3 Fire Hazards to Avoid This Spring
Spring time is such a fun, beautiful time of year. Stay safe out there!
The weather is warmer, the trees are blooming, and my allergies are killing me. Spring has officially sprung! That being said, there are still a wide variety of fire hazards that you should watch out for, even during the warm months.
1.Grills: Whether you’re cooking burgers for the family event or grilling up kabobs for dinner, you will inherently deal with a fire. Most are gas grills, which presents an even greater risk. In fact, the NFPA (https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Grill-Fires) reports that an average of 9,600 home fires is caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:
- Always check for any potential fire hazards before firing up the grill.
- If the grill does not light the first time, let the gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before attempting to light the grill again.
- Be sure the grill is clean before using to get rid of oil and gas residue.
- Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area and keep it a good distance from the house and railings.
- Dryers: This is a fire hazard year round. In fact, the leading cause of clothes-dryer related fires is a failure to keep the lint baskets clean. Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. It takes seconds to clean out the lint basket, so just make a habit of it when you get your clothes out of the dryer. If you have space for a clothesline in the spring and summer months - use it! There’s nothing better than fresh, air dried clothes. The NFPA also recommends cleaning out the vent pipe at least once a year so lint or other flammable particles do not get stuck in the vent pipe.
- Outdoor Fire Pits and Bonfires: The necessary safety precautions for an outdoor fire pit are pretty obvious, but keep these in mind when you’re having a party on a cool spring night.
- Always have an adult present around a fire. Never leave children unattended!
- Always have a bucket of water or a water hose available nearby if things get out of hand.
- Build the fire away from homes, porches, low-hanging trees, or any other fire hazards.
- Monitor the number of leaves, pine needles, paper, and other contents are fed into the fire since these items catch fire quickly and result in high flames and floating embers.
- Always put the fire out completely before leaving the fire unattended. Don't expect it to die down on its own!
We are always Here to Help when you need us. Call us at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties any time at (217)935-2992. Happy Spring!
Tips for Preserving Personal Items After a Flood
Time is of the essence when it comes to safeguarding valuables submerged in flood waters. Mold formation can begin within 48 hours of immersion, and contaminated "black water" can carry dangerous chemicals and pathogens. It's a good idea for homeowners in Piatt and Dewitt counties to learn about content cleaning before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips on what can and can't be salvaged, and how to minimize damage to precious belongings.
Unfortunately, most porous materials that have come into contact with black water cannot be saved during the content cleaning process. This includes:
- Furniture items
- Carpeting and padding
- Particle board cabinets
- Portions of drywall or insulation that have been immersed.
Microscopic toxic chemical compounds and fungal spores can pose a serious risk to a home’s inhabitants. Non-porous items, on the other hand, may be able to be sanitized and kept.
Immediate Steps To Take After Storm Damage
Legal papers, photo albums, artwork and other precious items that cannot be replaced might be saved, especially if you act quickly to minimize further damage.
Papers, artwork and photographs should be separated and removed from albums and frames and placed on plastic screens or hung using plastic clothespins (contact with metal or other types of materials could cause irreparable damage). Photos can also be gently rinsed in clean water before drying. To salvage important books, insert a paper towel every few pages to soak up harmful moisture.
It is recommended that you air dry items indoors. Open windows, air conditioners, fans and dehumidifiers can all help to increase airflow and reduce drying times. Avoid using heat during this process, such as irons or hair dryers, as they can cause further damage.
If the black water contamination is especially severe, or if mold is already present, you may want to leave the bulk of your content cleaning to a professional flood restoration team in Piatt and Dewitt counties.
Give SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties a call at (217) 935 2992. We are available 24/7 to service any of your damaged needs. (LB)
Duct Cleaning Tips for your Business
Keep Your Employees Safe
HVAC system cleaning in your business and the importance of the health of your employees. There are many factors that will affect the air quality in your business and the main one is your air ducts and how they need to be cleaned. 1 out of 6 people suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in the air ducts systems. When the correct steps are taken it will improve productivity in your employees and the workplace.
Top Seven Reasons to Clean Ducts:
- Mildew and Mold growing from moisture
- Smoke from cigarettes or chemicals
- Water and fire restoration
- Allergy relief and asthma
- Reduce Dust and particles from spreading
- Improve energy efficiency
- Insects and rodents
In most cases, your business and your home rarely open the windows or doors to help provide air circulation resulting in some of these reasons causing poor air quality. When your HVAC system is clean it doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain the temperature desired resulting in more money in your pocket. Have your ducts and system cleaned and inspected each year to make sure your business is running smoothly. If your business needs help cleaning up after a fire or water damage SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is here to help.
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Piatt/Dewitt Counties commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. 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. Learn more about our commercial services: Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties.
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Piatt/Dewitt Counties. 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 at (217)935-2992!
Plants can do what for my home?
There are over 26 different kinds of plants that clean air
Sure, that potted fern is pretty, but can it really spruce up the air quality in your home? Studies by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and other respected institutions suggest that it can.
Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. It's this skill that facilitates photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy and carbon dioxide into chemical energy to fuel growth.
But scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate.
These VOCs and other indoor air pollutants (such as ozone) have been linked to numerous acute conditions, including asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.
Indoor Plants Help with Removing Harmful Compounds from the Air
An indoor plant's ability to remove these harmful compounds from the air is an example of phytoremediation, which is the use of any plant — indoors or out — to mitigate pollution in air, soil or water.
Indoor plants remove pollutants from the air by absorbing these gases through their leaves and roots. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing VOCs and other pollutants.
While most leafy plants are adept at purifying indoor air, some of the plants that scientists have found most useful in removing VOCs include Japanese royal ferns, spider plants, Boston ferns, purple waffle plants, English ivy, areca palms, golden pothos, aloe vera, snake plants and peace lilies.
Clean Air is important when it comes to your home where you and your love ones spend most of your time. If these tips didn’t help you achieve the clean air you were hoping call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties and schedule an appointment for us to clean your homes Air Ducts to make sure your air is running clean.
Reach us 24/7 at (217)935-2992. (LB)
What is your Exit Plan?
Every second counts during a fire. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan for your family.
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place 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.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
Escape Planning for Your Business
Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties
Bus: (217) 935-2992
Fax: 9217) 643-2812
3813 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana IL 61802
What to do when your water heater leaks
SERVPRO is a 24/7 Emergency service, call us anytime for any and all water damages your home may have. Reach us at (217)935-2992.
Imagine: You have just awakened from a well-deserved, refreshing night’s sleep. Feeling mellow, you stretch, sit up, put your feet down and… Cringe. Your feet are sopping wet! Anxiety rising, you prowl around the house to investigate and find that the water’s source is a leaking water heater in your utility closet. With dismay, you see that the broken water heater is unleashing torrents of water into your home, and the entire bedroom wing is flooded with several inches of water.
Now you need to make some important, urgent decision. AS a homeowner, you fear water damage nearly as much as fire damage. How will you deal with the failed water heater, the water now flooding the house, and all the damage that water is causing?
Water damage mitigation specialists would most likely advise the following immediate, crucial procedures:
- Turn off the water heater, preferably at the circuit breaker.
- Turn off the water supply, either at the leaking water heater of at the whole-house water supply
- Drain the water heater
- Contact your insurance company
Engage a professional water damage mitigation company without delay.
Bring in the experts
Because a failed water heater can cause significant water intrusion into the home, affecting floors, carpets, walls, and furnishings, professional intervention offers the most effective path to pre-flood conditions. Water repair specialists will extract flood water, dehumidifying and drying out the premises with state-of-the-art equipment and practiced expertise. They will perform a thorough inspection of carpets, floors, and walls for an incursion of mold or mildew and eliminate those dangers. They will likely remove any items that cannot be salvaged and dispose of them. They will thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected areas of your home and may even perform any needed repairs or reconstruction.
Even though the aftereffects of a leaking water heater can seem formidable, turning to a professional water damage mitigation company in Piatt/Dewitt counties, will result in the prompt restoration of your home’s pristine condition and the corresponding alleviation of your worry and anxiety. (LB)
4 ways to protect yourself during mold removal
Need help with Mold removal call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties at (217) 935-2992.
How to protect yourself during mold removal
If your company in Piatt/Dewitt counties is suffering from mold growth, you’ll want to take swift action to remedy the problem. In the event that you’ll be present during any or all of the mold remediation process, make sure you take the proper precautions to protect yourself from any side effects of the mold.
1. Use a Face Mask
An air-purifying respirator will protect your lungs from any mold spores in the air. This piece of equipment should be the number on item on your shopping list when dealing with mold growth. Face masks come in both disposable and reusable varieties and are offered with different efficiency levels.
2. Get good eye protection
You’ll want to make sure you have eye protection. Regular glasses won’t cut it; you want wraparound safety googles that fit snugly against your face to prevent any spores getting into your eyes. If you find yourself near moldy drywall, particular moldy drywall that has been cut or torn, dust could fly into your eyes if you are not wearing the proper eye protection. You also want to prevent any chemicals from entering your eyes.
3. Wear Disposable gloves
Gloves should be worn when you are in the vicinity of mold. They can be latex, vinyl, or rubber. Ensure they fit properly, as the wrong size can lead to mold spores sneaking in. Always take off your gloves before leaving the site of the mold remediation and never touch your eyes or nose while wearing them.
4. Cover Everything
Wear a special covering over you clothing, shoes, and hair. Disposable suits are available. You should still change and wash your clothing upon leaving the site. You don’t want to spread mold growth via your clothes or shoes.
By following these four safety measure, you should be able to protect yourself while mold remediation professionals remove mold from your Piatt/Dewitt county business. Hiring experts to handle very step in the removal process is often the economically smart option; they have the advanced equipment needed to get the job done quickly and correctly, and you won’t need to be around the mold at all.
Busting Mold Myths 101
Its name evokes images of green rot. Mold is a menacing pollutant existing naturally in the environment. But it's the last thing you want growing in your Piatt/Dewitt Counties home.
Like most people, you probably know that indoor mold ruins homes and threatens health. And you might agree that the first step to eliminating mold is locating its sources.
But do you know where to look for mold? Or even that using a popular disinfectant to clean it can do more harm than good? Chances are, you've been duped by these mold myths that should be laid to rest:
- A Clean Home is Mold-Free.
A dirt-free home is no guarantee against mold infestation. Mold thrives in closets, dark corners, and drywall, a common construction material in homes today. Its microscopic spores sail through the air, so you can't see them or know where they land.
- Your home has no moldy odors.
It's true that gasses produced by mold give off a musty odor. But it's false to assume that having no odor means your home isn't infested. Not all molds produce smells. And if mold is lurking in a basement, its smell doesn't enter the air you normally breathe. It's there, and you never knew it.
- Your home's basement never floods.
Wet basements are a major source of mold. But they're just one of many in your home. Other mainsprings for mold are humidifiers, leaky pipes, dryers that vent indoors, bathrooms and cooking areas that aren't ventilated, even carpets in a basement.
A powerful disinfectant, bleach wipes away mold on glass, metal, or plastic surfaces. But while its chlorine component doesn't penetrate to the sources of mold in drywall and wood, the water contained in bleach does. And--you guessed it--that water lingers beneath the surfaces, providing more than enough food for mold to grow.
Want to know more about mold damage? Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties today - (217) 935-2992!
Spring season = Flood Season
SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is ready 24/7 for all your water emergency needs.
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low-risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen for important current information
When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties immediately at (217) 935 -2992. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. Our team has the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.
Who Can You Trust to Restore Your Business After Fire Damage? SERVPRO Of Course!
No matter how severe the damage is, our team will restore your business.
Assistance Helps Speed Up Recovery after Commercial Fire Damage in Piatt and Dewitt Counties
Fires in commercial establishments can be very devastating. Apart from the loss they cause by damaging the structure and contents, they also lead to business closure, which translates to lost revenue. The longer it takes to resume normal operations, the higher the cost of lost opportunities. In the worst cases, the business might even lose customers. We offer restoration services that help commercial establishments recover faster after fire incidents. FSRT certification means our customers benefit from a combination of top-notch equipment and advanced skill sets throughout the restoration process.
The steps are taken immediately restoration starts can quicken, or hamper the speed of recovery after commercial fire damage in Piatt and Dewitt Counties. Our SERVPRO technicians rely on their IICRC training to do a thorough evaluation before starting the restoration process. Such evaluation helps us establish the primary form of damage. Depending on the materials and items present in the affected area, it could be a case of predominant flame or smoke damage. If it is a case of smoke damage, we need to establish whether wet or dry smoke is the most prevalent. Having such information helps determine the level of agitation, chemical action and dwell time needed for effective cleaning.
Commercial spaces can present unique size challenges. In a space like a warehouse, the sheer size of the walls, ceilings and other areas that require cleaning can prolong the restoration. In a hotel or office space, the challenge could be large surfaces such as glass windows that require special care to avoid problems like streaking. Our SERVPRO crews use special equipment such as mobile scissor lifts, spotting pad holders and extensions poles when cleaning up vast surfaces saving time.
Our SERVPRO team considers the entire restoration process to determine how much effort to put into each phase, which also helps save time. For instance, if restoration involves repainting the affected surfaces, we clean to remove debris and neutralize the acids in smoke residue then restore the visual appeal though painting.
Restoring your fire-damaged premises should not take too long. Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties to assist. You can reach us at (217) 935-2992 any time.