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Steps Kids Can Take to Safely Escape a House Fire

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

A home damaged by fire If you have a fire in your home, it is possible that you will have significant soot and smoke damage. SERVPRO can help you from start to finish.

Steps For Kids To Safely Evacuate A House Fire

It’s impossible to put into words the helpless, awful feelings you would feel if your home were to catch on fire. This is an event everyone dreads and hopes they never have to experience. If this terrible situation arises, however, kids’ safety is most critical. This is why it’s vital to teach your children how to quickly and safely get out of your Chicago, IL, home if you detect a fire.

First Steps

At the moment you know there is a fire in your home, you should think of your well-being and of your kids’ safety. Before you do anything, make sure everyone in your house knows about these vital steps:

  • Have a predetermined meeting place.
  • Call 911.
  • Don’t go back into the home for belongings.

Crawl to Safety

One of the most effective escape methods to teach to children if a home fire occurs is the crawl. Smoke will rise, so it’s important to stay low. This will make it easier to breathe and to see where exits are. Teach children to get on all fours with their heads down to the floor. Alternatively, children can put their bellies on the floor and use their forearms and legs to move on the floor like a snake. This method is effective if the heat is especially intense.

Check Doors

Often, a house fire will start when children are sleeping in their rooms or when family members are in another room in the house with the door closed. A proper fire escape in these situations is most likely if children will learn to first press the backs of their hands up against the door. If the door is hot, kids shouldn’t open the door. If the door is not hot, make sure your kids know to slowly open the door a little and examine the area. If it’s safe to proceed, they may crawl out.

To ensure your kids’ safety, make sure they understand these guidelines. You can then have peace of mind everyone is safe and sound by the time firefighter and fire cleanup experts arrive.

Everything You Need To Know About Toilet Overflows

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

An overflowing toilet If you have sewer damage, toilet overflows may be common. As pipes age, they can deteriorate.

What You Should Know About Toilet Overflows

An overflowing toilet can be a disgusting mess. Still, flooded toilets in Park Ridge, IL, homes are a common occurrence. If you have water where water is not supposed to be, you need to think about more than general sewer damage. Here are three things you should do if you have a flooded toilet.

1. Stop the Flood

Generally, the longer you have standing water, the greater damage you can expect. Often, the best way to stop toilet flooding is to reach for the plunger. As such, if you do not keep a plunger in your bathroom, you may be asking for trouble. On the other hand, if water is coming from the top of the tank, you must stop the flood there. Simply depress the flapper or turn off the water supply.

2. Remove Standing Water

Water has a way of destroying drywall, subfloor, tile and carpeting. If you have an overflow, you must immediately remove standing water. Also, be sure you completely dry out the area to help discourage mold growth. If you have extensive damage or notice mold, you may not want to do the job yourself, however. By contracting with a reputable mold-removal service, you rely on technicians who have the equipment and expertise to restore your bathroom to its pre-flood condition.

3. Contact a Sewage Company

If you have sewer damage, toilet overflows may be common. As pipes age, they can deteriorate. Even worse, tree roots and deep clogs can destroy your home’s plumbing system. Rather than constantly wondering about the health of your pipes, consider asking a plumber to evaluate the overall health of your system.

To get the most out of your bathroom, you need to have a functioning toilet. A toilet that constantly overflows doesn’t do you much good. By understanding overflowing toilets and sewer damage, you can develop a strategy for keeping your bathroom dry.

How to Clean a Gas Range

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark. A gas range is the heart of many kitchens, but its optimal performance depends on routine maintenance and cleaning.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Gas Range?

A gas range is the heart of many kitchens, but its optimal performance depends on routine maintenance and cleaning. The steps below offer one affordable cleaning option.

1. Wipe Away Loose Debris and Gather Supplies

Range cleaning begins by removing the grates from the burners and wiping away any loose debris with a dry brush or paper towel. Then, gather the necessary materials for washing down the surface. While chemical cleaners are available, you only need vinegar and dish soap. Additionally, you may want to have a scrub brush, toothbrush, and rags or paper towels handy.

2. Spray and Scrub the Surface

Using a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar, spray down the surface of your Gas range, remembering to spray the back panel and knobs. Allow the mixture to soak on the surface for a minute or two before wiping it dry with paper towel or a rag. Most of the grime will wipe away, but if there are any tough stains, then apply a small amount of dish soap to the toothbrush or scrub brush and work on those areas.

3. Clean Burner Caps and Heads

Once the surface has been washed, you can begin cleaning the burner caps and heads; both should easily lift up and off. The burner caps can be placed in a pot of soapy water to soak, but the burner heads should be rinsed thoroughly in the sink. If there is any stubborn debris lodged in the burner heads, you can use a needle to dislodge it. After the caps and heads are clean, you can put everything back in place.

4. Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Every manufacturer has specific instructions for maintenance and cleaning, which is why you should always read the owner’s manual before removing or cleaning anything. Additionally, if there is anything that concerns you, like a smoke smell, contact the manufacturer or other professionals from Rosemont, IL, immediately.

A gas range is a wonderful appliance, but it does require routine maintenance and cleaning. You can follow the above steps to clean your range or check the instructions in the owner’s manual for more guidance.

When Should You Use Drain Cleaners?

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

Specialist machines are cleaning water damage in a home. If your home has water damage or sewage, call SERVPRO, we have professional machines to clean up and restore your home efficiently.

When Is It Appropriate To Use Drain Cleaners?

When you encounter a clogged drain at home in Chicago, IL, you want to fix the problem as soon as possible. Though you may be tempted to immediately use a drain cleaner, it’s not always an appropriate fix for every problem.

• With Newer, Stronger Pipes

Pipes that have been installed recently will be significantly stronger than older pipes, and therefore will be able to stand up to the cleaner’s chemicals. Older pipes are particularly susceptible to damage from chemical drainage cleaners. Using harsh cleaners with older pipes could create a more serious sewage issue, costing you additional time and money to clean. If you have plastic pipes in your home, do not use a chemical cleaner regardless of how new the pipes are, as the plastic will immediately erode upon contact with a chemical cleaner.

• If You Have Appropriate Tools

It’s essential to only use drainage cleaners if you can do so safely. Just as the chemicals in drain cleaner can damage pipes, it can also be harmful if it makes direct contact with your skin. When using drainage cleaner, take precautions to ensure that your skin will not come in contact with the cleaner itself. If you do not have access to protective gloves and other safety equipment, it’s best not to use chemical cleaners.

• Minor Blockages

Using harsh cleaners can create more issues if used when a drain is entirely blocked. If you are certain that your clogged drain is not entirely blocked, then you can use a cleaner to remove the blockage. However, a drain that is wholly blocked will cause the drainage cleaner to remain in the pipes, which can result in even the strongest of pipes becoming eroded and damaged.

Clogged drains can disrupt your day-to-day life in your home. If you encounter an issue with your drains that can’t be easily fixed, contact professionals in sewage cleaning who will ensure your drains are safely and quickly cleaned.

3 Steps for Putting Out a Grease Fire

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen with fire damage This home suffered from a kitchen fire. The team at SERVPRO responded immediately and began clean-up procedures.

3 Steps to Extinguishing a Grease Fire

Fires can happen in the kitchen of your Chicago, IL home more commonly than any other room. One major cause is the ignition of a grease fire, might occur when you are using cooking oils or frying food. This type of blaze can spread quickly; however, knowing how to put it out can prevent major damage or injury before it is too late.

1. Stay Calm

When a fire like this breaks out, it can be frightening and your first instinct may be to panic. Keeping your head can help you assess whether the fire is still small enough to put out on your own and give you the presence of mind to turn off the burner. Removing the heat source should keep the fire from spreading and give you time to act.

2. Smother the Flames

Fire needs oxygen to spread, so if the blaze is still contained to one pan, you can cover it with a metal lid to snuff it out. If the pan has a matching glass lid, avoid using it to cover the fire, as it may overheat and explode. Use extreme care when approaching the fire.

3. Use Baking Soda

When putting out a grease fire, it is important to remember that water will not douse the flames and may even help them spread. If the fire is still a small one, dump baking soda or salt on it to help snuff out the flames. If the fire caused damage to your stove, it is a good idea to call in a fire cleanup and restoration service to ensure surrounding appliances and other systems were not affected.

Dealing with a grease fire in your Chicago, IL, home can be frightening. However, when you stay calm and know how to snuff it out right away, you can prevent serious damage to your home and head off a potentially devastating blaze.

Weathering the Storm: Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Company

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company If your business is affected by storm or flood damage, SERVPRO is ready to respond, call us!

Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Business

Disaster preparedness requires a multifaceted plan to ensure the continuity of your business, the safety of your employees, the security of your building, and proactive planning for building and business recovery. Read below for a more thorough overview of these essential elements of disaster planning.

1. Continuity Preparations

One of the first steps in business preparedness is the creation of a business continuity plan. This plan is typically written and printed in a binder or several binders and distributed to top executives and managers in case of an emergency. The plan compiles all vital information regarding business operations, such as procedural changes, managerial and executive contacts, and any financial and crisis readiness information.

2. Employee Preparations

Disaster preparedness can be vital to the safety of employees. You may want to prepare an emergency checklist that is distributed to all employees. This checklist would define emergency procedures and inform workers of all emergency exits, shelters and evacuation measures. Also, while it may not be regulated, you may want to conduct monthly safety meetings to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable of safety protocols and company expectations.

3. Building Preparations

Beyond operations continuity and employee safety, building preparations should be taken to minimize structural and property damage in the event of an imminent natural disaster. Operating in Park Ridge, IL, where hurricanes and high winds are typical, you may want to invest in storm shutters and biannual inspections of your roof. Additionally, when the weather turns, you may want to secure heavy objects, such as furniture and machinery, and elevate delicate equipment, such as computers, in case of flooding.
4. Aftermath Preparations

Lastly, you may want to contact a disaster preparation and restoration company to go over your emergency planning options. Some companies offer preplanning services that allow you to create a personalized recovery plan for your business.

Disaster preparedness is an essential and multifaceted element of any business. An emergency plan should encompass preparations for business continuity, employee safety, building security and restorative planning.

3 Factors To Consider When Creating an Evacuation Plan for Your Business

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fire safety plan for  business When fire arises, it may be more difficult for handicapped individuals to escape the building. You should have them in mind in your scape plan.

Three Things To Think About When Making A Business Evacuation Plan

As a Chicago, IL, business owner, one of your priorities might be to keep your employees and customers as safe as possible. One way to accomplish this is to have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency. If you ready to open a business or want to create a more effective fire escape plan for your building, there are several factors you may want to consider as you do so.

1. The Size of Your Building

If you own a building with one or two floors, your emergency escape plan will probably be simple to create. Be sure to mark any exits clearly and provide anyone inside with directions to the exits closest to them. For larger buildings, remind your employees to use the stairs in case of a fire and help those unfamiliar with the building follow the escape plan.

2. The Number of Exits

As you form a fire escape plan for your commercial building, consider how many exits are available and how people would escape if these doors were blocked by flames during a fire. If your building lacks additional exits, you might want to consider having a contractor install them. Not only can additional doors provide a means of escape during an emergency, they may make formulating an evacuation plan simpler.

3. Handicap Access

When an emergency arises, it may be more difficult for handicapped individuals to escape the building. This is a factor you might want to consider, especially if you own a retail business. A fire damage and restoration company may be able to assist you with a viable escape plan by noting where limited access might create a dangerous situation for the handicapped and advise you about how to modify these areas.

The thought of a sudden fire in your commercial building can be frightening. However, being prepared with an effective fire escape plan for your Chicago, IL, business can help save the lives of your employees and customers if disaster strikes.


3 Fire Safety Steps for Kids

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

A woman crawling in the middle of a fire The most common fire escape tactic involves crawling on all fours. Teach younger family members to drop their forearms to the ground, imitating a dog.

Three Fire Safety Steps For Children

Fire drills and field trips to the fire department are just the beginning when it comes to teaching kids safety methods in case of a fire. Instructions on escaping a dangerous situation at home are equally important. Let your children know that the safety precautions don't end at school by introducing them to the following three safety tips.

1. Learn About Smoke Alarms

It's never a bad idea to teach kids about the safety equipment itself. Inform your children that a smoke detector is more than a small object fitted to the ceiling; its alarm signal could be the first sign of a home fire. Even with no alarm sounding, it's vital that all family members know to escape the area immediately when any signs of a fire are present.

2. Crawl on the Floor

The most common fire escape tactic involves crawling on all fours. Teach younger family members to drop their forearms to the ground, imitating a dog; then have them practice crawling with noses pointed to the floor. Heat and smoke rises, so the lower you crawl, the more you can protect yourself from danger.

3. Roll Out of Bed

Along with the previous step, it is important that you add a discussion on dangerous temperatures to your kids safety checklist. During a fire, temperatures at the level of your child's bed should be cooler than those near the ceiling, so you want children to keep as close to these lower levels as possible. Instruct them to roll in the bed until they face the floor. Then they can place their hand down to the floor for support, sliding off the bed safely.

Planning to escape from a home fire in Park Ridge, IL, is scary enough on its own, but when children are part of the picture it becomes all the more crucial. Teaching kids safety steps can seem like the biggest challenge in the world, but when everyone is on the same page with safety measures, the whole family can be better prepared in case of an emergency.


What Does It Mean When You Have Black Mold?

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Walls of a room filled with mold If you have mold in your home, it is important to contact a licensed restoration company immediately. SERVPRO of Park Ridge is available 24/7 to help.

What Does Black Mold Indicate?

You've hired a mold remediation team to inspect your Rosemont, IL, home because you suspected you had some mold growth. The residential mold experts have come back to you and said you have black mold. You've heard about this particular fungus variation before, but do you really know what it means? Use this guide to better understand what this diagnosis can mean for you and your house.

Defining the Mold

While most molds are lumped into a single category, there are actually quite a few variations of the fungus growth. Molds that fall into the genus Stachybotrys are typically greenish-black in hue and often go by the common name of black mold. This particular strand likes to grow on environments that meet the following criteria:

  • Full of moisture
  • High in cellulose
  • Low in nitrogen

The mold cleanup process for this variation is the same as for most other types.

Looking at Its Growth

A constant source of water is needed for the mold to thrive, but with this simple staple the mold can grow and expand into other areas of your home. This fungus can often be found on ceiling tiles, fiberboard, paper, wood floors and other surfaces in a residential home. Because mold spores are always in the air, it doesn't take long for a colony to get its roots in after a pipe burst, flood or other water damage.

Understanding the Differences

Now you know there are different kinds of mold, what does that mean for you and your mold cleanup? Some people may experience health effects. The cleanup and remediation process is the same for most of the varieties found in living spaces. The major differences are in appearance.

Black mold sounds like a scary thing to be in your home, but it's really no different than other types of mold growth. When you discover this fungus in your house, you want to start the mold remediation process as soon as possible.

Minding the Gaps: Finding Good Storm Coverage

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Tree fallen on property. When you are shopping for the best commercial insurance package, don't forget comprehensive storm insurance.

If your commercial property in Park Ridge, IL, is frequently beset by storms, your property insurance coverage is probably not sufficient to pay the costs of the flood restoration services you will likely need at some point. You need storm insurance. Even with the extra coverage, however, it is important to make sure that you pay close attention to the exclusions listed in your policies. Only by filling in all the gaps that other policies leave do you get the best coverage possible.

Flood Damage

Most floods caused by natural disasters or other extreme circumstances aren't covered by general commercial property policies. You will need flood insurance to protect yourself from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses like the following:

• Water mitigation services
• Restoration costs
• Building inspection fees

After you pay your deductible, your storm insurance is likely to cover the bulk of your recovery expenses. Having a policy in place before the storm season arrives is essential.

Hail Damage

If your storm coverage focuses on flooding, it may include exclusions for other damage that your building could sustain during a storm. Hail damage often accompanies violent thunderstorms, but some insurance policies don't cover the damage that a hail storm can cause. In this instance, you will need additional coverage to fill in the gap left by the exclusion.

Lightning Damage

When lightning strikes your building, it can cause quite a few problems. Other than raising the risk of fire, it may also short out your electrical system, leaving you without power regardless of how reliable your backup generator may be. If other systems, such as your building's plumbing or HVAC system, rely on power, then you can see how expensive a lightning strike could become. Many policies exclude lightning damage for this reason. Your insurance company may offer rider policies to compensate, however.

When you are shopping for the best commercial insurance package, don't forget comprehensive storm insurance. One storm can cause extensive damage. It can give you peace of mind to know that you are protected.