Recent Posts

Most Common Biohazards

3/3/2023 (Permalink)

Did you know SERVPRO of Catonsville offers biohazard cleaning? Biohazard cleaning refers to the removal of any biological material that poses a health threat. Oftentimes we receive emergency calls requesting our crew to come out immediately to cleanup the aftermath of an unfortunate event or accident. Below are the most common types of biohazards:
• Blood - including items stained or saturated with blood, as well as human or animal tissue with blood. Typical scenes where this biohazard would be present include car crashes, crime scenes and hospitals.
• Sharps - such as needles and glass. Commonly present at car crashes, hospitals, doctors’ offices and abandoned homes or buildings.
• Bodily fluids - for example, saliva and secretions. Typical scenes where this biohazard would be present include crime scenes and hospitals
• Animal waste - stemming from carcasses or body parts, secretions or living spaces with an animal infected with a pathogen. Animal waste would most commonly be present at places such as homes that have issues with neglecting and/or hoarding, pet hospitals, boarding facilities or animal shelters
• Microbial waste - such as specimen cultures and instruments used to mix or transfer cultures. Microbial waste would be found in a laboratory.
• Pathological waste - including tissues, organs and bodily fluids removed from a human or animal during a procedure, such as a surgery. Pathological waste can be found in a dental office, cosmetic, veterinary or general surgery center, or hospital to name a few places.
If you’re experiencing a biohazard catastrophe in your home or business, we are here to help you 24/7. Give our office a call today at (410) 242-7370.

Top Three Causes of Fires!

2/1/2023 (Permalink)

Fire Fire

Did you know that the top three causes of residential fires include cooking, heating and electric systems/equipment. Now that we have established the top three reasons as to how these calamities begin, let’s discuss each cause in more depth so you are able to determine how each can be avoided.

  • Cooking: Causing nearly half of home fires, cooking-related fires are also, unfortunately, the second leading cause for residential fire deaths. These fires peak during the holidays, first Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. Unattended cooking plays a large role in how fires begin. Other factors include grease and oil. Heating oil too quickly can cause fires. Leaving grease on the stovetop can also create fires. Leaving common kitchen items such as over mitts and food wrappers on or near the stove can also start fires.
  • Heating: Spiking during the cold winter months of December, January and February, heating fires typically stem from space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. While it may be tempting to keep your portable heater right near you on the chilliest of days, fires can easily be created if furnishing or personal belongings, such as mattresses and blankets, are within 3 feet of the space heater. Fires also start when heating sources such as space heaters or fireplaces are left unattended.
  • Electric: Wiring, cords (including extension cords), lighting, and plugs all fall under the umbrella of electric distribution. Malfunction and damage, such as fraying, are a couple reasons as to why fires begin from electric distribution. Faulty electrical outlets cause fires, as do worn out sockets. Using an unqualified electrician to install or update wiring, lighting, etc. is another reason why fires may begin in your home. Additionally, the exposure of water to electricity can create fire.

Be sure to be mindful if you smoke, light candles, use a grill, or have children and/or pets, as these are a few other leading causes of residential fires. Taking caution and remaining vigilant can greatly help keep you, your family and home safe!

So Many Services!

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

When you consider the many services we at SERVPRO of Reisterstown and Catonsville have to offer, what first comes to mind?  Most people know SERVPRO for being the company to call when needing fire or water damage restoration, or for mold mitigation and remediation.  You may be pleasantly surprised to learn about our expertise and services we offer in other areas too.

Cleanings: Here at SERVPRO of Reisterstown and Catonsville, we offer general cleaning, biohazard cleaning, vandalism and crime scene cleaning, and Covid sanitizing!  Businesses are always happy to hear about these services, so are homeowners! Property managers love our move out/turnover services!

 Plus, we can clean:

  • Carpets
  • Ducts
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Upholstery
  • Drapes
  • Blinds

Did you know we have our own reconstruction and rebuild department?  We can have your home, office or business restored from start to finish!

We also offer services in content restoration, removal and/or storage.

The list of services we offer goes! From pressure washing, to emergency board ups, to deodorization, to document drying, we are always here to help you! Give our office a call at 410-242-7370 to inquire about one or more of our MANY services!

Is Your Business Ready for a Winter Storm?

12/15/2022 (Permalink)

For most people, winter storms are an inconvenience.  But for business owners, they can be a catastrophe waiting to happen.  Is your business prepared?

The cold weather can have a huge impact on your business if you’re not ready for it. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, sub-zero temperatures, and damaging winds can all wreak havoc causing serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Catonsville business.

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

  1. Check your Catonsville 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 lead to 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 Catonsville has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help with the cleanup and restoration of winter weather damage.

An Oven Malfunction

9/6/2022 (Permalink)

When you think of fire damage, you probably think about damage due to flames and smoke, however, soot damage can also present a serious challenge.

Recently, our team was called to a home where an oven malfunction dispensed soot throughout the kitchen as well as several other rooms of the home. 

To fix the damage and restore the home to its previous condition, our highly trained crews cleaned all the flooring and upholstery throughout and set up air scrubbers with charcoal filters to help with the odor removal.

The homeowners were incredibly impressed with our team and our work and left us with high praise.

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

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

How To Make a Fire Escape Plan

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

When your home is on fire, every second counts.

We consulted the National Fire Protection Association to bring you the following tips so you can be prepared with an escape plan in the unfortunate event of a fire in your home:

• Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.

• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. 

• When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.

• Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

• Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.

• Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.

• If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency

• If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.

• Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes.

• Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.

• Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Put your plan to the test:

• 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.

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Each fire damage situation is different, so each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  SERVPRO of Catonsville has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire Damage?
Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

A Moldy Recommendation

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

We love when customers refer us to their friends and family but we also pride ourselves on building relationships with other local service providers.

Recently, a homeowner called us because she had mold damage in her bathroom. Her sink had been leaking and she called a plumber to fix the issue. However, the water leak had also caused mold to grow on her bathroom wall and under the sink.

The plumber recommended our team and we were able to quickly get to the home to asses the damage and remove the mold.

Water damage can cause many issues, so we are proud to work alongside professionals who recognize problems and know how to best direct homeowners toward the right solution.

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About SERVPRO of Catonsville

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

Hurricane Safety: Part 2

5/6/2022 (Permalink)

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30. In anticipation of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we’re sharing safety information from FEMA and the National Weather Service to help you stay safe during a hurricane.

PART 2: STAY SAFE DURING THE STORM

Stay Informed

  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • If told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately.

Dealing with the Weather

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
  • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

Personal Safety

  • If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.
  • Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter [by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups] as much as possible. 
  • Anyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water or storm damage, SERVPRO of Catonsville is here to help: 410-242-7370.

Hurricane Safety: Part 1

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30. As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we’re sharing safety information from FEMA and the National Weather Service to help you prepare.

According to ready.gov, “Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage because of storm surge, wind damage, and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.”

PART 1: PREPARE FOR A HURRICANE

Know your Hurricane Risk

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water could happen where you live so you can start preparing now.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Discuss the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect your hurricane planning. Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.

Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coveringspet supplies in your go bag or car trunk.

Those with Disabilities

If you or anyone in your household is an individual with a disability identify if you may need additional help during an emergency.

Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will stay. 

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)- which requires no-sign up.

Review Important Documents

Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password protected digital space.

Strengthen your Home

Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready

Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

Help your Neighborhood

Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

Prepare your Business

Make sure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

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Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property. SERVPRO of Catonsville has the skills and expertise to help. If you experience water or storm damage, call us: 410-242-7370.

Save the Date: CE Classes

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

On July 13, SERVPRO of Catonsville will host 2 Continuing Education Courses for Insurance Professionals.

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COURSE #1: Property Fire Damage & Restoration

Time: 8:30am - 12:30 pm

Credits: 4

Description: This course has been specifically designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in mitigating and restoring fire damage claims for the insured. The purpose of the course is to provide attendees with a better understanding of the work performed by the mitigation vendor at fire damage work sites.

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COURSE #2: Mitigation Awareness & Response Seminar

Time: 1:30pm - 3:30 pm

Credits: 2

Description: This course is designed to assist you in understanding what to expect from a good restoration professional, by reviewing industry standards applicable toward water damage losses, fire and smoke damage losses, and deodorization practices.

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Location:

SERVPRO of Catonsville and Reisterstown

4030-C Benson Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21227

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To RSVP, please e-mail Brandy Fischer at BrandyF@SERVPRO1115.com or call at (410) 242-7370

100% attendance and photographic ID are required to receive CE credit for this course