Extension Cord Safety
Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 more.
When extension cords are not properly used, they can overheat and can cause fires to start.
Here are some safety tips to help prevent extension cord fires
- Do not overload extension cords with plugs.
- Check that they are not damaged. There should be no frayed sockets, loose wires, bare wires, and no cracks.
- Never force a fit by cutting off parts from a three-prong plug to fit into a two-slot outlet.
- Make sure the extension cords are used for their intended purpose such as indoor or outdoor use.
- Do not use a power strip with heaters or fans because they can over heat.
- Don’t use a wet extension cord, and don’t keep extension cords near water
- When not using the extension cords, keep them unplugged
- Don’t have extension cords under carpets, someone could damage it or trip over it
Fire or Smoke Damage Safety Tips
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- 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 Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call 847-469-6982
What to Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT to Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe
Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe!
Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:
10,000 severe thunderstorms
5,000 floods or flash floods
2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to
around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, acting and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of
hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could
impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a
NOAA Weather Radio and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. Essentials for an emergency kit would include crank radio, flash light, extra batteries, food, water, blanket, heater, change of clothes, first aid kit. It would be best to have a kit in your car as well you never know if you would be stranded while you were on your way somewhere. Being prepared is the best and only way you should be, helping others by spreading the word is also very beneficial the more people that talk about it
Be an Example
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with
co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire
others to do the same.
We've had lots of severe thunderstorms this season in Lake County area.
SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has had an influx of residential and commercial storm cleanup and tree removal request.
Does your family know what to do before, during, and after a lightning storm? Learn the facts and practice your plan. The 30/30 rule is if there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, seek shelter. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter.
Here are some facts about lighting:
- Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
- Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
- “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away from thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.
- Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
- Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
- Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately
There are thousands of deaths a year caused by lighting each year because people are outside at night in the summer months. You should always check the weather when you are going to be outside so you don’t get trapped in a lightning storm. Technology is the best tool to keep you safe, you can check the weather throughout the evening and night to ensure you will be safe at all times.
Biohazard Clean up
Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk. Sewer backups and flood water are two common biohazard scenarios that can affect homes and businesses. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.
Need Biohazard Cleanup? Call Us Today – 847-469-6982
After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
- Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
What to Do After a Contamination
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
- Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.
What Not to Do After a Contamination
- 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 ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
24 Hour Emergency Service
Biohazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has water damage restoration specialists and has specific training and expertise to safely remediate biohazard contaminants.
Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982
Myths and Facts about cleaning
When you just want to clean your house after everyday use you want it to be done quick and easy. Not confusing and hard. These 10 myths about cleaning will be explained to help you clean with a more effective product or to show you that the product you are using doesn't work as well as you thought. Enjoy!
Myth: Newspaper does windows well
Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more too clean. Use microfiber cloths to clean glass. They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.
Myth: Coca-Cola belongs in the toilet
Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains BUT soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.
Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher
Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.
Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers
Fact: Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades, but baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.
Myth: Vinegar cleans everything
Fact: Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength. Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.
Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink
Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse. Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.
Myth: Bleach cleans everything
Fact: Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil. It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.
Myth: Feathers make great dusters
Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lamb’s wool or microfiber options. Most feather dusters just spread the dust around. Also, they tend to drop feathers which is just leaving you more to pick up.
Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly
Fact: Nope. We recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes. Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria.
Myth: String makes the best mops
Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills, but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.
SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, Call us at; 847-469-6982
Summer Time Safety Tips
Summertime is the time for Cooking out, Campfires, and Fireworks. It is also a dangerous time for Fires, and with these helpful tips, it will keep you and your family safe to enjoy the season.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
Never light fireworks indoors
Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.
Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If the firework does not go off, do not stand over it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a firework is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.
Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Cooking On a Grill Safety (Propane or Charcoal)
Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.
Do not overfill the propane tank.
Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
Dispose of hot coals properly - use plenty of water to cover the coals, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn happens and it needs medical attention.
Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to put on the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water, to ensure that the fire is out
Never leave campfires unattended
Floods...When Water Attacks
Floods, When water attacks
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S., capable of striking almost any river, creek, lake or coast nationwide. They kill about 140 Americans each year and are often more destructive than the storms that caused them — water flowing at 10 mph exerts the same pressure on a structure as 270 mph wind gusts, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Across the country, floods destroy some $6 billion worth of property every year.
Overflowing rivers are behind most U.S. floods, but anything from tsunamis and hurricanes to broken dams and urban runoff can cause one. A single flood may fit multiple categories, but floods are generally classified as one of the following:
Most deaths and damage from floods are due to flash flooding — "a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level," according to the National Weather Service. Flash floods develop suddenly, often in just a few minutes, and while they occur in all 50 states, they're most common in hilly areas with steep valleys, or along small waterways in urban environments. Their speed, depth and element of surprise make flash floods highly dangerous, causing major damage while allowing little time to prepare or evacuate. Heavy rains are the top cause of flash floods, but urban runoff, "ice jams," dam failures and other factors may also be involved.
Slow River Floods
Rising waters may spur flash floods in steep, narrow river basins, but in flatter, wider ones, flooding tends to be slow, shallow and long-lasting. Flat floodplains can remain inundated for days or even weeks, but these floods are at least usually easier to predict than flash floods. Spring snowmelt regularly swells northern rivers, and when big blocks of un melted ice are floating downstream, they can become lodged under bridges or in narrow passages, creating an "ice jam" that sets off a flash flood on top of the slower, pre-existing flood.
Storms and earthquakes are the two leading causes of ocean floods. Hurricanes push walls of sea water ashore when they hit land, creating a saline flash flood known as a "storm surge." Storm surges are often responsible for the majority of deaths from tropical cyclones, as was the case in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Despite hurricanes' strength, though, deep-sea earthquakes are capable of displacing even larger amounts of water, forming long-range waves called "tsunamis." Tsunamis can push floodwaters many miles inland, as seen after the 2004 Sumatran quake and the magnitude-9.0 temblor that hit Japan in March 2011.
Some floods attack from below, as the water table rises to the surface and washes away chunks of topsoil. This can cause a variety of ground failures, including "subsidence," or sinking soil, and "liquefaction," a process in which water-soaked sediment loses strength and acts like a liquid. Scientists also differentiate between "mud floods" — a liquid flood that carries up to 50 percent solid sediment loads — and "mudflows" — solid landslides where the downward flow is viscous enough to support large boulders within a wave of smaller particles. Mud floods and mudflows are most common in California and other Western states, since they tend to occur on hillsides burned bare by wildfire.
Most lakes experience fluctuating water levels, but they usually don't "flood" the way rivers do because lakes typically have outlet streams or rivers to help them drain. But not all lakes have such outlets, and these "closed-basin lakes" are prone to potentially catastrophic floods if their water level rises too high. Glacial lakes — which were carved and filled by glaciers, and make up most lakes in North America — are also at risk of drainage problems, and can undergo dramatic, long-term fluctuations in depth.
Opening the Flood Gates
While rain and snow cause most floods, they're also pawns of broader climatic trends that shape daily weather. Linking specific weather events to these trends is never easy, but climatologists can at least trace the origins of some recent U.S. flood problems to unusually heavy precipitation during preceding months.
The main rule for staying safe during a flood is to never willingly go near the water, whether on foot or in a car. Just six inches of moving water can knock people off their feet, so FEMA warns against walking through flowing floodwaters, and points out that since even apparently dry land could be subject to ground failure in a flood, it's not a bad idea to use a pole or stick to test the soil before stepping on it. The best place to be is high ground, but if you're in a building when floods arrive, go to the roof or the highest floor, but be careful not to get trapped in an attic or other confined space by rising water.
More than half of all deaths in floods happen when vehicles are swept away, usually in flash floods. Many of the drivers are overtaken before they can react, but people also frequently overestimate their ability to drive through flowing water, often with tragic results. NOAA's "Turn Around, Don't Drown" campaign is aimed at reducing these preventable deaths by raising awareness of how dangerous road flooding can be.
Electrocution is another dangerous side effect of flooding, one more reason to stay away from the water. Avoid and report any downed power lines and electrical wires, and consider turning off your home's electricity and checking around for gas leaks.
Infection and disease can be major problems during a flood as well as long afterward. While water levels are still high, an array of contaminants can be mixed in with the flood, ranging from untreated sewage to toxic chemicals. But even after the threat of water-borne bacteria and synthetic pollutants wanes, respiratory risks arise from black mold and other fungi that flourish in water-damaged wood and fabrics. Anything that got wet from flooding should either be thoroughly cleaned or thrown away.
For more flood advice, see FEMA's floodsmart.gov page, which has safety tips as well as information on the National Flood Insurance Program.
A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.
Know the Difference!
Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
Every year people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. While some did not hear the warning, others heard the warning and did not pay attention to it. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, may help save lives.
Be Prepared for Thunderstorms and Severe Weather.
Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
Put together an emergency preparedness kit:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation & personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family & emergency contact information
- Extra cash
SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda Can assist if you encounter damage to your property from a Thunderstorm! Please Call us at 847-469-6982
Truth about Mold
Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit. With the recent heavy rains and thunderstorms, it has caused a lot of damage to roofs as well as ground water in basements. We have been extremely busy keeping up with the damage these storms have caused. some people, who had water in their basements and attics, are now experiencing mold problems. Mold can begin to grow within 48-72 hours of a water damage issue. If you have water in the basement or attic your should consider contacting a professional to assess the damage. The longer it waits the more expensive the cleanup can get!
Call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda and we can assist in helping your resolve mold before it spreads! 847-469-6982