Recent Posts

Town Spotlight! Sutton, MA

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

In 1704, Edward Pratt was granted an 8 square mile section of land, which we now know as Sutton!

There were three families that first settled in Sutton were the Marsh family, Johnson family, and the Carriel brothers. In 1717, a huge snow storm hit Sutton and buried the cabins!

Benjamin Marsh acted as a selectman, town moderator, and established the First Baptist Church of Sutton and served as pastor of the church until 1775.

Today, Sutton lies in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, very close to our neighbors in Rhode Island. Sutton has five villages within the town:

  • Sutton Center
  • Manchaug
  • Wilkinsonville
  • West Sutton
  • South Sutton

As of 2018, the population was 9,385. Much less than the population of our friends in Uxbridge and Southbridge. Today, Sutton is home to retail and manufacturing industries. Unified2, Polyvinyl Films, and Villancourt Folk Art are just a few places that call Sutton home.

The Sutton police department became a full-time agency in 1968, according to () The department consists of 15 full time officers, 1 part time officer, 5 special officers, 4 full time dispatchers, 4 part time dispatchers, and 1 secretary. Sutton PD is responsible for 140 miles of roadway.

To learn more about the Town of Sutton, visit https://www.suttonma.org/about-sutton 

Massachusetts Lightning Safety Awareness Week

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

This year, lightning safety awareness week falls on June 22nd-26th. 

While we all love to spend time outdoors during the summer months in New England, did you know that the summertime is the peak season for lightning??

According to the National Weather Service:

  • 25 million lightning strikes occur in the US each year 
  • In the past 30 years, the US has an average of 47 fatalities per year caused by lightning 
  • Lightning has injured about 12,000 people
  • It is the cause of around 25,000 fires per year

Lightning can strike up to 25 miles away from the actual storm! This means you could be in danger of a strike even if you aren't in an area where the storm is over. If you can hear thunder, you are in 'striking distance'. According to the National Weather Service, "When thunder roars, go indoors" and stay inside until 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. 

What if I am outdoors before/during/after a storm??

If you are planning on being outdoors this summer, be sure you update yourself, friends, and family (whoever you're outdoors with) with the latest weather forecast before heading out on your hike, walk, bike ride... The NWS recommends taking a portable NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio with you on your trip to keep up to date. 

When you arrive at your destination, be sure to look for somewhere you can find shelter in the case of a storm, and how long it would take you to get to this shelter. Keep an eye on the sky for any changing conditions. If you hear thunder or see lightning or dark clouds, immediately get to your place of shelter. 

  • If there is no actual building/shelter, a vehicle will be your next best option. 

During a storm 

Avoid using any landline phones. This is one of the leading causes of injuries. You can use your cellphones, but not while they're on the charger 

Don't touch any electrical equipment. Using a TV, computer, appliance, could put you more at risk for a lightning strike. 

Water and plumbing appliances are great conductors for electricity. Avoid washing dishes or showering during a thunderstorm. 

If you're inside a vehicle, be sure your windows are up! 

 For more information on lightning, lightning safety, and statistics, visit the National Weather Service online!!

Town Spotlight! Southbridge, MA

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Town Spotlight! Southbridge, MA Our 2nd weekly Spotlight in our Spotlight Series!

Welcome to part two of our 'Spotlight Series'! This week, we'll discuss the town of Southbridge, MA! 

Southbridge, as you may know, is located in Worcester County, MA. As of July 2018, the population was 16,931. The town was incorporated in the winter of 1816. Before becoming incorporated, the Nipmuck and Mohegan tribes lived in Southbridge. 

Fun fact! Southbridge is one of the 14 municipalities in the state of Massachusetts that are technically cities, but remain to have 'The town of..." in their name. 

With water power coming from the Quinebaug River, Southbridge became a hub for saw and gristmills (flour or corn mill) in the 18th century, when the 19th century came around, textile mills started to take over the town! 

Southbridge has earned the title "Eye of the Commonwealth" (of Massachusetts" due to their long running history of making optical products! The American Optical Company was founded in 1826 in Southbridge, prior to this, most frames and lenses had to be imported from Europe. William Beecher from Connecticut traveled to Southbridge to begin a life in the jewelry trade. Then, one day, he got a pair of awful eyeglasses. He thought to himself "I can do this better!" then he got to work, and what we now know as the American Optical Company soon began, and for a lack of better words, exploded!! By 1905, they were already employing 2,000 people! 

By the 1960's, Southbridge had a movie theater, an airport, and an AM radio station! 

Today, the Town of Southbridge has a (semi) brand new middle/high school, one private catholic school, 2 elementary schools, a fully functional police and fire department, and a hospital! If you're into nature and hiking, Southbridge is home to some beautiful parks, conservation areas, and trails! 

To learn more about the wonderful town of Southbridge, you can visit here and here

SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County is proud to be able to provide water and fire damage restoration services to cities and towns like Southbridge! Don't forget...we're available 24/7/365 for any of your restoration or cleanup needs!

(508) 223-0505

Town Spotlight! Uxbridge, MA

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

This is our very first installment of our 'Spotlight Series'! Check back in every week for a new city/town spotlight blog! 

Now, let's get into the history! 

Uxbridge, MA was incorporated in 1727! It quickly became a part of one of the first industrialized regions in the US. 

In the beginning, Uxbridge was a hub of textile mills during the Industrial Revolution. The first United States Air Force dress uniform was called "Uxbridge Blue" after the Bachman-Uxbrige Worsted Company! Pretty cool fact! 

If you're from Uxbridge, you might already know this, but, did you know that the first woman who legally voted, did so in Uxbridge!? Her name is Lyida Taft. She was allowed to vote at a few town meeting, her voting came about after the death of her husband and son, who were allowed to vote at the time. The townspeople voted to allow her to vote in place of her son and husband in 1756. 

In 1732, it was voted to have a schoolmaster in each part of town, resulting in 13 one-room school houses by the end of 1760. 

The towns police work dates back to the beginning days when Uxbridge separated from Mendon in 1727. In 1922, the first full time patrolman was hired, his name was William H. Smith. 

Today Uxbridge is home to a wonderful selection of historic land, parks, and buildings and is buzzing with history! 

To learn more about the town of Uxbridge, click here!

SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County is proud to serve communities like Uxbridge and we're here to help with any water, fire, or storm damage!

(508) 234-3399 

Cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting... What's the difference??

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning: cleaning refers to wiping down surfaces so they appear neat and clean

Cleaning removes any visible spots or smudges, or debris. Cleaning isn't typically going to take care of germs as well as sanitizing or disinfecting. It helps make your counters nice and shiny, but there's still going to be some germs lingering on there that you should follow up cleaning with sanitizing or disinfecting to ensure the bacteria and germs are gone for good. 

Sanitizing: Sanitizing, while still very effective, doesn't kill ALL germs. According to the CDC - sanitizing lowers the number of germs to a safe level. 

Disinfecting: Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs. 

So... the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting is what confuses most people... to break it down simply, sanitizing lowers the number of germs on a surface and disinfecting kills the germs on a surface. 

Why do I need to know the difference?

It's important to understand the differences between these 3 procedures so you know which to use when...makes sense right!

Now your next question probably is... which do I use when?!

When to sanitize: Sanitizing should be done whenever food is involved. After you use a surface (as well as before) for handling food, it should be sanitized. Dishwashers are great at sanitizing your dishes because they use extremely hot water alongside a detergent of some sorts. The same goes for your clothes washer. 

When to disinfect: You should keep in mind that disinfecting should kill every germ on the surface. When you're shopping for disinfectants, be sure it removes 100% of the germs. Ensuring this will stop the spread of viruses and diseases. 

It's also very important to keep in mind when disinfecting that the surface needs to remain in contact with the solution for a certain amount of time.(surface must remain wet with solution) This time may vary per product but it can vary from 15 seconds to 10 minutes!  Check your product label for the proper contact time. 

When to clean: Well... you should clean before you disinfect or sanitize to remove any extra debris around the area. 

If your home or business is just too out of control for you to handle, we offer residential and commercial cleaning services so you don't have to worry about it! 

Give us a call at (508) 234-3399 for more information or to schedule a cleaning! 

Water damage in your Sturbridge home

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

As we're expecting a good few rainy days in the upcoming week, you should keep your eyes open for potential water damage in your attic, basement, even kitchen. 

Leaking roof

If your roof was built very well, it can last for 30+ years. Over time, however, it can start to show some wear and tear. Heavy rain, winds, and snow can further any damage. 

If any damage at all, even minor, isn't taken care of in a timely manner, it can worsen and cause the roof to leak. 

Once the roof begins to leak, mold can begin to grow and cause a number of other issues. If you see that your roof is beginning to leak, it's important to take action ASAP!

It is possible that you could go months, even years without knowing that your roof is leaking. It's important for you to have your roof inspected once per year. Having an inspection can help catch any damage or signs that damage could ensue soon. 

Signs of damage or leaks could be:

- Missing shingles 

- Debris in your downspouts 

- Water spots on your ceilings 

- Physical leaks 

- Mossy or moldy exterior 

If you do have a damaged roof leaking water into your home, file a claim with your homeowners insurance, and then contact a water damage restoration company who will get the job started and finished as soon as possible so you can get back to regular life! 

SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County is locally owned and operated, meaning we're close and ready to respond to your water damage emergency... (508) 234-3399, we're here to help! 

Adjusting to working from home

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Woman working on laptop in bedroom with children jumping on the bed Photo: https://thewell.northwell.edu/well-informed/working-from-home-coronavirus

Working from home can be a huge change for someone who has never done it before. Since a lot of you are new to working from home (including a few of us here at SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County) we figured why not help everybody out a bit and make a helpful blog post about being successful working from home!!

1) Communication is key! Stay in touch with your colleagues/boss. Send email updates every so often, maybe each hour with a list of things you've accomplished. This will also help keep you on track and accountable! 

Check in with your managers/boss. Maybe every hour! Prove that you're engaged with your work. Even though you're at home, give work all your attention just as you would in the office! Checking in gives your boss/es confirmation that you are working and helps keep you on track! 

2) Have a set work space away from distractions (like Netflix) Being in a separate room can help you maintain that productiveness you may have in the office. Especially if you have kids and significant others at home now. If you can't separate due to children (and significant others) make sure you communicate expectations for them for the day.  

      School work, chores, set a schedule and boundaries!! 

2a) Speaking of boundaries, there needs to be a line between relaxing and working areas. Don't work from the couch! Or your bed. This gives you a chance to turn on Netflix or your favorite show on TV. You might say you won't but you will get sucked in! 

3) Follow a routine, make a schedule. Even though you're home, your commute to the office is a little less, you should still get up at the same time as you would on a normal day, get dressed, make your coffee and get working!  

      Sticking to a routine will make this transition to working at home a bit easier on your body and mind. Make time for breaks, go for a walk around the yard, stretch your legs and body. Give your eyes a break from the screen too! 

4) While you're in the office, I'm sure you aren't on YouTube, browsing Facebook or Twitter at your desk. Stick to that at home! Don't let yourself get distracted by social media, Candy Crush or other things on your phone. 

Working from home means you have to be independent, responsible and manage to keep yourself on task all day! It will probably take a bit of getting used to, but making a schedule can help!! 

Make set time blocks for you to take a "browsing break" Not that we're condoning browsing social media at work, but if you do, only do it during a set time frame for a set amount of time! 

We know it's a tough transition from the office to the home office, or dinner table. We're all in this together! Working from home is helping to flatten the curve and stop the spread of coronavirus! 

Who cleans up after the police leave the scene in Southbridge??

4/6/2020 (Permalink)

You probably know we handle water and fire damage cleanup, but did you know that we can cleanup after a crime scene too?

After the police have left a scene, we can come and begin the cleaning process. 

A decent amount of crime scenes will have bio hazardous materials and chemicals left behind that shouldn't be handled by someone untrained. It can be dangerous to your health and safety. 

Our crews are trained to follow OSHA and EPA protocols to clean and get your property back to a safe, liveable and workable environment once again. 

We understand some circumstances may be emotional and people may be going through a tough time. We treat everyone, no matter the situation with the greatest amount of empathy and respect. We are here to help clean and restore your property and keep you happy throughout the process! 

We are capable of cleaning up fingerprint powder, pepper spray, other chemicals left behind.

We can properly remove bodily fluids, tissue, and other bodily substances that can be left behind at a crime scene. 

Click here to learn more about our trauma and crime scene cleanup services. 

While we hope you won't need these services, we are here to help with these situations. Give us a call at (508) 234-3399 for any trauma or crime scene clean up questions or services. 

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates, fun quizzes, tip Tuesdays and more! 

While April Fool's Day is fun, fire damage is no joke

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Every fire sparks that uncertainty

Unfortunately, most fire related fatalities occur in home fires. 

According to https://www.alarmnewengland.com/blog/fires-in-massachusetts 80% of structural fires occurred in residential buildings.

It is important that you test your smoke alarms once a month, and replace the batteries once a year to ensure they are in proper working order. 

"The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms"

To ensure the best protection for you and your family, smoke alarms should be placed:

- In or directly outside each bedroom

- On every level of the home

- In common areas such as laundry rooms, kitchens, and living room areas 

If your home is larger, there should be more alarms, place them in stairways and hallways.

Installing "interconnected" alarms can ensure your best protection because if one detects smoke and sounds, they all will. 

Check the Date 

Age is not just a number especially when it comes to smoke alarms! They should be replaced every 10 years

To check the date on your alarm:

- Remove the alarm from the ceiling

- Check the back for manufacturer date

- If it is less than 10 years, replace it on the ceiling

- If it it over 10 years old, it needs to be replaced immediately 

If your smoke alarm sounds, and there is a fire

Get outside, stay outside

Call 911 from any available phone 

What if my smoke alarm sounds while I'm cooking

Do NOT take batteries out of your smoke alarms. If it happens to sound off while you are cooking or showering:

- Open a window

- Wave a towel or piece of clothing to clear the air around the detector 

- You can move the alarm further from the kitchen or the bathroom so it doesn't sound each time you cook that bacon

If you suffer from fire damage to your Whitinsville home or business, give us a call, we will make it "Like it never even happened."

(508) 234-3399, we're here to help!

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms.html#ans6

Thunder storms in Worcester, MA

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a thunderstorm, multiple lightening strikes Photo from https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2006/hurricane_lightning.html

With springtime finally among us, so are the rain and thunderstorms that come with it! Although thunderstorms are kind of rare in New England, they do still happen! Springtime temps as we know can range to very chilly one moment and the next it could be 60°! 

Thunderstorms need 

  • Moisture
  • Unstable air
  • And lift 

Moisture is needed to form clouds and the rain, unstable air is needed to be warm-ish and rapidly rising. And “lift” can form from sea breezes or mountains! https://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-thunderstorms.htm

Lift- https://study.com/academy/lesson/air-lift-definition-processes.html 

You might not think a thunderstorm is dangerous, but they in fact, are very dangerous! Each and every thunderstorm produces lightning. Lightning is one of the most dangerous killers there is!

Thankfully, in 2020 so far, there have been no lightning related fatalities in the US! https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-fatalities 

What causes thunder and lightning?

Thunder is the sound of lightning traveling from the cloud to the ground.

“When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground, it actually opens up a little hole in the air, called a channel. Once the light is gone the air collapses back in and creates a sound wave that we hear as thunder”  As we know, light travels faster than sound, so the sound of thunder always comes after the lightning strikes! 

How can you tell how far away the storm is??

Count the number of seconds in between when you see the lightning strike and hear the thunder. Take the number of seconds and divide it by 5, that’ll get you how far away the storm is in miles!!

Did you know: lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun?! It can reach up to 50,000°F! 

Be prepared! 

Since spring weather is so unpredictable, it’s important for you to have some type of kit prepared in advance. Planning ahead makes it easier for you and your family in case of an emergency.

Your storm preparedness kit should include:

  • Battery operated flash light
  • Battery operated radio
  • Emergency evacuation plan 
    • Should include a map of your home, with exits and safety routes 
  • A list of 
    • Important contact numbers
    • Insurance information 
    • Medical information 
  • First aid supplies including:
    • Assorted adhesive bandages
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Gloves
    • Scissors
    • Asprin or another type of pain management 
    • Tweezers 
  • 3-5 day supply of bottled or jugs of water
  • Canned goods 
  • Blankets 

It is important for you and your family to be prepared for whatever could happen! 

Should you need storm damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Southern Worcester County at (508) 234-3399, we're here to help!!