Space heater safety tips
A burnt out power strip, caused by having a space heater plugged into it.
Now that the cold weather is upon us again, it may be time to bring out that portable space heater. As a refresher, here's a few safety tips:
- Check the wiring and connections. If you see any damage or fraying, do not use the space heater.
- Plug space heaters directly into the wall socket. Do not use extension cords or power strips, which can overheat over time and cause a fire.
- Place space heaters on a flat and level surface. Do not place on desks, tables, or other furniture. Also, avoid carpeting as well.
- Keep rugs, drapes, bedding, etc a minimum of three feet away from the front of a space heater.
- Do not place in a high traffic area or doorway, where it can be accidentally tipped over.
- Keep children and pets away from the space heater.
- When leaving a room or sleeping, always shut it off; never leave it unattended.
- When leaving the building to go to work, school, shopping, etc, always unplug the machine for safety.
- When storing a space heater, always make sure it cools completely before putting it in a box, closet, etc.
Supplemental heat like this can take the nip out of the air, but then again, so could a fire. Plan accordingly, so you can enjoy the former without suffering the latter.
Rain. Rain. Go away!
Should any of this water invade your home, call us 24/7/365 at 708-430-3600.
What a year it's been so far. Let's recap it:
- Remember when the polar vortex hit, and we never thought it was ever going to get warm again?
- Then, in the spring, it rained and rained and rained. We never thought it would be dry again.
- The summer heat dried everything very well, but we doubted it would never get cool again.
- Once the kids went back to school, it started raining again. Will it ever stop?
Chicago had its 6th wettest September on record, with 7.61", which is 3.21" above normal.
We are currently the second wettest year on record (going back to the 1800's) with 41.69" of precipitation through October 3rd. If it doesn't rain another drop, we would still qualify for the 25th wettest year on record. But, somehow I think we will have more rain in the next 13 weeks.
All that water has to go somewhere. If any ended up inside your home or business, you need to call SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank right away at 708-430-3600. We have the tools, equipment, and crews to bring your property back to its dry state as soon as possible!
Numbers are everywhere. When we are born, there are many numbers: He was born on 12/6/1961 at 7:11 am, weighed 4 pounds 11 ounces (OK, that was all me) and then are given a number that we will have the rest of our lives; a Social Security number.
We get driver license numbers when we are old enough to drive. We get security codes to get into our garages at home, through doors at work, or to get into our locked phones. Addresses have numbers, we have phone numbers. Ask someone how old they are, they give you a number (not always a true one, I found out). The weatherman on TV tells you how hot or cold it will be tomorrow by giving you numbers.
It’s easy to get confused by all the numbers floating around. But, when the chips are down, there’s two numbers of which you should be aware: 708-430-3600. That’s our office number. 24/7/365. That’s when you can reach us.
Because disasters don’t follow at 9:00-5:00, Monday through Friday schedule, you should be aware that some restoration companies aren’t always available. You may call, but you’ll get an answering machine.
When you call SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank, you’ll ALWAYS get a live person. That person will ask some pertinent questions, so we can narrow our focus and get right to the heart of the matter. In many cases, time is of the essence.
So, if you suffered a water damage from the last storm, smoke damage from tonight’s failed cooking attempt, or mold in an attic or crawl space, remember the number: 708-430-3600.
Stay safe during flooding episodes
Use extreme caution when navigating flood waters!
Flooding. Hearing that word, most people think of hurricanes pounding either the east coast or the Gulf coast states. But, repeated heavy rains cause flooding issues in our community. Here at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank, we hope you take precautions to keep yourself safe inside your home and business. But, did you know most people who lose their life due to flooding are in their cars?
According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), there have been 78 deaths due to flooding in the US this year (through July 31), and 51 of those were people trying to drive through high flood waters. As they say, if you see water across the roadway, "Turn around, don't drown!"
Other statistics: of the 78 deaths, 52 were male victims, 46 were between the ages of 20-59, and just five were in a boat. In Illinois, there have been three deaths in 2019, and 30 since 2010, so it does happen here as well.
If flooding occurs in your neighborhood, and you suffer some water damages in your home or business, we hope you think of SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank. But, if you happen to be on the road, we want you to be smart, not a statistic!
Shutoff locations in an emergency
In an emergency, do you know where to go to shut off that utility?
A pipe has burst in a ceiling of your business, and water is pouring out at an alarming rate. Do you know where the water shutoffs are?
Someone smells natural gas in your commercial property. Do you know where the gas main shutoffs are?
These are two questions that, during an emergency, could jeopardize the health of your workers. It also could mean the difference from a small problem to a major disaster.
SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank has a totally FREE program called an Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP. We meet with your maintenance staff and/or safety officers, get vital information about the facility, take pictures of the control panels and shutoffs, and compile everything into one easily downloaded app for your mobile device.
Depending on the size of your building, the walk-through getting all the pictures may take 10 minutes for a regular office, to as much as 40 minutes for a major industrial warehouse.
If you need more information, or to schedule a walk-through at your facility, please call Rick Gauger at 708-439-3600. We can schedule this process at any time (weekends, after hours, etc) to eliminate any disruption to your normal everyday work flow.
SERVPRO Bedford Park/Burbank prepared for severe weather
Severe weather damages may call for special circumstances.
When you hear severe weather is approaching, what do you think of? Hurricane? Tornado? Blizzard? Flooding?
Severe storms can be anything that far exceeds the norm. It could mean bitter cold weather, or extremely hot weather. It also could mean strong winds, hail, or ice.
Here in Illinois, we get all of the above with the exception of a hurricane. So, here at SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank, we have to be prepared for a lot of different situations throughout the year.
When you have damage to your home or business, the necessities required to mitigate your property may not be available. Generators may be needed because there is no power on site. Heat may be needed because the furnace or other heat source may be down. The water source may be cut, so clean water may be needed.
SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is ready to take on any situation that may occur to your home or business due to severe weather. A call to 708-430-3600, and our friendly operators will get some general information, information that will speed up the process of getting our crews ready for your loss.
Are you ready for the next severe weather event? We are! Call us at 708-430-3600.
Shortcuts versus proper protocols
NOT the proper way to do a packout.
Shortcuts. They may appear to be the easy solution at first. But, upon reflection, what seemed like the easy way wasn’t so easy after all. Sometimes, protocols must be followed, not only because it’s the only way to completely finish the job, but keeps those involved safe during and after the process.
Take for example the woman in Dixon, IL, who was arrested for carpooling with her kids, kind of. She bought them an inflatable pool at the local store, took it to a friend’s house to use their compressor to blow it up, then found it wouldn’t fit inside her car. So, she put the pool on top of the car, but she had no straps to tie it down, so she put the kids in the pool on top of the car and tried to drive home.
A man in Ottawa, Canada didn’t have a booster seat for his 18 month old daughter when he went to the liquor store, so he used a case of beer as a booster seat. The cops issued the man a ticket for an improper booster seat.
Here at SERVPRO, we understand that protocols are set for a reason; they get the job done while keeping those working on the job, and those who will inhabit the home afterwards, safe from harm. Shortcuts are tempting, but we know the consequences could be costly.
Trust the team that is on the preferred vendor lists for many insurance companies: SERVPRO.
Have you developed a fire escape plan?
NOW is the time to develop a fire safety plan, be it at work or at home.
You’re sitting in your easy chair, watching TV and having a lemonade. The kids are playing upstairs in their rooms. Suddenly, the smoke detector goes off. Do you know what to do? Do the kids know what to do?
You’re at your desk at work, checking emails from the weekend. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. Do you know the safest route out?
In either case, being unsure of what to do or where to go may cost valuable seconds, seconds that could mean being injured instead of being safe. If there was a plan in place, and posted (if not practiced), this situation should have a favorable outcome, healthwise.
No one plans to have a fire at work nor at home. But, you still need to be prepared in case it does happen.
At home, know the safest routes out from any room in the house. Know the place safely outside where the family should meet. And make sure the kids know the basics as well.
At work, if your business does not have a safety officer, you should take it upon yourself to know the quickest, safest routes outside. If you are several floors up, know that the elevators should be avoided, and alternate routes have to be chosen. Have a designated location where you and your coworkers can meet.
In case of a fire, getting out and safe should be your only priority. Fighting the fire should only be done if it endangers you or someone you know is trapped. No one needs to be a hero; leave the firefighting to the professionals.
Motel fire has room boarded up
Keeping visitors out of a room that has been affected by fire, and also keeping the elements out, are key to the cleaning process.
Recently, a local motel had a small fire, confined mostly to one room. The fire department, in their zeal to extinguish the fire, gave the two rooms adjacent water damages as well.
SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank was called out, and we boarded up the room that suffered the fire damages. Any water damaged rooms were quickly extracted, dried, and sprayed with an antimicrobial, so those units could be used by the business.
The reason we board up a room that has been subject to a fire is several fold: It keeps unwanted visitors from entering a potentially unsafe room. It also keeps soot particles from damaging other unaffected rooms. And, in this case, it also protects the room from the outside weather, possibly causing even more secondary damages.
There are many stages to cleaning up after a fire. Keeping the area safe and secure is first and foremost. Then you have to think about the physical cleaning and deodorization processes. And finally, putting the structure back to preloss conditions.
SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is an expert at cleaning up after fires, whether they are confined to a single room, or an entire building. Plus, we are available 24/7/365. Simply call 708-430-3600 to get the process started.
A very wet start to 2019
Don't wait until the water is this high before calling SERVPRO!
Through May 31st, the year 2019 has been much wetter than normal. In May, Chicago had its wettest May EVER, and we had measurable rain on 21 of the 31 days (plus two days we had fog/sprinkles, but nothing measurable).
2019 so far:
- Jan Averages 1.75” we had 1.96”
- Feb Averages 1.63” we had 2.81”
- Mar Averages 2.65” we had 2.09”
- Apr Averages 3.68” we had 6.02”
- May Averages 3.38” we had 8.25”
So, on average, we should have had 12.09” instead of the 21.12” that actually fell; that’s 174% of normal to date. And, according to averages, August is the wettest month, with an average of 4.62” of rain.
In case you were wondering, our wettest year in Chicago ever was in 2008, when an astounding 50.86” fell. And the wettest month here ever, was August 1987, when 17.10” of rain fell.
SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is ready for all types of water damages, from flooding to pipe breaks to sink or bathtub overflows. We have the equipment, manpower, and knowledge to not only get the job done quickly, but get it done correctly! Plus we are available 24/7/365. Call us at 708-430-3600 today, and we’ll come out to make it “Like it never even happened!”