Leading Causes for Commercial Fires
The best kind of fire is one that never happens.
Our SERVPRO of Evanston team has seen the catastrophic damage that can occur when a fire ravages a commercial building. A fire in your commercial building can cost your business large amounts of money in downtime and inventory loss, not to mention possibly put the lives of your employees at risk. Being prepared is the key to preventing fires and minimizing the damage when they do occur. The United States Fire Administration has compiled data to put together a list of the top five causes of fires in commercial buildings from the last decade. We hope that being conscious of these can help your business in planning and prevention.
Top 5 Causes of Fires in Commercial Buildings
- Cooking. Fires that began in the kitchen and escalated out of control contributed 30,900 fires to the past decade. Remind your team that it is important to be careful and aware of your surroundings in the kitchen
- Unintentional and careless behavior. This category includes accidents which lead to fires and contributes around 10,900 fires.
- Arson. Arson, or intentionally set fires, accounted for 9,800 fires. Talk about an unhappy customer.
- Electrical malfunction. Electrical or wiring problems resulted in around 7,000 fires.
- Heating problems. Issues with HVAC systems lead to around 6,000 fires in the last decade.
Prevention is very important to avoiding a fire, however sometimes they are inevitable. As a business itself, SERVPRO of Evanston knows that time lost is money lost. We are equipped and ready to help you restore your business in the event that a fire does occur so that you can get back to work. For emergency fire services, you can contact us 24/7 at 847-763-7010.
It is important to be ready for a tornado.
Living in the Midwest, we are at an increased risk for tornadoes already. On top of that, according to the AccuWeather forecast for 2020 the United States should experience about 1,350 to 1,450 tornadoes this season -- more than the normal average. The U.S. tornado season typically runs from March through November, and as May is coming to a close, we are right in the heart of it. 2020 has already been the deadliest tornado season since 2011 and it is nowhere near over yet. While we cannot control the weather, it is important to make sure we are prepared for when the worst comes. There are a number of ways you can be ready for a tornado if it comes.
Being Ready Ahead of Time
- Know when the area you live in is at risk.
- Know the signs of a tornado (rotating funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, a loud roar).
- Sign up for your community's warning system.
- Pay attention to weather reports.
- Identify a safe shelter.
Safety During a Tornado
- Immediately go to your safe location.
- Shield your head and neck with your arms or by putting furniture or blankets around you.
- Listen to local weather stations for emergency information and instructions.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle.
Staying Safe After a Tornado
- Keep listening to the weather channel for updated information.
- If trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth of mask to avoid breathing in dust. Send a text, bang something on a wall, or whistle instead of shouting for help.
- Stay away from fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Do not enter a damaged building until you are told they are safe.
And remember that in the event of a tornado, SERVPRO of Evanston is always ready to help with the cleanup.
Sump Pumps and Sump Pump Backups
Sump pump maintenance can prevent backup.
A sump pump is a small pump installed into the lowest portion of a basement or crawlspace serving the purpose of keeping the area under the building dry. It pumps water under the building away from it to prevent flooding. Clogging or loss of power are two things among many that can lead to back up from your sump pump. When a sump pump backs up it can cause flooding that can possibly lead to thousands of dollars in damage and mold if the area is not dried properly.
Proper maintenance and routine inspection can help to prevent the problems that occur when a sump pump fails. Cleaning your sump pump is one way to extend its life and make sure that it stays working properly. Running a vinegar solution through the pump can be done to clean it. Removing any dirt or debris and making sure all vents and air holes are clean can also help to ensure it stays in working order.
In the event that cleaning and maintenance does not prevent sump pump backup, SERVPRO of Evanston is prepared to help you in situations of flooding, water damage, and mold from water backup into your home. Our team is equipped with the proper training and equipment to quickly resolve the problem, minimizing the stress that flooding in your home can cause.
The Problem with Mold
Mold growth due to excessive moisture.
Mold is a common finding throughout many homes and buildings, and it is most common in or around areas that contain a lot of moisture. These may be areas around leaks, roofs, windows, pipes, or areas where there has been previous flooding. Mold is able to thrive on a number of surfaces including paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, wallpaper, carpet, and upholstery -- all things very common throughout the average home.
If you have an ongoing moisture problem in your building, it is important to be on the lookout for the following signs:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors that might indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems.
- Excess humidity.
Aside from being just plain annoying, mold can have a number of adverse health effects on you or your family when it is growing inside your home. The health effects make it very important to resolve a mold problem when one is present.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent mold growth:
- Control humidity levels.
- Promptly fix leaky roofs, windows, and pipes.
- Thoroughly clean and dry after flooding.
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
For help with a mold problem in your home, you can call SERVPRO of Evanston.
We Do the Dirty Jobs Too: Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleaning
You should never attempt to clean biohazard yourself. Leave it to the professionals!
Biohazard and crime scenes can often hide dangerous contaminants. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can put occupants, employees, and owners at risk for serious adverse health effects. We know this is something no business owner wants to be responsible for.
One example of a biohazard you should never attempt to clean yourself is blood. Blood can house a number of transmissible pathogens including HIV, HBV, and HCV. C. diff and MRSA can also be easily transmitted through blood causing deadly infections. Because of this you should never attempt to handle or clean up some elses blood. When attempting to clean blood, there is also significant risk of just diluting the contaminants, instead of eliminating them all together. Any blood spills, whether they be from accidents or crimes, require professional biohazard cleaning that the average person is not trained to perform safely.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to properly remove and dispose of harmful bodily fluids including blood. SERVPRO of Evanston is equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products to help restore contaminated environments so that they are safe to live and work in once again.
SERVPRO of Evanston has the training and expertise to handle a number of biohazard and crime scene cleanup services including:
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Methamphetamine labs
- Crime scene residues
- Sewage backups
- Black water intrusions
Grill fires can cause extensive damage and injuries. It is important to practice safe grilling this summer!
With summer and grilling season approaching, our team at SERVPRO of Evanston thought it was important to compile some tips for safe grilling as well as what to do in the event of a grill fire. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, an average of 19,000 patients end up in emergency rooms due to grill-related injuries each year. Gas and charcoal grills also cause approximately 4,200 house fires per year.
Here are a few grilling safety tips we thought it may be helpful to share.
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Keep your grill clean to prevent fires.
- Start a gas grill with the lid open.
- Do not leave a grill unattended.
- Never apply lighter fluid to hot coals.
- Light charcoal in a charcoal chimney.
- Keep your grill stable and give it plenty of space.
In the event that there is a grill fire, here's what you can do to safely put it out and get help.
- Turn off the burners on a gas or propane grill if you can safely reach the knobs.
- Throw salt, baking soda, or sand on the fire to smother it.
- Never put water on a grease fire -- it will only make it worse.
- Close the grill lid to starve the fire of oxygen.
- If the propane tank is involved in the fire, evacuate the area and call 911 for help.
Remember, in the event of a fire SERVPRO of Evanston’s Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours, 365 days a year to help.
For fire cleanup and restoration, call (847)-763-7010.
Clean Homes Sell Faster: Why Sellers and Realtors Should Choose SERVPRO of Evanston
Clean homes sell faster. SERVPRO of Evanston has a variety of services to get your home ready to sell.
It is indeed a fact: clean, fresh smelling homes sell faster. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and dust throughout your home. Leaks from pipes, roofing, and other overlooked areas can cause water damage that goes unnoticed for periods of time. All of these can lower the value of a home and make it harder to sell.
Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for a few very important reasons:
- Increased market value
- Reduced list to sale conversion times
- Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales
Here at SERVPRO of Evanston, we know that the real estate market is hot right now. We also know that you want to sell fast so you can get your money quickly. No matter the size of the job, our SERVPRO Professionals are equipped to get your home in top condition so that it can sell quickly and you can make the maximum profit.
SERVPRO of Evanston offers a variety of services to prepare homes for sale, including but not limited to:
- Carpet, upholstery, drapery, and blind cleaning
- Ceiling, wall, and hard floor cleaning
- Duct and HVAC cleaning
- Mold mitigation and remediation
Whether you are a homeowner looking to sell fast or a realtor seeking a reputation for quality listings, SERVPRO of Evanston is here to help. For inquiries about services related to cleaning houses for sale call (847)-763-7010.
Lead Paint: Get Your Facts Straight
Lead paint can cause harm if the proper precautions are not taken. SERVPRO of Evanston knows how to safely handle projects involving lead paint.
The Facts About Lead Paint
- Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential used in 1978.
- Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems. This can lead to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.
- Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. Exposure may also occur through soil or paint chips.
- Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you or your family.
Older homes, child care facilities, schools, and other older buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. The percentages of homes likely to contain lead are as follows:
- Built between 1960-1978: 24%
- Built between 1940-1960: 69%
- Built before 1940: 87%
The Environmental Protection Agency requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities, and schools be certified by the EPA. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are aware of the guidelines involving lead paint and will go to great lengths to ensure the necessary precautions are taken according to the current laws. SERVPRO of Evanston Franchise Professionals have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects.
Here’s what you can do to protect your family from lead in pre-1978 homes:
- If you rent, notify the landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
- Clean up paint chips immediately.
- Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
- Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or cleaner made specifically for lead to clean.
- Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop head after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
- Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
- Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.
Standing Water Precautions
Standing water due to recent storms in Bolingbrook, IL.
When flood water intrudes into your home or commercial business it can cause what is called "standing water". This can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. These are some important precautionary measures to take into consideration when dealing with standing water that SERVPRO of Evanston took some time to compile.
Don’t drive through standing water -- turn around, don’t drown.
- Always follow warnings signs about flooded roads and take detours to avoid driving through standing water
Floodwaters may contain many things that are harmful to your health. Be cautious of this.
- Downed power lines
- Human and livestock waste
- Household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste (chemical, biological, radiological, etc.)
- Lumbar, vehicles, debris
- Wild or stray animals (rodents or snakes)
Protect infection of open wounds or rashes.
- Avoid exposure to flood water if you have an open wound
- Cover clean open wounds with a waterproof bandage
- Wash wound with thoroughly with soap and water
- Seek medical attention if signs of infection develop (swelling, redness, discharge)
Avoid electrical hazards inside or outside your home.
- Shut off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks in your home to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions
- NEVER touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines
- Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities
- Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water
- If you believe someone has been electrocuted, call 911
In the event of standing water or flood water in your home or business, SERVPRO of Evanston is happy to help make it "Like it never even happened."
The Do's and Don'ts of Storms
Damage to home due to recent storm in Woodridge, IL.
These photos show damage to a home after torrential rains came down in full force in a Woodridge, IL neighborhood. We were onsite to assist with the clean up.
It is important to know what to do and what not to do in the event of flood damage.
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call (847)-763-7010
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.