Recent Posts

Fire Safety Tips for Your Pets

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Save Our Pets! Take action before an emergency takes place!

An emergency can happen at any moment, and you may never be able to fully prevent such events. However, you can prepare yourself and pets for when emergencies do take place. Here is a list of tips that will help your furry friends when a fire takes place. 

- Consider installing monitored smoke detectors! If you live in a fire-prone area, monitored smoke detectors are always a smart choice. This will help the firefighters get a notification, and can respond as quickly as possible. Even if you are not home. 

- Make sure to take note where your pets like to nap or hide. This is very important in event that needs evacuation in your home quickly. Remember that pets can be exponentially more difficult to round up if they sense stress. (Especially cats!) Practice crating your pets in advance to make it a positive experience. This will then help prevent them from running when you pull out their crate during any type of emergency. 

- You need to have an emergency plan, and practice escape routes with your pet. Make sure to include all members of the family in this plan. Also make sure they know what to do and where to go. 

- Have the phone number and address your local animal hospital handy. If your pet is injured, you will need to know where to take them for help ass quickly as possible. 

- Make sure to pet-proof your home. Ensure there are no areas where pets can start fires accidentally. This includes stove knobs, loose wires, candles, fireplaces and other potential hazards in your home. Never leave a pet unattended with a lit candle or fireplace.

- If you have to evacuate, make sure to take your pets with you whenever possible. If you leave them behind, they may become trapped or escape and then be exposed to numerous life threatening hazards. In advance, make sure to contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. Also, ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Identify hotels and motels that accept pets, and also ask friends and relatives in your area if they would be willing to take your pet in case of an emergency. 

- Get a rescue alert sticker! This easy to use sticker will let firefighters know that there are pets inside your home. Make sure it is visible, and we recommend placing it on or near your front door. This sign will include the types and number of pets in your home. 

We here at SERVPRO have teamed up with local fire departments and animal hospitals to provide people with these stickers! 

Disaster Plan for Your Business

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Be prepared - image of people writing on desk Have a plan!

When it comes to owning a commercial business, you need to make sure you have a disaster plan in place. Natural disasters don't give you a warning to get out in time, and sometimes you only have minutes to act fast. One natural disaster that most people are not prepared for are earthquakes. Here are 6 steps to prepare you if an earthquake where to take place. 

1. Assess the Earthquake Risk of Your Building

You need to get a clear picture about your business' earthquake risk factors. You need to know how ready or NOT ready your business is. It is recommended that all businesses perform risk assessments that find the strong and weak points of your plan. You should also schedule a consultation with an experienced firm to elevate the structural integrity of the building. 

2. Create a Disaster Plan

These should be created and distributed to all of your employees beforehand. It is important to include ALL of you employees as you are developing a disaster plan. This way they if they notice any signs of an earthquake, they will know exactly what to do. Some of the things your disaster plan should include are:

- Contact information for all employees

- Communication plan

- Talk with employees with disabilities and make arrangements

- Hotline or text message system

- Schedule regular earthquake response drills to practice

- Emergency kit

- Safety checklist 

3. Identify Your Building's Potential Structural Issues

Every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You will need to evaluate every aspect of your business and make preparations that are unique to your building's property. You need to understand the risks and take specific actions to help prevent earthquake disasters for your business, and to also protect your staff. 

4. Bring in Expert Advisors

You can't afford to waste your time on hearsay or just anyone's word. Your business, life, and the lives of your employees and customers depends on doing things correctly and being truly prepared. Make sure you choose a reputable earthquake retrofitting contractor based on years of experience and high ranking results. This way it can translate to lives and business saved in those areas. 

5. Develop a Comprehensive Emergency Communications Plan

Keeping your business in business after an earthquake often depends on effective communication. Be sure you have a plan in place that takes everyone into account. This includes your employees, your customers and your suppliers. Make sure you set up a backup communications plan that enables you to keep lines of communication open, even if you are unable to access your building. Make sure you employees know who to contact before hand so they aren't calling people they shouldn't have to call. Maintain an emergency contact list with police, fire, ambulance, hospital and other emergency services that employees know how to access quickly. Also, have your insurance company and attorney's numbers in a secure place. 

6. After the Earthquake

Remember that it might not be readily apparent whether your building is safe after an earthquake takes place. There are usually aftershocks for hours and days afterward. Be sure to contact an experienced expert first for an earthquake damage safety assessment before you allow employees and customers back into the building. 

Summer BBQ Grilling Safety Tips

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Grilling Season Fire safety for summer BBQ's!

Grilling outside on a hot summer day is one of the most popular cooking methods in the summer. However, each year in the U.S. there are 10,200 home fires that are caused by outdoor grills. According to the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for grill fires. Grill fires can start easily and spread quickly when the gas or charcoal is placed too close to any fire hazards. Here are 9 grilling safety tips for your summer BBQ's. 

1. Only use grills outside

You might think it is okay to grill inside of your open garage or under a covered balcony, but propane and gas, charcoal grills are strictly designed for outdoor use where there is plenty of ventilation. If there is any combustible materials that surround or hang over the grill, it can catch fire easily and quickly. Make sure that the area over top and around the grill is clear.

2. Place your grill away from your home

BBQ grills are often placed just outside the back door or on the back deck. You should avoid placing your grill in these areas because it can pose a potential fire hazard. Grills that are placed too close to the house or wood structures can heat up adjacent materials and cause a fire to start. You want to make sure you keep at least 10 feet from your home or other structures. 

3. Make sure your grill is located on a flat and level surface

If you place your grill on a slope or other uneven surfaces, it can tip over easily and cause a fire. Make sure that your grill is et up on a stable surface such as a concrete pad so it remains level while in use. 

4. Check your grill for leaks 

If you store your grill inside during the winter, make sure to check it over thoroughly when grilling season in the summer begins. A leak in the gas lines can cause propane or natural gas to build up inside when the lid is closed. Check the gas lines to make sure that they are free of leaks before using the grill. Make sure you also always open the lid of your grill before lighting. 

5. Always clean your grill after use

When you BBQ regularly, it causes grease to build-up on the grill plates and collect inside the grease tray. If it is not cleaned, the build-up can then act as fuel and catch fire while the grill is in use. Clean your charcoal or gas grill after each use with a grill brush and empty the grease tray when it begins to fill up. 

6. Never leave your brill unattended while in use

Never leave the grill unattended while you are cooking food. Grills use high heat and open flames to cook food, and when left unattended can become a safety and fire hazard. If you have to leave the grill, ask another adult to watch the grill for you.

7. Wear appropriate clothing

Clothing that has long sleeves or pieces that dangle can catch fire easily when too close to an open flame. When grilling food, wear clothing that won't interfere with the cooking process. Also, make sure that any apron strings are tied back away from the front. If a piece of clothing does catch fire, remember to stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames quickly. 

8. Keep a spray bottle on hand

It is common for grills to flare up as fat drips from meat as it is cooking. This can cause a section of the grill to remain on fire as it burns away. If left alone, the flames will continue to burn and cause excess smoke to billow out from under the lid. Make sure you keep a spray bottle filled with water beside your grill so that you can quickly extinguish smaller flames before they begin to spread. 

9. Always have a fire extinguisher close by

If a fire where to break out, follow these tips on how to put out a grill fire and ensure you have First Alert EZ Fire Spray within reach. It is simple to use, just point and spray to extinguish the fire. The spray is also quick and easy to clean up after use. It's small, compact size makes it the perfect addition to your grilling set to help keep your loved ones safe.

Following these safety tips and having the right protection will help you and your family enjoy a safe grilling season this summer!

Midwest Tornado & Flood

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Vehicle Serving the community!

Living in the Midwest, you don't hear of many tornadoes coming through the area. If they do, they are mostly more south and don't cause much damage. However, disaster struck two of our suburbs in the middle of the night. The only time we usually hear the tornado sirens go off is when the first Tuesday of the month comes around. However, this was not the case this time. Once the morning hit, we where all able to see the disaster that the tornado has caused to residential homes. There where trees in homeowner's yards that where not there's, trampolines through the side of homes, cars completely smashed, and even an entire home was destroyed. We here at SERVPRO knew that the community needed our help. We immediately stationed our crew in two suburbs that where affected the most, and just handed out water and snacks to anyone that was in need of them. We could see the devastation on people's faces, and all we wanted to do was help as much as we could. 

Following the tornado that hit, we then received major flood warnings for almost two weeks. On top of all the homes having property damage to them, they where now dealing with heavy rain fall coming into their homes. This is where our storm team kicked it into gear. Our crew is working around the clock to help restore people's homes, and to give them guidance on what the next step is to take because of these disasters. We can't be more proud to help support our communities during this time. This is why we stand by our saying of being "Faster to Any Size Disaster". 

Lunch for the Fire Departments!

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Arlington Heights Fire Departments Thank you to our first responders!

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/N. Prospect Heights go above and beyond for the local first responders. We are so thankful for all that they do day in and day out, that we wanted to do something special to show our gratitude for them. Over the past four weeks, every Friday we go down to one of the stations and supply summer style food for the entire department. There are four different stations throughout the Arlington Heights area, so we had to plan on correctly so all the different crews were taken care of. Some of the food that was included were hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips, cookies, and SERVPRO water. After supplying them lunch, we were able to hangout with the crew to get to know them better and build a strong bond with them all. We even got to chat with Chief Larson! Our goal was to make sure that they all know how thankful we are for all their hard work, especially during the pandemic. Thank you again to all of our local first responders!

1 Year Anniversary!

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO - image of female employee Thank you!

When thinking about what I wanted to do with my life as an undergraduate at DePaul University, I wasn't too sure. I had secured my Associate's Degree in Sociology and Psychology, and was entering my master's program at DePaul. This was when I decided to change my studies to marketing, and dive deeper into that field. After graduating with MS from DePaul, I was approached by a friend to look into working for the marketing team at SERVPRO. I had zero knowledge when it came to what SERVPRO did outside of the basic gist of the company. On top of that, I then was trying to work through a pandemic!! What a crazy time it was, but I recently hit my one year anniversary here at SERVPRO and I decided to reflect on the past year. During the pandemic, I was able to train more and get better knowledge of what SERVPRO does day in and day out. As things started to open back up, I was confident in my marketing and sales ability to tackle the daily routes. I now have a terrific relationship with all of our local first responders! We work alongside them when it comes to free COVID sanitations to their departments in order to keep them safe, and with community events by bringing fire safety tips and tricks. I have built so many wonderful and beautiful relationships during my one year anniversary, and some have even become friends that I hangout with on the weekends. I can't thank my marketing team and owner enough for giving me the opportunity to develop not only my work skills, but also as a person. THANK YOU SERVPRO! 

Spring Cleaning!

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

Spring Cleaning Call us today 847-637-3445

Spring cleaning time is here again, and a great opportunity to clean and organize your living spaces.

Here are some great tips to freshen up your home and make is sparkle:

Wipe off a dirty faucet.

To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.

Tidy up a toilet.

Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.

Eliminate odors.

Swab plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar.

Freshen up the fridge.

Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.

Battle litter-box odor.

Cat litter can leave behind an unwelcome smell. Eliminate it by pouring a half-inch of white distilled vinegar into the empty litter box. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

Steam away a microwave mess.

Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.

Remove wax.

If you get melted candle wax on your wood furniture or floors, gently wipe it away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

Erase crayon.

If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax, making for an inexpensive, nontoxic way to clean up after children.

Restore showerhead pressure.

If your shower-head gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.

Another great do it at home cleaning solution is baking soda.  Baking soda is great to freshen up stale and stinky smells in the home.  

Here are some tips from Better Homes and Gardens for uses of baking soda around the house:

Stale-smelling sponges

Soak these kitchen staples in baking soda and water to freshen them up so you can use them a little longer.

Musty upholstery and carpets

Deodorize the soft, cushy places around your house by sprinkling surfaces with baking soda, letting it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuuming it up.

Grimy toys

Naturally fight the effects of your little one's grubby hands by wiping them with a sponge dipped in a baking soda and water solution.

A mildew-y bathroom

Scrub your tub, tile, sink and shower curtain with a damp sponge and baking soda. Rinse to reveal gleaming surfaces.

A messy grill

Combat a summer's worth of cookout grime by sprinkling some baking soda on your grill-cleaning brush before you scrub away.

Finally, one of my favorite non chemical cleaning items is to use lemon.  Lemons are a natural, mild disinfectant, and a quick trip to the store and you have a powerful cleaning weapon with no worries about chemicals.

According to thekitchn.com, lemons are "nature's little hand scrubbers".  Here are some of their useful tips on how to use lemon in your spring cleaning:

Clean Wood Cutting Boards

Apply salt: Sprinkle the cutting board with coarse salt.

Scour the surface: Using a lemon half with the cut side down, scour the surface, squeezing slightly to release the lemon juice as you go.

Let sit, then scrape off: Let sit for 5 minutes, and then scrape the gray, dirty liquid into a small bowl using a bench scraper, and discard.

Rinse: Give the surface a final rinse with a clean wet sponge.

What to expect with the unexpected

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

Here to help Call us today 847-637-3445

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Smoking in the home

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Emergency Response Service 24/7

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials that include cigarettes, pipes, and cigars started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires. This was reported from U.S. fire departments. Amongst these 17,200 estimated fires, these fires cause 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in direct property damage. It was also reported that smoking materials caused 5% of reported home fires, 21% of home fire deaths, 10% of home fire injuries, and 6% of the direct property damage. According to the NFPA, most deaths in home smoking-material fires were caused by fires that started in bedrooms or in living rooms, family rooms or dens. It is also a face that the risk of dying in a home structure fire caused by smoking materials rises with age. 

With that being said, it is encouraged to use smoking materials outside of the home. Designate a "smoking area" such as the garage or outside. This will help eliminate the risk of a fire starting in the actual home. 

Spring Thaw

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Here are some tips!

As we begin to enter Spring season, the process of snow melting can cause water damage to homes and businesses. This will then lead to flooding. It could be minor or major, but still cause water damage problems. Here are some ways to help prevent water damage as we enter this spring thaw out season. Now, you may not be able to prevent water damage under ever circumstance, but you can prepare your home ahead of spring-thaw months to prevent common causes of damage. 

1. Basement pumps- install a sump pump or sewer backflow value and keep a battery-operated backup in case of power failure. Also, make sure to consider installing a water alarm that warns when water is accumulating in your basement. 

2. Basement storage- Make sure to keep valuable items out of your basement. Removing any electronics or stored valuables from your basement prior to spring-thaw warnings could prove to be an important ounce of prevention. 

3. Debris removal- Be sure to remove debris from window wells, gutters and downspouts. 

4. Doors and windows- Check for any leaks around doors and windows. 

5. Exterior walls- Keep all exterior walls of your home well painted and sealed. 

6. Flood drains- If you have flood drains, make sure they work properly. 

7. Foundation cracks- Make sure to inspect your foundation for cracks that will allow water seepage and initiate repairs. 

8. Fuel tanks- Permanently anchor any fuel tanks. 

9. Grading- inspect the grading around your home and make any changes. Design the grading to encourage the water to flow away from your home. 

10. landscaping- Make sure to trim trees and bushes away from your home and do not store wood or compost piles nearby. 

11. Roof- Keep your roof in good repair. Unless a tree falls on your roof during a storm, most insurers expect you to maintain your roof to prevent water leaks caused by snow melting or torrential downspouts. 

Whether you are able to control the situation or not, we here at SERVPRO are always here to help you get your home or business back to like the disaster never even happen. That is way we are always here to help!