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Storm Preparedness

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Every year parts of the United States, including the east coast, find themselves experiencing the high winds and heavy rain of a hurricane storm surge.   The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.  Being prepared for these storms is the key to your safety and in reducing damage to your home and business.  Here are a few things that you can do to be prepared:

  • Before
    • Have a plan.  Having a plan ready for what you need, how to get in contact with relatives and loved ones, and what you will do if evacuations are required.  Planning can help to ensure you are ready regardless of if you leave your home or shelter in place during the storm.  You can also visit FEMAs website for more information about putting together an emergency plan.  (link https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
    • Have an emergency kit ready.  Always make sure to have an emergency kit ready with supplies for sheltering in place or for evacuating the area if told to do so. 
    • Listen for weather reports and instructions.  Paying close attention to the weather reports and instructions from local government can help to keep you and your family safe and prepared for the storm. 
    • Know how to turn off gas, electric, and water utilities in your home.  Turning off the utilities can prevent further damage occurring in the event that you are required to evacuate.
    • Property maintenance.  Removing dead or damaged branches, repairing damaged gutters, or loose debris in the yard can prevent damage caused by debris becoming projectiles in the wind.  Cleaning out clogged gutters can also prevent water damage. 
  • During
    • Stay updated on the storm.  Listen for alerts and instructions from local officials on the news and radio.  Also be sure to follow the instructions given to better ensure your safety. 
    • Avoid windows and glass doors during the storm.  High winds can create projectiles that can shatter glass and harm occupants in the home. 
    • Stay inside during the eye of the hurricane.  Hurricanes are a large circular storm system that rotate around a central eye.  The eye may seem calm as if the storm has passed but the rest of the storm will shortly follow behind it.
  • After
    • Check-in with family and friends.  Check in on loved ones in the affected area and let those that you now outside of the area that you are safe.  If land lines are down social media and texting may be more effective ways to make contact. 
    • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.  Never attempt to re-enter the area until the area has been cleared as safe. 
    • Avoid debris and downed power lines.
    • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
    • Take inventory of damage to your property.  Photograph the damage in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
    • Prevent additional damage from occurring.  Tarp or board up damaged roofs and windows.  Your insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm has passed.

Free Shredding Events

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford hosts several FREE shredding events a year.  Follow us on Facebook to see a list of our upcoming events!

Why is shredding important? 

Shredding is fundamental to protecting your identity.

Discarding bank and credit card statements, medical and utility bills and pay stubbs in the garbage and leaving them on the curb can put you in a vulnerable position. Believe it or not, there are people who will dig through dirty, disgusting, smelly trash to find credit card statements or your social security number. 

In fact, in the decision California vs. Greenwood, the United States Supreme Court stated that the "expectation of privacy in trash left for collection in an area accessible to the public is unreasonable."

In other words, when you throw something away, it is available to anyone who is willing to dig through your trash.

The best way to protect your self is by shredding.

What to shred? The short list is anything with a signature, account number, social security or driver's license number, and medical or legal documents

Not sure if items need to be shredded? This is a list of the top 20 items that should be put in the shredder to protect your identity:  

Obsolete financial records, including loans

Pre-approved credit card applications.

Personal medical records or physician statements

Correspondence and tax preparation worksheets

Receips for purchases

Bank statements

ATM receipts

Credit card statements

Cancelled checks

Mail and old records

Utility bills

Credit card receipts

Insurance forms

Investment transactions

Expired credit cards

Mailing labels from magazines

Pay stubs

Old driver’s licenses or passports

Expired insurance cards

Any document that contains social security, birth dates, your mother’s maiden name, account numbers or online passwords.

Don't Lose Your Business To Fire Damage

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO For Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services

The word “fire” strikes fear in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt. 

If your business or commercial property caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO® of Kennett Square/Oxford and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the sophisticated services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at (610) 268-8620 to attain your free estimate.

Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:

1. Call The Insurance Company Immediately.

Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.

2. Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.

In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.

SERVPRO of Kennett Square / Oxford specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to pre-fire condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you in peril of injury and illness.

3. Assemble Your Records.

In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.

4. Get Permission To Reenter The Building.

Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees.

Smoke Alarm Safety

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury by half. *

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure that specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Kennett Square/Oxford Franchise Professionals.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaces right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

 *Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association

SERVPRO Named to Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List for Ten Consecutive Year

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO retains top ranking in restoration services category in the 2018 Franchise 500 rankings.

SERVPRO, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 10th consecutive year in the 2018 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. 

"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension, its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:

•SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.

•SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.

"Today, as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit http://www.SERVPROkennettsquareoxford.com

Community Emergency Response Teams

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Community Community Emergency Response Teams CERT gear

Here at SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford we believe in the power of sharing knowledge and information on preparedness for disasters that could affect our communities.  Our marketing manager, Cliff Masscotte, and marketing representative, Brian Arencibia, are both trained as members of Chester County CERT in order to have more knowledge on these topics.  CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team, and is a program that is organized by FEMA, and is run by Chester County.  The goal of the program is to teach people within the local communities to be prepared to help themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors in the event of a disaster or unforeseen emergency.  The training includes everything from first aid and triage, to basic search and rescue and small fire fighting.  Through this training with CERT, Cliff and Brian are more prepared to respond to disasters that might occur , and they also have more knowledge and information to share with the communities that we serve. At SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford we are ready to serve our communities at a moments notice before, during, and after any disaster that may strike. 

Summer Camp Commercial Mold Remediation

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Summer Camp Commercial Mold Remediation Mold damage to the ceiling in basement.

At the start of this spring, SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford was called in to assist with a mold remediation at a local youth summer camp.  As they were going through prepping the camp, to be ready to invite the smiling faces of their campers for the summer, they discovered a small water leak in their dining hall had gone un-noticed in the months that the camp was closed down.  This minor leak had created the perfect, humid, environment for mold to grow.  In just a few months’ time the entire basement of the structure had significant mold growth on every surface.  The IICRC certified mold technicians at SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford spent a week removing all of the affected content, drop ceiling, and drywall throughout the structure.  The entire structure was then cleaned, treated, and then sealed in order to mitigate the mold damage.  We were proud to have the opportunity to create a clean and safe environment for the children to enjoy this summer. 

Residential Carpet Cleaning

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Residential Carpet Cleaning Check out our before/after section to see how this cleaning turned out, and why our customers are always quick to say “Like It Never Even Happened!”

The best thing about being an emergency restoration company, is being there for people when they need us most. Did you know it doesn’t have to be an emergency to use SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford though?  Our residential and commercial carpet cleaning service is one of our most popular services!  When this customer found us via our SERVPRO Facebook page, she reached out to our Marketing Manager, Cliff Masscotte, and asked him to come out to take a look. The black stain you see is actually black mulch dye, and is meant to last for a minimum of one year. Not to worry, we were able to get it out in minutes.

Once the crew was on site, they pre-sprayed the spot and agitated it, then treated it with our exclusive line of cleaning agents made in house by SERVPRO.  

Commercial Hardwood Cleaning

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Hardwood Cleaning Commercial VCT strip and wax.

Hardwood flooring is commonly used in both residential and commercial buildings and appears to be easy to clean, maintain, and restore. However, don’t let it fool you - these materials tend to have soil accumulate over time especially in heavy traffic areas, and eventually you’ll need professional cleaning to remove this buildup. That’s where SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford comes in! We were contacted by Avondale Fire Company– Station 23 to shine up their hardwood and tile flooring from every day wear and tear. Our professional technicians took the time and care needed and treated the floors at the fire station like their own. If your home or business has this type of flooring that needs some attention, give us a call! We have trained professionals and specialized cleaning methods that allow us to properly clean and restore your floor’s original beauty.

Kennett Square Residential Water Loss

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Kennett Square Residential Water Loss Ice that formed as a result of water flooding the garage

Selling your home can be an incredibly stressful time for anyone, but imagine getting a call from your realtor, while you are away on a business trip, telling you there is water pouring out from under the garage doors.  This was the reality for one of our recent customers in the Kennett Square area.  The current owner was just weeks away from settlement on the sale of their home when they left town. 

Sadly during their trip most of the north east was caught in a severe cold snap that resulted in two broken pipes on their second floor.  A neighbor noticed ice forming on their garage door and coming out from the front door as well and contacted the realtor.  Upon arriving he found that most of the ceilings and walls on the first floor and basement had already collapsed.  There was also over a foot of standing water in the basement. 

SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford was called and we had an emergency crew out the same day to begin the process of drying out the structure and removing the damaged materials.  We will now begin the process of rebuilding the interior of the home.  The sale of the home will still be going through, and the new owners will have a clean and beautiful new interior.