Steps to take in the aftermath of a commercial fire
If your business has ever experienced a fire then, you understand how devastating the aftermath can be. Issues created by flames and soot, additionally your business can suffer more loss due to water damage that occurred when firefighters put out the flames. Mix in lingering smoke odor and you are looking at a lot of issues to deal with after the final flame is extinguished. No need to panic. When a fire impacts your business, the best thing to do is to follow the steps listed below that will help you get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
- Be sure to document any damage- Once the firefighters give the okay to reenter the building, go inside and assess the damage. Don’t remove anything. Instead, take note of the damage and document it with pictures, videos, and lists of what you lost in the blaze. Don’t move anything or try to salvage items before your insurance adjuster is able to assess the damage and document it for business purposes. Simply taking note of the damage and preparing it for your insurance company is what is needed at this point.
- Contact your insurance agent– Call your insurance provider immediately. If it is after business hours, call the corporate number or get the claim started via the corresponding app if possible. Informing your insurance company as quickly as possible will help with the claims process. Even while firefighters are still battling the blaze, placing a call to your insurance company is a good idea. The SERVPRO associate on-site can assist you with this.
- Contact your local SERVPRO- We want you to be able to get back to business just as badly as you do. At SERVPRO our employees are certified experts who know exactly what needs to be done to get your business back on track following a fire. Other damage restoration work we can do for you and your business includes Commercial Water Damage, Board Ups, Content Restoration, and Biohazard Restoration.
To get in touch with SERVPRO, simply call one of our friendly staff at 217-355-0077 24/7 and we will send someone over to help you with what you need. We are in the business of helping people!
Understanding Water Sources
Here at SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties, we are faced with water from a variety of sources. Knowing where the water came from and the precautions to take, helps us ensure the safety of our customers and our team members.
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category one is when a leak comes from a clean source such as a toilet with no urine or feces. In this category, it's important to remember that it will progress into category two or three in this category. Our team will work as hard as possible to ensure that the category doesn't escalate.
Category 2: "Gray Water"
Contamination becomes a concern for our staff and the client during this step. We suggest that the client not enter or ingest any of this water because it can cause health effects.
Category 3: "Black Water"
We will tell our clients not to ingest this type as harmful pathogens that can create health effects with this category. This is because water from this source comes from an unsanitary source which means our crew will be wearing full hazmat suits to ensure their health and safety aren't compromised. This water is created from a source such as water from beyond the toilet trap, a toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has microbial growth starting to grow.
If you find yourself dealing with water in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties. We have the training and expertise to safely extract water and get you back to “Like it never even happened.”
Warm Weather Fire Risk
Rainy, cold and dreary weather is finally gone, and the warmer months are here for a while! Thinking about warmer weather can be exciting, but it’s also a time to think about fire safety for your home or business.
Did you know that spring and summer sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year? It’s true, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk.
Here are some common fire threats and ways to protect yourself:
Almost 9,000 fires a year are related to grilling accidents. They create the perfect combination of flames, heat, grease, and gas, which can make things escalate quickly. Make sure you are taking care of the essentials to help prevent a fire. Verify that the grill is in good working condition, have it placed at least three feet away from everything and clean it before each use. Cleaning the grill before each use is critical because [almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning]. (https://hgi-fire.com/blog/spring-has-sprung-fires-safety-tips-for-the-warmer-months/).
Campfire accidents spike as soon as summer rolls around. Usually burns account for three out of four camping injuries in children younger than 16. So, never leave your children unattended near a fire pit. It’s also a good idea to keep a bucket of water or drag a water hose close to the pit. You should never add leaves or pine needles to the fire, and finally, put the fire out slowly to avoid scattering embers.
Chimneys and Dryer Vents.
Warmer months are the perfect time to do your annual chimney inspection. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned helps avoid a potentially dangerous buildup of ashes. Another yearly maintenance service to consider is having your dryer vent pipe cleaned out. Lint, even if you clean the filter in the dryer every time, can build up quickly in the pipes.
At SERVPRO, we have technicians on hand 24/7. These technicians are ready and waiting, no matter the cause of fire, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties today to talk with a specialist.
Why SERVPRO of Piatt Dewitt Counties
Why Choose SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties?
Unfortunately, a home or business can be damaged by any number of unforeseen natural and accidental occurrences. Events such as fire, various weather phenomena, and structural issues like leaking windows and pipes or failing appliances could result in incalculable harm.
Fortunately, however, restoration services exist to help those impacted by such happenings recover, clean up, and restore their home and property to its preloss conditions.
SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties is a privately owned and operated establishment that has garnered significantly favorable ratings from our customer base for the following reasons:
Variety of Services Offered
The restoration professionals employed at SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties offer prospective customers more services than do many restoration entities. In addition to the prototypical water removal, we offer cleanups for fires, crime scenes, commercial entities and organizations, biohazards, and mold development.
Additionally, we perform thorough COVID-19 disinfecting. This is a unique type of remedial effort designed to meet the standards set by health watchdog agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and involves the use of specialized cleaning agents geared towards eliminating dangerous viral pathogens.
More Than Cleanup
We believe that cleanup is only the first stage of the restoration process. Therefore, the team of SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties participates in build-back projects. Should a customer wish, we will help them completely rebuild their property or establishment after safely completing the original restoration efforts.
A Large Staff
We employ a large staff of highly-trained and experienced technicians. In accommodation, we also possess a large fleet of equipped trucks. This ensures our employees always have access to the materials needed to perform any type of cleanup and respond as quickly as possible.
We own a large storage warehouse. This facility allows our customers to house their possessions until their home or business is considered safe and healthy enough to return to.
Not only do our team members possess extensive skill and experience but are polite, professional, and effective communicators. We are committed to keeping our customers informed and will clearly and succinctly explain every step of the restoration process.
Favored by Major Insurance Companies
We enjoy positive professional relationships with several well-known insurance companies. Many home and business policy providers recommend us to their customers. In many instances, we deal with their adjusters directly.
Numerous Satisfied Customers
Those who conduct online searches about our company will find countless positive reviews about our level of competence and commitment to customer service.
When Lightning Hits a Building
Lightning is the occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud. This violent and sudden electrostatic discharge generates a bright flash and sometimes thunder. There are about 25 million lightning strikes a year in the United States. A cloud to ground lightning bold will find the path of least resistance.
Most houses have a path that the lightning can follow, causing damage in its wake. Gas lines, water pipes, electrical lines, phone, and cables lines, to gutters and downspouts and metal window frames.
It is important to understand some of the damages that can occur when lightning strikes. Shock wave damage, the lightning can crack and bust masonry bricks, concrete stone, and cinder blocks. It can damage your homes chimney, shatter glass and plaster walls and crack foundations. Power surges can damage the electrical system of a house. When lightning strikes a nearby power line it can travel from the power line to the meter and then into the homes electrical panel. This can be a potential fire hazard as lightning travels through a house it can ignite a fire. The attic or the roof is the most common area that lightning fires start.
There are some preventative measures you can take. Having a professional install a lightning protection system can prevent a direct lightning strike. Trimming trees, tall objects attract lightning. Unplug computers and other appliances. During a storm avoid direct contact with potential lightning routes. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of lighting and thunderstorms is to be prepared. Purchase a portable NOAA Weather Radio. Seek shelter in the event of a thunderstorm.
If your home has been damaged by storms it is crucial to act quickly as this will lessen damage, limit further damage, and reduce restoration costs. Our highly trained crews at SERVPRO of Vermilion County have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential, and commercial.
Importance of Cleaning Electronics after a Fire
Why Should You Have Your Electronics Cleaned After a Fire?
If you have experienced a fire, you may not be sure whether electronics are safe to use. Even if a device was not destroyed, intense heat may have warped or otherwise affected delicate internal components. Restoring computers and devices filled with smoke and coated with soot is an important part of fire cleanup. Smoke damage poses several risks to electronics:
• Acidity: The acidity of smoke destroys metals and can cause them to disintegrate. Exposure to corrosive acids in the air may cause devices to fail or behave unpredictably in ways that may be dangerous. Electronics restoration experts can make sure that devices are safe to use and identify which items you should replace.
• Coated Components: Any device found near a fire is likely to require fire cleanup to remove all traces of smoke and soot. The black film which develops over internal components may insulate the heat-producing parts of an electronic device and cause circuits to short. In addition to causing a device to overheat, the chemicals in smoke and soot will adhere to any dust or debris already in a machine and intensify the damage.
• Lost data: Smoke or fire damage may wipe out hard drives, memory, and storage volumes. Even backup drives may be ruined. Electronics restoration professionals can help you retrieve as much data as possible. Keep in mind that the extent of the fire or smoke damage may limit how much can be salvaged.
You may be able to clean the exterior of your device by wiping it down, but you should depend on the professional expertise of a certified fire cleanup service Piatt/DeWitt County to restore electronics to working order. You should also take pictures or video to document the extent of the damage to your devices in case some of these items are beyond repair and you need to file claims for replacements.
Check Your Appliances
Unchecked Appliances can Cause Major Water Damage
Many household appliances utilize water to operate. Dishwashers, refrigerator ice machines and washing machines can wreak havoc if not examined and serviced on a regular basis.
Let's discuss refrigerators as an example since this appliance runs continually 24/7, 365 days a year. It can start leaking at the most inconvenient time, resulting in water damage throughout your kitchen. It is important to remain mindful of situations that can cause your refrigerator to leak and catch water damage as soon as it forms.
Most Water Damage Begins Unnoticed Behind the Appliance.
When you are around your refrigerator, you are probably not looking for leaks. Refrigerator leaks tend to start small and gradually grow to become a bigger problem. You might experience a leak coming from the ice maker, a leaky hose, or the water hookup.
Generally, any leaks coming from an ice maker are the result of built-up condensation and/or a faulty hookup. This can block the draining system and end up leaking through the inside of your fridge and the seals. In addition, a leaky hose can be the result of having the refrigerator pushed up too close against the wall, bending the hose and causing a break and subsequent leak.
When connecting water lines to your refrigerator, make sure not to push it as far back as possible to avoid damaging the hose or line. The water hookup can sometimes spring a leak or may drip, which can go unseen for months and eventually cause major problems including a very nasty mold situation.
Overtime, water leaks can lead to very costly repairs. Depending on the type of leak, you can experience rotting floorboards, mold build up, or a flooded basement. A strong indicator of water damage is wood flooring that separates and warps, or tiles that become loose. It is important to repair or replace the floor quickly to prevent mold from growing in the area.
Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist
Maintaining your sump pump could potentially save thousands in water damage.
When was the last time you maintained your sump pump? Here are some tips to show your sump pump some love and keep your basement dry as we enter the rainy season of spring.
- Make sure your sump pump is totally upright. Your sump pump should be sitting on solid, even ground. Any sort of leaning can shift the water in the pump’s pit and put unnecessary pressure on its components.
- Open it up. Take the cover off the sump pump pit or basin and have a look inside. Clear any debris, mud or rocks that you find, as any foreign items can clog your sump pump and cause an overflow.
- Double-check the drain hose. Check to make sure the drain hose is connected, and that it’s not blocked or frozen. A clogged drain hose can cause your sump pump to run continuously, as it won’t be able to dispose of the water that’s filled its pit.
- Clear out the inlet screen. Make sure the inlet screen is allowing water to enter your sump pump’s pit. If your inlet screen is blocked, water won’t be able to make its way into the sump pump’s pit and could lead to a basement flood.
- Keep it afloat. Your sump pump’s float controls when it will turn on and pump excess water out. Make sure the float component can move freely and isn’t blocked. A malfunctioning float can cause your pump to not run when it’s supposed to, or run constantly, eventually burning out your pump’s engine.
- Make sure it’s flowing away from your house. The next time you hear your sump pump running, go outside and make sure its discharge pipe is pumping the water away from your home at a safe distance. If it’s too close, the water could seep back into your pump, causing your pump to run continuously and inefficiently. The more your sump pump runs, the more likely it is to burn out early in its life span.
While you don’t want your discharge pipe too close to your house, shed, garage or other structure, make sure it does stay on your property. You’ll have some unhappy neighbors if your sump pump is pushing your excess water onto their lot.
- Give your sump pump a test run. Fill the pit with a bucket of water to turn your pump on. Watch it carefully to see if it’s getting rid of the water, then check the discharge pipe outside to make sure it’s disposed of properly. If the pump doesn’t run, make sure it’s plugged in and its power cord is in working order.
- Plan for the unexpected. Having a backup battery or generator can be crucial if a strong rain storm comes complete with a power outage. And eventually, your sump pump may give out without the help of a power outage. To avoid the stress of trying to buy and install a new sump pump while the water seeps closer and closer to your basement, have a backup sump pump handy — and be sure to test it regularly, too.
- Call a professional. You’ve checked the power cords, discharge pipe, inlet screen and every other piece of the pump, but still can’t figure out what’s wrong. It’s time to call a professional! Risking your basement and everything else in it isn’t worth maintaining your pride as a handyman or woman — get it fixed and fast!
If worse comes to worst, and you do have a backup and need assistance with damage from water or sewage, call SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties for 24/7 help at 217-935-2992.
Piatt/DeWitt Residents. We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
This Piatt/DeWitt home's basement flooded due to heavy rains.
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flood because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 217-935-2992
If flooded water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home's structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home's integrity. It's worth making a call to SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We're a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly - One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspections and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today - We're Ready To Help 217-935-2992
Prevent Mold After Water Damage
Water damage is important to leave to professionals as any moisture left over can cause mold. Mold growth can start as soon as 24-48 hours after water damage. That's why it's important to act quickly and in most cases, call a professional to prevent secondary water damage and future concerns over mold.
There are several steps to take during a water damage situation:
- Remove all water
- Remove any wet material
- Dry remaining wet surfaces
- Sanitize all impacted surfaces.
If the water damage is not caught in time or the cleanup was not sufficient and there are concerns over mold growth there are important steps to take to mitigate additional mold growth.
Mold is a common home invader that favors moist, dark conditions. Finding it growing in your home or apartment is nothing to be ashamed of, but you need to act as soon as possible.
- Assess the issue. What you think is mold could just be mildew. While they are both fungi caused by mold spores, the treatment methods are different. Mold is typically black or green in color and might have a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mildew on the other hand is usually white, gray, or yellow. Additionally, you must assess the breadth of the issue.
- If you're living in an apartment call your landlord. Depending on the nature of the issue, mold clean up might be an issue for your landlord or property manager to resolve. Either way, it is in your best interest to inform them of the issue as soon as you can. Include pictures of the mold in your text or email.
- Once your landlord arrives, you should work with them to figure out what is causing the mold. If the mold is a result of a leaky pipe or other internal water issue, then your landlord should take responsibility for resolving the issue.
- Enlist in Professional Help. If the mold contamination is, in fact, your responsibility then it is a good idea to enlist professional assistance. This is especially true for larger mold issues. Mold tends to dig deep roots and can be exceedingly difficult to purge completely without the help of mold remediation professionals.
Do not allow mold to grow in your apartment and become a bigger issue than it needs to be. Resolve the issue quickly and efficiently by contacting your local mold remediation specialists here at SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt Counties.