Recent Fire Damage Posts

Beware of candles!

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

The third most common causes of household fires are candles. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) did a study between 2009 and 2013 where they tracked the number of fires reported each day. On average, 25 candle fires were reported each day during that time. Over the duration of the study, researchers noticed that annually, approximately 86 people die in fires and 827 people are injured each year.

The most common months for candle fires are January and December as they hold the winter holidays. Winter holidays are the most common time for candle fires with December at 12% and January at 10%. Fires during those months peak around Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day. The reasoning for that is because these holidays are most commonly associated with using candles as part of religious practices or decorations. 20% of these fires started in the living room, family room, or den, while 8% were started in the dining room and 12% started in the kitchen.

Approximately 58% of fires started when flammable materials, such as furniture, mattresses/bedding, curtains, or decorations, were too close to the candle. 18% started when candles were left unattended or abandon. In 11% of the cases, fires started when people fell asleep attributing to 30% of candle fire related deaths. While only around 13% of candle users burn candles in the bedroom, about 36% of fires began in the bedroom.

Now to the fun part, how to prevent candle fires! The obvious, blow the candle you are burning out when you leave the room or go to bed. Also, avoid using candles in the bedroom or other areas where people sleep. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from materials that could burn. Flameless candles are also a safe alternative to burning candles because they look and smell the same.

While burning candles, use sturdy holders that won’t tip easily on uncluttered surfaces. When lighting candles, be sure to keep your hair and loose clothing out of the way. Blow the candle out before it gets too close to the bottom of the holder or container. In other words, don’t burn the candle all the way down. NEVER use a candle if there is an oxygen tank in use in the home. Finally, do not use candles in the event of a power outage, keep plenty of batteries on hand and use flashlights.

If a candle catches fire, not only will you have to deal with the fire burning but the thought of adding water to the mix from extinguishing that fire.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Morton Grove/East Niles Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/29/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Morton Grove / East Niles will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Morton Grove/East Niles Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Morton Grove / East Niles will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Help for Fire Damage In Your Home

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

When you suffer fire damage in Morton Grove/East Niles, our SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles family is there to assist you. Our experienced crew chief will assess the situation and develop a plan to make sooty, wet chaos “Like it never even happened.” Each crew member works diligently to complete whatever tasks are needed to get the job done.

The tasks common to fire damage mitigation and remediation as performed by our SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles team include the following:

  • Water containment, removal, and disposal following local regulations
  • Burned debris assessment and removal
  • Deep cleaning of charred surfaces with an emphasis on restoring stable surfaces if possible
  • Evaluation of soot characteristics on different surfaces and spaces
  • Ashy soot from hot-burning paper and wood
  • Thick, dark soot that sticks to surfaces from electrical fires and slow smoldering fabrics and padding
  • Protein-based soot from food and grease that adheres like a varnish
  • Matching of the varying soot to appropriate cleaning products, tools, and techniques
  • Loose, ashy soot -- cleared with dry sponges, brushed and HEPA-filtered vacuums
  • Sticky, thickly deposited soot -- cleaning products with wetting agents and surfactants to loosen the bond and agitation to clear the soot away
  • Protein-based soot -- abrasive tools or cleaning products to dislodge and solvents in challenging applications
  • Deodorization after cleaning completes, including the use of special equipment like thermal foggers, hydroxyl generators, and ozone machines

Call SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles at 847-983-4468. We are here if you experience the unfortunate event of fire!

Be Ready

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Injuring 36 people in the United States every day and causing over $7 billion in property damage annually, home fires are America’s biggest disaster threat. And while 69% of American parents say that their children would know what to do in a fire, 52% of parents with kids ages 3–17 admit that they haven’t talked to their families about fire safety.
To protect your family it is important to know basic fire facts:
• Fire is fast. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow completely out of control and turn into a major fire. Most deadly blazes occur in the home while people are sleeping, and upon waking, they have mere seconds to escape.
• Fire is hot. The heat from a fire is more threatening than the actual flames. In a blazing room, the temperature at floor level can be 100 degrees, while the temperature at eye level can rise to a sweltering 600 degrees. Inhaling this super-hot air can scorch your lungs.
• Fire is dark. Despite what you may see in the movies, actual house fires start out bright, but quickly descend into black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire, you may struggle trying to find your way out of a home that you’ve lived in for years.
• Fire is toxic. The smoke and toxic gases produced by house fires kill more people than the flames do. Fire sucks up the oxygen in the air and produces smoke and poisonous gases, and breathing even small amounts of these toxins can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath.
When we truly understand the dangers of fire can we prepare ourselves for survival. Having a fire escape plan is one of the most important and easiest ways we can prepate. Here are seven simple steps to creating a plan.
STEP 1: MAP IT OUT
Draw or obtain a map of your home that illustrates all doors and windows.
STEP 2: FIGURE IT OUT
Identify two ways out of every room.
STEP 3: CHECK IT OUT
Make sure the exit doors/windows you’ve identified are in good working order and make for an easy escape.
STEP 4: TALK IT OUT
Agree on a common emergency meeting place in front of your home.
STEP 5: SCOPE IT OUT
Make sure your address can be seen from the street so that first responders know where to go.
STEP 6: SOUND IT OUT
Perform a monthly test on all smoke alarms; make sure everyone in your home can hear the siren, especially when asleep.
STEP 7: TEST IT OUT
Practice your fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468

Prepare Your Business

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Five key things a business owner needs to know about fire safety to keep their employees, customers, and property safe from fire damage:
1. Building Fire Exits
If there is a fire, you need to be sure your employees and customers have a way to get out of your building. OSHA requires that all workplace buildings have at least two fire exits that are not located in close proximity to each other that can be used in a fire emergency. This can be a door, window, or other space large enough for a person to crawl through and access the outdoors.
OSHA also requires that you keep those fire exits clear. The only thing that is allowed to block or delay the opening of a fire door is an approved alarm system that is part of the fire door’s design. Also, exit routes from the buildings need to be free of any obstructions. Finally, all exit routes must be clearly marked with lighted exit signs.
2. Including Portable Fire Extinguishers
All workplace buildings are required by OSHA to have the proper type of fire extinguisher based on the type of fire hazards present. For instance, a building with a kitchen will need a fire extinguisher for grease fires, while a building with electrical fire hazards will need one for that purpose. Any employee who is in a position to need to use the fire extinguisher should be properly trained on how to use it. Once installed, fire extinguishers must be kept in good working order. It is not permissible for fire extinguishers to be left unchecked and untested. Make sure that you follow the recommended testing and inspection schedule from the extinguisher’s manufacture, and document those inspections.
3. Planning for Emergency Evacuation
Employers should provide written emergency action plans for employees to ensure everyone knows where exit routes are and what fire emergency procedures are in place. Employers and managers need a plan to account for all employees if the building is evacuated. This plan needs to be located somewhere that employees can review it. If your business has physically impaired employees, the plan must include steps to take to evacuate those employees quickly and safely. As part of this planning, make sure that you properly train your employees on what to do in the event of a fire. Do not assume that common sense will prevail and your employees will know what to do. Provide training and clear policies to be followed in the event of a fire, and review the training every six months to one year. As part of your plan, host regular fire drills. These allow employees to practice the evacuation procedures when there is no actual emergency. Make sure everyone is accounted for and all proper lockdown procedures are followed during drills, so your employees will be prepared for an actual fire event.
4. Planning for Fire Prevention
While having a plan for dealing with emergencies is good, the best plan is to prevent emergencies altogether. The National Fire Protection Association has a list of fire prevention regulations and tips that can help your business prevent any dangers that are common in the line of work you perform. Teach your employees proper fire prevention to ward off an emergency altogether. Keep in mind that prevention measures will vary depending on the type of business you run. A welding business is going to need different safety protocols than an office that uses computers for the majority of its work. A kitchen, where open flames are a daily occurrence, is going to have an even more lengthy set of guidelines.
5. Providing a Fire Suppression System
Finally, OSHA requires fire suppression systems in most workplaces, such as automatic sprinkler systems. When these systems detect a fire, they automatically spray water and sound the alarm to help suppress and control the fire while alerting the proper authorities. Like fire extinguishers, these systems need to be inspected and maintained to ensure they will work properly if a fire occurs.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –847-983-4468

Summer Fire Safety

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Safety Tips When Using Your Fire Pit

Fire pits are perfect for your outdoor gatherings. The fire pit is a beautiful addition to your landscaping and a great way to complement and add a relaxing ambiance to your property.
SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles wants to make sure you are keeping you and your property safe by following these safety tips!

Fire Pit Location


Make sure to place your fire pit AT LEAST 10 feet away from any structures. This may help prevent sparks from hitting your home and excessive smoke from entering your or your neighbor’s home.
• Do NOT place your fire pit under tree branches or on a covered deck. Make sure your fire pit is in a location where the flames and sparks will not hit any objects.

Fire Pit Site Preparation


If your fire pit is not built into the ground, make sure you have stone, brick, gravel, or concrete under the pit. This will help prevent the area below the pit from burning.
• You should NEVER place your pit over dry grass or over a wooden deck. This is to prevent any overheating or causing of a spark a fire to the ground below it.

Weather


Do not use your fire pit if it is windy. Windy conditions may cause sparks from the fire to fall in an area that is flammable.
• When you are using your fire pit, you should observe what direction the breeze is blowing. You should move any object out of the way of where the breeze is blowing to help prevent a fire from occurring.

Lighting the Fire Pit


When lighting your fire pit, do NOT use lighter fluid or gasoline to light the pit or to relight fires.
• The easiest and safest way to light your fire pit is to place kindling under the wood. Kindling can be newspaper, dead leaves, pine needles, wood shaving and small pieces of tree bark. Place a small stack under the wood in your fire pit and try lighting it instead of the wood. Once the kindling catches fire, the rest of the wood should also ignite.
• You should always keep water nearby just in case the fire inside of the pit spreads.

Before you use your fire pit, you should check your town’s laws on fire pits. Some towns require a permit and an inspection. If the unfortunate happens, call the experts at SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles 847-983-4468, and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Be Safe When Charging Electronic Devices

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Technology is such an important part of our lives today. We often make it a priority to keep them as close to us as possible, and to ensure that they are charged and ready to use for the day. Because of our need to stay connected, we often forget about the potential dangers of keeping them so close to us, especially at night when we typically plug them in to charge.

Things to keep in mind when charging you phone or tablet: 

  1. Electronic devices should not be charged on flammable surfaces. So, do not tuck your phone under your pillow, on your bed, or on your couch while it is charging. 
  2. Use the charger and cord that is specific to your device. 
  3. Ensure that the charging cord does not have any exposed wires and is working properly. 
  4. If possible, charge your device during the day and turn it off at night. 

Keep yourself and loved ones safe by following these fire-safe phone charging practices! 

Accidents do happen, so if you need assistance after a fire make sure to contact SERVPRO of Morton Grove/East Niles today! 

847-983-4468

Grill Safety

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

As the summer months near, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds everyone of basic safety tips and precautions to grill and celebrate safely.

NFPA data shows that from 2014-2018, fire departments responded to an annual average of 10,600 home fires annually involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues. This includes 4,900 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires. These fires resulted in an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage.

The peak months for grilling fires are July (18 percent of grilling fires), June (15 percent), May (13 percent), and August (12 percent), though grill fires occur year-round. Leading causes of grill fires include failing to clean the grill, the heat source being located too close to combustible materials, leaving equipment unattended, and leaks or breaks in the grill or fuel source.

“As grilling season approaches, it is important to review basic safety tips to ensure grillers are using equipment properly and safely, especially if the grill hasn’t been used over the winter,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “Establishing a firesafe location for using your grill is also crucial. It should be a safe distance from your home and other items that can burn.”

Carli notes that as people continue to stay home in response to the pandemic, there may be an increased use of grills and other outdoor cooking equipment this season, making it critically important to share these messages with the public.

A yearly average of 19,700 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. Nearly half (9,500 or 48 percent) of the injuries were thermal burns, including both burns from fire and from contact with hot objects; 5,200 thermal burns were caused by such contact or other non-fire events.

Children under five accounted for an average of 2,000 (39 percent) of the contact-type burns per year. These burns typically occurred when a child bumped into, touched, or fell on the grill, grill part, or hot coals.

NFPA offers these and other tips and recommendations for enjoying a fire-safe grilling season:

  • For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use in the months ahead.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
  • If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you have or are finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended when in use.

Be Ready

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Injuring 36 people in the United States every day and causing over $7 billion in property damage annually, home fires are America’s biggest disaster threat. And while 69% of American parents say that their children would know what to do in a fire, 52% of parents with kids ages 3–17 admit that they haven’t talked to their families about fire safety.
To protect your family it is important to know basic fire facts:
• Fire is fast. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow completely out of control and turn into a major fire. Most deadly blazes occur in the home while people are sleeping, and upon waking, they have mere seconds to escape.
• Fire is hot. The heat from a fire is more threatening than the actual flames. In a blazing room, the temperature at floor level can be 100 degrees, while the temperature at eye level can rise to a sweltering 600 degrees. Inhaling this super-hot air can scorch your lungs.
• Fire is dark. Despite what you may see in the movies, actual house fires start out bright, but quickly descend into black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire, you may struggle trying to find your way out of a home that you’ve lived in for years.
• Fire is toxic. The smoke and toxic gases produced by house fires kill more people than the flames do. Fire sucks up the oxygen in the air and produces smoke and poisonous gases, and breathing even small amounts of these toxins can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath.
When we truly understand the dangers of fire can we prepare ourselves for survival. Having a fire escape plan is one of the most important and easiest ways we can prepate. Here are seven simple steps to creating a plan.
STEP 1: MAP IT OUT
Draw or obtain a map of your home that illustrates all doors and windows.
STEP 2: FIGURE IT OUT
Identify two ways out of every room.
STEP 3: CHECK IT OUT
Make sure the exit doors/windows you’ve identified are in good working order and make for an easy escape.
STEP 4: TALK IT OUT
Agree on a common emergency meeting place in front of your home.
STEP 5: SCOPE IT OUT
Make sure your address can be seen from the street so that first responders know where to go.
STEP 6: SOUND IT OUT
Perform a monthly test on all smoke alarms; make sure everyone in your home can hear the siren, especially when asleep.
STEP 7: TEST IT OUT
Practice your fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468

10 Fire Safety Tips for Seniors

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Older adults are twice as likely to die or get injured from a fire as the rest of the population. In fact, seniors represented 40% of all fire related deaths in the United States. Decreased mobility, cognitive confusion, sight and hearing loss can all impact your ability to respond and take the quick steps necessary in an emergency situation.
Whether it's forgetting to butt out a cigarette or leaving the stove top on, fires are a serious risk for seniors, but one that's largely avoidable with a little extra care.
Here are some of the most recommended fire safety tips for seniors to help guide you on some of the things you should do to prevent fires and reduce the likelihood of injury should one occur.

  1. Butt Out
    Smoking is the #1 cause of fires that kill older adults. Never smoke in bed. Never smoke if there is an oxygen tank nearby. Instead, smoke outside to fully eliminate the risk of fire. Regardless, make sure you use deep and heavy ashtrays to avoid them from flipping or falling off a table by accident. Moreover, when putting out your cigarette, use water or sand to help snuff out any embers.
  2. Space Heaters Need Space
    Make sure space heaters are not too close to drapes, bedding, sofas or your clothing. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association recommends your space heater should be at least 3 feet away from everything. Shut off AND unplug your space heater when you leave your home and go to bed. Never plug your space heater into an extension cord or power strip, plug them directly into the wall.
    As an extra precaution, you can also get a space heater that is designed to turn off if it gets tipped over.
  3. Cook with Care
    Most cooking fires happen when you fry food. If a pan or pot of food catches fire, keep a lid nearby and cover the pan. Wear short, rolled-up or fitted sleeves when cooking so they don't catch fire accidentally. Don't leave the room when food is being cooked on the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove.
  4. Smoke Alarms
    Did you know the chance of surviving a home fire almost doubles with the use of a smoke alarm? They work.
    You should get a smoke alarm for every room, outside each bedroom and on every level of your home. If you can get a connected smoke alarm system, so that if one goes off, they all go off. You should also test your smoke alarms every month (simply press the test button). If hearing the alarm is a problem, you can get a strobe alarm or one that shakes your bed in the event it goes off. Lastly, if reacting to a smoke alarm is a problem due to poor hearing, vision or immobility consider getting a smoke alarm that's connected to a monitoring center in the event it gets triggered.
  5. Get Fireplace & Wood Stoves Inspected Annually
    Your fireplace or wood stove may need a cleaning. Too much soot in your chimney can cause a fire. Cracks in chimney bricks and rusting in stove pipes can also cause a fire. Avoid burning green wood, garbage or cardboard boxes in your fireplace, as they increase dangerous soot buildup in your chimney. Also, if you have fireplace glass doors, keep them open when making a fire.
  6. Make a Getaway Plan
    If there is a fire that's too hard to control, get out. Create a fire escape plan and familiarize yourself with it. You should know the exits from your house or apartment, as well as how to get out of your building. Make sure your designated escape door can be easily opened, when rushed and visibility is poor. If you have difficulty maneuvering quickly or without help, consider getting one of the many dependable and reputable medical alert systems. If you have an emergency, simply press the button and agents will send help right away.
  7. Learn How to Put Out a Fire on Your Clothing
    If your clothes catch on fire, you'll need to learn how to put out the fire. According to the CDC and the National Fire Prevention Association, stop (don't run), drop and roll. Cover your face. Roll until the fire is out. If you're not able to drop, use something like a blanket to put out the flames. Run cold water on your burn until emergency responders arrive.
  8. Avoid Escape Proof Doors
    If your loved one has issues with wandering due to Alzheimer’s or dementia, do not create a complicated lock that will keep them from opening the front door. You could end up trapping them inside the house in the event of a fire. Better to explore getting them a GPS system that will track them if they wander or an alarm system that will alert you if they leave a designated perimeter.
  9. Avoid Candles
    Scented candles have grown in popularity, they smell delicious and they can create a calm and soothing environment. Avoid any open flames in your home to the extent possible. Consider electric scented candles or electric candles as a safer alternative to the real thing.
  10. Keep Fire Extinguishers Nearby
    You should have at least one fire extinguisher near every fire hazard, whether it be the kitchen, the fireplace, wood stove or your furnace room. Make sure your fire extinguishers are full and operational. Also, don't place the extinguishers too close to the hazard. For example, place an extinguisher in the kitchen, but far away from the stove, that way if your stove top does catch fire, you'll be able to get the extinguisher without burning yourself.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –847-983-4468

12 Tips to Prevent Workplace Fires

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

12 Tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:

Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.

Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.

Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.

Step 6. Maintenance – Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.

Step 7. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.

Step 8. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.

Step 9. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.

Step 10. Prevent Ignition – Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.

Step 11. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.

Step 12. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore, basics such as the company address, phone number and floor plan should be posted.

Prevention is always better than cure and it’s best to avoid catastrophe in the first place or at least minimize the damage. The simple truth is that fire emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. So, if a fire does break out in your workplace A-C-T, Don’t Panic

A – ASSESS THE SITUATION

C – CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE

T – TAKE ACTION

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –847-983-4468

Pet Fire Safety

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

According to the American Red Cross home fires are the most common disaster that they respond to – and also the most preventable.

Have a Plan That Includes Your Pet:

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.

  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.

  • In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.

  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.

  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets:

  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468

Have a Plan

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Injuring 36 people in the United States every day and causing over $7 billion in property damage annually, home fires are America’s biggest disaster threat. And while 69% of American parents say that their children would know what to do in a fire, 52% of parents with kids ages 3–17 admit that they haven’t talked to their families about fire safety.

To protect your family it is important to know basic fire facts:

  • Fire is fast. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow completely out of control and turn into a major fire. Most deadly blazes occur in the home while people are sleeping, and upon waking, they have mere seconds to escape.
  • Fire is hot. The heat from a fire is more threatening than the actual flames. In a blazing room, the temperature at floor level can be 100 degrees, while the temperature at eye level can rise to a sweltering 600 degrees. Inhaling this super-hot air can scorch your lungs.
  • Fire is dark. Despite what you may see in the movies, actual house fires start out bright, but quickly descend into black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire, you may struggle trying to find your way out of a home that you’ve lived in for years.
  • Fire is toxic. The smoke and toxic gases produced by house fires kill more people than the flames do. Fire sucks up the oxygen in the air and produces smoke and poisonous gases, and breathing even small amounts of these toxins can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath.

When we truly understand the dangers of fire can we prepare ourselves for survival.  Having a fire escape plan is one of the most important and easiest ways we can prepate.  Here are seven simple steps to creating a plan.

STEP 1: MAP IT OUT
Draw or obtain a map of your home that illustrates all doors and windows.
STEP 2: FIGURE IT OUT
Identify two ways out of every room.
STEP 3: CHECK IT OUT
Make sure the exit doors/windows you’ve identified are in good working order and make for an easy escape.
STEP 4: TALK IT OUT
Agree on a common emergency meeting place in front of your home.
STEP 5: SCOPE IT OUT
Make sure your address can be seen from the street so that first responders know where to go.
STEP 6: SOUND IT OUT
Perform a monthly test on all smoke alarms; make sure everyone in your home can hear the siren, especially when asleep.
STEP 7: TEST IT OUT
Practice your fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468

Candle Fires

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

The third most common causes of household fires are candles. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) did a study between 2009 and 2013 where they tracked the number of fires reported each day. On average, 25 candle fires were reported each day during that time. Over the duration of the study, researchers noticed that annually, approximately 86 people die in fires and 827 people are injured each year.

The most common months for candle fires are January and December as they hold the winter holidays. Winter holidays are the most common time for candle fires with December at 12% and January at 10%. Fires during those months peak around Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day. The reasoning for that is because these holidays are most commonly associated with using candles as part of religious practices or decorations. 20% of these fires started in the living room, family room, or den, while 8% were started in the dining room and 12% started in the kitchen.

Approximately 58% of fires started when flammable materials, such as furniture, mattresses/bedding, curtains, or decorations, were too close to the candle. 18% started when candles were left unattended or abandon. In 11% of the cases, fires started when people fell asleep attributing to 30% of candle fire related deaths. While only around 13% of candle users burn candles in the bedroom, about 36% of fires began in the bedroom.

Now to the fun part, how to prevent candle fires! The obvious, blow the candle you are burning out when you leave the room or go to bed. Also, avoid using candles in the bedroom or other areas where people sleep. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from materials that could burn. Flameless candles are also a safe alternative to burning candles because they look and smell the same.

While burning candles, use sturdy holders that won’t tip easily on uncluttered surfaces. When lighting candles, be sure to keep your hair and loose clothing out of the way. Blow the candle out before it gets too close to the bottom of the holder or container. In other words, don’t burn the candle all the way down. NEVER use a candle if there is an oxygen tank in use in the home. Finally, do not use candles in the event of a power outage, keep plenty of batteries on hand and use flashlights.

If a candle catches fire, not only will you have to deal with the fire burning but the thought of adding water to the mix from extinguishing that fire.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Clothes dryer fire safety

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Facts about home clothes dryer fires
  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

Clothes dryer do’s

Installation

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
  • Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.

Cleaning

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.

Maintenance

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
  • Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

Clothes dryer don’t's

  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
  • Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
  • Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
  • Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
  • Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
  • Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Develop Safe Fire Habits

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

If you do nothing else:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-983-4468

Prevent Kitchen Fires

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires are preventable

Kitchen fires are the number one cause of house fires.  They are also easily preventable.  Listed here are several recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  1. Cooking oil, a key ingredient for frying and sautéing, is also a prime cause of sudden stove-top fires. Smart cooks heat oils slowly to the desired temperature, then add food gently to reduce the chance of splatter and flare-up. Keeping an appropriately sized lid next to your pan gives you a means to quickly cover the pan and snuff out sudden flames.
  2. Good chefs always stay in the kitchen; unattended cooking is a dangerous gamble. Staying in the kitchen, especially when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling, is a smart and obvious way to avoid an out-of-control fire.
  3. Roasting, simmering and baking foods takes more time. While the likelihood of a fire may seem less, the main culprit is forgetting to check on your meal. Set a timer to remind you to check back every so often, and be sure that any wooden utensils, oven mitts, paper products, dish towels and curtains are moved far away from heat sources.
  4. Early morning and late evening cooking coincides with the time you may be more tired. Staying alert is staying safe, so be sure you’re not too sleepy or distracted by other tasks. Consuming alcohol can be enjoyable when preparing meals, but it is also a risk that should be minimized if not completely avoided.
  5. Fight or flight. There is no concrete answer concerning whether it is better to fight a kitchen fire or immediately leave the room, close the door behind you and call for help. If you’re really unsure, take the safest route and call 911 as soon as you and all others can leave the kitchen.

NFPA studies report that 55 percent of the people who were injured in reported nonfatal home cooking fires during 2005-2009 were injured when they tried to fight the fire themselves. One of every four house fires reported in 2007-2011 started with fat or grease, and one of every three fire injuries resulted from these fires.

Source: NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
847-983-4468

Have a Plan

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Injuring 36 people in the United States every day and causing over $7 billion in property damage annually, home fires are America’s biggest disaster threat. And while 69% of American parents say that their children would know what to do in a fire, 52% of parents with kids ages 3–17 admit that they haven’t talked to their families about fire safety.

To protect your family it is important to know basic fire facts:

  • Fire is fast. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow completely out of control and turn into a major fire. Most deadly blazes occur in the home while people are sleeping, and upon waking, they have mere seconds to escape.
  • Fire is hot. The heat from a fire is more threatening than the actual flames. In a blazing room, the temperature at floor level can be 100 degrees, while the temperature at eye level can rise to a sweltering 600 degrees. Inhaling this super-hot air can scorch your lungs.
  • Fire is dark. Despite what you may see in the movies, actual house fires start out bright, but quickly descend into black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire, you may struggle trying to find your way out of a home that you’ve lived in for years.
  • Fire is toxic. The smoke and toxic gases produced by house fires kill more people than the flames do. Fire sucks up the oxygen in the air and produces smoke and poisonous gases, and breathing even small amounts of these toxins can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath.

When we truly understand the dangers of fire can we prepare ourselves for survival.  Having a fire escape plan is one of the most important and easiest ways we can prepate.  Here are seven simple steps to creating a plan.

STEP 1: MAP IT OUT
Draw or obtain a map of your home that illustrates all doors and windows.
STEP 2: FIGURE IT OUT
Identify two ways out of every room.
STEP 3: CHECK IT OUT
Make sure the exit doors/windows you’ve identified are in good working order and make for an easy escape.
STEP 4: TALK IT OUT
Agree on a common emergency meeting place in front of your home.
STEP 5: SCOPE IT OUT
Make sure your address can be seen from the street so that first responders know where to go.
STEP 6: SOUND IT OUT
Perform a monthly test on all smoke alarms; make sure everyone in your home can hear the siren, especially when asleep.
STEP 7: TEST IT OUT
Practice your fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468

Morton Grove / East Niles Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Morton Grove or East Niles Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Morton Grove / East Niles will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (847) 983-4468