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How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire.

9/6/2022 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher All fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are still working properly

How to Prepare Your Company for a Fire

A fire in your business can be devastating. There are many ways to minimize the damage and losses, but it is important to have a plan in place before a fire occurs.

Make Sure You are Insured

If your business is housed in a building, make sure it’s properly insured and that the coverage is up to date. Most buildings come with fire insurance as part of their mortgage payment, but this might not be sufficient for your needs. Make sure that you have enough protection to cover any damage caused by fires or other disasters. You should also keep up with changes in technology and industry standards as these could affect what kinds of services or products your business provides, which could change how much risk there is associated with them.

Develop an Evacuation and Emergency Action Plan for the Entire Business

The plan should include:

  • a fire escape route for all employees to follow if there is a fire, including the safest way out of the building, what to do in an emergency, and where to meet after exiting the building.
  • information on how to assist disabled employees or other people who may need help.
  • plans for pets that may be left behind during an evacuation. This includes identifying where they will go while you are away from work, keeping them contained in certain areas of your business (such as inside cages) with food and water until you return home from work yourself, or having arrangements made with someone else outside of your business who can care for them while you are gone (a friend/family member).

Keep Your Building in Good Repair

Ensure that all exits are clear and unobstructed. Fire extinguishers should be readily available in areas where they are needed, such as near the kitchen and office area. All fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are still working properly (they should be replaced every five years). Installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is also a good idea, as it will give you more time to evacuate your building if there is a fire. Be sure to have an emergency exit plan for everyone who works at the business!

Keep a fire blanket on hand just in case something does happen!

Store Flammable Liquids Away from Ignition Sources.

Close the lid on containers that contain flammable liquids and place them in a safe location where they will be secure from fire. Do not store flammable liquids near things that can ignite, such as lint or paper, because even minor sparks can ignite these substances. If you see heavy smoke coming from an area where you keep your flammable liquids, evacuate immediately. You may think that putting out the fire is easy but it could cost you your life if you get too close to it. Call 911 right away if there are flames or smoke coming out of any area of your building.

Use a fire extinguisher on small fires only when they start off as burning embers or sparks rather than flames so they won't spread quickly across large areas within seconds which would make them harder for other people who might not have experience using one before trying doing so themselves without knowing how else those types work properly; although there's always room for improvement here too since these situations tend not necessarily happen every time.

Keep Electrical Equipment in Good Working Order, Including Wiring and Outlets

Wiring should be regularly inspected for any signs of damage, such as loose connections or frayed insulation. If you have concerns about the safety of your wiring, contact a professional electrician to inspect it before using it again.

Outlets should be tested regularly with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that no electrical current is leaking through them (a sign that they may have been damaged).

Being Prepared Can Significantly Reduce Damage if a Fire Occurs

If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips:

  • Make sure you have the correct type and number of fire extinguishers for the building. In most cases, this will be either ABC or BC dry chemical extinguishers. You should also have a wet pipe or sprinkler system installed in your building.
  • Leave detailed evacuation plans with your employees and make sure they know how to use them in case of emergency. The plan should include an exit map that shows all possible exits from every room in the building as well as any obstacles they may encounter on their way out, such as stairwells blocked by smoke or heat-related hazards like hot surfaces that could burn if touched; broken glass windows; inner doors with warped frames which cannot be opened by hand due to excessive heat buildup inside; etc.

Preparing your business for a fire can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the steps above and make sure that your business is well prepared, you will decrease the risk of damage or injuries in case of an emergency.

Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?

8/26/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning A lightning fire is a common occurrence in nature but can also occur to homes and other buildings

Most homeowners experience a number of severe storms each year. Although most people do not usually think about it, a lightning fire can and does occasionally occur. During 2007-2011, lightning-caused over $450 million in property damage each year. Knowing how lightning travels can help you understand your risk of a fire.

What Happens to the House?

All homes contain paths that could be used as the lightning strike travels to different parts of the residence. When a house sustains a direct impact, many types of damage can occur:

  • Breaks and cracks in concrete, bricks, and stone
  • Shattered windows
  • Damaged foundations
  • Electrical surges that damage appliances and electronics
  • Fire ignition

Once a house is struck, the energy can continue to surge through a path until it reaches the ground. As the energy encounters flammable materials, it can start a house fire. Attics, roofs, and fallen trees are common areas for fires to start.

How Can the Home Be Protected?

Ensure that your house is fitted with a lightning rod and that the rod is the highest point of your dwelling. If the rod is struck, it should allow the electricity to disperse safely through your home and avoid a lightning fire. Keeping your roof in good repair and choosing flame-resistant shingles can help. If tall branches are growing near, consider having them trimmed so that they are not hanging over your roof. Protect your appliances and electronics by using a surge protector or unplugging them during a storm. If your home is struck by lightning, call your emergency fire department to check for fires in areas that may not be obvious.

A lightning fire is a common occurrence in nature but can also occur to homes and other buildings. If you have experienced a fire in Birchrunville, PA, call a professional fire restoration service to help return your home to its pre-fire condition.

3 Ways Fire and Water Damage Can Coincide

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

Fire fighter out it out a fire of a home Water and fire damage at a home located in Phoenixville, PA

Putting out a blaze is the primary concern when firefighters arrive at the scene of a house fire in Phoenixville, PA. Flames have the most obvious cosmetic and structural effect on a residential property, but damage due to water is often also present. Standing water or high levels of residual moisture will compound primary fire damage.

Here Are 3 Ways In Which Water Damage Coincides With Fires


1. Fire Hoses

Hoses that connect to fire hydrants may release anywhere from 60 up to 200 gallons per minute. A standard fire hose emits about 150 gallons of water per minute. This can quickly cause standing water to pool in a structure where a conflagration is in the process of being put out. This water starts out clean but becomes contaminated by ash and smoke. It may be necessary to pump standing water out of a residence after the Fire Department responds to an incident.


2. Home Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are designed to activate one at a time to limit the amount of damage due to fire suppression. High air temperatures cause glass bulbs to burst and activate spray mechanisms. These systems can still contribute moisture to fire damage that exacerbates the primary damage.


3. Secondary Damage

When a fire is the original cause of damage to a residence, burnt materials are considered primary damage. Any water introduced to a structure during suppression efforts and the combined effect of fire and water damage are considered secondary damage but should be covered by homeowners insurance in the event of an accidental fire.

No matter the source of water, the clean Category One water emitted by a fire hose or home sprinkler system degrades into grossly contaminated Category Three water upon contact with soot and smoke. Timely mitigation is essential for contaminated water and fire damage at a home located in Phoenixville, PA.

Keep Sneaky HVAC Mold at Bay

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage behind drywall in a home. Mold may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem

Keep Mold in the HVAC System at Bay

Whether a new, old, small, or large business, the people running it have plenty of things on their minds. When it comes to the structure the business operates out of, it can be easy to overlook what can’t be seen. One area of maintenance easily forgotten is HVAC cleaning—a surprising key to mold prevention.

While mold can easily be spotted on walls, floors and areas prone to water, it can also hide in air ducts. Below are three steps to help spot and deal with sneaky mold issues.

1. Inspect the HVAC system. Unfortunately, mold is something that pops up quickly and never completely goes away. Fortunately, it’s easy to minimize its growth by regularly checking around the system for moisture—mold fuel. Any signs of moisture around ducts, vents and the system’s parts, such as blowers, could indicate it’s time for an HVAC cleaning. Also, check that the drain and condensation pans are draining and not retaining water.

2. Get the system cleaned. Mold doesn’t only need moisture to make its rounds. It can also grow on dust inside the ducts and vents. Cleaning vents help reduce the accumulation of mold and keeps airflow operating smoothly. Business owners in Chester Springs, PA, with the potential for mold in their vents, should call an expert to help resolve the issue quickly and professionally.

3. Preventive maintenance keeps the mold away. Once an HVAC system is cleaned, it's time to set up a regular maintenance plan. Change filters regularly to stunt future growth, and ensure that the filters are positioned correctly. Continue to regularly inspect the system and its components for any moisture buildup or improperly functioning parts. Additionally, regular general dusting and vacuuming can help air ducts stay relatively clean, keeping mold from serious growth. Lastly, be sure to set up an annual cleaning appointment with an HVAC expert.

Mold may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming problem. While HVAC cleaning may not be on the priority list, its benefits can help put business owners’ minds at ease.

FASTER TO ANY DISASTER

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline. SERVPRO's 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline.

FASTER TO ANY DISASTER

Fire and water damages are never scheduled. Will you be prepared? Whether it's a burst pipe in an apartment complex or an electrical fire in an office building; SERVPRO is always ready. There's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and the revenue of the property owner. 

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can manage the damage. With more than  1500 franchises in 48 states and over 40 years of business in the cleanup and restoration industry, you can rest easy knowing help is on the way. SERVPRO Professionals always keep thorough and detailed communication throughout the restoration process to help keep you informed and in control. SERVPRO's reputation has been built through experience and training in mitigation damages ranging from single-family homes to skyscrapers, and even the Pentagon! 

Because emergency situations are never scheduled, SERVPRO implicates the 1-4-8 method of Service Response Guidelines to ensure efficient and timely services. The 1-4-8 Service Response Guideline method means that:

1- Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. 

4- Within 4 hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary). 

8- Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person. 

This response method helps to ensure that SERVPRO Professionals may help to avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize inconvenience to tenants. Timely restoration services along with SERVPRO's Professional equipment and industry-approved techniques can help you resume normal business functions and may save you time and money. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO Professionals will work hard to restore your property and your peace of mind. 

The Fire is Just the "Starter"...

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Stair with soot After a fire is extinguished, the process of restoration has just begun...

Fire damage is an unfortunate and significant event that comes in varying degrees.  If you happen to experience a fire loss at your home or business, the extinguishing of the fire is just the start of a complicated process that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County pride ourselves on being able to help you facilitate.  

The Cleanup

Beyond the accumulation of soot and smoke damage, fire losses also usually accumulate significant amounts of debris and fire extinguisher discharge (if water is not used).  These materials may be hazardous and are certainly unwanted and need to be appropriately removed and cleaned up after.  Our technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are ready to spring into action and handle the aftermath.

The Pack-Out

Oftentimes after a fire loss, some contents of a home or business must be inventoried, packed, cleaned off-site, and sometimes stored while the affected areas are cleaned and restored.  At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we are organized and thorough in our approach to making sure that your belongings are accounted for and restored, so once your home or business is ready to be loved in again, your belongings are returned "Like it never even happened."

You Cook...We Clean!!!

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Before and after picture of a greasy stove Goodbye Grease!

We clean while you cook!!!

Everyone loves a home-cooked meal or dining out with friends at a favorite restaurant, but who wants to clean up the kitchen???

SERVPRO of North East Chester County is ready and willing to provide professional, deep cleaning of your commercial or residential kitchen!  Our skilled technicians have the equipment and the know-how to restore your kitchen - the heart of your home or business - to a pristine state that looks, smells, and feels clean.

RESIDENTIAL KITCHENS

Our technicians will hit all of those hard-to-reach spots that probably haven't been cleaned since the appliances first came off the truck.  Your kitchen will feel and smell so fresh you will want to host the next family dinner or friends' dinner party to show off your newly restored space.

COMMERCIAL KITCHENS

Re-inspire your culinary staff with a professionally cleaned work space, and re-ignite their sense of pride and responsibility to maintain your restaurant kitchen.  We take on the tough chores that you can never quite get to and can restore tired-looking, greasy equipment to a like-new luster!

3 Reasons Why You Need a Certified Water Damage Expert

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Institute.of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration IICRC certifications provide credibility in the industry.

There Are Three Reasons Why You Should Hire A Certified Water Damage Expert.

When you have a broken pipe in your business in Spring City, PA, and you know you need a water cleanup specialist, be sure they have the proper documentation from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. Here are the top three reasons why this certification is important.

1. You Want Someone You Can Trust To Do the Job Right

The IICRC has certified more than 50,000 technicians and 6,500 firms worldwide. IICRC certifications provide credibility in the industry. They show that a technician has been trained and knows how to get the job done right. These facts should help build your confidence because you know that you are putting the restoration of your valuable property into the hands of a professional.

2. You Want Someone Who Knows Water Cleanup Methods

When it comes to water damage restoration, the IICRC offers certification as a Water Damage Restoration Technician. This certification shows that the technician understands water damage and knows how to perform remediation work. Study topics for this certification include effects, water losses, techniques, drying of structures, contamination, and sewer backflows. The WRT certification also serves as the prerequisite for the IICRC Commercial Drying Specialist, which is an advanced certification.

3. You Want Someone Who Knows How To Dry Commercial Structures

The CDS has demonstrated the ability to manage large drying operations for complex industrial, institutional, commercial, and residential buildings. These specialists are proficient in analyzing the anatomy of commercial properties and have improved inspection expertise and an advanced understanding of the drying process. It is not likely that you will find someone more suited to restoring your business as it was.

The IICRC certifies water cleanup professionals worldwide to provide you with the peace of mind that you will be getting your money’s worth when you hire a certified water damage expert.

The SERVPRO Emergency Response to Claims

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green vehicle with large fonts saying Faster to any Size Disaster It may be a relatively minor incident or a devastating loss. No matter the extent of the damage, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

SERVPRO's Emergency Claims Response

Emergencies don't take place on a schedule. When your company experiences a disaster in South Pottstown, PA, you need help as soon as it occurs. Immediate repairs, protection against further damage, insurance claim services — it all has to happen fast.

Using the Emergency Response

A professional restoration service with agents available 24/7 can be your lifeline after you experience perils such as:

  • Fire
  • Tornado or storm damage
  • Water damage from rain or flooding
  • High winds

It may be a relatively minor incident or a devastating loss. No matter the extent of the damage, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. When you call, a technician is available to take your information at any time of day. The company has more than 1,900 locations across the country. It can reach 90% of all United States ZIP codes within two hours.

Staying Prepared
While you can't predict when a disaster will occur, you can prepare. The Emergency Ready Plan is designed to give you a strategy before a catastrophe happens.

Technicians conduct a no-cost assessment of your property. You complete a profile document that contains a concise list of critical information you need after an emergency. You benefit from a plan with:

  • A chain of command to authorize work
  • Facility details such as priority areas and shut-off locations
  • Assistance with claim services

Getting Back to Work Quicker
After a disruption, you and your employees want things to return to normal as soon as possible. The Emergency Ready Plan helps you go through the restoration process quickly and smoothly. Avoiding downtime ensures you keep up your levels of productivity and gets everyone back to work “Like it never even happened”.

A disaster can strike your South Pottstown, PA, business at any time. That doesn't mean you have to be unprepared. A fast-acting remediation company helps you with cleanup, restoration, and claim services — every step of the way.

A Guide to the Three Types of Water Damage

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Water Category Three types of contaminated water and how to treat each one if your Phoenixville, PA, property is affected.

The Three Types of Water Damage

Water damage can occur due to several reasons. But no matter the cause, the water will be placed into one of three categories based on the level of contaminants present. This guide will break down the three categories of contaminated water and how to treat each type if your property in Phoenixville, PA, is impacted. 

1. Category 1: Clean Water

As its name suggests, clean water is free of any contaminants and therefore not harmful upon exposure. This type of water damage can present itself wherever there is a clean water supply line, such as an overflowing sink or hose. If you experience Category 1 damage, blot up or remove as much of the water as you can and get the area to dry as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. 

2. Category 2: Gray Water

Contaminated water featuring chemical or biological elements is known as gray water. While this water carries microorganisms or bacteria, it is not as severely unsanitary as the final category. A sump pump failure or overflown toilet without fecal matter can be classified as gray water damage, as can water with chemical elements in it such as bleach or detergents. This type of damage is a bit more severe and requires extensive cleaning to prevent further harm.

3. Category 3: Black Water

The most unsanitary of all contaminated water, Category 3 damage contains high levels of bacteria, chemical toxins, and other hazardous properties. This largely presents itself in sewage backup and floodwater, though Category 2 water can develop into Category 3 if it sits stagnant for too long. If your property is infiltrated by this harmful water, immediately call a water damage cleanup company.

These pros are fully equipped to remove the unsanitary water and disinfect the impacted space. 
Knowing which category you are dealing with is important for the cleanup process, and often the water source will indicate the level of contaminants present.