ceiling A smart smoke detector is a great all-inclusive choice

Types of Smart Smoke Detectors for Your Home

When you look at buying a new home in La Crosse, WI, do you check to see if there are smoke detectors present? It's an easily overlooked safety feature, yet essential for the well-being of your family. Whether you're installing a brand new smoke alarm or you're considering upgrading what you currently have, there are now some smartphone-compatible options to make fire detection even easier.

1. Listeners
A smart listener works with your current smoke alarm rather than require that the whole system be replaced. You can attach this separate piece nearby to your current detector and when the detector goes off, the listener will send an alert to your phone. This option is more cost-effective than replacing your current system, especially if it's hardwired into the walls. This is also a good option for people who may have hearing difficulties, since you get a notification sent to your phone whenever the alarm sounds. The downside is that the listener cannot tell the difference between a false alarm, a low battery, and real emergency.

2. Batteries
Smart batteries are another good option to upgrade the fire safety system in your home. These batteries work via your WiFi signal and send notifications to your phone when the alarm goes off. It also alerts you to the fact that the battery is low, though the current model lasts for five years.

3. Smoke Detectors
If you're ready to go all-in, a smart smoke detector is a great all-inclusive choice. You can control the alarm from your phone rather than just receiving notifications. You can turn off false alarms, silence the low-battery chirp, and most models also detect carbon monoxide. In the event of an actual house fire, the data on your phone could be helpful to show to your fire damage assessment company so that they know approximately how long a fire was burning, as this could help them with their remediation evaluation.
Connecting your smoke alarm to your phone may seem excessive, but early detection could make the difference between a small kitchen fire and a much larger problem.

How To Stay Safe in a Flood

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks

Floods can be dangerous and scary, but there are ways to stay safe. These tips for flood safety can help protect you and your property.


One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are protected is to flood-proof your home. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a flood:

  • Have all electrical wiring installed above-expected flood levels
  • Install back valves on plumbing to prevent sewage backup
  • Clear gutters
  • Shut off power before a flood
  • Apply sealants to walls
  • Change the grading of your yard so water flows away from your home
  • Keep an emergency kit in your home

Avoid Electrocution
Avoiding electrocution is an important part of flood safety. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Touching water that is in contact with a live electrical current can electrocute you. This is why electrical wiring should be installed above-expected flood levels in French Island, WI, and power should be shut off at the breaker before severe flooding.
Storms may cause power lines to fall. If you see a downed power line, assume that it is live, and do not allow yourself to come into contact with any surrounding water.

Move to Higher Ground
If your home has an upper level, you should go upstairs during a flood. You can also move belongings upstairs to avoid damage.
When shopping for homes in areas where flooding is common, it is wise to look for houses that are built above typical flood levels.

Contact a Professional for Repairs
Even if you follow all of these safety tips, your house could still be damaged by high water. If you suffer from any damages, it is best to call a storm damage restoration specialist in French Island, WI, to perform repairs. Trying to repair damage on your own can result in electrocution, unresolved structural damage, and molding.
Educating yourself on flood safety and taking the right precautions can protect you and your property when disaster strikes. When faced with high water levels, be sure to flood-proof your home, avoid electrocution, move to higher ground, and contact a professional for repairs.

3 Questions Answered About Basement Flooding

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Rockland, WI

No one worries about a basement flood until it happens. A million questions will race through your mind when it does but answering these three questions before flooding strikes will help you be more prepared.

What Does Insurance Cover?

Insurance coverage for a flooded basement is not a cut and dry policy. Some incidents are covered, but others are not. If an incident is sudden, it will likely be covered. Here are some examples:

  • Flooding from appliances
  • A burst pipe
  • Accidental sink overflow

However, other issues might not be covered:

  • Flooding from storms
  • Damage that happens over time from leaking pipes
  • Water seepage issues

Review your policy to make sure you understand your coverage. Talk to your agent to see what types of coverage they recommend to customers in your area.

How Do You Start Cleanup?
Shut off the main valve to your home to stop the water flow. Before you worry about getting the water out, make sure the environment is safe. Do not wade into a basement flood. The water could be contaminated or electrified. You might need to shut off the electric breaker to your basement. Use a wet/dry vacuum and mop to clean up small messes on your own. If there is a substantial amount of water, hire a local water removal services company in Rockland, WI, to pump it out.

Who Should You Call for Help?
The people you enlist for help will depend on the amount of damage to your flooded basement. Start by calling a water damage and restoration company for an assessment. They can help you with a lot of the cleanup and can recommend companies for services like HVAC and electrical if needed.
Dealing with a basement flood brings up a lot of unknowns. However, having a cleanup plan and knowing who to call for help is a good place to start.

3 Important Components of Your Fire Safety Plan

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Alarm Install and test fire alarms

Three Important Components of A Fire Safety Plan

A business fire occurs in more than 30,000 businesses every year. Fire prevention is important for reducing your chances of a fire occurring. However, it is also important to have a fire safety plan in place so that you are prepared if a fire does happen. 

1. Fire Safety Equipment
Installing and maintaining fire safety equipment is a critical fire preparation step. Sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers can be used to douse small fires before they can spread to the rest of your building. Have your extinguishers and sprinkler system inspected regularly to ensure proper function. Train all employees on the proper use of fire extinguishers, including when it is best to evacuate, rather than attempt to put out a fire.

2. Evacuation Plan
Your priority in any business fire should be to ensure the safety of all employees, customers, and other people occupying your property when a fire occurs. Install and test fire alarms, so that people have enough warning to evacuate your building before the fire spreads. Drill your employees on evacuation procedures and make sure they know how to assist customers and guests who also need to evacuate safely. Keep your fire exits clearly marked and free of clutter. Establish a meeting point where you can ensure all employees are accounted for.

3. Fire Safety Procedures
All employees should receive written instruction on safety protocols, such as not storing combustible materials near open flames. Make sure you are enforcing your protocols and periodically updating them and providing ongoing training. Give your employees contact information for fire restoration and other services in Holmen, WI, that they may need if fire damage occurs.
Both fire prevention and fire safety are important aspects of avoiding and mitigating the damage from a business fire. Make sure you always have a fire safety and prevention plan in place.