Recent Posts

Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen

10/3/2020 (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."

Preparedness For Pets

10/3/2020 (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.

Smoke Alarms Are Life Savers

9/23/2020 (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.

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

9/1/2020 (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.

Hurricane Hazards

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Image from space of a hurricane over the water Globally, September is the most active month for hurricanes.

Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential "hurricane hazards."

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. There tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. There waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information on recovering from water damage caused by weather-related disasters, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County today.

When Our Logo Is On Your Door, Your Commitment To Clean Is Clear

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield logo Call us today at 717-464-5500 to schedule a cleaning!

Being open for business is just to the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patronize are safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Are you ready to communicate to your customers and employees that you've chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans? Are you ready to be Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive program that SERVPRO offers to commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 global pandemic. This is is a level of clean that goes far beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning. When you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you've selected a higher cleaning standard - you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.

From formulation and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE™, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will help ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy begins to reopen.

Say Thank You!

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Police, firefighter, and medic logos with an American flag background "Heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary." -Kevin Brown

The first half of 2020 has been a roller coaster of fear and emotions. The world was thrown into a state of change that had not been seen for several generations. At the front of this battle, our heroes stood strong, not wearing tights or capes, but uniforms, scrubs, masks, and gloves all ready to fight this for all of us.

The words "Thank You" don't seem enough. How do we convey our gratitude to those that put their lives at risk so we can stay at home with our families to flatten the curve? Here are a few ideas to say Thanks.

Restaurant Gift Cards

It would be great to give out large enough gift cards so they could take their whole family to dinner, but think about ways to stretch your funds farther to reach more heroes. Consider $5-$10 gift cards to local restaurants. This will give enough money for either a drink or appetizer. It will also help the economy and struggling restaurants.

Food Drop Off

You will probably have to coordinate this in advance, but schedule a meal that you can deliver to our heroes. They will love some food to refuel. Drop-offs at police stations, fire halls, and emergency rooms are sure to boost moral.

Letters of Encouragement

Take the time to sit down with the family and write letters of encouragement to these heroes, expressing your appreciation for what they're doing. If you have children, get them to draw these heroes. Their artwork will be a blessing to these first responders. You can send them or hand-deliver (at a safe distance) to your local fire halls, police stations, and hospitals. They are separated from their families right now; these letters will include them in yours.

Extreme Heat

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

 Outdoor thermometer with flames coming from it and the sun in the background Prepare your home by using extreme heat safety tips that are found at ready.gov.

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected then those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures." These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset "due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure."

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or being them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale, and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical condition (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

"Here To Help" and SERVPRO logo with germ cells in the background We prepared to take on your cleaning needs!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

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 carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500

Improve Your Air Quality: Duct Cleaning Can Help!

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Technician laying down looking at an HVAC system with a flashlight To schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County at 717-464-5500 today.

The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. The professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County will inspect your HVAC system and duct will and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and duct work.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County can often restore the HVAC system and duct work to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends it be inspected for proper functioning and be services before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, the professionals at SERVPRO of Southern Lancaster County use a portable ventilation and ait duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.