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Kitchen Cautions

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. 

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop. 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. 
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from the stovetop. 

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave. 
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. 
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season. 

Five Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

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 planning 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 pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot. 

Celebrate Safely With A Recipe For Safety

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. 

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. 
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an over fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire buy sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

Your local SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Flood Tips

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Tips and Action Steps

After a Flood

Safety First (For businesses and home owners)

  • Account that all employees or family members are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team's names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts. 
  • If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers. 
  • While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related. 
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. 
  • Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall. 
  • Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains.)
  • Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible. 
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. 
  • Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.

Secure the Property

  • Contact local emergency officials. 
  • Secure main entrances to building. 
  • Alert security company and Alarm company of the situation. 

Stabilize the Property

  • Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building's foundation and walls. 
  • Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter. 
  • Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.  

Mitigation Tips:

  • Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Wear protective clothing at all times. 
  • Take photos or video to record conditions of collections and structure. Make sure images clearly record damage. 
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying. 
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. 
  • Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place. 
  • Place fans at 45-degree angles to walls and move large furniture away from walls to create the best air circulation. 
  • Appoint a media liaison to report conditions and need for help/volunteers. You may have to limit access to collections. 
  • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist. 
  • Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations. 
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining. 
  • Do not leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining. 
  • Do no use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. 
  • Do no turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 
  • Do not turn on heat unless required for human comfort. 
  • Do not move objects or collections without documenting their condition. 
  • Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters. 
  • If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth. 

National Fire Prevention Week October 8-14, 2017

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fast Facts about Fire

Home Fires

  • Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours. 
  • One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den. 
  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. 
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365.500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage. 
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day. 
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment. 
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths. 
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people. 
  • During 2010-2014, roughly one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year. 

Escape Planning

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. 
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half ever practiced it. 
  • One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out. 

Smoke Alarms

  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. 
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80% of the time. 
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. 
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended. 

Cooking

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 166,100 home cooking-related fires between 2010-2014 resulting in 480 civilian deaths, 5,540 civilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct damage. 
  • Two of every five (43%) home fires start in the kitchen. 
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in one-third of reported home cooking fires. 
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials. 
  • Ranges accounted for three of every five (62%) home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 13%. 
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking and hot food and drinks than of being hurt in a cooking fire. 
  • Children under five accounted for 30% of the 4,300 microwave oven scald burns seen in hospital emergency room during 2014.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths. 
  • More than half of the people injured in home fires involving cooking equipment were hurt while attempting to fight the fire themselves. 
  • Frying is the leading activity associated with cooking fires. 

Heating

  • The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean. This usually involved creosote  build-up in chimneys. 
  • Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and accounted for 84% of the home heating deaths. 
  • Over half (56%) of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding. 
  • In most years, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. 

Home Fire Sprinklers

  • If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. 
  • Sprinklers reduce direct properly damage by about 70 percent per fire. 
  • Research shows that when sprinklers were present during a fire, the fire is kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
  • Roughly 85 percent of the time, just one sprinkler operates during a fire. 
  • Each individual sprinkler is designed and calibrated to go off only when it sees a significant heat change. 
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.

Sparky the Fire Dog has some advice about planning your fire escape route!

In the event of a fire, call SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993 for all of your cleanup needs!

Every Second Counts

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

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. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan. 

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. 

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. 

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disable individuals. 

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year. 

Keep Fall Fire-Free

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free. 

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. 
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. 
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. 
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame. 
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and ouf of they way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards. 

A Business Plan...For Fire Emergencies

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 Procedures review with 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, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 
  • Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. 

When They Call You, Call SERVPRO of Quincy

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster SERVPRO of Quincy arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results--including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Quincy will be on-site to help 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. SERVPRO of Quincy will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured's structure. 

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Quincy can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more. Finally, SERVPRO of Quincy can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for your insured. 

Deodorization

SERVPRO of Quincy provides specialized services that rid your insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Quincy does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

ARE YOU PREPARED?

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Are You Prepared? As a member of the Ready Campaign's National Preparedness Coalition, SERVPRO is proud to present the following information.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be Informed

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan

Have your practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed you plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

Have your reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you're covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cybersecurity

Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?

If you answered "No" to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business.

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That's why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO of Quincy is so important. Just go to SERVPRO of Quincy on your mobile phone or call 217-223-2993 to get the team that's faster to any size disaster. We're a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So whether you're responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, local SERVPRO of Quincy Professional.

Be "Ready for whatever happens" With The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, business, and family.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens."

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile documents that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. 
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Quincy as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. 

The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 50 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. 

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it. 

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO of Quincy today to establish your Emergency READY Profile. 

Solar Eclipse 2017

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Solar Eclipse 2017: The Great Ball of Fire | SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

On August 21, 2017, our region will experience a total solar eclipse. This type of eclipse is when the sun, moon, and earth align so that the moon casts a shadow on the earth. We are in its direct path and will have a prime viewing opportunity.

The Great Ball of Fire

According to NinePlanets.org, the temperature of the sun’s surface is about 5800 Kelvin—or 9980 degrees Fahrenheit. That is roughly nine times hotter than the average house fire, which burns at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Institute of Fire and Safety Training. A lot of damage can occur at that temperature.

Here to Help

SERVPRO of Quincy is your local professional fire restoration team. When the fire trucks are gone and you find yourself stressed and confused, know that SERVPRO® is here to help. More so than even help cleaning up the fire damage, you need someone who cares for your needs during this time of crisis.  We provide 24-hour emergency service so that we are there when you need us the most.

We primarily serve Adams County, Brown County, Hancock County, Pike County and Schuyler County, but are willing to help wherever we get called.

When the 2017 Solar Eclipse makes its way through town, remember the power of the sun, and that a fraction of that heat is all it takes to damage a home. When fire restoration is needed, call SERVPRO of Quincy, and we will help make it “Like it never even happened.”