Tis the Season For Safety
Tis the Season for Safety
Pretty lights and decorations add to the feel of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can go from festive to frightening very quickly. Please see below a few very simple safety tips, which can reduce your risk in your home or business this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, and other holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
- Purchase flame retardant metallic, or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that are not easily broken. Keep all live trees moist - check the water daily.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
- Always extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house -- designate a person to be in charge of checking and putting out all candles.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains ... away from your stovetop.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Replace batteries at least once a year. Use the test button to check it each month.
After a Winter Storm
After a Winter Storm
Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. Access to some parts of the community may be limited or roads may be blocked.
Help people who require special assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved.
Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of death during the winter.
Check on your animals and ensure that their access to food and water is unimpeded by drifted snow, ice, or other obstacles.
If you are using a portable generator, take precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire.
Identifying & Treating Frostbite and Hypothermia
Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening.
Take these steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:
Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.
Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat.
Take frequent breaks from the cold.
Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear
Frostbite is the freezing of a specific body part such as fingers, toes, the nose or earlobes.
Signs of frostbite:
Lack of feeling in the affected area
Skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue)
What to do for frostbite:
- Move the person to a warm place
- Handle the area gently; never rub the affected area
- Warm gently by soaking the affected area in warm water (100–105 degrees F) until it appears red and feels warm
- Loosely bandage the area with dry, sterile dressings
- If the person’s fingers or toes are frostbitten, place dry, sterile gauze between them to keep them separated
- Avoid breaking any blisters
- Do not allow the affected area to refreeze
- Seek professional medical care as soon as possible
Hypothermia is the cooling of the body caused by the failure of the body’s warming system. The goals of first aid are to restore normal body temperature and to care for any conditions while waiting for EMS personnel.
Signs of hypothermia:
Numbness or weakness
Apathy or impaired judgment
Loss of consciousness
What to do for hypothermia:
- CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
- Gently move the person to a warm place
- Monitor breathing and circulation
- Give rescue breathing and CPR if needed
- Remove any wet clothing and dry the person
- Warm the person slowly by wrapping in blankets or by putting dry clothing on the person.
Hot water bottles and chemical hot packs may be used when first wrapped in a towel or blanket before applying. Do not warm the person too quickly, such as by immersing him or her in warm water.
Warm the core first (trunk, abdomen), not the extremities (hands, feet).
What happens during a snow storm
Stay Safe During a Winter Storm
- Staying Safe During a Winter Storm or Blizzard
Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.
Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.
Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.
Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F (18° C) during the day and to 55° F (13° C) at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover the windows at night.
Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.
- Staying Safe Outside
If you must go outside, protect yourself from winter storm hazards: Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.
Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.
Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.
Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.
Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.
If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.
Driving in Winter Conditions
Check your vehicle emergency supplies kit and replenish it if necessary.
Bring enough of the following for each person:
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Rain gear, extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and wool hats
- Newspapers for insulation
- Plastic bags for sanitation
- Canned fruit, nuts, and high energy snacks (Include a non-electric can opener if necessary)
- Warm broth in a thermos and several bottles of water
- Keep a cell phone or two-way radio with you. Make sure the battery is charged.
- Plan to travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person with you.
Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
Before leaving, listen to weather reports for your area and the areas you will be passing through, or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions.
Be on the lookout for sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and dense fog, which can make driving very hazardous
- If You Become Stranded
Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.
Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.
Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.
Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
Do light exercises to keep up circulation. Clap your hands and move your arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long.
If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. If you are not awakened periodically to increase body temperature and circulation, you can freeze to death.
Huddle together for warmth. Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable floor mats for added insulation. Layering items will help trap more body heat.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Severe cold can cause numbness, making you unaware of possible danger.
Drink fluids to avoid dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to the ill effects of cold and to heart attacks.
Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
How to prepare for a winter storm
To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:
- Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit: ?Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
Sand to improve traction.
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
- Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
How to save on heating costs
How to Save on Heating Costs
Any season is a good season to save energy costs. With winter approaching, however, it’s even more critical as prices for home heating fuel are as volatile as ever.
The strategies below will help you save energy, save money, and stay comfortable during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.
If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.
Also check out no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy during the spring and summer.
Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
- When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
- Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Find out how to detect air leaks.
- Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
- Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.Maintain Your Heating Systems
- Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently. Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.
- Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly--approximately 1 inch--and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
- Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
- Lower Your Water Heating Costs
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands. Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
- Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs
- Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays. Learn about the advantages and potential cost savings of LED holiday light strings. Find manufacturers and brands of ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strings.
- Source: https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips
National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!
National Clean out your Refrigerator Day!
The timing is perfect for this day as Thanksgiving is coming soon. We will need room for all of the upcoming leftovers. This job may be dreaded by many, but it is an important task none the less. Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected, hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.
STEP 1: UNPLUG YOUR REFRIGERATOR
STEP 2: EMPTY ALL CONTENTS
STEP 3: USE A SPONGE, TOOTHBRUSH, AND CLEANING SPRAY TO CLEAN SURFACES
STEP 4: CLEAN DOWN THE EXTERIOR OF THE FRIDGE
STEP 5: RELOAD WITH THE FOOD YOU WANT TO KEEP, DISCARDING EXCESS OR EXPIRED FOOD
The Dangers of Water Intrusion to your Commercial building
The Dangers of Water Intrusion to your Commercial building
Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.
Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of toxic mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.
Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:
- Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
- Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
- Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
- Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically subtler. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.
For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and its secondary damages such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982
Water Damage to Commercial Buildings
Commercial water damage restoration not only restores a building. It restores jobs and income to the people employed there, products or services to customers, and a healthy environment for everyone who utilizes the structure. If it’s not done right, or on time, the ultimate result can be the closing of a facility, relocation elsewhere, and severe impact to a private business or public organization’s bottom line. Because the scope of water damage in commercial settings is frequently wider and more extreme than in a residential scenario, water damage remediation specialists with experience specific to commercial buildings are positioned to provide effective emergency service when the need arises.
Here’s a typical protocol utilized in commercial water damage restoration:
- All areas contacted with water is inventoried, including affected building materials and furniture. Any wet carpet must be located and identified.
- Wet ceiling tiles may be removed and discarded after the event. Ceiling tiles usually are not salvageable.
- A moisture meter should be utilized to check for water-damaged drywall. Disinfection and mold control techniques may need to be initiated.
- Wet electrical components are assumed to be hazardous. A qualified maintenance technician or electrician should cut off power to affected areas. Inspection by a building inspector or electrician is required to determine the need to replace wet wiring, circuit breakers, outlets and light fixtures.
- Upholstered furniture wet by flood water, roof leaks, or sewage should be discarded. Furniture contacted by drinking water can be air-dried if done within 24 hours. Laminate or hardwood furniture can be cleaned with a disinfectant solution and reused; particle board furniture may be discarded.
- Carpet contaminated by sewage must be disposed. Carpet wet by drinking water or rain water through roof leaks may have water extracted and then be sterilized.
For experienced commercial water damage restoration, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda.
Ladder Safety Tips
Every year, according to one estimate, some 164,000 people land in the ER because they scrambled up a ladder without heeding the accident-avoidance rules. Keep yourself safe with these ladder safety tips.
Avoid the shakes.
Station your ladder on dry, level ground. If you are working at the roofline, extend it several feet above the point of contact. Secure the locks.
Measure one fourth of the ladder’s length. That’s how far the ladder’s base should be from the wall.
Wear good shoes.
They should have nonslip soles that are fairly rigid.
No matter how tempting, don’t step on the top three rungs.
Keep your hips centered between the side rails. Leaning sideways is very dangerous.
what to do after a hurricane
What to Do After a Hurricane:
Continue listening to the local news for the latest updates.
Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
Stay out of any building that has water around it.
Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
Use the telephone only for emergency calls.