Is your Home Prepared for a Fire this Winter?
Is your home equipped with these preventative items?
Often times fire is associated with the dry, hot weather that plagues the country in the summer months. During this time, we see burn bans in place for local communities, wildfires out west, and all of the accidents related to fireworks and grills. However, home fires actually occur more frequently in the winter than any other season!
One of the leading causes for US home fires and injuries are caused by heating. Heating is also the third highest cause of home fire deaths. An example of heating in the winter that leads to fires are space heaters, which accounts for one third of the fires taking place in December, January, and February. To reduce this number, plug only one heat producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time. Another important tip is to keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source!
Another leading cause for home fires in the winter can be attributed to candles. Candle related fires peak during December, January, and February, causing one third of home decoration fires. To decrease the frequency of these fires, keep candles at least twelve inches away from anything that burns. Families should also think about using battery-operated flameless candles.
However even with this knowledge, sometimes you cannot plan for a fire. In this case, you should make sure your family has a fire safety plan in place so that you are prepared for the unexpectant. Examples of this would include making sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home, with smoke detectors placed in each bedroom, and outside the sleeping areas. You should be testing these detectors at least once a month to ensure the batteries work properly as well.
You should also have a fire extinguisher in your home. A fire extinguisher can stop a small accident from turning into something bigger as fire can spread very quickly. Kitchen fires often involve grease and oil, which can’t be extinguished using water, making a fire extinguisher even more valuable. Other reasons you should have one is for fires involving cooking appliances like air fryers and stoves, smoking in your home, and electrical products like curling irons and overloaded extension cords.
Practicing fire safety encompasses all of these preventative measures, but you also need open communication with your family. Does your family know where the fire extinguisher is located in the house? Do you know when the smoke detectors were checked last? What is your exit plan in the event of a house fire? Having these discussions will ensure everyone is prepared and ready to go!
You can’t always plan for a disaster, but you can help prevent one! Here at SERVPRO, we help the community every day and we will be there for you as well. We can’t change the fact that your home was damaged by fire, but we can make it "Like it never even happened."
Businesses: Be Prepared for Disaster!
Towards the end of December, we had our first Storm scenario here at SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf. Temperatures dipped below freezing, and our community was faced with frozen pipes and extensive water damage. Because this was the first big freeze of the year, most weren’t prepared. We had over 130 calls in a span of three days, including residential and commercial properties. The entire community was affected, and with such an influx of jobs, we had to create a wait list to keep track of everyone needing help. We started with our initial calls, and worked our way down.
For commercial businesses that depend on being open and running smoothly, we understand the frustration of having to wait until help arrives. That’s why we created the Priority Service Agreement, where we establish a commitment to providing emergency services to your business right away. This document establishes trust in us, as that business is contracted to be a priority. This is an important relationship, as a delay on services affects how you operate your business and can potentially cause other problems.
We know you can’t always predict disaster, but you can be prepared in the event of one. Let us make it Like It Never Even Happened. The next time one of our marketing representatives visit your business, let them know you want to be a priority for us with a Priority Service Agreement.
Our Highly Trained Technicians Can Help your Quad Cities Home!
SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf
SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Protect Yourself from Harmful Smoke!
You’ve probably heard that if you’re escaping a fire, you should crawl low underneath the smoke. This is, of course, if you cannot find an alternate escape route away from smoke. Heat rises, and in turn, smoke rises. In the attached image, you can see a clear line where the door is damaged from smoke. It’s a great visual to show how important it is to stay low in a fire.
Inhaling harmful smoke for even a short amount of time can cause severe health problems. More than half of all fire-related deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Should you find yourself in a situation that you need to escape a fire through smoke, the air is generally cleaner 12 to 24 inches above the floor.
Emergency preparedness is so important and we make it a goal at SERVPRO to help our community be prepared for disasters. If you are ever caught in a building with smoke, remember to drop and crawl to the nearest exit. If you come to a closed door, touch it with the back of our hand to test for it. If it is hot, do not open it and look for another exit.
Water Damage in My Home! What Should I Do?
A while ago we sent Jason and Ken to Living Local to educate them on what to do in the event of water damage in your home! Because it has been awhile, here is a refresher!
First and foremost, make sure you’re safe! Shut off circuit breakers for wet areas of your home, but only if access to the breaker panel is safe. Do NOT go into standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
Ken demonstrated in SERVPRO’s Living Local segment how to get the furniture off of wet carpets using wood blocks or aluminum foil. There is some misconception behind this tip – you may think it is to prevent damage to the furniture. It’s actually to prevent damage to the floor!
Our suggestion for separating your wooden furniture from the carpet is to prevent wood stains or fabric from staining your carpet. SERVPRO can dry furniture and carpet, but stained carpet poses a bigger challenge. For that reason, we also suggest you remove colored rugs and use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off of your wet carpets to prevent staining. However, don’t try to move wet furniture from the area. When SERVPRO arrives to dry your space, our equipment will also dry the furniture in that space.
If you missed the great tips that Ken and Jason shared on SERVPRO’s Living Local segment, you can view them on our Youtube channel. https://youtu.be/1YQtQ1Vg42g
In the unfortunate event that you experience any kind of water loss, call SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf Moline/Rock Island. We are available 24/7 to address your needs. The longer you wait to call, the greater chance of mold growth and unrepairable damage to your property may occur. Our team has the training and expertise to prevent or mitigate the effect of water damage.
Heatwaves can occur almost anywhere in the country. The best way to overcome heat is to be prepared. Here are 10 tips to help you stay cool and be prepared when a heatwave strikes.
- Find the coolest area of your home. Basements are the coolest because heat rises.
- Drink more beverages. Even if you are not thirsty. However, stay away from hot drinks, and alcoholic beverages
- Avoid eating protein-rich meals. Your body heat will increase as a result of the increased metabolic rate. Eat lighter and more frequent meals
- Take a cool bath or shower. They should be right below the body’s temperature. Cold showers are not a good idea because they will make your body generate heat.
- Wear light-colored loose clothes. Avoid dark colors, they absorb the heat rather than reflect like light colors
- Avoid exercise and strenuous heat. If you must do, choose to do so in the early morning or evenings when its cooler
- Place ice cubes or run cold water on your pulse points. Do this every couple of hours to help cool yourself off. Your pulse points are areas on your body where blood circulates close to the skin.
- Spritz yourself with water and stay in front of a fan, in that water evaporates from your body to cool off.
- Unplug appliances or electronics you are not using. Electronics such as tv can consume electricity that converts into heat.
- Don’t forget that pets can be affected by heat. Don’t forget about your fur babies. Symptoms of heatstroke in animals: hot skin, wide eyes, excessive drooling, twitching muscles, and sometimes vomiting.
Proper ventilation is almost as important to maintain a comfortable temperature. Stay safe, cool, and know that SERVPRO of Quad Cities is here for you. "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf | (563)386-3540
SERVPRO of Moline/Rock Island | (309)797-1199
SERVPRO of Muscatine | (563)264-8661
Fall Fire Safety!
The first day of fall was yesterday and with the change of the season comes loads of fun activities... bonfires, candles, and maybe even some baking! All of these things are fun, but we know that they can become dangerous quickly. That’s why we want to share some important fall fire safety tips with our fellow Quad Citians!
- Check your smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly… don’t forget to change your batteries with the time change!
- If you’re having a bonfire, make sure you’re in an open area away from overhanging branches and anything else that could catch on fire.
- Have a garden hose near your bonfire in case of emergency.
- Keep lit candles at least twelve inches away from anything that can burn and out of reach of children or pets.
- Use a timer when baking so you don’t lose track of time.
- When baking the batter, put a baking pan underneath your dish to catch the batter or excess liquid.
Enjoy the season safely! And remember that if disaster strikes, SERVPRO is here to help!
Have a Fire Plan!
With decades of experience in fire restoration, SERVPRO knows well how the effects of fire can devastate a home or business. As everyone knows, fire is also sometimes fatal. This is why every family should have a fire safety and response plan. When a fire breaks out, how quickly you act can make a huge difference in saving your home or business. The time it takes you to respond can also be life or death.
Once you have a plan set in place, make sure that everyone in your family knows the drill. It is especially important for your children to understand the plan. For extra safety, be sure to go over the plan at least once a year so there is no confusion.
For tips on what to include in your fire plan, call SERVPRO today.
What to do During a Lightning Storm
We’ve been having a lot of thunderstorms in the Quad Cities lately, and it’s that time of year again when SERVPRO reminds of you the importance of storm safety, particularly as it relates to lightning. Here are some tips to keep you safe during a thunderstorm:
- It is not safe to be outdoors during a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, that means to get inside and stay put until at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder.
- Stay away from anything electrical in your home, as well as plumbing, windows, and doors. Lightning can be conducted through these mediums and reach you.
- If you can’t get indoors, retreat from elevated surfaces, do not stay under trees and stay away from any object that can conduct electricity.
Be Prepared for Severe Weather!
Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event. Many businesses affected by major disasters never reopen—especially if they do not have an emergency plan in place. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared.
Know Your Risk.
Understanding the type of hazardous weather, and how it can affect you, your family or your employees is important. Check the weather forecast regularly, and obtain an NOAA Weather Radio.
Create a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and materials in a safe place.
Be an Example.
Share your preparedness story with your family and friends. Inspire others to do the same.
Preparation is key in making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO of Davenport/Bettendorf at (563) 386-3540 to establish your Emergency Ready Profile and be “ready for whatever happens.”