Recent Posts

Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan?

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Is your business prepared in case a disaster or emergency should occur?

Disasters and resulting business interruptions can devastate companies; in fact, as many as 50% of businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. With the proper planning and proactive restoration, you can be better prepared to survive any situation.

The benefit of having a detailed emergency action plan is crucial. A well-developed plan can help mitigate the effects of disasters and help you return to business quickly, saving time, unnecessary frustration and money. Those few minutes and hours immediately following a loss can be significant in determining the amount of time the property will be non-functional. Fast response can mean the difference between restoration and cleaning versus costly replacement resulting from prolonged exposure and secondary damage.

Developing a solid working contingency plan and networking with reputable vendors to assist you in your time of need are essential in your recovery efforts. Having a reliable company to respond immediately and begin emergency procedures is a critical part of any contingency plan.

As part of a Franchise System, SERVPRO of Reisterstown has access to over 10,000 quality teammates with thousands of pieces of commercial equipment and service vehicles that can typically respond to a crisis within hours.

SERVPRO of Reisterstown can provide you a free emergency preparedness plan to help minimize interruption, overall costs and tenant inconvenience. Listed below are some of the items that are found in the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP):

  • Immediate Response Checklist - An organized and prioritized list of persons who need to be contacted when an emergency occurs, including insurance contacts and emergency service providers.
  • Building and Grounds Information - Building statistics and key support companies (i.e. security, engineering and elevator).
  • Content Information – Inventories of contents and locations of valuable documents, articles and other important items. This also includes machinery and office equipment inventory lists and information as well as vital documents and records.

As a free service to you, we will catalog all this important information into a customized Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business.

Call us today at 410-242-7371 for a straight, no-nonsense discussion on how to get your business back up and running following an adverse situation.

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

As a homeowner or business owner you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home or business, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best course of action is to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step.

  • "P": Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation.
  • A": Aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom where the combustion is taking place.
  • "S": Squeeze the handle to start the flow.
  • S”: Sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can quickly and safely prevent fire damage.

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Every fire damage situation is different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Reisterstown, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damaged property and contents. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about Fire & Smoke Damage? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7371.

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

The Water You DON'T See Can Cause the Most Damage

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

There's no such thing as a small disaster.

Especially when the water you don't see contains bacteria or causes mold, rot and other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. So, before you get out the mop, bucket, and box fan to try and clean it up yourself, consider how this will affect your property.

A mop and common cleaning products may not be enough for serious water intrusions. Your local SERVPRO of Reisterstown is trained to safely clean and RESTORE your building, utilizing the following procedures:

  • Identify the Source/Type of Water
  • Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis
  • Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises
  • Perform Emergency Water Extraction
  • Apply Necessary Treatments
  • Utilize Drying Equipment and Monitor Drying

Before you risk further damaging the value of your home or facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local SERVPRO® of Reisterstown water damage cleanup and restoration specialist at 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We’re also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which gives us access to more resources for larger cleaning or restoration projects or major storm scenarios.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 3

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

After the storm

When the storm has finally passed, it may be tempting to get back to life as usual but that may not be possible right away. In severe cases, it may take days or even weeks to thaw out and get back to normal.

Some tips for after a major winter storm:

  • Only drive if necessary.
    • Remove snow and ice from your tailpipe before starting your car and check regularly if idling.
    • Clean all snow and ice from your car before driving.
  • Dress in warm clothing, stay dry, and prevent prolonged exposure to cold and wind.
  • Avoid overexertion clearing/shoveling snow. Overexertion can lead to a medical emergency.
  • Monitor local news and alerts for emergency information and instructions.

Did your home or property suffer damage in the storm? If your home is damaged, no longer safe, and/or has lost power, you’ll need to get help as soon as possible. What are your options?

  • You may want to go to a designated public shelter. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER 20472) to 43362 (FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
  • Friends, family, and neighbors will likely be the first to provide help. Plan with neighbors now to help each other and share resources.
  • Nonprofit and faith-based organizations often provide support immediately after a winter storm.
  • If you or someone in your household has a disability, an access or functional need, and receives disability services, contact your local disability service provider for assistance.
  • Insurance is an essential part of recovery. If you have insurance, you may receive financial compensation for some of your losses.
    • Take pictures to document your damage and file a claim as soon as possible.
    • Do what you can to prevent further damage (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof) because insurance may not cover damage that occurs after the winter storm.
  • Contact a leading restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Reisterstown, to mitigate any damage and restore your property to its previous condition.

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Every winter storm damage situation is different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Reisterstown, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your storm damaged property and contents. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7371.

Did you miss the previous posts in our Winter Storm Prep series? Read Part 1 and Part 2 now.

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 1

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Winter storm season is here in Reisterstown and if you haven’t already prepared for damaging weather, now is the time. Don’t wait until a storm hits to take safety measure to protect your home and family.

Winter storms can cause major issues including:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Power Failures
  • Loss of communication services
  • Icy roads

We’ve consulted CDC and FEMA guidelines to bring you a 3-part series on winter storm prep tips so you’re ready for anything when winter storms strike.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A STORM (NOW)

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings.
  • Create and test an emergency communication plan. Follow steps to create an emergency plan HERE.
  • Stock up on EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
  • Install battery-powered or battery backed-up carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.
  • Winterize your home:
    • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Insulate walls and attic.
    • Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
    • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • Review your property insurance and safeguard critical documents.
  • Keep an easy to read thermometer inside your home.
  • Get trained on specific needs your family may have.
  • Identify a place nearby where you can safely warm up should you lose heat in your home.
  • Prepare your vehicle.

Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7371.

Check back soon for Part 2 of our Winter Storm Prep series.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 2

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Scenario: A major storm has hit the Reisterstown area. Your home is winterized, your vehicle is ready if necessary, and you’ve stocked up on supplies. What should you do now?

  • Stay indoors. If you must go outside:
    • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
    • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent.
    • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
    • Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.
  • Stay off the roads. If you must drive, make sure you have emergency supplies in your car.
  • Close off rooms to consolidate and retain heat.
  • Dress in layers and use blankets to stay warm.
  • Bring pets into a warm place and out of the storm or severe cold.
  • Never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill, or gasoline or propane heater indoors, as these items can start accidental fires, cause electric shock, and/or cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ensure space heater safety with THESE TIPS
  • Never heat a home with a cooktop or oven.
  • Limit your time outdoors and stay dry.
  • Regularly check the temperature inside your home, especially if you are over 65.
    • Our ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age.
    • Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold.

You should also be aware of medical dangers during this time. Major concerns include frostbite and hypothermia.

HYPOTHERMIA

  • Signs of Hypothermia
    • Uncontrollable shivering
    • Memory loss, disorientation
    • Incoherence, slurred speech
    • Drowsiness
    • Apparent exhaustion
  • What should you do?
    • Get the victim to a warm location.
    • Remove wet clothing.
    • Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing.
    • Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is conscious.
    • Take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately.

FROSTBITE

  • Signs of Frostbite
    • Numbness or loss of feeling in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
    • A white or grayish-yellow skin area
    • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • What should you do?
    • Get the person into a warm room as soon as possible.
    • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on feet or toes that show signs of frostbite—this increases the damage.
    • Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
    • Put the areas affected by frostbite in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
    • If warm water is not available, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, you can use the heat of an armpit to warm frostbitten fingers.
    • Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can easily burn.

More information on frostbite and hypothermia can be found on the CDC’s website.

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Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7371.

Did you miss Part 1 of our Winter Storm Prep series? Read it HERE. And stay tuned for Part 3.

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property.

Water Damage in Your Home - What To Do Until Help Arrives

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in your home is almost always an unexpected and stressful situation. In the moment, you’ll likely feel panic and devastation, wondering what steps to take and who to call for help.

Our team at SERVPRO of Reisterstown is here for you. We’ve put together this list of Emergency Tips that you can use to take control of a water damage situation while you wait for help to arrive.

DO:

  • Shut off the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much of the excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop-up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe dry place any paintings, art objects, computer, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON’T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazard may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall to wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retaining water.

Every water damage situation is a little different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Reisterstown, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your water damaged areas.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about Water Damage? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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 and skills to restore your property.

Friend or Foe: The Space Heater

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Most of us have used a space heater to provide a little extra warmth in a cold room in a big house or even under a desk at work.

This small but mighty appliance has many advantages:

  • Quickly heats small areas
  • Provides supplemental heat for a larger space
  • Very portable and easy to move around
  • Helps defray utility costs
  • Easy to find and relatively inexpensive

While these are all great reasons to use a space heater, use caution. When Space Heaters are operated incorrectly, they become a MAJOR fire hazard.

Luckily, you can help prevent disaster by following these simple steps:

  1. Position your heater AT LEAST 3 feet away from other objects: walls, furniture, curtains, bedding, clothing, etc.
  2. Place your heater on a flat, sturdy surface. Never place on tables, chairs, or other areas where it may get bumped into or knocked over.
  3. Always plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords.
  4. Never use your heater near water or to dry clothing or textiles. Do not operate with wet hands.
  5. Place your heater in an area away from children and pets. Don’t allow children to operate the heater without proper supervision.
  6. Turn off the heater before you go to bed or leave the house.

A little extra precaution will go a long way to ensuring the safety of your home and family. If disaster does occur, our certified specialists have the equipment, expertise, and experience to clean and restore areas affected by fire and smoke damage.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us at 410-242-7370

Want to share this information? Check out this short video.

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown 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.

Is Your Business Ready for Winter?

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Winter weather officially hit the Reisterstown area this week. Was your business prepared?

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your business if you’re not ready for it. Freezing rain and low temperatures, damaging winds, sleet and snow can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Reisterstown business.

To help prevent costly winter storm damages, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before winter weather hits:

  1. Check your Reisterstown business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to your property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  2. Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas.
  3. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.
  4. Take steps to prevent frozen pipes and avoid costly water damage to your property.

Even with proper precaution, the unexpected can happen. SERVPRO of Reisterstown has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help with the cleanup and restoration of winter weather damage.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Reisterstown to strike back. 410-242-7371.

Prevent a chimney fire

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

  • Clean your chimney. You can tell if it’s time to clean it if the smoke is coming out of the stove and not drafting up through the chimney 
  • Use dry wood. If the wood is wet or not cured, it will not burn as hot and will smoke more. This can build up creosote in your chimney which can be dangerous. 
  • Do not overload your wood burning stove with wood. It can either burn too hot or get too much oxygen. This can cause the metal to warp or weaken.
  • Schedule an annual chimney inspection. Sometimes we can't see damage so an inspector can find out if there is a problem and fix it, remove creosote, debris, critters or nest. 
  • Install a chimney cap. This prevents debris and critters from getting in. It also prevents "back puffing" which is escaped smoke reentering the chimney and then your home.