Recent Posts

Cooking Can Cause A Fire In Your Home

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighter putting out an oven fire with a speech bubble saying, "It's another turkey" Never leave cooking food unattended.

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As the holiday season begins and you find yourself in the kitchen more often while hosting friends and family, fire precaution should be top of mind.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of their property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let the crew at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County help you restore it to its preloss condition. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home or business structure, but the customer's peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires: more than one-quarter (27%) of reported fires occurred in homes within the last year. Even worse, 79% of fire-related deaths were caused by home fires. On average, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year resulting in $6.9 billion in direct property damage. Most home fires and fire causalities result from five causes; cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your home or business, give the experts at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County a call. We will help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Kitchen Cautions

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Two firemen putting out a house fire from the street Be sure to keep decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Each year, around the holidays, families gather together to celebrate by preparing a delicious feast. However, not everyone practices safe cooking habits.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking fires are are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent holiday cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop or oven.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a trimer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, or hand towels, away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the flames.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you get out safely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the kid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO of Lancaster East wishes you a safe & happy fall season!

Preparedness For Pets

10/4/2020 (Permalink)

A group photo of animated pets After hurricanes, thousands of animals are rescued and many are not reunited with their owners.

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they can stay safe as well during an emergency.

Pet Emergency Kit

Ready.gov/animals lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit.

  • Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
  • Medicines and medical records.
  • Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
  • First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid refence book is a good idea too.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
  • Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
  • Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

Evacuations

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don't leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.

Identification

Microchipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet's owners.

Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/animals for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured's family pets, or your tenant's pets during a disaster.

Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen

10/4/2020 (Permalink)

 Fire alarm on a yellow wall Visit firepreventionweek.org for more information on fire safety.

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared for whatever happens?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2020. The 2020 theme is, "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!" This topic works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

Did you know? Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to NFPA. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fire in the kitchen. NFPA notes that once a fire alarm goes off "you could have less than two minutes to get out safety," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the fire thought they had after hearing a fire alarm fire go off. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today!

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, we stand on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help ensure you stay safe, informed, and ready for any disaster that comes your way. The time to prepare is now. Make sure your home and business are "Ready for whatever happens."

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Red fire extinguisher with flames in the background Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly.

There emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until the SERVPRO professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep your hands clean. Soot on your hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodworking.
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot form metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter months, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, and holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave it off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in our our of the HVAC system.
    DON'T:

Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County.
Don't attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County.
Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been closet to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
Don't consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

September is National Preparedness Month

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month logo with a flashlight, piggy bank, radio, and first aid kit Contact SERVPRO of Lancaster East & Southern Lancaster County to find out how they can make it “Like it never even happened,” if disaster strikes.

PREPARE NOW This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared. Make and Practice Your Plan Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app. Learn Life Saving Skills Does you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors. Check your Insurance Coverage Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage. Save for an Emergency Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether it's flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared.

Smoke Alarms Are Life Savers

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm on the wall Did you know? 7 people die every day from a home fire.

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state environments or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of the fires where smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wire or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician, or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County.

It's The Water You Don't See

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Someone taking a moisture meter reading for drywall Prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth, which can be visible in as little as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Lancaster East has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must e counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Lancaster East will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few tools used by your local SERVPRO professionals.

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO professionals to monitor the drying equipment.

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO professionals can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles, and other places where cleaning cannot be reached.

The bottom line? The professionals at SERVPRO of Lancaster East have the training and equipment to make it "Like it never even happened."

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield logo Call us at 717-519-0767 to schedule a cleaning!

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. Expertise born out of cleaning up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects the unique experiences and capabilities of America's #1 clean-up and restoration brand. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C's: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

Consult-A Tailored Cleaning Program To Meet Your Needs

Not all businesses are the same, which is why we will assign you with a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a custom cleaning program to meet your specific needs. SERVPRO has worked in a wide variety of industries with businesses ranging from start-ups to global, multinational organizations. That's why we know to start such a critical cleaning process with a consultation.

Your specific program will be developed based on a range of factors including business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touch points, foot traffic and congestion points. As a result, you'll know that Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is not just an industry leading standard in clean, you'll know that the clean you receive is customized to your need.

Clean-Proactive and COVID-19 Emergency Response Cleaning Program

Based on specific needs of your business, your location will undergo a thorough, expert deep clean rooted in the pillars of People, Process, and Product.

People. SERVPRO Professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform.

Process. SERVPRO professionals are trained to perform proactive or emergency responsive cleanups that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfection of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.

Product. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned has more than 100 exclusive cleaning products to meet any need including out proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE - a hospital grade disinfectant that carries the Environmental Protecting Agency's lowest toxicity category and is National Sanitation Foundation certified for direct food contact surface use. All our products carry the Environmental Protection Agency's registered emerging pathogens claims and meet the standard set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for hospital-grade disinfectant.

Certify-A Commitment To Clean For Your Employees And Consumers

We're going to extend our credibility as a premier biohazard cleaning company in the country to your business - to give assurance to your employees and customers that only SERVPRO can deliver. Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to our propriety signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates you've selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that no only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

The COVID Effect

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Close up a virus cell We are all in this together!

The Coronavirus has changed the social landscape more than we could have imagined. The terms social distancing are the new normal and have become indoctrinated in our vocabulary. The interaction with family, friends, and business associates has been directly impacted. The traditional handshake is now riddled with fear. Instead it's better to tap feet or "elbow bump."

As in the years following World War II, great effort was spent putting measures in place to reduce the likelihood of another global conflict. Likewise, prevention of future viral pandemics is top of mind for most of the world's governments and security services for the immediate future. SERVPRO professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

SERVPRO is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their properties. SERVPRO uses EPA-approved products and follows the CDC guidelines for cleanup practices.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the ERA-registered emerging pathogens claims.

Will it all get back to normal? Yes. When will that happen? That remains unclear. What is clear is that normalcy will return, and all along the way SERVPRO will be there for your business, your home, and your customers. We are in this with you and proudly stand beside our first responders in fighting this silent enemy.