2019 Resolution: Plan Ahead
The SERVPRO READY App is available for download on the Apple Store or Google Play.
With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut off valve locations and priority areas.The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Lancaster East your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes- resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO of Lancaster East to establish your Emergency READY profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes SERVPRO of Lancaster East as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Celebrate Safety This Holiday Season
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the top days for home candle fires.
Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season- however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or businesses this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
- Make sure light strings and other holiday are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
- Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, over mitts, wooden utensils, paper of plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains- away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
SERVPRO of Lancaster East wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
Safety First Before the Feast
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires.
Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.
- Never leave cooking food unattended-stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a "kid-free zone" and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything flammable-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains-away from the stove, over or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
Your local professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
Fires are Preventable!
Prepare your home with fire safety precautions
When it comes to you or your insured's properties, there are certain safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent fires. Ready.gov shares the following tips on home fire prevention.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage and obstructions.
- Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks
- Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
If A Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?
Your #1 Trusted Disaster Recovery Team
It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- Develop and test emergency communication plans.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies.
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion training or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.
When disaster strikes, be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, SERVPRO professionals. Our team is faster to any size disaster, making it like it never happened.
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of Lancaster East has encountered hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO of Lancaster East is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. Our Franchise Professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Lancaster East, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO of Lancaster East may encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Lancaster East today at 717-519-0767.
WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES
Water extraction from a laminate floor.
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. By calling 717-519-0767 when you discover your water loss we can, within four hours of loss notification, have SERVPRO of Lancaster East on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO of Lancaster East professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
The SERVPRO of Lancaster East professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO of Lancaster East professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
Often SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walkthrough of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
Drying Science ?
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, your local SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.
If your business suffers a water damage, your local SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professional will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed,
drier. The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. For this reason, your local
SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help
dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more.
SERVPRO® also uses state-of-the-art monitoring
equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.
The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Frozen Pipes !
Winter weather can bring about more issues than
just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or
kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
- When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into
water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the
trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your
property, your local SERVPRO of Lancaster East Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO Recognizes National Preparedness Month with a Reminder to Home and Business Owners:
“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”
Local disaster restoration specialist offers no-cost tools to help property owners prepare a comprehensive emergency readiness plan
Lititz, PA (Grassroots Newswire) August 23, 2017 - September is National Preparedness Month (http://www.ready.gov/September), an annual event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise awareness about the importance of preparing—in advance—for the unexpected. In support of this initiative, Donna Barrett, owner of SERVPRO® of Lancaster East, encourages Lititz property owners to take the following two steps now to protect their family, home, and business in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Review and update your emergency preparedness plan, including business and life continuity plans. If you don’t yet have a plan, use the tools provided by FEMA to get started. (https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
- Collect and store time-critical information, like the location of shutoff valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers electronically, where it is immediately available to assist first responders.
“Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, but a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster,” said Barrett. “The most effective response to any emergency is a fast response. That’s why having critical system and contact information at your fingertips is so important. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.”
SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Lancaster East as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) and storing that profile in the READY app.
“Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal,” said Barrett. “Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using a cell phone.”
SERVPRO® of Lancaster East specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® of Lancaster East, please contact Donna Barrett at (717) 519-0767 or SERVPRO8837@comcast.net.