Prevent fire damage at home this summer in Minneapolis and surrounding areas

Posted on May 22, 2015.

Summertime Fire Damage Prevention
Each summer in the Minneapolis area people spill out of their homes to embrace the good weather Minnesota has to offer on this side of the calendar.

A lot of us resort back to our primitive selves by playing with fire, controlling one of the most destructive forces on the face of the earth for our enjoyment. Across Minneapolis at any given time there are aromas of BBQ grills, smoke from bonfires, sights of tiki torches illuminating back yards, or the summertime scent of citronella candles to repel clouds of mosquitos.

When treated with respect and taking the proper precautions your relationship with fire is like a mutual agreement. You part of the deal is to feed its flames, and in return it will provide you with what you need like cooking power, entertainment, or smoke. However, if you are careless in your side of the deal and don’t treat it with the proper respect, it is a fickle beast, and it will turn on you in an instant.

A pleasant Twin Cities night with the family could make a turn for the worst and become a nightmare no one would ever forget. So take advantage of these simple tips to keep your night full of enjoyable memories by preventing a fire damage:
BBQ Fire Damage Prevention:

Clean out the grease trap – if there is buildup it is a ticking time bomb waiting to ignite.
Know your meat – When grilling fattier pieces of meat like pork ribs, porterhouse steak, 70/30 hamburger, bacon, etc, you need to be diligently monitoring your grill. These cuts of meat can be just as flammable as throwing gasoline on a flame. (I speak from experience) If you have a flare up, remove the meat (if possible), put the lid on, turn off the gas, or close the dampers to deprive the flames of oxygen.
Do not spray lighter fluid on a lit flame – it has the potential to flash back into the can and explode. Also keep the can away from any open flames.
Do not overfill your propane tank, and make sure the hoses and gaskets are in good shape – Leaky hoses, seals, and tanks can cause quite an explosion.
When finished with coals, douse them with water and stir them up to make sure they are extinguished.
Don’t wear loose clothing – (1) Because of the obvious, you don’t want to catch on fire, but (2) you don’t want to be constantly dragging sleeves through BBQ sauce.
Make sure your grill is a safe distance from your home or items that can be damaged by heat. It can warp or burn you vinyl siding at a distance of 2 feet because both charcoal and propane grills can reach temperatures between 500°F to 700°F.
Never grill indoors – You need plenty of fresh air because a grill gives off enough carbon monoxide to kill you.

Bonfire Fire Damage Prevention:

Contact your city to find out the rules around backyard fires.
Warn neighbors before you have a bonfire.
Burn dry material that produces less smoke.
Make sure there is nothing above the area you are burning or that could otherwise catch fire.
Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of emergencies.
Do not leave your bonfire unattended.
Do not throw flammable, hazardous, toxic, or explosive material in the flame. Such as but not limited to fireworks, plastic, garbage, chemicals and/or their empty containers, aerosol cans, etc. (pretty much if it’s not firewood don’t burn it).
Extinguish the flames and embers when finished for the evening.
Be a safe distance from your property, fence, trees, and automobiles.
Keep vulnerable critters away from the flames (i.e. kids and pets).
Keep the size of the fire manageable and don’t make it larger than needed, too small is better than too big!

Hopefully by following these steps will help you prevent a fire damage from happening, but if you find yourself in a fire damage predicament. Call 9-1-1/local Fire Department, and then call the fire damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis to help put your life back together.

ServiceMaster of Minneapolis proudly serves the Twin Cities Area, and surrounding areas. We not only specialize in carpet cleaning, but we also provide services for water damage, fire damage/smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, window cleaning, and duct cleaning.


An obituary to our fallen water damage and carpet cleaning vans

Posted on May 14, 2015.

An obituary to our fallen water damage and carpet cleaning vans.
Today I was walking by the ServiceMaster bone yard of retired water damage and carpet cleaning vehicles. They were all sitting there in solitude waiting for the day they met their inevitable fate of a real junkyard or just sold for parts and scrap. Whatever is decided of these retired water damage and carpet cleaning vehicles, one thing is for sure, these vehicles were truly the unsung workhorses of ServiceMaster.

As I opened each to look at the odometer, it was like cracking the seal of a musty odor filled time capsule filled with memories of past carpet cleanings and water damages. Each vehicle has its rich history of services dating back to 1998 and mileages ranging from 137,816 miles to an impressive 258,642 miles.

Each van was pushed to its limits daily, running around the clock, powering their gasoline engine truck mounted vacuum system inside it. These vans come with a hefty price tag when you figure in the Van, truck mounted vacuum, paint job, and decals; each truck’s costs roughly $75,000.00, and that doesn’t account for the continuous maintenance of each vehicle. Over time, it adds up.

Regardless, these trucks have been through it all in rain, snow or shine. Flooded basements, backed up sewers, sucking up water after a fire department doused the flames, water damages of all forms and sizes, and don’t forget carpet cleaning. In their tenure, any given van will have sucked up thousands upon thousands of gallons of dirty water out of homes and businesses across the Minneapolis and its surrounding cities.

The technicians who run the vans should not be forgotten either. Each tech is paired with a van and in some way they have a relationship with his/her vehicle. They are knowledgeable about the different quirks and tricks to sustaining their mighty machine, but unlike its counterpart the van does not get a break after a long day/week/year. If there is work to be done, it is expected to keep up with the demands of whatever is thrown at it, with the expected destiny of complete and utter degeneration.

Even though they are inanimate objects, and they do not feel, live, breath; they are still a vital part of the ServiceMaster unit. They are a momentous tool in how we are capable of providing service to our customers. They are the Silver to our Lone Ranger, our Trigger to our Roy Rogers, but now they have done all they can do and are put out to pasture.

Farewell, you mighty beasts!

ServiceMaster of Minneapolis proudly serves the Twin Cities Area, and surrounding areas. We not only specialize in carpet cleaning, but we also provide services for water damage, fire damage/smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, window cleaning, and duct cleaning.


Water Damage? Follow these quick tips from ServiceMaster of Minneapolis

Posted on May 8, 2015.

What will you do when you have a water damage? Do you have a plan? What does your insurance actually cover? In my previous article “water damage prevention checklist” I spoke about different ways to prevent water damage, but what happens when it is completely unpreventable?

You can try to prevent it from happening, but some things are inevitable. Like drain backups, sump pump failures, or do any of you remember the Minneapolis and surrounding area’s relentless spring rainstorms last year?

In any case, what do you do when you have the issue? Here’s a couple pointers from the pros at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis.

When possible shut off the source, no one can begin the mitigation until the water stops flowing in.

Shut off the electricity to the affected area. You do not need to be electrocuted on top of having a water damage. Once any electronic items have been removed from the affected areas power can be restored.

If it is a substantial amount of water/sewer water, call ServiceMaster immediately. The faster ServiceMaster can respond to your water damage the better. The longer water sits it can cause rotting of wood, mold growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as carpeting and plywood. (Delamination takes 24 hours for carpeting, and mold takes 72 hours to start growing. So the faster response time, the better)

Remove any fabric items hanging in the water because water will climb any fabric exposed to the water, thus causing more water damage to soft goods. Use clothes pins, safety pins, or remove altogether.

If the water damage is a sewer backup, it is best left to the professionals at ServiceMaster. The water is nasty, and you do not need to contaminate yourself and other things in your home.

Keep a clean basement (when possible) prevent things from sitting on the ground. If it is in the basement, keep it off the ground, because water will wreak havoc, and sometimes it does not take much to put a little distance between your valuables and the floor.

If there are furniture items on the floor put a barrier between the floor and the legs of the furniture. With things such as plastic bags, tin foil, wood, or anything that will prevent rust stains from further ruining your carpeting from the water damage.

Let ServiceMaster do the dirty work! We are full service, so we will suck up water, tear out wet pad/carpet (when necessary) move furniture, do demo (again, if necessary), handle your soft goods, and make sure you are taken care of in your time of need.
ServiceMaster of Minneapolis proudly serves the Twin Cities Area, and surrounding areas. We not only specialize in carpet cleaning, but we also provide services for water damage, fire damage/smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, window cleaning, and duct cleaning.


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