We Offer Complete Reconstruction

We provide complete repair and reconstruction of Water, Fire, lightning, windstorm, vandalism, collapse, explosion or other property damage. Our staff is 100% dedicated and fully equipped for any emergency response, being available 24/7. We also offer Consulting, appraisals and inspections, Board Up, Repairs, Restoration, and Reconstruction for your Home or Business. With the professional services we provide ServiceMaster can help control the cost of the loss, minimize the period of interruption, all the while providing outstanding customer service.

Disaster can strike at any time and any building causing major upheaval to the occupants. Whether it is residential or commercial, sealing the building in order to make it safe as well as renovating and recovering the building are considered vital steps towards complete recovery from any kind of disaster.

WEEU Golf Outing

Skip Bell, Owner of ServiceMaster is the guy on the far left….   at A WEEU Sponsored Golf Tournament Event.

WEEU Golf Outing

 

Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace

Staying warm is especially important during this cold winter weather, but there’s a chance your furnace could make you sick.

Homeowners need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter when furnaces are working overtime and cars are warming up in the garage.  CO (carbon monoxide) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 170 people die every year from carbon monoxide that comes from household appliances. A poorly running furnace can not only fail but it can quickly fill a home with carbon monoxide.  Gas pressure can end up being too high which means its burning hot and whenever you burn hot in an appliance, there is a possibility the heat exchange could crack, which would produce carbon monoxide.

Fire officials also echo heating experts and say the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home is to have your furnace checked every year; to make sure it’s not emitting carbon monoxide into your home. A yearly examination usually costs less than $100.

Anything that’s a combustible material, that can burn, has the potential to put out carbon monoxide.

Homeowners should also regularly replace the air filter and make sure snow and ice aren’t building up on the vents outside, because if you don’t pay attention to the largest appliance in your home, it could create a dangerous and even deadly situation.

Another main source of carbon monoxide in your home is your car, and with this winter’s cold weather, you likely warm it up almost daily. If you are going to warm up your car before leaving, DO NOT leave it in the garage, especially without the outside door open. A garage fills up quickly with carbon monoxide which can lead to fatality.

Be on the SAFE side and Check with your furnace company to see the last time you had maintenance, and get that scheduled; winter is still sticking around for awhile!

Cleaning Soot after a Fire….

…. is not an easy task. While it seems like it would be an easy job to get rid of the leftover residue, many times, improper cleaning can make an even bigger mess and sometimes destroy belongings. Before you try doing this on your own, it’s important to know a few facts about soot.

Soot appears dusty but is actually oily and very easy to smear. The best practice for removing soot usually involves a high powered vacuum and NOT touching the surface with it or any attachments. Even the slightest touch can grind the oily soot into the surface, which could cause staining.

How you clean your walls and ceiling depends on what type of walls and ceiling you have. With most finishes, using liquid will set in the stain of soot.  There are products out there that you can buy; one of which is a specially designed sponge for soot cleanup called a ChemSponge. You can also use paint thinner or rubbing alcohol.

If you are cleaning a wall or ceiling painted with satin or semi-gloss paint, use the mixture of one (1) gallon of water with one (1) tablespoon of a corrosive cleaning agent called trisodium phosphate, your local home improvement supply store would carry it. This is also good to clean soot from any kitchen surfaces. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles.

After the initial soot cleanup, prevent additional soot from spreading through your house by changing your filters in heating and air-conditioning systems. For the first year after a fire, change your air filters at least once a month.

Things you should not do:

  • Do not touch anything because the oil from your hands may cause additional      damage by infiltrating walls, woodwork and upholstery.
  • Do not try to wash walls as incorrect cleaning can add to any soot residue.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not use any appliances until you have them checked first.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
  • Do not wash clothing with heavy soot damage, send your belongings to a      qualified restoration dry cleaner for thorough cleaning.

Remember to call ServiceMaster Restore within the first 24 hours of a fire.  The corrosive fumes and soot from smoke/fire can cause permanent damage in less than 72 hours.

Happy Anniversary….. to one of our own ~~ Trucks !!

Warehouse on Wheels

Added to our fleet in 2012, our Warehouse on Wheels celebrates its first year of serving our Disaster Restoration customers.  The truck is a Chevy Express 4500 Cutaway, with a fully equipped interior to better handle all water/fire/mold remediation projects.  This truck hosts a butler truck mount extraction system, and plenty of shelving to hold dehumidifiers, air movers, and other miscellaneous equipment and supplies needed for our technicians to provide you with any emergency service at any time of the day or night.

On the exterior of the truck we had flood lights installed, so if you find yourself in the dark – no worries.  When we arrive on site extra lighting will be provided, if needed.

Our technicians keep the truck fully stocked at all times, which eliminates any down time for loading equipment prior to heading out for an emergency call.

Take a look……

004 (688x516) 006 (688x516) 010 (688x516) 009 (688x516) 008 (688x516) 003 (688x516) 005

 

LANCASTER PA OFFERING FREE SMOKE DETECTORS

Hundreds of free smoke detectors available in Lancaster

Donate to Lancaster Fire Foundation for more  detectors

Published  9:36 AM EDT Jul 09, 2013
7.9 smoke detectors           

LANCASTER,  Pa. —City residents who own their home should call
717-291-4869 to get  smoke detectors.
Donate to the foundation by mailing checks to 100 South Queen  Street, Suite 103, Lancaster, PA.

Read more: http://www.wgal.com/news/susquehanna-valley/lancaster/hundreds-of-free-smoke-detectors-available-in-lancaster/-/9704306/20896580/-/g5jp7lz/-/index.html#ixzz2YZ0XyTl7

4th of July Barbecue and Fire Safety

  1. Keep grills at least 10 feet from other objects, including the house and bushes.
  2. Keep children away from the grill and never leave the grill unattended.
  3. Never use the grill inside your home or garage.
  4. Check your gas grill hoses for cracks, holes and leaks.
  5. Store your propane tanks in the garage or shed, not in the house! Most fires are started by children when they are left alone or unsupervised.
  6. When using charcoal, Douse the grilling coals with water after use.

More than 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks every year ….  Review fireworks laws and call or visit the local law enforcement office and ask for a list of legal fireworks.

  1. Fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets.
  2. Never allow children to play with fireworks, even sparklers, as these can reach 2000 degrees.
  3. Always keep a portable fire extinguisher and a working garden hose close by.
  4. Do not point sparklers, or fireworks at yourself or others, doing so could turn into major burns or fatality.
  5. Only light the fireworks on the ground and in an area that is dry and fire  resistant.

Not sure what to do when you have Water, Smoke or Fire Damage??

Here is a checklist of what you should do……..

  • Immediately report water, fire, trauma, mold, soot damage to your insurance agent.
  • Call a certified restoration company to secure your property and to mitigate damages.  Your insurance company may provide names and phone numbers of referrals. You are not obligated to use a specific company. ServiceMaster Restore is a full service restoration company; from the initial clean-up to the re-construction process.
  • Document damage with photographs and a list of affected items.
  • Be cautious of the possible contaminants in the affected environment and contents.
  • Turn off any electrical items that may be in or near the affected area.
  • Do not allow children, pets or elderly in the affected areas.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Do not attempt to clean soot, smoke, and sewer damaged areas with any liquid. Your cleaning could set the soot or contaminant and cause additional damage.
  • Do not touch items without gloves. Oils in your hands can permanently set soot causing irreversible damage.
  • Do not enter the affected areas. Make sure children and pets do not enter the affected areas.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when on the scene and during repair process. The air can be contaminated, debris may be throughout the premises and overhead dangers may be present.
  • Once we come out and start the mitigation process, we will work with you on assessing damages to your structure as well as your contents.
  • Notify your ServiceMaster Restore® representative immediately of any concerns with items of high sentimental or real value.  The rate of survival of items that receive immediate restoration attention can be much higher.
  • ServiceMaster Restore® will, if needed, install equipment to dry-out the water affected structure.
  • Do not turn off or move equipment without contacting ServiceMaster Restore® as well as any power failure issues.

ServiceMaster Restore is committed to Restoring Your Peace of Mind !

 

How to Prevent a Fire.

  1. Inspect your home. You may need to recruit, or even hire, someone experienced in home electrical wiring, plumbing (gas), heating, and air conditioning.
  2. Stay in the kitchen when using the range for cooking. If you are leaving for just a minute, turn off all the burners on the range. Going to the basement for a can of tomatoes, or running out to check the mail, going to the bathroom, answering the phone in another part of the house? Simply turn off all the burners. After all, you are just leaving for a minute. You can immediately turn the pot or frying pan back on when you return. Taking this simple step will prevent one of the most common situations that cause house fires: unattended cooking. When cooking with oil, keep a lid or flat cookie sheet close by. If flames appear, simply suffocate the fire with the lid and immediately turn off the stove or fryer to let it cool down. Do not try to move the pan. Do not use water. The super-heated water will explode into steam, and can cause severe burns, and oil can splash and spread the fire.
  3. Don’t cook when drinking alcohol, using drugs, or very tired. Eat something prepared, make a cold sandwich, and go to sleep. Cook your meal later, when you are fully conscious.
  4. Don’t sit or lie down when smoking. Standing up will usually prevent you from falling asleep while smoking. Getting too tired? Put out the cigarette thoroughly in an ash tray or water-damp sink and go to bed. Cleaning out the ash tray? Place the ashes in the sink and dampen them, then scoop them up and place them in the trash can away from the house.
  5. Check the condition of your electrical system.
    • Look for improperly grounded receptacles. Many modern appliances require a “three pronged” (grounded) receptacle, but people will sometimes use an adapter to bypass this safety feature, or even break a ground prong off an appliance cord. Changing existing circuits to provide grounding is usually a job left to a professional electrician.
    • Aw! Rats!

      Look in the attic and crawl spaces for wiring which has been damaged by pests or insects. Some old wiring is insulated with a material which insects eat or chew on, and squirrels or other rodents will often chew the thermoplastic insulation off of modern nonmetallic cable (Romex).

    •  Look for overloaded circuit breakers, panel boxes, or fuse boxes. Check for breakers or fuses which may have circuits “piggy-backed” on them. These are rated for single circuit protection, but sometimes in outdated or undersized panel boxes, people will put two or even more wires in the terminal of a single breaker or fuse.
    • Notice flickering lights, or intermittent power surges. These conditions may be caused by outside influences, but if they occur often, they may indicate a bad connection or short in the circuit.
    • Note breakers which “trip”, or fuses that “blow” frequently. This is almost always a sign of an overloaded circuit or other wiring problem, usually of a most serious nature.
    • Look at the individual breaker connections, especially in outdoor panel boxes, for corrosion, signs of thermal damage (smut or smokey residue near terminals) splices which are poorly taped or wire nutted, or abraded or damaged wire insulation.
    • Check the ground cable. A failure in the building grounding system and bonding can be dangerous in regard to electrical shock, as well as fire. Look for loose split bolts, clamps, or other connecting devices, and corrosion.
    • Be especially careful to notice any connections in wiring other than copper. Installed correctly, and with tight connections, aluminum wire is not excessively dangerous, but when connections are made to copper wires, an electrolytic reaction may occur, causing increased resistance in the connection which will generate excessive heat. If you are able to apply an antioxidant compound to aluminum connections, it will help decrease the risk of oxidation causing a short circuit at these locations.
    • Look into the possibility of installing a lightning protection system in your home if you live in an area where lightning is a frequent problem. The savings from reduced damages to appliances may offset the cost of this upgrade.
  6. Consider having a home sprinkler system installed, to extinguish fires both when you are away AND at home.
  7. Check the natural gas/LP gas system in your home. You will want to look for loose fittings, leaking valves, faulty pilot lights, and debris or improperly stored flammable materials in areas near these appliances.
    • Check the vent stacks on gas water heaters, furnaces, and clothes dryers.
    • Check the automatic ignition systems or pilot lights on these fixtures, as well, particularly for any guards which are not properly installed, and for lint or dust buildup in the immediate area around them.
    • Have the gas plumbing (pipes), valves, and regulators inspected by a professional any time you smell gas or suspect a leak.
  8. Check the air conditioning and heating unit in your home. These systems operate with electric motors and air moving equipment which requires periodic maintenance.

    • Clean, or have your interior AC coils cleaned, and replace your return air filters regularly. This will prevent the fan motor from being overworked, and also save money on your energy bill. For window AC’s, NEVER use extension cords!
    • Lubricate belt drive pulleys (where applicable), boss bearings on drive motors, and other equipment as needed.
    • Have the resistance coils or furnace burners cleaned and serviced at the beginning of the heating season, since debris may accumulate there while the system is off during the summer.
    • Listen to the system when it is operating. Squealing sounds, rumbling noises, or banging and tapping sounds may indicate loose parts or bearings which are seizing up.
    • If you have access to a snap-on amp meter, you may check the amperage draw on the high amperage circuit to your heating coils to make sure they are in the normal operating range. Higher than normal amperage draw on a circuit indicates unusual resistance, and in an electrical circuit, resistance is what causes heat, and ultimately, fires.
  9. Check your appliances.
    • Keep the range and hood clean. Grease fires are no fun.

      Keep your stove and oven clean, especially watching for grease accumulation.

    • Check stove vent hoods, clean the filter regularly, and make sure that if it is equipped with an exterior vent, insects or birds do not build nests or otherwise impede the air flow through it.
    • Check the power cords for your appliances. Look for missing grounding prongs on the plugs and damaged insulation, and replace or repair them if defects are found.
    • Keep the lint trap and outside vent clean in your clothes dryer. Some dryers have internal ductwork which may become clogged and require servicing, so if the dryer is operating poorly, have it checked. Lint or other material collecting near the heat coils in clothes dryers is extremely dangerous. Stay nearby while using the dryer. Have a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher nearby. If you must leave the area for a minute, turn off the dryer. After all, you are not going to be away long, and you can immediately turn the dryer on when you return.
  10. Be very careful with space heaters.
    • Keep flammable materials (curtains, the couch) a safe distance (usually 3 feet) from portable heaters.
    • Set heaters where they are not in the traffic flow of the room.
    • As a rule, extension cords are not recommended with space heaters. Small, low wattage heaters may be an exception, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations prior to using an extension cord with one. Be SAFE, just don’t use extension cords.
    • Use space heaters only on solid, firm surfaces. They should never be placed on tables, chairs or other places where they may tip over. Replace old space heaters with ones that will automatically turn off if tipped over.
  11. 11

    Maintain your fireplace correctly.

    •  Fire box cut away.

      Inspect the fire box (hearth) for cracks, damaged sheet metal (for inserts) and other hazards.

    • Use glass fire doors or a wire mesh spark screen to prevent embers from popping out of the fireplace.
    • Burn dry, seasoned wood to prevent creosote buildup in the chimney. Note that some woods, like cedar, pop excessively when burned, and should not be used in an open fireplace.
    • Remove ash and unburned wood only when there are no embers or sparks in the fire box. Place ash in a metal (NOT plastic bucket) and place outside away from any buildings.
    • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
  12. Never store flammable liquids near ignition sources.
    • Keep gasoline, paint thinners, and other highly flammable liquids or materials in UL approved containers and out of the house.
    • Do not store any flammable liquid in a garage or utility room with that has a pilot light equipped appliance in use in it. Be safe, keep these items outdoors, or in a separate outbuilding.
  13. Never use extension cords for air conditioners. An overheated cord is like an out-of-control electric heater.
  14. Be careful with candles, oil lamps, and other open flame illumination or decorations. Cover the flame with a wire cage to prevent something from falling or blowing onto the flame, and to prevent children and pets from coming in contact with the flame. Extinguish the fire when leaving the room, if even for a minute. After all, you’ll be right back, and you can immediately relight the candle.
  15. Use caution with holiday decorations, particularly Christmas trees. Natural Christmas trees are highly combustible when they become dry, and old, damaged, or low quality tree lights cause many fires when combined with an under watered or otherwise dry tree. Watch a video of a Christmas tree fire. It is amazing how fast it can destroy a room, and a home.
  16. Be very careful in any situation where you use an extension cord for extended periods of time. Often, foot traffic, moving furniture, and other hazards damage these cords, causing a potential for a fire. Holiday decorations are often lit for weeks with these cords, and if you are using them, use a high quality cord with a sufficient rating for the intended purpose.
  17. Teach your children not to play with lighters or matches. Children are often the cause and victims of fires, and should not be allowed access to matches or cigarette lighters. Consider getting a lockable box, and keeping matches and lighters locked up.
  18. Do not pile up lawn clippings near a building. Fermenting lawn clippings can create heat, and catch on fire. Barn fires start this way from bales of hay with no electricity; house fires have been started from a pile of lawn clippings.
  19. Be careful using a grill on a deck. Decks are flammable. Place non-flammable pads under your grill. Have a fire extinguisher readily available. Stay with your grill while cooking. Turn off propane if leaving, if even for a minute. After all, you’ll be right back and can turn on the propane again.
  20. Crate train dogs and use the crates when you are not home and awake, to prevent new dogs or puppies from chewing on electrical cords, or pets from urinating on electrical objects and starting a fire.
  21. Confine new cats to a safe room, a small room with no places for the cat to crawl into to hide (such as into the refrigerator motor), and no electrical cords. Use the safe room until the cat is calm and no longer hiding. Provide cats with edible oat or wheat grass, to prevent them from chewing on electrical cords. Confine rabbits, chinchillas, and other pets when not supervising them, to prevent them from chewing on electrical cords, causing burns or electrical fires.
  22. After Using Matches quickly place in or run under water to extinguish any invisible flame or heat source that could cause a fire in the trash can.
  23.  Article source http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-a-House-Fire