Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Scooters May Be Delayed In Philadelphia

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Advocates, including champions on the City Council, say they will reduce car traffic, but the mayor's transportation safety office is recommending a cautious approach to allowing dockless electric scooters on Philadelphia streets.

At a city hearing on Wednesday, Chris Puchalsky, director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Mayor’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS), said scooter crash deaths, while small in number, vastly outnumber those from bike-sharing programs, according to WHYY. Four have died in scooter crashes in the U.S. in the past year, compared to two in bike shares since nine years ago, when such programs began operating.

WHYY cited data from Consumer Reports, showing about 1,500 people injured in e-scooter crashes in the US since 2017.

Other officials believe there is a need for urgency. “This is a type of transportation that we should be moving forward with … especially based on the fact that it will reduce people’s use of cars as a mode of transportation,” Councilman Derek Green said at the council hearing, HYY reported.

Automobiles have their own dangers: the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities is on the increase nationally, the Governors Highway Safety Association states in its most recent report. The report has Philadelphia among the top states for increases in pedestrian traffic deaths.

E-scooter makers Lime, Bird and Spin, all privately held companies, were present at the hearing to make their case for e-scooters' safety and transportation benefits.

Article from: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2019/02/28/electric-scooter-safety-issues-philadelphia-delay.html

National Preparedness Month

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

During an emergency, the last thing you should worry about is what to do next. Every second matters during an unexpected, emergency situation which is why this year’s National Preparedness Month theme is, “Don’t Wait, Communicate!”

SERVPRO of Main Line/Bala Cynwood would like to encourage everyone in our community to develop a game plan! Residential or commercial? It doesn’t matter! Everyone should master a set of steps to perform during an emergency and answer important questions ahead of time such as; Who will be in charge of contacting 911? Who will gather everyone to a safe location? What is the best escape method in an emergency? Etc. These questions are imperative to the safety and well being of our co-workers or families.

Everyone’s focus this month should be towards developing a disaster plan or what we at SERVPRO like to call an ERP (Emergency Communication Plan). In line with the “Don’t Wait, Communicate!” theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Main Line/Bala Cynwood would like to suggest developing an Emergency Communication Plan for your home or business. Several steps, listed below, can help get you started on this plan:

  1. Collect all of your important contact information such as; family doctor, medical facilities, local family members, schools and service providers. Compile all of this information into one, hard-copy, easily accessible sheet. *Waterproof the sheet if possible!*
  2. Share copies of this sheet with everyone within the household/business. 
  3. Develop a fire/emergency escape plan that includes the safest escape routes, layout of home or business, safe meeting place and what to do if contact is lost.
  4. On a monthly basis review/practice all of the important contact information and emergency escape plan.

As always, SERVPRO is #heretohelp in any emergency or disaster situation. Although September is coming to an end it is never too late to be prepared! We encourage everyone to call us today to learn more about National Preparedness Month or about our free Emergency Ready Profiles!

Portable Generator Tips

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Although hurricanes cause more power outages in the U.S. than any other weather event, winter storms are a close second. That's according to a University of Vermont study that analyzed 22 years' worth of power outage data across the U.S. 

Worse, because winter storms often include a brutal trio of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, the outages can last longer—and leave you more vulnerable, with impassable roads and, potentially, without power to keep the heat on.

In the aftermath of a storm, a generator is an invaluable piece of equipment that can, at the very least, help your life begin to feel normal again.

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But because you probably rarely rely on a generator, it’s easy to overlook the basic safety measures that should be routine with such equipment. It’s also easy to get preoccupied by the cleanup work that lies ahead, so you may even be tempted to run a generator in a living space if most of your house is severely water damaged and cannot be saved.

 

That is never an option.

Generator misuse leads to carbon monoxide deaths, injuries from close calls, and burns—all of which happen too often during power outages and storms.

“Portable generators canproduce high levels of carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless, and colorless gas,” says Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Running a generator improperly can kill you in as little as 5 minutes if the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough. On average, 66 people a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning related to using a generator improperly, according to CPSC data.

Here are CR’s essential generator safety tips to get you through a storm and the days afterward. 

 

How to Operate a Generator Safely

Never run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors. Most generator-related injuries and deaths involve CO poisoning from generators used indoors or in partially enclosed spaces. That includes the basement or garage, spaces that can capture deadly levels of carbon monoxide. Always place the generator at least 20 feet from the house with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.

And if you’re using a generator to keep the lights on during a cleanup effort, “use a working, battery-operated carbon monoxide detector at the same time,” says Ken Boyce, principal designated engineer manager at UL. A carbon monoxide alarm provides one more layer of defense against making an innocent but potentially deadly mistake.

Don’t run a portable generator in the rain. But what about a hurricane? You can buy tents for generators that keep them shielded but well-ventilated online and at home centers and hardware stores.

Before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts can ignite. Allowing the engine to cool also reduces the risks of burns while refueling.

Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly. When you think you’ll need to use the generator for an extended time, you’ll want extra fuel on hand. Just be sure to store gas only in an ANSI-approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place.

Adding stabilizer to the gas in the can will help it last longer, but don’t store gasoline near any potential sources of heat or fire, or inside the house.

 

Avoid electrical hazards. If you don’t yet have a transfer switch, you can use the outlets on the generator—providing you follow certain precautions. It’s best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be a heavy-duty one for outdoor use, rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. First check that the entire cord is free of cuts and that the plug has all three prongs, critical to protect against a shock if water has collected inside the equipment.

Install a transfer switch before the next storm. This critical connection will cost from $500 to $900 with labor for a 5,000-rated-watt or larger generator. A transfer switch connects the generator to your circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances while avoiding the glaring safety risk of using extension cords. Most transfer switches also help you avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels.

Don’t attempt to backfeed your house. Backfeeding means trying to power your home’s wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. This reckless and dangerous practice presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices, so you could end up frying some of your electronics or starting an electrical fire.

 Article from: consumerreports.org

Have an Escape Plan Before an Emergency Happens

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/escape-planning/basic-fire-escape-planning

Customer Service Helps SERVPRO Drive Sales

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters happen, notes Sue Steen, and “We can’t control mother nature,” but when it comes to responding to those events, that’s where SERVPRO and its network of cleanup and restoration franchisees shine.

“It’s really their desire to help people in their time of need,” says Steen, CEO of Gallatin, Tennessee-based SERVPRO, as she points out a motivating factor for owners who are trained not just in the technical aspects of dealing with storm, fire and water damage but also in the art of working with people throughout what can be their worst days.

“We’ve been working the past several years to get our franchisees to truly understand the importance of customer service,” says Steen, and it’s paying off with steady growth. “We’re beginning to see the fruits of those labors.”

SERVPRO crossed the $2 billion mark in systemwide sales for 2017 to come in at No. 62 on the Franchise Times Top 200+, our exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises. SERVPRO grew sales 13.5 percent for the year to lead the segment and rose four spots.

While SERVPRO made some training adjustments to help foster a strong customer service attitude, the active storm season was also a key factor in boosting sales for the year.

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma really gave our franchise community an opportunity to respond,” says Steen. “Those storms probably added 5 percentage points of growth last year.”

The brand is also experiencing the benefits of expanded service offerings as SERVPRO adjusted its operating model about five years ago to add commercial cleaning to what had primarily been water restoration and residential disaster cleanup.

Read more Top 200+ coverage here and in the October issue of Franchise Times.

Source: http://www.franchisetimes.com/news/October-2018/Customer-Service-Focus-Helps-SERVPRO-Drive-Sales/

SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is IICRC Certified!

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd

SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

For Immediate Service in Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd, Call SERVPRO

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 610-667-9080

Residential Services

Whether your Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Eastern Main Line/Bala Cynwyd commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration