Stay Safe While Decorating this Holiday Season
With Christmas, New Years Eve and New Year’s Day being the top 3 days for home fires, use these safety tips to decrease the risk of home fires this holiday season.
1. If you purchase an artificial tree, look for the fire resistant label. If you purchase a live tree make sure to keep it watered so it stays fresh. Always keep your tree away from fireplaces and heaters.
2. Check your holiday lights to make sure no cords are broken. Also do not attach more than three stands of lights to one extension cord.
3. When decoration outside make sure the decorations and cords are safe for outdoor use.
4. Do not forget to unplug all lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
5. If you hang stockings from the fireplace mantel, do not light the fireplace.
5. Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.
Holiday Safety Tips for your Business
During this holiday season keep your commercial property and occupants safe. Stay festive and safe with there tips.
1. Do NOT hang decorations from the fire sprinklers.
2. Avoid using any decorations that have open flames.
3. Inspect all cords and lights for frayed or loose connections.
4. The best location for decorations is the reception area, lobbies, foyers and break rooms.
5. Avoid overloading outlets. Do not use more than 3 stands of lights per expansion cord, and make sure extension cords are UL rated.
6. Ensure cords are not a tripping hazard.
7. Turn off all lights when the business is closed.
8. Keep high traffic areas free of any decoration.
9. Keep Christmas trees away from any heat source.
10. Keep live Christmas trees watered frequently.
Ask SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa about a free assessment of your building so you are ready for whatever happens.
Give us a call today to set up your free assessment. (815)416-0075.
Reduce Water Damage Risk While on Vacation
A water damage doesn’t make a good gift when returning home from vacation. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa gets many calls each year from homeowners returning home from vacation to find water damage in their home. Below are a few tips to help reduce the risk of your home suffering a water damage while you are away on vacation.
Lower the Thermostat
Lowering your thermostat to reduce heating costs while you are away is acceptable. However do not turn the heat off, as this could cause water pipe breaks in your home during cold weather.
Shut off the main water supply to your home
After the main water supply is shut off, run the taps for 5 minutes to release all the water pressure from the pipes. This will prevent a flood in your home if a pipe should break while you are away.
Shut off certain water valves
If you have a friend or family member checking in on your home and do not want to restrict all water flow in your home, shut off certain water valves. This will help reduce the risk of pipe leaks in your home.
A few other tips
-Do not shut the power off in the home. Unplugging certain electrical devices is acceptable, however making sure your refrigerator and sump pump keep power are important along with any security system you may have.
- Make sure your sump pump is functioning properly before leaving.
- Make sure outside drainage is free of debris and leaves before leaving. If heavy rains occur you want the water to drain properly away from your home.
If you return home from vacation and find water damage call SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals right away.
Are you ready for winter?
Cold weather can do a number on your home or business if you aren’t prepared for it. From cold temperatures to rain, snow and sleet, and winds. Here are some tips to help prepare you for the winter ahead.
-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
-Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
-Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
-Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement ot crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
-Ask SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no- cost asessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well beforehand. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan and prepare for it.
Give us a call at (815)416-6901 for more information.
Maintain your commercial building and minimizing your legal liabilities during the winter months by taking action to avoid hazards in your workplace environment. You can protect yourself, your employees and your customers by taking just a few simple precautions:
Use ice melt on sidewalks and walkways to ensuring the safety of passers buy, customers and employees.
Clean up dirt. A surprisingly large amount of dirt gets dragged into commercial building, especially . Dirt can cause significant damage to your flooring over time. To significantly reduce the amount of dirt and debris that gets dragged in, place utility mats inside and outside all entranced to the building.
Prevent slippery floors. Put utility mats down to minimize slippery surfaces created by snow and rain that gets dragged in when people enter your building. Place wet floor signs out whenever floors need to dry as well.
As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs. Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly.
Kitchen Fire Prevention
It’s a fact that more home fires occur in the kitchen than any other place in your home.
Follow these simple rules to help keep your kitchen fire free.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Keep an eye on your food regularly while cooking and remain in the kitchen while cooking.
- Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
- Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and test it once a month.
- Loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking can catch on fire. Avoid wearing this kind of clothing and accessories while you are in the kitchen.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
- Keep the kids out of the kitchen while you are cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces after every use to prevent grease buildup.
- Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure stoves, ovens, etc. are turned off.
If you should suffer a fire loss in your home, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa professionals are available to assist 24 hours a day.
Winter Storm Preparedness
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
•Choose foods your family will eat.
•Remember any special dietary needs.
•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
•Protein or fruit bars
•Dry cereal or granola
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
Find these tips and more at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather If your home or business should suffer a loss give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call right away. (815)416-0075.
Safety Tips For Deep Frying Your Turkey
A deep fried turkey is delicious, however there is risk involved in the cooking process. Follow these 5 safety tips while deep frying your turkey this holiday season to minimize the risk of fire or injuries.
- Deep fry outdoors, away from the house. Stay at least 10 feet away from the house. This includes staying out of the garage (even with the door open), and off of the porch. If a mishap does occur, you’ll be glad that at least you didn’t burn your house down. That leads us to #2…
- Have a fire extinguisher at your side. Don’t just have it in the house or garage, have it readily on hand. An oil fire can get out of hand in seconds, so you’ll need to be ready to act immediately in the event something goes awry. And by the way, never throw water on an oil fire! This will cause a violent reaction, resulting in an explosion; not advisable. Speaking of water…
- Use a thawed turkey. Excess moisture in a frozen can cause the oil in your frying pot to boil furiously and spill over on to the burner below. If oil from your pot spills onto the burner it will burn violently and can cause a fierce fire instantly. Also, to keep oil from spilling over…
- Set up on level ground. The oil in your pot must be level to prevent it from boiling over and spilling on the burner.
- Do not over fill your deep fryer pot. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Mark the water level with the turkey OUT OF THE POT. This is the level you will fill your pot to before you put your turkey in to deep fry it.
Follow these tips and enjoy your delicious deep-fried turkey! For complete instructions on how to deep fry your turkey let me suggest you go to www.butterball.com/how-tos/deep-fry-a-turkey.
SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs
Board Ups and Tarping
Your windows may need to be boarded up or your roof may need to be tapped after an emergency for safety, to protect your property or to prevent theft and vagrancy. Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it is your property that has been damaged. Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. Your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day to assist with any board up or tarping needs.
If you should need any assistance with board ups or tarping cal our offices 24 hours a day (815)416-0075
Most Common Property Damages
The following list are the most common damages SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa gets calls for. Our trained professionals are ready to assist in restoring your home or business no matter what your emergency may be.
- Hail Damage
- Roof Damage
- Water Damage
- Sewer Back Up
- Freezing Pipes
- Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
- Ice dams forming on the roof
- Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
- Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
- Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
- Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
- Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for.
Although not all damages are covered by insurance, most are. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa also offers self pay options for damages that are not covered by insurance.
The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insuranceon the FEMA website.