Recent Fire Damage Posts
Actual Smoke Webs
Did you know?
Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!
The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility.
Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:
Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
- Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
- Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
- First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.
Call SERVPRO of Aurora (630) 862-3930
Make a Fire Escape Plan for Your Home
You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.
The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.
Some of the tips include:
- Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
- Know at least 2 ways out of each room
- Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
- Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
- Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire
Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.
SERVPRO of Joliet - (815) 436-5735
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Joliet will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (815) 436-5735
Kitchen Fires: Four Risk Factors
While every home should have a smoke detector in the kitchen, there are several other tips for keeping your home and yourself safe when cooking. From rolling up your sleeves and tying back your hair to keeping flammable materials, like paper towel and dish towels, away from the stove, cooking safety is essential when it comes to fire prevention. However, many homeowners can be complacent about the following four risk factors.
1. Appliances Fire Damage is devastating, but the fact that so many fires are caused by faulty or mishandled appliances is shocking. Appliances, if not maintained, are a leading cause of home fires. Be sure to service all your appliances properly. Additionally, unplug small countertop appliances as they draw electricity even when not in use, which can lead to overheating.
2. Too Much Oil or Grease One of the most overlooked cooking tips is to use less oil and grease. In cooking, a little goes a long way when it comes to these two substances. Using too much of either can lead to grease fires which, if left unattended, can get out of hand quickly. It is important to remember not to throw water on a grease fire because it will only splash the pan and cause the fire to spread, instead use salt or baking soda.
3. Spills Another common cause of many kitchen fires is a dirty stove or oven. Always wipe up spills immediately and clean cooktops after use. Leftover grease, oil or food can ignite on the burner, causing a fire. This is another reason why it is essential to keep an eye on food as it cooks because these types of fires require a quick response, or they can spread quickly. Unfortunately, while the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is also the most likely place for fires to begin. The above tips offer several suggestions for helping you maintain a safe and fire-free home.
SERVPRO of Joliet (815) - 436-5735
"Power to the People"
December and January are peak months for electrical fires due to holiday decorations and the usage of space heaters, however; with the increase in electronics per household, such as computers, wide screen televisions, and video and gaming systems, circuit overloads can happen at any time.
Electrical circuits in your home or businesses are designed to take a limited amount of electricity. Overloads occur when you draw more electricity than a circuit can handle. Overloaded outlets and circuits carry too much electricity which generates heat in undetectable amounts. The heat causes wear and tear on the internal wiring system and can start a fire. All wiring systems have circuit breakers or fuses to disconnect power when circuits become overloaded, however; an improperly sized fuse or breaker can cancel this built in safety feature.
Signs of overloaded circuits are:
1-Buzzing from outlets or switches.
2-Outlet or switch covers that are warm to touch.
3-Burning odors from outlets or switches.
4-Scorched plugs or outlets.
5-Power tools, appliances, or electronics that seem to lack sufficient power.
Prevention is the best way to eliminate an electrical fire to your home or business. You can never be too careful when it comes to the safety of your family, pets or customers. If you feel you may have circuit problems or want to check your electrical system before a problem occurs, remember to call a reliable licensed electrician and if a fire should occur, know that SERVPRO of Joliet is there to get your life back in order and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call 815-436-5735.
"Baby it's Cold Outside!"
Once again the cold weather is upon us and in an effort to stay cozy and warm, people turn to alternative heat sources such as fireplaces, wood burning stoves and portable heaters to provide that warmth. Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths making it important to review ways to reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.
Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.
Plug space heaters directly into outlets. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
When using fuel-burning heaters, use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer.
Never use kitchen stove burners to provide heat, they were made for cooking only.
Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home. Test alarms monthly.
Stay warm and be safe. Start the New Year out the right way and if needed, call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735.
Turkey Frying Safety Tips
If you plan to deep fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home.
- Fryers should always be used outdoors on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
- Never use a fryer on wooden deck or enclosed space.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls and watch the oil temperature carefully.
- Make sure the bird is completely thawed before it is placed in the fryer.
- Do not overfill the fryer.
- Choose a bird no heavier than 12 lbs.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer.
- Use well insulated pot holders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
By following the above tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Everyone at SERVPRO of Joliet would like to wish you and your family a "HAPPY THANKSGIVING".
Fires are Preventable
When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.
Electrical and Appliances Safety
- Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.
Fireplaces ans Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
- Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
- Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.
For more fire safety tips, visit ready.org and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."
Fire Prevention Week October 7-13, 2018
This year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware-fire can happen anywhere."
"LOOK" for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home and identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
"LISTEN" for the sound of your smoke alarms. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm goes off. Go to your outside meeting place which should be a safe distance from your home and where everyone should meet.
"LEARN" two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside can be easily opened and are clutter free.
People need to be educated about these three basic but essential steps to reduce the likelihood of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event a fire should a occur.
For further information visit www.firepreventionweek.org and learn how to keep you and your family safe.
Unfortunately fires do occur. When fire and water damage take control of you life, we help you take it back. Call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735.
Recipe for Safety
Cooking Safety Tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the room for even a second, turn your stove or cooking device off.
- When you are simmering, baking, or roasting, check the food regularly or use a timer to remind you.
- Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as potholders, paper towels, food packaging, etc...
- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
- If an oven fire starts, turn off the oven and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the house and the fire department.
Please remember that education in prevention is the best way to keep you and your family safe. In the event there is a fire, call your local fire department and then call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735 to help you with all your fire restoration needs.
Warning Signs of Faulty Wiring or Electrical Systems
Electrical failure or malfunctions account for an estimated 34,000 home fires, on average, per year and result in roughly 440 deaths and $1.3 billion in direct property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This threat is higher in older homes built before the 1950's due to lower electrical wiring standards, however; even newer homes are at risk. Older homes were built to handle 30 amps of power, but most newer homes demand 100 to 200 amps. Listed below are some of the warning signs that may indicate an electrical problem in your home:
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- Switches or outlets that are hot to touch and/or give off a strong burnt rubber odor.
- Discolored cords, outlets and switch plates.
- Repeatedly blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers.
If you have any any of these, contact a licensed electrician immediately to examine and repair any electrical problems and if the need for fire restoration is required, we are there to make it "Like it never even happened". SERVPRO of Joliet, 815-436-5735.
Legal or Not, Fireworks are Risky!
Each 4th of July, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks which includes sparklers and firecrackers.
Sparklers burn hot enough to cause third degree burns. Sparklers account for roughly one quarter of the emergency room firework injuries.
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries and an average of $43 million in direct property damage as per the NFPA's Research, Data & Analytics Division.
Be careful and be safe by not using consumer fireworks. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts in your town and keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are being used.
Let's keep the spark in our patriotism and not on our homes, friends and family members.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!!!!
SERVPRO of Joliet
Self Cleaning Oven Safety Tips
As one of the most hated household chores, oven cleaning ranks among the top; which is why so many people invest in self-cleaning ovens. There are some downsides and possible hazards to be aware of before using your self cleaning oven such as smoke, fumes, and even possible fires if the oven contains a lot of grease or food particles.
The self cleaning ovens use a process called Pyrolytic cleaning which burns off grease and food particles by reaching temperatures of up to 500 degrees. The food particles turn to ash and then can be wiped away.
Some important tips to follow before using your self cleaning oven are:
- Make sure there isn't an over abundance of grease and food particles in your oven.
- Make sure the oven door seal and other sealing mechanisms are working perfectly.
- Make sure the kitchen is well ventilated while using the self cleaning oven.
- Make sure to follow all instructions from the manufacturers.
Your first priority is to keep you, your family and your pets safe. Your second priority is too know that SERVPRO of Joliet will be there for you to make everything "Like it never even happened" 815-436-5735.
First Responders to Fires
Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical technicians (EMT's), are often first on the scene of an emergency. In the United States, there are more than 29,700 fire departments with 1,160,450 total firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association's 2015 U.S. Fire Department Profile. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are almost 245,000 EMT's and paramedics in the United States. In the U.S. there are about 18,000 federal, state, country, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 750,000 full time sworn officers according to he Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
When fire affects your life, make SERVPRO of JOLIET, 815-436-5735 your 2nd responder and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
When fire strikes calll SERVPRO of Joliet
This home suffered a fire after being struck by lightning. SERVPRO of Joliet did the mitigation and full rebuild on the home.
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster the SERVPRO of Joliet professionals arrive on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results - including lower claims costs. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Joliet will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.
After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning.
All of the restorable content in affected areas will be professionally cleaned. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery.
SERVPRO of Joliet professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.
If your home or business is affected by fire or smoke damage SERVPRO of Joliet will make it "Like it never even happened."
Every Second Counts
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan.
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster we arrive on site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results - including lower claim costs. When we are called to a fire loss we ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.
Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces within the structure.
Contents Cleaning - All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Deodorization - We provide specialized services that rid your home of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.
November - when cooler temperatures arrive, and the leaves change, and family-oriented get-togethers, like Thanksgiving, begin the holiday season. While you are busy whipping up delicious dishes in the kitchen, it is also important to take time to remember safety.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports "Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires...and tied with heating equipment for the second cause of home fire deaths."
SERVPRO of Joliet wants you, your family, and your property to stay safe. If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, we can make it "Like it never even happened."
Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey
A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you've seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu plannning this holiday season.
* Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
* An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
* Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
* Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
* The sides of the cooking pit, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
A Business Plan
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses; however, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness review with your employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
Recipe for Safety
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen-more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries. Most of these fires start because people aren't paying attention. While a few minutes may not seem like much time to be away from what's cooking, that is all it takes to start a fire.
Leaving cooking unattended and other unsafe kitchen practices are a recipe for disaster. Review the cooking safety tips provided below to learn how to help prevent kitchen fires before they start.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
- When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
- Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as towels, drapes, and pot holders.
- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid free zone" of three feet around the stove.
- If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.
- If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off and keep the door closed. Don't open the door until the fire is completely out. If in doubt, get out of the home and call the fire department.
- Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (wearing the oven mitt). Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, do not remove the lid until it is completely cool. NEVER pour water on a grease fire.
Fire Prevention Week
Smoke alarm usage and maintenance is key to fire safety.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
This October, in recognition of Fire Prevention Week (Oct.9th-15th), the Red Cross will focus their efforts on raising awareness about fire safety nationwide, and by canvassing local communities to install smoke alarms in homes that need them, teaching people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home.
Some top tips for fire safety:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month and replace batteries as needed.
- Talk with family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, Get out, Stay out and Call for help. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
For more fire safety tips, checklists and fact sheets go to www.redcross.org. Also, like and follow our SERVPRO of Joliet and SERVPRO of Lockport/Lemont/Homer Glen Facebook page for more fire prevention ideas all month long.
A commercial kitchen fire at a local school. SERVPRO of Joliet was called in to help minimize downtime and restore it back to preloss condition.
A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Joliet can help prevent fire damage from creating long term problems. SERVPRO of Joliet provides timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.
So after the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Joliet help you restore it. With the industry approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer's peace of mind as well.
SERVPRO of Joliet is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.
Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of the Fourth of July. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain and damage. On average, 230 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. Not to mention countless number of fires started by fireworks, causing structural and vehicle damage. As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend, The National Council on Fireworks Safety encourages consumers to review all safety tips before puchasing and using fireworks.
First and foremost, know and obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. In many cities, including Joliet, fireworks are illegal.
* know your fireworks; read labels and warnings
* an adult should supervise all fireworks activities
* wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
* use fireworks in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles
* never relight a "dud" firework; wait 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before discarding
*always have a water source nearby
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to the professionals. Our communities have several opportunities to view professional fireworks displays. What better way to celebrate but to sit back and enjoy the show!
Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy the long weekend and be safe!