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Kitchen Fire Prevention

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. Cooking is involved in over 100,000 home fires every year. This number could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.

Dress to cook

While you may look good wearing a suit or a long dress, you’ll be safer if you wear clothing that’s more kitchen-appropriate while you’re cooking. Loose and long clothing can accidentally catch on fire. If you ever noticed a cooking apron, it has cut-off or shortened sleeves, and it has string that is meant to keep the apron and your clothes tight to your body.

Use appliances carefully

Kitchen appliances can cause fires if not used and maintained correctly. Keeps your cords away from oil and liquids. Remove food debris and oil from the appliances. Replace your power cords if they are damaged in some way. If an appliance is malfunctioning, stop using it and get it fixed or replaced.

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby

In the event of a fire, an extinguisher can quickly stop it from spreading. Don’t have the extinguisher stored too close too the stove, as that can make it hard to reach during a stove fire. Ensure that you know how to use it, too.

Be prepared

In addition to having, and knowing how to use, a fire extinguisher, you need to know how to react in case of a fire. Don’t use water to put out the fire, and don’t attempt to transfer a burning pot or pan to the sink—doing so can unwittingly cause the fire to spread. Quickly use an extinguisher if you have one. If the fire is getting out of control, quickly leave the home and call the authorities.

Don’t leave the kitchen

The main culprit of kitchen fires is an unattended stove. If you have things cooking, don’t leave the kitchen. If you must leave, turn off the stove or oven, and remove your pots and pans from the heat. If your eyes are on the stove, you will vastly reduce the chances of a fire occurring in the kitchen.

Keep the stove top clean and clear

A cluttered stove area can cause a fire. Kitchen towels, paper, appliance cords, uncovered oil, and other flammable items need to be kept away from the stove top. Be sure to clean the stove top regularly. Food debris and leftover grease can easily ignite with enough heat. Also, before you begin cooking, remove excess oil and grease from the exterior of your pots and pans.

Be careful with cooking oils

Avoid using an oil with a low smoke point for high heat cooking, as it can catch fire. Also, don’t carelessly discard hot cooking oil. Many fires have been caused by putting hot oil in a garbage can with other flammable items.

Kitchen fires can occur for a variety of reasons. However, if you apply these kitchen fire prevention tips, you will greatly reduce the chance of your kitchen catching on fire.

If you have questions about fire, smoke or soot damage, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500

Interesting Storm Facts

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Interesting Facts About Thunderstorms

  • The first stage of a thunderstorm, called the developing stage, occurs when a cumulus cloud is pushed upward by air. In the developing stage there is not usually much rain but lightning can be seen.
  • The second stage of a thunderstorm, called the mature stage, occurs when the rising warm air reaches warmer air and it spreads out into a 'cap'. This creates frozen water droplets that fall to the earth, melting along the way - unless the updraft is very strong which creates hail. It is during this stage that lightning and thunder and strong winds and rain occur.
  • The third stage of a thunderstorm, called the dissipating stage, occurs when a downdraft pushes to the ground essentially cutting off the thunderstorm's inflow.
  • The multi-cell cluster thunderstorm is the most common type, characterized by inner mature storms at the center and dissipating storms around the outer edge, and can include weak tornadoes.
  • The multi-cell line thunderstorm is characterized by a line of severe thunderstorms that are either in front of or part of a cold front, and can include hail, strong wind, tornadoes and waterspouts.
  • The super-cell thunderstorm is characterized by extremely strong wind, powerful updrafts, very severe weather, and strong tornadoes. Most tornadoes originate in this type of storm.
  • The severe thunderstorm is characterized by strong winds, funnel clouds and sometimes tornadoes.
  • The sound of thunder is made when lightning's heat flash causes the air to expand rapidly, and then shrink rapidly. This violent air disturbance causes the sound of thunder.
  • To be classified as a thunderstorm lightning must be present.
  • People often hide under trees to escape thunderstorms. It's a dangerous place because trees are often struck by lightning.
  • Thunderstorms often occur in warm, humid conditions.
  • Some thunderstorms look like cauliflower in the atmosphere.
  • The hail produced in some thunderstorms breaks windows, kills wildlife, and even dents cars.
  • Lightning isn't the only danger caused by thunderstorms. They can also produce flash floods, strong damaging winds, and fires.
  • As soon as thunder is heard it is best to find safe shelter. Thunderstorms can begin very quickly and if you are able to hear the thunder then you are close enough to be struck by the storm's lightning.

If your central Illinois home has been damaged by storms call SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500.

Common Signs Of Leaking Pipes

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Five Common Signs Of Leaking Pipes:

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 10 percent of American homes are losing 90 gallons of water each day due to leaky pipes. That is 177 billion gallons of water each year.  

Ceiling stains

Sloshing some water out of the bathtub and onto the floor won’t cause enough water seepage to damage your ceiling.  The internal pipes that carry water to that second-floor bathroom, however, definitely can if they’re leaking along the way. 

Rusty pipes, fuse boxes or appliances

Discoloration, stains, dimpling, and flaking are all signs that your pipes may be corroding. If you notice rust occurring around pipes, this is a clear indication of water damage. If you notice your fuse box is starting to rust or collect moisture, that’s another big red flag that water is running free inside your walls. 

Damaged flooring

Bathroom floors rarely suffer water damage unless there is a leak. However, if you notice your floor buckling, staining or cracking, hidden water may be the source. 

Wet spots, spongy or soft flooring and loose tiles could all be signs of water damage. Whether the water came from a pipe underneath the floor or traveled there from another area, look into it as soon as possible before the current water damage causes a bigger issue.

Paint or wallpaper discoloring 

As moisture seeps into your walls, the paint will start showing signs of damage. You may notice peeling, discoloration, blistering or even cracks and warping. 

Since drywall and wood readily absorb moisture, water breaks down the fibers and causes them to feel spongy and soft. If you notice chalky textures, changing wall paint or signs of peeling, water damage is most likely the culprit.

Persistent odors

The most common odor associated with water damage is a musty, mildew smell. While you may be able to detect the source of the scent, it’s not always obvious. 

Contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac if you experience water or mold damage. 

Why SERVPRO For Fire Restoration

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration is a task that should only be tackled by professionals. 

The aftermath of a fire is not only a charred mess, but it can also include water damage and structural damage necessitated by firefighters to controlled and assure a fire is extinguished.

Fire-retardant chemicals, soot and smoke damage permeate the area and can create toxicity that must be handled with care to prevent health issues.

Professionals can maximize salvaging your belongings and prevent further damage.

SERVPRO of Bloomington/Normal will come to your aid as soon as the fire is extinguished by emergency personnel. We will work quickly to assure your property is secure through our board up services.

Why SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac for fire restoration?

Inspection

Once the fire services are done controlling the fire, our experts carefully and efficiently inspect the site for damage. They will classify the damage according to the cause i.e. fire, water, chemicals, and smoke. After determining the type and level of damage, we shall create a custom detailed report and generate a restoration plan. We will work with you closely throughout the restoration process.

Eliminate smoke odors

We will eliminate smoke and odors from the site. Smoke is corrosive and may cause further damage to your possessions and so it is imperative to eliminate it first.

Remove residue

We remove soot from the entire structure as well as removing wet carpets to discourage mold growth.

Protect undamaged property

There may be parts of your property that were not affected by the fire. The restoration team will seal off these areas to avoid damage from smoke, soot, and odors. Items in these areas will be moved to a storage facility through inventory and packing to ensure their well-being and safety.

Repair

We will repair, replace, and repaint the affected areas. The items damaged beyond repair shall be filed in an inventory which we will follow up with your insurers. Belongings that can be cleaned are restored.

For fire restoration in central Illinois contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac.  309-827-7500

Why SERVPRO For Water Damage

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in your home or business can be caused by a variety of things. From natural disasters to malfunctioning plumbing systems. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here to clean up water damage of any size.

Water damage can be very frustrating. Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety. We will remove the affected materials, deodorize, and restore your home or business to its original condition.

Repair

Our first step is to resolve the cause of the water. Whether it’s a leaky dishwasher, broken supply line, or sewage backup, the restoration process begins with fixing the problem. Without identifying and resolving the cause of the water damage, you will only have more problems in the future.

Water Extraction

Once the cause of the water is fixed, we can remove standing water and sewage from the affected areas. Depending on the specific damage, water extraction may take place after removal and disposal.

Removal and Disposal

We then inspect the damage and remove materials that cannot be restored. This may include materials like plaster, drywall, ceilings, carpeting, and carpet padding as well as personal items affected by the damage. Unfortunately, furniture, paper-products like books, magazines, and newspapers, and other porous items may need to be discarded.

Dry Out

After disposing of materials that cannot be restored, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out areas and materials that can be salvaged. We closely monitor our equipment to ensure the fastest drying time possible and prevent further damage. Dry out may take several days depending on the extent of the damage.

Reconstruction

The final step to water damage restoration is rebuilding and restoring your home or business to its original condition. This may include hanging new drywall, laying new carpeting, installing new cabinets, and refinishing hardwood floors. It may be necessary to replace damaged appliances or fix structural issues with your property as well.

When it comes to water damage in your home or business, SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here for you 24/7/ 365.

Fire Safety In The Workplace

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Workplace fires injure many workers each year. Their injuries lead to untold tumult, disrupting their lives and their families. Even in those fortunate cases where no one is injured, the property damage caused by fire can be enough to bankrupt many businesses. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fires cost industrial and manufacturing employers alone over $1 billion in property damage each year.

Establishing and maintaining fire protection in the workplace

  • Make a periodic clean-up of entire work site and keep grass and weeds under control.
  • Regularly dispose of combustible debris and scrap from your work area.
  • Use only approved containers and tanks for storage, handling, and transport of combustible and flammable liquid.
  • Always perform evaluation procedures before performing operations that present fire hazards like welding.
  • Never pile or lay material in a way that it covers or blocks access to firefighting equipment.
  • Make sure to use only approved containers for the separation and disposal of combustible refuse. Remember to always replace the lid.
  • Never store flammable materials within 10 feet of a building or other structure.
  • Stack and pile all materials in orderly and stable piles.
  • Never let unnecessary combustible materials get accumulated in any part of your work area.

Safety measures for workplace fire equipment

  • Prohibit smoking at or around work areas where fire hazards are present. Put up signs, saying no smoking signs or open flames.
  • Configure an alarm system that consists of both visual and audible signals (bells, sirens, whistles, blinking lights).
  • Post reporting instructions and local Fire Department codes on info boards, common areas, and areas near the phone.
  • First, inspect and maintain fire fighting equipment regularly.
  • Place an adequate number of firefighting equipment in plain view in your work areas. When appropriate, label the location of each one and make sure it is properly rated.
  • Provide employees with proper training in fire prevention and protection.

If your business or home has been damaged by fire, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac 309-827-7500

Thunderstorms And Your Electronics

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

A thunderstorm is an atmospheric disturbance that involves lightning and thunder. It may be accompanied by torrential rain, hail or high winds. A severe thunderstorm can cause flooding, fires, power failures and electrocution, and result in serious damage.

While surges due to thunderstorms are rare, you should at the very least unplug your high-ticket electronics, like your TV, computer and gaming console.

Be safe

An important thing to remember when pulling the plug on your electronics, is that you can be electrocuted if you touch a cord during a surge. It's best to unplug items before a storm gets to your area.

Will a surge protector help?

Many people think that surge protectors that you plug into the wall will save their electronics from power surges due to storms, however that is not the case. 

Surge protectors are meant to protect against common, small surges in the electrical grid that happen from time to time. They can help reduce the power surge before it reaches your device, but they are not designed to protect items from the massive surge of electricity that happens from a lightning strike during a storm.

What can protect your devices during a storm is a whole house surge protector or suppressor. These are much more expensive than an outlet surge protector and are meant to be installed on your house's main electrical panel.

If you experience Storm damage or flooding, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500

Rainwater Damage

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can cause big problems for homeowners. It can be a sneaky issue that many people don’t discover until it has become a big, expensive problem.

Water has the potential to damage your home beyond affordable repair, with heavy structural consequences that include mold, wood rot, and even foundation cracks. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch it early and stop it before it spreads. But even small leaks that allow rainwater into the house can cause major problems.

The best way to deal with water damage is to stop it before it starts. Here are some measures that you can take to prevent water from entering your home from outside.

House Exterior

The exterior of your house is its first line of defense against water damage. Protect your home from the outside in by maintaining the exterior.

Roof

Your roof should keep water out of your house. Neglecting it could lead to a whole host of problems, the worst of which includes extensive water damage that could compromise the structure of your home. Most roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, but that is no guarantee that it will last that long. Climate, weather conditions, and even nearby trees can cause damage to roof shingles. Periodically check for damaged, loose, or missing shingles.

Windows and Doors

Water can seep in through the space around window and door frames if they’re not properly sealed. Don’t wait for a leak. Inspect the outside of your windows and doors. Any large cracks between the frame and the house can be injected with insulating foam sealant. A fresh coat of paint on window and door frames can block moisture from penetrating the wood.

Proper Drainage

You can take measures to keep water out of your home, but waterproofing alone isn’t enough to protect your home from water damage. If water isn’t properly diverted away from the base of your house, your foundation could be at risk. And even the best waterproofing measures are no match for standing water that collects on or around your house in areas of poor drainage.

Gutters

Depending on surrounding tree coverage, gutters need to be cleaned out two to six times a year to ensure proper flow of rainwater.Making sure your gutters function properly is critical to protecting your home from water damage. If your gutters are full of leaves and pine needles, or not angled properly to funnel water to the downspout, then water will run down the side of your house and collect at the base, which could put your foundation at risk.

Check Your Downspouts

Downspouts should direct water at least three feet from the exterior walls of a home.Gutters send water out through the downspout, which should funnel the water away from your home. If the downspout doesn’t extend far enough, then it could instead be funneling water directly into a puddle at the bottom of your house.Downspouts should extend at least two to three feet from the house. If your downspout is long enough, but you can still see water collecting at the base of your house, then you may need to install a drainage pipe.

If you suspect water damage in your home or business contact us today. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac   309-827-7500

Basement Fire Prevention

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

While flooding, water damage and mold are always a concern in the basement of your home or business, preventing a fire is just as important. Here are some tips to help keep your basement safe from a possible fire.

A smoke alarm should be installed in the basement.

Basement smoke alarms should be cleaned once a month to remove dust build-up. This ensures that it works properly throughout the year. In addition, the basement smoke alarm should be connected to the other smoke alarms in the home.

Install a carbon monoxide alarm as well, especially if there is heating equipment that burns gas, oil or wood in your basement.

Flammable materials.

Materials such as debris, paper, and textiles, should be kept away from heating equipment. Oily rags should be put in airtight containers and away from heat sources. Trash should also be kept out of the basement.

Equip your basement with arc-fault circuit interrupters.

These devices prevent fires in electrical switches from occurring by shutting off the circuit when an unintentional arc (discharge of electricity) occurs within the circuit.

Keep the stairs free of clutter.

This will provide less fuel for a fire and to be able to quickly escape the basement in case of an emergency.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

We can help. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac – (309) 827-7500

Preventing Laundry Room Fires

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 10,000 house fires reported annually are attributed to clothes dryers and washing machines and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Numbers like this are not uncommon for any year in the U.S., yet many people are unaware of the hazards or the simple steps which can prevent them.

Possible Fire Hazards

Visible Lint buildup in the dryer’s lint trap

Unseen Lint buildup inside the dryer, from lint which gets past the trap

Unseen Lint which collects inside the dryer hose

Dryer hoses which are crushed or kinked by cramped dryer-to-wall spaces

Outside vents blocked with lint buildup, rodent nests, bird’s nests, objects or materials placed too close to the vents, and other obstructions

Flammable Items inside laundry appliances, including plastic or rubber items like bath mats, diaper pants, clothing items padded with foam rubber, or items with flammable chemicals like rags soaked with oil or gasoline

Friction from slipping power belts caused by worn belts or excessive loads

Flammable materials or debris allowed under or too close to laundry appliances.

Prevention 

Always clean out the lint trap between every dryer load

Keep the areas under and behind your washer and dryer clean and uncluttered

Keep the area near the outside dryer vent clear of stored materials or objects which could impede or block the dryer’s exhaust

Remove the outside dryer vent cover on a regular basis and inspect the space behind it for obvious debris. However, obstructions in these wall spaces are not always visible. So, you should have a professional check and clean these on a regular basis.

Have a professional inspect the dryer and clean out any invisible lint buildup on a regular basis.

Have a professional clear the dryer hose of lint on a regular basis

If you’re unsure of the safety of your washer or dryer, never leave the house or go to bed after starting a load of clothes.

If you have experienced a laundry room fire, Contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac.  309-827-7500