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Put a Freeze on Winter Fires in Elgin

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there are several hazards that increase the risk for a fire during the Elgin winters? People don’t think their Elgin home could be at risk for fires during the colder months, but there are many hazards that you need to watch out for in the winter. It’s important to be aware of each risk and how to avoid having a winter fire. The top two causes for fires during the winter are electrical and heating. Let’s going into further detail why these factors pose a fire risk and how you can stay fire-free this winter:

  1. Electrical

Electricity is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. Roughly half of all electrical home fire involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. The top risks include faulty outlets, light fixtures, extension cords, and wiring. Many of these items do not seem dangerous, but according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 43% of the electrical fires were caused by a malfunction. Consider the following tips to avoid electrical fires and stay safe this winter season:

  • Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets where they can get damaged
  • Have qualified electricians add more receptacle outlets in your home to reduce the use of extension cords
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. The maximum wattage is located on the lamp’s sticker
  • Keep electrical cords away from children and pets
  1. Heating

Heating is the second largest leading cause of United States home fires. December, January, and February are the peak months for heating fires. This is because we are trying to keep our Elgin homes warm during this time of year. Heating equipment includes wall furnaces, space heater, fireplace, and heat lamps. Most often, space heaters are the type of equipment involved in these types of fires. In fact, 86% of deaths from fires caused by heating are due to space heaters. Consider the following tips to avoid heating fires and how to stay safe this winter:

  • Keep anything that burns at least 3 feet away from heating equipment
  • Never use the oven to heat your home
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and professionally inspected every year
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters

SERVPRO of Elgin is your Elgin area fire restoration cleanup service. We are the certified technicians who can provide you peace of mind if a fire were to happen in your Elgin Home. You can always count on the fast response and the expertise of our SERVPRO of Elgin specialists to make you and your family feel “Like it never even happened.”

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Our Tools Can Help Solve Your Elgin Home’s Water Damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Many disasters can take place inside your Elgin home or business when you least expect it. If a disaster were to happen, luckily SERVPRO of Elgin is always ready for whatever happens. When it comes to water damage, our trained technicians have an array of specialized equipment to bring your Elgin home back to preloss conditions. At SERVPRO of Elgin, we use the specialized equipment to help speed up the extraction and drying process. SERVPRO of Elgin is fully equipped with the following tools to restore any home and make it feel “Like it never even happened.”

  1. Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in your Elgin home’s carpets and paddings. This tool has sharp probes that penetrate through carpets and padding to determine if water has migrated on the subflooring. If there is moisture, the sensor will provide both blinking and beeping as a signal. The greater the amount of moisture, the faster the lights and beeping will become.
  2. Moisture Meters are utilized to measure the actual content or levels of various materials. This tool can be penetrative and non-penetrative depending on what needs to be measured. For example, penetrative meters will be used on carpet while non-penetrative meters will be used on drywall.
  3. Extractors are used to provide sufficient water removal in your Elgin home. There are several different types of extractors to use such as Truck-Mounted, Light Wands, or Stationary tools. Factors in each situation such as depth of water and available power will give the technicians a better idea of what to use.
  4. Air Movers are used in water damage restoration to enhance evaporation at the surface level and reduce drying time.
  5. Dehumidifiers are used to remove water vapor from the air. This reduces the amount of water vapor in the air which lowers the humidity ratio. This is important because lower humidity increases the rate of evaporation of moisture.

SERVPRO of Elgin is a recognized Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) firm for the past 16 years. Every technician for SERVPRO of Elgin is certified and knows how to utilize our unique tools to bring your home back to preloss conditions. We are a 24-hour service and are here to help you with any water damage needs you face in your Elgin home. If you need to schedule service, please contact our office: (847) 697-8500.

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Fire Safety for Your Elgin Commercial Building

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know fires can be the costliest incident for a business? Approximately 10% of small businesses are affected by a fire with an average cost of $35,000 according to The Hartford. The National Fire Protection Association states there are five top reasons for fire in a commercial building: Cooking equipment, Heating equipment, Electrical & lighting equipment, Smoking materials, and Intentional. There are several ways for a fire to start in your Elgin business, but luckily, there are four core elements to help you and your company practice fire safety. Please consider the following to implement into your Elgin business for the safety of you and your employees:

  • Fire Alarms are the first defense against the potential risks of fires and are perhaps the most important element for your commercial building’s fire safety system. Your Elgin business should always have routine inspections and maintain for all fire alarms to ensure they continue to properly work.
  • Emergency lights and exit signs are designed to come on when the main power supplies are lost. These are very helpful because during a fire, conditions can be chaotic and confusing. Emergency lights and signs will make it more likely that individuals will be able to see well enough to get out of the building.
  • Fire extinguishers are required by most fire codes. In general, they should be mounted on walls at distances of less than 75 feet. This means no one should have to travel more than 75 feet to get to a fire extinguisher. When using a fire extinguisher, remember “PASS”. It stands for Pull the pin, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.
  • Installing a fire sprinkler will help extinguish fires before the fire department arrives. This is made possible because fire sprinklers are always “on-call”. There is a network of piping filled with water under pressure which is installed behind walls and ceilings. If a fire were to break out, the air temperature rises and once it gets hot enough, that activates the sprinkler system. After installing them, routine inspections should be done to ensure they are working properly.

If a fire were to happen to your commercial building in Elgin, do not worry about tackling fire debris and cleanup on your own. SERVPRO of Elgin is “Here to Help”. For us, the goal is to return each home in Elgin to a clean, odor-free environment as quickly as possible. As the fire restoration experts, we are confident to get the job done every time. To schedule a service and begin the restoration process for your Elgin business, call our office today: (847) 697-8500.

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How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Elgin Commercial Property

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings for your Elgin Business already require high costs for daily operations. If an accident, such as water damage, were to happen to your Elgin business, repair costs can quickly add up. To help prevent accidents from happening, it important to maintain your property to keep it functioning. Upkeep for your Elgin business can save you both time and money.

One of the biggest costs a commercial property can face is water damage. This can be devastating to any business and cost thousands of dollars. To help prevent your Elgin business from water damage, follow these tips on ways to maintain the function of your commercial property. These simple tips to prevent water leaks will go a long way to save your business from water damage. Here is how to keep your business safe:

  • Assess your property. This means being aware of areas where flooding could pose a problem and make the necessary repairs or amendments as needed. Also pay special attention to basements and install a pump because it will go a long way towards keeping your building dry.
  • Insulate exposed pipes. When temperatures drop during the winter, especially at night, exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing. Most hardware stores carry pipe insulation and doing this can save you in the long run.
  • Keep heat at sufficient levels. To prevent pipes from freezing, you’ll want to keep an eye on your business’s thermostat. Make sure it is never set to lower than 50 degrees. This includes weekends and after hours.
  • Inspect gutters and drainage. Fallen leaves and other debris in gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage to the exterior walls of a building.
  • Clear your roof. Snow and ice accumulation on the rood of your commercial property can weaken roofing materials and create “ice dams”, which prevent melted ice and snow from properly draining.

SERVPRO of Elgin wants your business to be safe too. We can help protect your Elgin property if something were to happen by providing an Emergency Ready Profile. An Emergency Ready Profile is a one-stop-shop for what to do and who to call if an emergency were to happen. This plan is completely free to you and your business. Call us today to get your free Emergency Ready Profile or have any questions: (847) 697-8500.

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Keep Moisture Out of Your Elgin Home with Dehumidifiers

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

When the temperatures drop in Elgin, we are all relieved we don’t have to deal with the hot, humid days because keeping our homes cool can be a challenge.  Therefore, so many assume the cooler temperatures mean mold issues disappear in the winter. But did you know, it’s actually a year-round problem because moisture is still in your home’s air? This is possible due to cold air outside prompting condensation to those sensitive areas such as walls, windows, attics, and basements. Other factors such as breathing, showering, and cooking all add to the humidity in your Elgin home too. Having condensation in those areas can lead to problems such as mold.

Moisture in your home is important to monitor because if it is left untreated and mold starts to grow, it will decompose wood and rot household items such as carpeting, furniture, and insulation. Mold can also pose a health risk to your family because some people have allergies to mold and mold spores. It is extremely important to be aware of the possible health effects from mold and your family’s allergies to it. Learn more about the different types of mold and its possible health risks here.

Fortunately, there are several effective ways to keep your home dry and prevent mold from infiltrating it. You can start by purchasing a dehumidifier for your home. Dehumidifiers can greatly benefit families during the winter. They can help keep humidity levels below the 50% RH threshold throughout the day. Ideally, these RH levels can be anywhere from 30%-50%. Not only will dehumidifiers remove excessive moisture in the air, it also creates an overall more comfortable atmosphere in your home. Lastly, Dehumidifiers can improve your air quality which could result in improving your home’s scent and provide relief to some allergies.

Dehumidifiers come in a wide variety of models, so which one is right for you? When choosing the best dehumidifier for your Elgin home, consider the following factors:

  • The square footage of the desired space to dehumidify
  • The temperature of the environment
  • Levels of dampness in space

If your home has experienced water damage from excessive moisture, we are the Elgin area experts. Our team is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide quality emergency response services throughout the Elgin area. Our certified Technicians will help address your water problems with quality solutions. To make water damage look “Like it never even happened,” call SERVPRO® of Elgin today: 847-697-8500.

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The Importance of Fixing Leaks in Your Elgin Home

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

By simply fixing any leaks in your roof, window, or pipes, it will prevent further damage such as mold growth. In general, try to clean and dry areas subjected to water within 48 hours to help prevent further damage. If you believe materials are wet and cannot be completely dried, remove them to be replaced. It’s very important to get them replaced because wet materials can lead to those additional issues previously mentioned.

We recommend replacing wet insultation with mold resistant insulation and consider replacing drywall with boards containing mold and moisture inhibitors. This is a great way to keep your insulation and drywall dry while protecting it from further damage.  Insulation is a very powerful tool because it manages the building’s temperature and moisture. Insulation will support dry, temperature-controlled conditions that inhibit mold growth. Spray polyurethane foam is a great type of insulation for your Elgin home. It seals cracks, holes, and other defects in the building’s structure. This creates a tight seal and will reduce the air and moisture flow.

Establish An ERP For Your Elgin Business

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Businesses big or small face a variety of possible disasters every day. Disasters and resulting business interruption can devastate companies. Did you know only 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster ever reopen? And of those reopened businesses, 75% of them had an emergency plan. This proves having an Emergency Ready Profile can be lifesaving to a business.

No one plans on having a disaster hit their business, but fortunately, you can plan for it with an Emergency Ready Profile. This plan includes what to do, who to call, and what to expect, which are key aspects of timely mitigation. More specifically, it includes details such as shut-off value locations and all primary contacts. Timely mitigation will minimize the effects of damages and allow your business to be restored at an advanced rate with minimal downtime.

            SERVPRO® of Elgin can provide your business with an Emergency Ready Profile for no charge. In addition, the entire plan will be located on an app. The app not only gives you convenient access, its layout will keep all the information in an organized fashion. Call SERVPRO of Elgin today to get your Emergency Ready Profile started: (857)-697-8500

1. Celebrating the First Responders of Elgin/Northwest Kane County

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Elgin is surrounded by many First Responders who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our loved ones. Now is our chance to say thank you to the brave men and women in the community. We are honoring their service and sacrifice of America’s First Responders by giving them the chance to win a trip to the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl.

This is an all-expense paid trip which includes two game tickets, flight tickets, lodging, and transportation. This year the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl is on Monday, December 30th. For the first time ever, the game will be played at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. CT and the matchup will air on ESPN.

First Responders to be honored include: police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents, and emergency trained military personnel. We are looking for First Responders who have:

  • Saved a life in their career
  • Retired after serving many years
  • Injured and back at work
  • Trained First Responders
  • Fallen in the line of duty
  • Accomplished something remarkable

SERVPRO® of Elgin wants to give a special thanks to everyone in our Elgin/Northwest Kane County for everything they do. This includes our Police Departments: Elgin, South Elgin, Kane County Sherriff’s, Pingree Grove, and Hampshire. This also includes our Fire Departments: Elgin, Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, Hampshire, and Pingree Grove.

We are proud to be a part of this event and recognize all the incredible First Responders in the Elgin/Northwest Kane County. We are grateful for the courageous individuals who put their lives on the frontlines every day in our community.

Close Before You Doze: Life Saving Habit For Your Elgin Home

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Close Before You Doze is a public fire safety campaign promoted by The UL Firefighter Safety Research. It has been proven during a fire, a closed door can make the difference between 100 degrees and 1,000 degrees. This significant difference has promoted the habit of sleeping with doors closed. It can help add critical time to your escape if a fire were to happen.

This is especially important with the “evolving fire environment”, caused by the increase use of synthetics in modern homes. Forty years ago, the average time needed to escape a burning home was seventeen minutes. Today, the evolving fire environment has caused it to drop to only three minutes. The change in construction materials, furnishings and open layouts, has caused drastic reduction time. These factors allow the fire to spread and become more toxic much quicker.

It is common for people to want to leave the door open whether they have kids or do not think a door can make a significant difference. In fact, only 29% of people always sleep with their door closed. Therefore, it is very important for families to understand the lifesaving difference a closed door will make. A fire needs heat, fuel, and oxygen to grow. So, when a door is closed, it limits the fire’s resources to spread. Furthermore, when a door is closed, not as much carbon monoxide will enter the room. This will keep the oxygen at a breathable level for additional time. The reduction of toxic smoke, improved oxygen levels, and decreased room temperatures will give you more time to escape the fire just by simply closing your door.

Closing the door when you go to sleep is one thing, but if there is an actual fire, it is critical to know the next steps of determining if the door is safe to open. First, you should look for smoke coming through the cracks in the door. If there is smoke, do not open the door. Next, gently touch the door to see if it is hot. If it is hot, do not open the door. Checking the door should be part of your escape plan. Make sure your family has established and rehearsed a plan to exit a burning fire. 

Make an Escape Plan For Your Elgin Home

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

In the past 40 years, escaping from a fire has dropped from 17 minutes to less than 3 minutes due to the evolution of materials in modern homes. This makes it vital to create and practice an emergency escape plan. Home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation, but only 26% of Americans have developed an escape plan for a fire.

When developing your plan, here are a few suggestions:

  • Draw a map of each level in your home. Locate all the doors, windows, and identify two ways to exit each room.
  • Consider a collapsible escape ladder for your second and third floors. You should only buy them from a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Choose an outside meeting place. It should be in front of your home, but also a safe distance away from the fire.
    • Some examples include: Neighbor’s house, light post, mailbox, or stop sign.
  • If your doors or windows have security bars, make sure the bars have emergency release devices inside so they can be opened immediately.
    • Emergency release devices do not compromise your security
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Pets are a part of your family too. Half of a million pets are affected by home fires each year. Here are a few tips to creating an escape plan for your animal(s):

  • Pets will be afraid. Put your dog on a leash and keep your cat in a carrier. This will secure them with you and prevent them from fleeing.
  • Identify your pet’s favorite hiding place ahead of time, as this is where they will most likely be hiding if a fire starts.
  • Post “pet rescue stickers” to a front window, in an easy-to-spot location. The decal includes number of pets in your home, so rescuers know who to look for when entering.

When you are not home, contain them near an exit. It will provide a better chance of firefighters finding your animal.