Recent Posts

Smoke Alarms

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports nearly two-thirds of these fire-related deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarms present at all. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The NFPA recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.

Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Once smoke alarms are in place, it is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in the proper working order. Review the tips provided here regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A preparedness plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties  815-844-3400

Smoke Alarm Tips:

    • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
    • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
    • Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button
    • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

Flood Event Tips

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Spring showers can often lead to flooding conditions in central Illinois. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods that my happen on your property. 

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring. 

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties. We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today  815-844-3400

In Case Of A Grease Fire

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Grease Fire Do's and Dont's

There are many different ways a fire can break out, one of the most dangerous being a grease fire. If you lack experience putting out a grease fire, know that you do not treat it the same as you would a "standard" fire. There are certain things that you must do and things you absolutely must NOT do. Please consider the following:

Do

  • Turn off the stove or heat source
  • Smother the fire with the pot lid. Without oxygen, the fire cannot survive.
  • Use baking soda to douse the flames. Flour and other items will not work
  • Use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • call 911

Don't

  • Try to put out the flames using water. It will splash the grease, causing the fire to spread
  • Move the item. This could also cause splashing, spreading and could potentially burn you
  • Try to use anything other than baking soda. It will not help

Need Emergency Service. Call SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties

815-844-3400

Trauma Scene

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Due to its uncomfortable nature, Trauma scene cleanup is a topic that is rarely considered until something happens. 

Once the need for trauma scene cleaning is required it is generally accompanied by a high level of emotional distress, which is compounded by the fact that most people have no idea what options they have.  

That's where the Trauma Scene and Bio-recovery experts at SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties come in. SERVPRO production managers have been independently trained and certified through the American Bio Recovery Association.  This training allows them to provide the highest level of technical expertise and professional service.

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties sincerely hopes that no-one ever has to deal with a trauma scene situation.  But, we take pride in knowing that, if the unthinkable happens, we are always here to help. 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 815-844-3400

Winter fire safety tips

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Space heaters

When the weather turns cold, portable space heaters become a popular way to supplement heat in the home.

If you plan to purchase a space heater this winter, choose one that has been tested and certified by an independent laboratory and that will automatically shut off if the heater tips over.

Carbon Monoxide

With the increased use of gas fueled appliances in the cold winter months there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To insure your home is safe from carbon monoxide, install CO detectors in your home, or, if you already have CO detectors in your home, replace any that are older than 10 years. In addition, you should not run or warm a car in your garage.

Other safety tips

Additional suggestions to prevent fires this winter.

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets in your home.
  • Install photo electric smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every floor of your home.
  • Have your furnace checked and serviced to ensure it works properly.
  • Know two ways out of your home and establish a family or roommate meeting place in case of emergency, or read your residence hall's emergency plan.
  • Inspect and dispose of non-working electrical holiday decorations.
  • If you live on the second or third floor, consider purchasing an escape ladder.
 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?  Call SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties  815-844-3400 

Avoid Kitchen Fires

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

There are few things so warm and comforting as inviting people to your home in central Illinois, for a meal you have prepared. What is meant to be relaxing can turn into an emergency if a fire breaks out in your kitchen, though. Fortunately, kitchen fires are easily avoided if you take a few key safety precautions. Here are three tips on how to avoid kitchen fires.


1. Give It Your Attention.


Do not leave cooking food unattended. If a burner is on, you should be in the kitchen. It only takes a moment for something to boil over and catch fire or for small fingers to find their way to the burner in your absence. It may seem like a hassle to turn the stove off just to retrieve something from another room, but it's well worth the trouble if it keeps your home from suffering fire damage from a kitchen fire. Protect your home and your loved ones from danger by paying attention when you're cooking.


2. Keep Your Stove Clean.


A dirty stove is a recipe for a disaster. Not only does built-up grease have the tendency to draw insects, it can also cause a grease fire. Cleaning all cooking surfaces regularly can help you avoid fire caused by oil residue.


3. Keep Flammable Objects Away From Heat Sources.


If something can catch fire, it should not be near the burner on the stove. Pay attention to the tips on food packaging that warn you to keep it away from heat. Wear form-fitting clothing while cooking, especially on your arms so that sleeves don't dangle into danger. Potholders, recipe cards and kitchen towels have their place in the kitchen. That place is just not on the stove.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? 

Call SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties  –  815-844-3400

Avoid Water Damage In Your Central Illinois Home

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

 

We all know that prevention is the best medicine, but floods can happen at any moment from any number of causes. By completing regularly scheduled home maintenance and keeping an eye out for common warning signs, you can minimize the chances of a flood. However, nothing can give you a 100% guarantee of never having a flood. In that case, preparation is the best way to minimize water damage.

First, it’s a good idea to know your flood risk. Are you in a potential flood zone? Is your yard sloped away from your foundation? Knowledge is power so the more you know about how your home might flood, the more steps you can take to prevent it or minimize damage from it.

Using waterproof building materials is a great way to reduce damage from flooding and there are waterproof sealants and paints that can be applied to existing structures. In particular, there are many protective coatings for block or poured concrete walls which are common in basements.

Keep your valuables and irreplaceable items such as photo albums, yearbooks, and important documents on high shelves. Do the same with chemicals and paints. If they leak into flood waters, they could cause additional damage. Any items put away for storage should be in air and water-tight plastic containers. Never leave boxes or items on the floor; instead, invest in raised shelving units.

It may also be a good idea to raise appliances and electronics off the ground. Get wires and power strips out from behind your tv stand and organize them in a way that keeps them out of the flood danger zone. Put washing machines and dryers on cinder blocks or sections of lumber to reduce the chances that rising water levels will affect them.

If a flood does strike, turn off electricity, gas, and water lines and place buckets under active leaks. If the water is pooling slowly, soak up as much of it as possible to reduce the potential damage. Calling SERVPRO of Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County  at the first sign of a flood is the best way to reduce water damage. Our highly trained technicians will solve your immediate problems and ensure you don’t experience lasting effects or further damage.

Flooding can happen to anyone. Take steps now to protect your home and keepsakes from water damage in the event of a possible flood.

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties 815-844-3400

HVAC Cleaning

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties has been providing HVAC system cleaning services to the homes and business of Central Illinois for over 20 years.

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties certified technicians, follow industry standard processes and use the latest in HVAC system cleaning and inspection equipment.  We are confident that, when given the opportunity,  SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties will perform to the highest standards.

Whether your're in a brand new home or it's been at least 5 years since the system was cleaned, duct cleaning can greatly improve indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Give SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties a call today to schedule your no cost estimate and start enjoying the benefits of clean ducts!

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 309-827-7500

Mold in Winter

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Excessive indoor moisture can be caused by a number of issues; water damage, plumbing leaks, leaky roofs, high indoor humidity, and condensation are potential concerns.

Condensation on and around windows, in particular, is normal and may seem harmless, but it is one of the biggest moisture culprits when it’s cold outside but warm inside—as is typically the case during winter.

Window condensation occurs when moisture in the warm air inside your home liquefies upon contact with glass or other surfaces that are drastically cooler due to freezing outdoor temperatures. High humidity contributes to this process because there is excess moisture in the air.

While minor condensation doesn’t usually lead to problems, it is important to dry window surfaces regularly to keep condensation from accumulating and being absorbed by the wood and drywall around the windows. Mold feeds on such organic materials and can develop in as little as 24 hours. 

How to Get Rid of Mold

There is no reason to treat winter mold any differently from mold that appears at any other point in the year. 

If you discover evidence of mold in your home call:

Excessive indoor moisture can be caused by a number of issues; water damage, plumbing leaks, leaky roofs, high indoor humidity, and condensation are potential concerns.

Condensation on and around windows, in particular, is normal and may seem harmless, but it is one of the biggest moisture culprits when it’s cold outside but warm inside—as is typically the case during winter.

Window condensation occurs when moisture in the warm air inside your home liquefies upon contact with glass or other surfaces that are drastically cooler due to freezing outdoor temperatures. High humidity contributes to this process because there is excess moisture in the air.

While minor condensation doesn’t usually lead to problems, it is important to dry window surfaces regularly to keep condensation from accumulating and being absorbed by the wood and drywall around the windows. Mold feeds on such organic materials and can develop in as little as 24 hours. 

How to Get Rid of Mold

There is no reason to treat winter mold any differently from mold that appears at any other point in the year. 

If you discover evidence of mold in your home call:

SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties 815-844-3400

Frozen pipe bursts in your home?

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

1. Shut off your water and, if necessary, electricity

Go to the home’s main water valve and shut it off immediately. (And don’t wait for a burst pipe to find out where the main water valve is located.) Electricity should also be cut off to the section of the home where the water damage has occurred, Thompson said. If you live in an apartment complex and don’t have control over the building’s water supply, he added, be sure to contact your building manager or landlord.

2. Call a plumber.

Not all plumbing companies have 24-hour service, so it’s a good idea to research and choose one in advance so you’re not scrambling after water floods your house. Plumbing costs vary depending on where the pipes are located and how bad the damage is, Thompson said. You may also need to contact a water damage professional, he said, particularly if carpeting, flooring, walls or ceilings are severely damaged.

3. Call SERVPRO of Pontiac / N. McLean & SE Woodford Counties 

815-844-3400

 Prevention tips:

In very cold weather, let water drip from your faucet. This can help prevent freezing.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, thaw it yourself using a hair dryer, heating pad, space heater or warm washcloth, or call a professional.

If your faucet is not running or toilet is not refilling, there is a good chance a pipe is frozen.