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SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels Wins Best of Hays 2020

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Best of Hays Winner emblem with bright green background SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels wins Best of Hays 2020 for Carpet Cleaning and Damage Restoration (Emergency Cleanup)

Congratulations are in order for our team at SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels for earning the title of Best Carpet Cleaning and Best Damage Restoration (Emergency Cleanup) in the San Marcos Daily Record Best of Hays 2020.

Best of Hays is an annual recognition for businesses and people throughout the county based on a nomination process. The top 3 are chosen after the nomination method and go on to the voting round. Votes are requested for the top 3 candidates until a desired deadline that the San Marcos Daily Record provides. Once the tally is completed, the winners are contacted then announced in a special printed edition of the local paper. Plaques and banners announcing the win are also given to each recipient to proudly display for patrons to note an award was presented on behalf of voters from the community.

Although we have two cities listed on our franchise's name, the office and warehouse are in San Marcos, Texas. Additionally, we service over 40+ territories, allowing our company to join in the Best of Hays nomination and voting rounds.

It means a great deal to be considered one of the best in Carpet Cleaning and Damage Restoration (Emergency Cleanup) for Hays County. The employees at SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels would like to thank everyone for their continued support. 

July is National Grilling Month

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

A hand is extended over a flaming grill with a variety of food cooking on it National Grilling Month is a great time to practice grill safety to avoid any fire disasters from occurring while entertaining guests.

It's National Grilling Month!

As families spend even more time outside over the summer months it makes perfect sense to cook outdoors while balancing quality time with your loved ones.

Of course, safety is always an important factor when balancing entertaining and cooking for guest. That's why you need to remember to take extra steps to ensure there are no accidental fire disasters to your lawn or home.

Did you know Grill fires cause an estimated $37 million in property loss each year?

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbeques per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires.

Facts about grill fires:

  • Almost half of home grill fires happen between 5 and 8 p.m.
  • Fifty-seven percent of home grill fires occur during May, June, July and August.
  • Patios, terraces, screened-in porches, and courtyards are leading home locations for grill fires.
  • Seventy-nine percent of all home grill fires involve gas grills.
  • "Mechanical failure, malfunction" is the leading factor in the start of grill fires. Leaks or breaks of containers or pipes are often to blame. 

Grilling fire safety tips:

  • Only use grills outdoors, away from siding and deck railings.
  • Clean grills often and remove grease or fat build-up.
  • Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting.
  • Have a 3-foot safe-zone around grills and campfires. Keep kids and pets away from the area.
  • Dispose of coals after they have cooled in a metal can.
  • Never leave grills, fire pits, and patio torches unattended.

Whether you are a food connoisseur of hot dogs, steaks, ribs or chicken rest assured each grilling safety measure taken could prevent unexpected fire emergencies from ruining a wonderful summer day.

At Home Fire Safety Your Family Should Plan and Practice

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Summer is supposed to be filled with fun times that make lasting memories. 

Even though life appears to have a bit of normality again, your family's safety should always be a topic up for frequent discussion. 

Whether or not you returned to the office setting, leaving your age-appropriate kids and teens home in the summertime during your workday means educating them what responsibilities they are to carry out if an unexpected fire were to happen around your residence.

Important matters to bring up during a family meeting are:

  • Making a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with your children.
  • Having a fire escape plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves. Talk about who will help each child get out safely.
  • Children and teens should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm, and there is no adult around. Help them practice going to an outside meeting place.
  • Teach children and teens to never go back inside a building that is on fire.
  • Keep children 3 feet away from anything that can get hot.

Each vital piece of information you provide your kids could help them put their minds more at ease if an unanticipated fire emergency were to arise.

June 21st – 27th 2021 is National Lightning Safety Week

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

The third full week in June is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. It is an effort by the National Weather Service to help increase lightning safety.

It may be shocking to learn that lightning is one of the deadliest weather systems. Records kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show lightning in the United States has killed more than any other weather factor. The second biggest killer is flooding, and the third is tornadoes.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week reminds people there is no safe place outdoors when a thunderstorm is in the area. Lightning can strike from over 15 miles away. The chances are if you can hear thunder, you are already in immediate danger. A lot of lightning injuries and fatalities happen because people were too slow to react to an approaching storm or too quick to get back outdoors before the storm was a safe distance away.

Did You Know:

  • The most dangerous times tend to be immediately before a storm hits and right as it moves away.
  • About 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year.
  • Over the last 30 years, the U.S. has averaged 51 lightning fatalities per year.
  • Since the first Lightning Safety Awareness Week, the number of annual lightning deaths has dropped to almost half.
  • Only about 10% of people struck by lightning are actually killed. The other 90% must cope with varying degrees of discomfort and disability, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
  • Typically, the vast majority of lightning victims each year are male.

Ways to Observe:

Get daily ideas for Lightning Safety Awareness Week by visiting www.weather.gov.

Visit www.lightning.org to read more about lightning protection.

For facts and tips about lightning safety, follow #LightningSafetyAwarenessWeek or #LSAW on Facebook and Twitter.

6 Ways to Prevent Water Damage in Your Hays County Home

5/23/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels, we often are asked what could I have done to prevent such a catastrophic water incident from happening in their home?

There are numerous tips our team can offer their insights on. Those pointers often require a little bit of effort on your end but well worth your time in the long run.

6 ways you could prevent water damage in your place are:

  1. Clean your gutters: Ensure they are free from debris that can clog and cause water damage.
  2. Check your sump pump: You want to make sure that it is working, so, at minimum, test it at least once a year. Having a backup sump pump on standby (in case the first one fails) does not hurt either. 
  3. Watch where you plant: Some plants and trees have invasive root systems that will compromise your drainage system, water lines, septic tank, pipes, or foundation.
  4. Repair old, tired caulking: Check doors and windows, along with bathtub and sink fixtures, to ensure that your caulking is not cracked.
  5. Inspect washing machine supply lines: Check out the cold and hot water supply hoses and look for cracks and other wear and tear. It is recommended that you replace hoses every five years.
  6. Check your hot water heater: Schedule a plumbing inspection, look for signs of corrosion, and check your maintenance instructions. You may want to flush the tank every six months to remove sediment.

As we all know, there could still be certain situations where your residence experiences water damages that need immediate attention. As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to aid you during your time of need.

We have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to dry your home and restore it to pre-water-damage condition quickly.

If you unexpectedly find your Hays County home with water or flood damage, call us at (830) 625-0578.

Flood Preparation: Natural Disaster Kits for Pets

5/23/2021 (Permalink)

When we think of ways to prepare and keep our family members safe during a natural disaster, our pets are typically included in that scenario.

With recent heavy rain and flooding situations threatening the Hays and Comal County area, if you have not already, it is a good idea to build multiple emergency supply kits: one for the adults, the kids or teens, and your pets.

What should you consider placing in the emergency kit for your pets?

  • Food - Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water - Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.
  • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash - Include a backup leash, collar, and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
  • A traveling bag, crate, or sturdy carrier - One for each pet.
  • Grooming items - Pet shampoo, conditioner, and other items if your pet needs some cleaning up.
  • A picture of you and your pet together - If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a photo of you and your pet will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
  • Everyday items - Put favorite toys, treats, or bedding in your kit. Familiar objects can help reduce stress for your pet.

Remember to review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

Testing Your Fire Knowledge: Are You Prepared for a Home Fire?

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire prevention practices, most individuals feel confident in their abilities to avert any type of fire disasters from occurring in their Comal County area homes.

However, it is still a good idea to occasionally test your fire knowledge as a way to remind yourself of habits one should exercise in a timely manner or even where to place alarms in a certain location in your residence.

The following are a few questions from The American Red Cross website to see how Fire Savvy your knowledge is on Fire Safety.

  1. When should you remove batteries from a smoke alarm?

A) When dinner is burning, and it goes off.

B) When it makes annoying chirping noises.

C) Never, unless it's time to change the batteries.

  1. Smoke alarms should be replaced after how many years of use?

A) 5

B) 10

C) Trick question, smoke alarms are good for life!

  1. Where should smoke alarms should be placed?

A) On every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

B) Just one somewhere on every floor.

C) Just one by your cooking area.

  1. How often should you test your smoke alarms?

A) Every month.

B) Every six months.

C) Every year.

  1. How often should you change your smoke alarm batteries?

A) Every 6 months (unless it has a long-life battery).

B) Every year (unless it has a long-life battery).

C) Every 5 years (unless it has a long-life battery).

  1. What's one thing you should practice during your home fire escape plan?

A) Everyone should know a good hiding place in your home if they get scared during a fire.

B) Everyone should identify their top 10 things to grab before exiting a home during a fire.

C) Everyone in your household should know two ways to escape from each room in your home during a fire.

  1. To escape a home fire safely, you have as little as?

A) 2 minutes

B) 5 minutes

C) 10 minutes

How do you think you did on this quiz? Check at the end of this blog post to see if you were able to come up with all the correct answers.

At SERVPRO of New Braunfels/San Marcos we know if your home that suffers any range of fire damage, it can be incredibly devastating. Our team makes it a priority to respond to fire damage immediately and efficiently to fix the problem and get your life back on track. If you find yourself in need of our assistance, call us today at (830) 625-0578.

Answers:

1 - C) Never, unless it's time to change the batteries

2 - B) 10

3 - A) On every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

4 - A) Every month.

5 - B) Every year (unless it has a long-life battery).

6 - C) Everyone in your household should know two ways to escape from each room in your home during a fire.

7 - A) 2 minutes

SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels Recognizes Hard Working Employees During Annual Awards Banquet

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Our company finally had the opportunity to hold its annual Employee Award Banquet in March. This annual event recognizes individuals within our franchise that performed outstanding feats deserving to be honored.

A barbeque-themed event was thrown in honor of all employees for the countless and challenging hours worked in 2020. The grillmasters that made sure we had a bountiful selection of smoked meats were Sales Representative Will Bryan and Waylon Hebert, husband to Demi, our Office Manager. Employees also brought appetizers, delicious sides, dishes, and desserts to pass around.

Employees had a chance to enter tickets into a drawing to win incredible prizes, eat delicious food while reminiscing about our dear coworker and wonderful friend Dennis Reese, who unexpectedly passed away earlier in the week.

An "In Memory of" table was set up with a beautiful floral arrangement and a framed picture of our beloved colleague. Each attendee had a chance to sign a bird feeder with a message to Dennis that now hangs on a tree in front of our main office.

The evening was filled with the celebration of Dennis' life as we toasted him before kicking off the night's festivities.

One of the two award categories given to SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels employees was based on exceptional performance within the company. Those awards included Production Crew Chief of the Year, Sales Representative of the Year, Production Technician of the Year, and Office Admin of the Year.

The second award category was based on the employees voting for their peers. Those awards included Manager of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and the People's Choice Award.

There were seven awards total, but eight certificates were given out due to one of the categories ending in a tie.  

The recipients to receive an award last Friday evening were the following employees:

  • Office Admin of the Year was awarded to Helen Wright for having the highest volume of revenue billed out, capture all the work done on the job site, and ask questions to get all the necessary information for accurate billing. 
  • Production Technician of the Year was awarded to Anthony Jackson for having hard-working, go-getting work ethics inside and outside the company. He strives to get each job done to the customers and SERVPRO standards. 
  • Production Crew Chief of the Year was awarded to Marc Haney for performing an exceptional job with each task he was given to complete and has a high approval rate for mold jobs. 
  • Sales Representative of the Year was awarded to Tammy Dorsett for possessing the following traits it takes to be a great sales representative: Ability to listen and absorb what is being expressed by the clients and customers, and even coworkers. The drive to continue to better themselves and better the company. To always want to and strive to achieve greatness. Being resilient, shaking off those negative emotions, and keep pushing forward. Lastly, being empathetic by putting themselves in the customers' shoes and doing everything you can to reassure them that everything will get back to how it was before.
  • Voted as Manager of the Year, Demi Hebert received the following employee responses: She's one of the rocks of the company that goes above and beyond to help everyone get what is needed when asked, is always lending a hand, and helping the employees with any issues that arise. She is someone you can count on for moral and physical support in the workplace with a great work ethic. Easy to talk to about anything and genuinely dedicated to the success of our franchise.

The 2020 Newcomer of the Year was a tie between two Production Technicians: Conner Endsley and Dennis Reese.  

Voters' responses that earned Conner the title of Newcomer of the Year were the following: In the short amount of time he's been here, he has proven to be quite the asset to SERVPRO, seems to be prepared for the day, always ready and polite. 

Our team also learned that the other recipient of this award was Dennis Reese. Sales Manager, Tammy Dorsett, spoke about his willingness to take on any job with attention to detail and a fantastic work ethic that made him a great addition to the SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels family.  

In a bittersweet moment, brother-in-law and fellow employee Anthony Jackson accepted Dennis's award on behalf of their family. A long-standing ovation to honor Dennis's achievement had everyone emotional but proud of the man who was respected and loved by all.

The night's final company award was presented to Demi Hebert, who earned the title of our 2020 People's Choice winner. Employees had the following to say about our much-appreciated Office Manager: she is perfect for her position. Very knowledgeable, goes above and beyond for the company and employees. She always makes time for everyone while doing so with kindness and guidance.

Spring into Action: Prepare Your Household with a Storm Checklist

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Spring has officially arrived! That means severe weather is more likely to appear at a moment’s notice throughout this part of the region.

Between the rain, hail, tornadoes, and additional elements, the possibility of experiencing extensive damage to your home and property is likely at some point during your residency. One action you can take ahead of time is being prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws in your path.

The best way to do so is to start with a storm checklist for each season. This allows members of your household to be better prepared if faced with an unexpected weather emergency. 

What should you put on your Spring Storm Checklist?

According to Farmers’ Almanac, you should do the following: 

  • Trim and Prune Trees - Remove dead branches that could end up being dangerous projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage not covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Are any hovering near the power source to your home? Most arborists recommend that trees and limbs be at least 10 feet away from your home. Hire one to come out and identify any problem areas. Or enlist a knowledgeable friend.
  • Ensure Sump Pumps are Working - Spring runoff and torrential rainstorms can all result in flooded basements. Make sure your pumps are running smoothly so they can do their job when you need them.
  • Secure Backyard Items - Your backyard oasis can turn into a danger zone in a severe storm. High winds can turn unsecured items into missiles. If you’ve received a warning that a severe storm is approaching, move these items—patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, and grills, flags and poles, bird feeders, and potted or hanging plants—inside your home, shed, or garage if possible. If you can’t bring furniture or heavy items in, try using a rope or garden hose to tie them down securely.

Other safety tips to consider:

  • Know your town’s evacuation route and where shelters are located. If you must evacuate at a moment’s notice, you do not want to be searching for information.
  • Know your community’s warning system. And be sure everyone in the family is aware of what the signal sounds like.
  • Be sure you are receiving severe weather alerts on your cell phone. Most cell phones are automatically equipped with emergency alerts. Check with your carrier.

Regardless of the type of storm damage your residence encounters, call on SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels at (830) 625-0578. We are experienced in storm and flood damage restoration. We are Here to Help®

It's National Pet ID Week

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Whether you have an “indoor” or “outdoor” pet, it is always a good idea to have them wear an ID tag all the time. Various sudden events can cause you to separate from your pet, including natural disasters and escapes from a fire emergency

Three reasons your family pet needs to have an ID tag:

  • ID Tags are Easy to Read - One thing that makes ID tags great is how they display your contact information. Most ID tags have your pet’s name and your information in readable text, ensuring that anyone who finds your pet will be able to call you. A microchip is also an essential form of identification, but it needs to be scanned at a shelter or with a veterinarian. This makes the process a little more complicated than just reading your information on a tag. Some emerging ID tags also include a digital profile that details your pet’s medical history, contact information, and other valuable data. First responders may be able to use these profiles to identify further your pet, where they come from, and any disabilities or conditions they may have.
  • ID Tags Show Your Pet Is Not a Stray - Most people will refuse to go near or handle a stray animal. Stray animals generally do not have any external identification, so if your pet lacks an ID tag, they may be mistaken as a stray. An animal with an ID tag and collar, on the other hand, lets others know that they are a pet (a member of someone’s family). This may encourage strangers to stop and help a pet get back home as soon as possible. 
  • Your Pet Can Return Home on Their Own – Our team at SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels know how disasters and other unforeseen events are inevitable. Because of this, your pet may become separated from you before you realize it. Your pet’s ID tag contains your contact information, so it is easier for strangers to identify and locate you quickly.

Make sure the tags are still readable with your cell phone number and address. Also, check to see that the information on their tag is up to date.