FIRES IN WINTER
As the temperature has begun to drop we are seeing an uptick in the number of residential fires. 890 people die in winter home fires each year. $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from winter home fires. Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., but result in 30 percent of all fire deaths.
Winter brings several potential hazards into the home. Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires. Holiday decorations like faulty lights, dry Christmas trees, and candles are also a major cause. The top three days of the year for candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
Faulty and improperly utilized alternative heating methods such as space heaters, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves also contribute not only to fire risk but carbon monoxide risk as well. Heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths. Heating equipment is also a major source of carbon monoxide and winter months are when carbon monoxide incidents are more common.
Here are a few tips that you can share with your policy holders:
- Have your fireplace, heating vents and dryer vents inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
- If you use your fireplace, make sure you clean after every use. Dispose of ashes correctly by placing them in a metal can at least ten feet from the house.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
- If portable generators are needed, keep them outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home. Make sure someone is home to supervise.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
- Keep your Christmas Tree watered and dispose of it when it has become too dry. Nearly 40% of Christmas tree fires occur in January.
Here is a link to a great source of information https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires
Please be safe and remember that if a problem does arrive, SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is there 24/7/365 to help and make it like it never even happened.
We have a continuing education class coming up February 13. It is called Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and is going to be a great one. I have attached a flyer with more information. If you have a need for Ethics credit, please reach out to me as we are in the process of scheduling another class.
Finally, one request. If you have had a good experience with SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights or SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside please head over to our Yelp page or Google and give us a review. We truly appreciate everything you have done to help us grow!
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IF YOU SEE ICICLES YOU HAVE AND ISSUE!
Ice dams occur after a heavy snowfall when warm air in the attic causes the roof to warm and the snow to melt. Water running down the roof refreezes when it reaches the colder roof edge, forming a mound of ice.
Icicles are a sure sign of poor roof ventilation and poor insulation in your home. Warm moist air from inside your home can move upwards and leak around ceiling lights through poorly insulated ceilings and around attic access openings.
Temp fix for the issue:
Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.
Deep frying might equal remodeling!
Keep the bird outside where it all started is going to be the best way to keep the bird from being the reason that you are staying in a hotel on and after Thanksgiving.FACT: According to the National Fire Protection Association: deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year. Deep-frying turkeys has become increasingly popular, but the new tradition is a recipe for holiday tragedy.
Deep Fryer Fires | FDNY Smart
Although you’re outdoors, using a propane deep fryer can be very dangerous. Never leave your deep fryer unattended and be sure to carefully follow these instructions:
- To start, take the wrapper off of the turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets.
- Deep-fry your turkey outside on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.
- To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Remove the turkey, allowing the water to drain from the turkey back into the fryer. Measure and mark the water line, and use that line as a guide when adding oil to the propane fryer.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Add oil to the fryer (based on the water line).
- Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.
- While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavor that you desire.
- When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Turn the burner back on.
- Cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
- The turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.
- When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.
- Let cool to a good eating temperature and ENJOY!
Essential Commercial Property Maintenance Tips for Fall
It’s official, fall is coming, and it’s coming quickly. School gear is being purchased in bulk, last minute vacations are being taken to squeeze out the final remnants of summer and hot weather, and fall apparel and gear have hit the stores in preparation for the cooler air and shorter days. Take the hint and start your own preparations to make sure your commercial property is ready for the changing seasons.
Check Your Gutters – The season is known as “Fall” for a reason, leaves are going to change color and fall from the trees in bulk, and that means a lot more than increased sweeping and vacuuming inside as they are tracked in on shoes. The biggest threat that comes from all of those falling leaves and debris is to your gutter system. Make sure it’s clear so that water will flow freely away from your building when it rains and pours. This simple step will go a long way towards preventing roof leaks and flooding.
Check Your Heaters – Avoid surprises by checking to make sure your heater works before the first cold snap. This means checking on the pilot light, oil levels (if applicable) and furnace filters, as well as having an HVAC expert come in for a seasonal checkup. Not only will your employees and customers thank you, but these steps can help ensure your heating unit will work better and last longer.
Check Your Water Pipes – Exposed water pipes should regularly be checked for leaks, but fall is also a good time to examine the insulation and make sure it’s prepared for colder weather. Prevent frozen and burst pipes in the winter by conducting a quick check in the fall and fixing any inadequacies.
Prevent Electrical and Fire Problems – Have an electrician come in and perform a maintenance check on your electrical system to ensure it’s prepared for the increased usage that fall demands. Shorter and colder days mean more lighting and the possible addition of space heaters, and you don’t want to blow a fuse when clients are around! While you’re at it check your smoke detectors and their batteries ideally once a month, but in the spring and fall at the least, and any emergency generators which should be started once a week so they don’t remain idle too long, transfer load tested every month and full load tested once a year.
SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help. Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your emergency preparedness needs, as well as emergency water or fire needs. We will make it "Like it never even happened."
What Causes Mold To Grow In Your Home
Mold spores need three things to grow into mold: nutrients, cellulose (the cell wall of green plants) is a common food for indoor spores, and moisture. To begin the decaying process caused by mold; time -mold growth begins from 24 hours to 10 days after the provision of growing conditions.
Molds are found everywhere, and can grow on almost any substance when moisture is present. They reproduce by spores, which are carried by air currents. When spores land on a moist surface suitable for life, they begin to grow.
Common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth. Mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture and may be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials. Flooding, leaky roofs, building-maintenance or indoor-plumbing problems can lead to interior mold growth. Water vapor commonly condenses on surfaces cooler than the moisture-laden air, enabling mold to flourish. This moisture vapor passes through walls and ceilings, typically condensing during the winter in climates with a long heating season. Floors over crawl spaces and basements, without vapor barriers or with dirt floors, are mold-prone.
Significant mold growth requires moisture and food sources and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding provide food for mold. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are food sources. After water damage to a building, mold grows in walls and then becomes dormant until subsequent high humidity; suitable conditions reactivate mold. Mycotoxin levels are higher in buildings which have had a water incident.
If you suspect, that you have mold growing in your home or business, Call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside today at 708-240-4873. We will help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Smoke Detector
You have a smoke detector in your home, but have you ever wondered what the life expectancy of that alarm is? Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries, but how long before it should be replaced?
The U.S. Fire Administration for Homeland Security, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Red Cross agree after working for 87,000 hours, or about 10 years in normal environmental conditions in the home can have an impact on the performance of your smoke alarm.
The NFPA conducted a study, and the results reinforced how important it is for integrators to address the fire safety needs of their clients: 1 in 5 Smoke Alarms Is 10+ Years Old
- Half of Americans (50 percent) have three or more smoke alarms in their current home.
- Almost one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (19 percent) say the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is 10+ years old.
- Nearly one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (18 percent) are not at all sure how old the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is.
- When asked how often they should replace smoke alarms, nine in 10 Americans (90 percent) did not select the correct answer, which is at least every 10 years.
SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside wants you and your family safe. Keep these tips in mind when checking your smoke alarms.
Garden Hoses Can Cause Water Damage To Your Home
A 25-foot, 1/2-inch diameter hose attached to a faucet that supplies water at 40 psi has a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute, while a 100-foot hose only has a flow rate of 6 gallons per minute. That is a lot of water coming from a garden hose. That is why it is so important to make sure that when you are out watering your garden or flowers that you keep an eye on the hose. Walking away from your hose while it is on can cause water to flow into your home and cause water damage.
A leaking garden hose can also cause water damage to your home as well as mold damage due to the long period of time that the water might be entering your home. Here are some things you should look for when you come across a leaking water hose, and how you can stop the water from entering your home.
The most important thing to determine is where the leak on your hose is actually coming from. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, but depending on the location will determine the severity of the problem and how much effort it will take to fix it. If your hose always leaks from around the connection to the water tap, you may have either a problem with the spigot itself, or the hose fitting. If water wells up around the handle, your packing washer may be worn out, or the packing nut may need to be tightened, but if water only leaks when your hose is secured to the faucet, then you need to see if the water is welling up around the actual connection, or from below the fitting.
If you find that you have water damage to your home due to water entering your home from the garden hose, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help. Give us a call at 708-240-4873.
Summer Storm Tips
During the summer months, our minds are preoccupied with vacationing, grilling burgers with the family, and focusing on getting that bronze tan at the poolside. Yet, most of us leave our most valued possessions unprepared for the alarming and unpredictable summer storms: our homes.
Each year, thunderstorms alone cause an astonishing $15 billion in property damage. Summer and spring seasons are the most vulnerable to these destructive and frightening storms. Hailstorms result in approximately $1 billion of property damage a year. Thunderstorm winds can reach over 100 mph with an outcome of severe roof and house siding damage. Flooding causes billions of dollars a year in damage to homes and sadly some result in total loss of residences.
Here are some summer time safety tips to keep in mind during summer storms:
- Know the safest structure of your home to go to during a severe storm such as a basement, underground cellar, or even the most inner part of your home away from windows.
- Take summer storm warnings and alerts seriously, especially tornado and hurricane warnings! Tornadoes and hurricanes can lead to total property loss and even death.
- Invest in storm windows.
- Contact your insurance company to be more familiar with your policy. Most home insurers do not cover flooding damage.
- Cut down any unwanted trees or limbs and get your trees trimmed before summer storm season. Trees and branches can fall on your property and damage the siding or windows due to those powerful 100 mph thunderstorm winds.
- Get routine maintenance on your roof and the foundation! Cracks in the roof are the number one leading cause to flooding damage.
Summer storms can happen at any time. Make sure you home is ready, and your family is safe. Unfortunately, we all know things happen, even to the most prepared home. SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help! Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your water damage needs.
Summertime Fire Safety
Now that it is summer, it is bonfire time! According to a report from the United States Fire Administration, summer is one of the most dangerous seasons for fire-related injuries and deaths. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself and your loved ones while still having a great time. Here are some great tips from the American Fire Safety Administration.
Choose a location for your bonfire where it will not spread. Never build a fire near any dry leaves or grassy areas or under overhanging tree branches. Before building a bonfire, clear away all shrubbery and vegetation from the area, dig a pit for the fire, and surround it with rocks.
Be smart about lighter fluid. Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid near the campfire. It's too easy for stray flames to ignite these materials.
Never light a bonfire if you do not have the means of extinguishing it. Always keep plenty of water and a shovel near the campfire to use in an emergency and to put the campfire out when you are finished using it.
If you experience a fire at your home while enjoying a beautiful summer night, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help. Give us a call at 708-240-4873.
Can I Get Mold In The Summer?
In general, mold grows well within the same temperature range that makes us feel comfortable, about 60 to 80 degrees. When warm, moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces, it can create condensation, since the cooler air can't hold as much moisture. Sometimes, humidity or dampness, or water vapor in the air can supply enough moisture for mold growth. Indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent. Ideally humidity should be kept between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible.
In the summer, air conditioning can de-humidify indoor space. However, if the system is too large or too small for the space it serves, the cooling system can create high humidity by cooling without removing water vapor. A properly sized and maintained system will dehumidify and cool a building. Learn more about the role of heating, ventilation and air conditioning HVAC systems in indoor environmental quality.
When there are cold surfaces in a building, water vapor can condense on those surfaces, just as water condenses on the outside of a glass of ice water. Insulation of exterior walls can prevent condensation and mold growth during the winter.
You should always be mindful of indoor sources of water vapor that can be problematic. Clothes dryers must be vented to the outdoors. Unvented gas or kerosene space heaters can generate enormous amounts of water vapor, as well as other air contaminants, and should be used sparingly and never as a primary heat source. Always run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing, and make sure the vent is exhausted to outdoors. A properly vented kitchen exhaust fan can remove steam created during cooking.
If you find you have mold growth in your home give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside a call at 708-240-4873. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”