Summer Storms Coming in Hot!
Storm clouds over the Dekalb area.
With the summer heat rolling in, along come severe storms as well. Even though you take as many precautions as possible, water damage can still happen.
Imagine you are asleep and a storm ferociously hits your area. Rain is pouring down hard and your sump pump gives out. Water begins to rapidly pour in your basement, but you have no idea because you are asleep. You wake up the next morning to find your basement filled with water. What do you do?
You contact SERVPRO at 815-758-3900.
Here at SERVPRO, we have over 30 years of water mitigation experience, highly-trained employees, and state-of-the-art equipment to get your home back to the way it was before the storm; "Like it never even happened."
An Ounce of Prevention
An Ounce Of Prevention
Gutters - Cleaning out gutters regularly will help water flow through the channels and away from the house. This is especially important in the fall if you do not have gutter covers on as those leaves love to pile up up in there creating a dam that doesn't let the water through but rather pours over the side.
Downspouts - They also can plug up but usually dumping a pail of water will provide the force to flush it out. Also they have downspout extensions and we recommend about 10' to get the water an adequate distance from the home.
Sump Pump - If your home has a sump pump it can help keep the water out. If your home is usually dry it is good to pour water in every once in a while to get it to kick in and work and also lets you check and know that it is functioning properly.
Tornado Damage - Not Just for Schools
The Boy Scout motto. We have heard it many times and it is a good motto for all of us. This doesn't just apply to tornado's but any storms that may come through as they all have potential for problems like electrical outages and although it is rare lightning can start house fires.
- Familiarize your family with your local tornado sirens
- Let the family know the safe zones in the house or community to go to in tornadoes
- Have a location in the house with a flashlight always there
- Keep a list of contacts for the kids to call should they not know what to do that can help talk them through it
- Educate them that if the storm is severe stay away from windows as branches can blow off trees and into the windows
- Have a safe place should the unfortunate and rare occurrence of a fire by lightning happen that everyone can go to while waiting for the fire department to arrive
- Take any other precautions applicable to storm types in your area to keep you and your family safe
Closing Doors Can Save Lives
Room being protected by closed door from fire.
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. According to research, 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.
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Fire safety for your DeKalb Commercial Building
Fire damage experts.
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 an analysis of The Hartford’s small business claims. 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 Dekalb 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 Dekalb 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 Dekalb 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 Dekalb, do not worry about tackling fire debris and cleanup on your own. SERVPRO of Dekalb is “Here to Help”. For us, the goal is to return each home in Dekalb 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 Dekalb business, call our office today: (815) 758-3900.
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Local Church Needing Help
Saving special memories.
SERVPRO of Dekalb County was called to a local church that had a fire due to a accident by a contractor working on the building. The contractor was applying siding to the building and exposed some electrical wires that then caught fire. The church also housed a daycare for the small community and needed to get reopened ASAP. The daycare was critical to the needs of the community. SERVPRO arrived the day of the fire and went right to work. They worked closely with the council of the church and local contractors. They got the church and its contents cleaned. Some of the challenges they incurred were dealt with in a quick manner and they got the church back open for their big fall celebration. They also had additional deadlines to meet for the daycare portion of the building. SERVPRO of Dekalb county worked well with all involved and has since been referred other work from the council of the church.
Make an Escape Plan for Your DeKalb Home.
Model house fire escape plan.
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. Please note that 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.
If your home experiences a fire, this is the time when you need us most, so that is why we are a 24-hour business. SERVPRO of Dekalb will provide you and your family with quality solutions to your loss and guide you through our process every step of the way. For any questions or to schedule our service, call our office: (815) 758-3900.
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The Importance for Proper Drainage in your DeKalb Home.
From intense wind, heavy snow fall, and rain showers, your Dekalb home endures a lot of storms throughout the year. When these storms hit, your gutters are busy at work. Their job is to control the flow of rainwater which protects your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. Unfortunately, they can also be at risk for causing serious additional problems if they are not maintained.
If your gutters are not maintained after enduring Dekalb's storms, you can easily be at risk for potential water damage which can cost thousands of dollars. Since the job of gutters is to carry water away from the home’s foundation, it cannot do its function without clear paths. Clogged gutters will eventually overflow onto the foundation of the home. And depending on the amount of water and condition of the foundation, water could seep into your basement or crawl space. Clogged gutters can also pose a weight strain on your roof and fascia. This could cause your roof to collapse and causing damage to the shingles of the roof and exterior of the house.
A routine cleaning of your gutters can prevent damage to your roof, exterior, foundation, and save you a lot of money in damage repairs. By setting aside a couple of hours, follow these steps to easily clean them yourself and ensure they are functioning properly:
- Protect your hands and keep them dry by wearing latex gloves
- Begin cleaning near the downspout
- Clear large debris such as leaves and twigs by hand
- Remove and clean downspout strainers
- Flush out the gutter with your garden hose. Start at the opposite end of the downspout
- Check the downspout for any lodged debris and remove any remaining debris
- Use a pressure washer to remove any mildew and dirt from the gutters
If your Dekalb home has experienced water damage, be proactive by partnering with SERVPRO of Dekalb County to dry out the damaged area. We are the water restoration experts and you can count on us to remove and repair water damage. We are a 24-hour service and can respond to the call at any time. To schedule an estimate or have any questions, call (815) 758-3900.
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Prevent Water Damage in Your DeKalb Commercial Property
Commercial buildings for your Dekalb Business already require high costs for daily operations. If an accident, such as water damage, were to happen to your Dekalb 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 Dekalb 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 Dekalb County 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 Dekalb County wants your business to be safe too. We can help protect your Dekalb 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: (815) 758-3900.
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Surprise After a Vacation
Recently SERVPRO of Dekalb County was contacted by an agent regarding a frantic call from one of their clients. The client had been gone over the holidays and came home to quite a mess in their kitchen which had spilled into the basement. They had a housesitter that had only left 12 hours before so they knew the sink leak hadn't been happening very long. The SERVPRO crew had helped many other clients for this agent and she knew they could help with this disaster. The office staff found a plumber to help take care of the leak for them and then the crew arrived. They got right to work and received so many compliments on the efficiency of the crew. The water was cleaned up in what seemed like minutes (actually a couple of hours) and equipment was set to dry the structure. In a matter of a few days all was well and the customer and agent were thrilled with the results.