Christmas Lights Safety Tips
Seasonal decorations, including lights, trees and wreaths, can help put your household in the holiday spirit. However, when not used properly, decorations can create safety hazards or cause fires. Follow this Holiday light safety check list to make sure your holiday lights are safe this holiday season.
- Inspect your light strings to make sure that there are not any damaged, frayed, or cracked electrical cords. Also, be sure to check to make sure there are not any broken sockets because broken sockets can lead to fires.
- Check to see if all lights are working properly, if not be sure to replace any burned out light bulbs. Leaving empty sockets on a string of lights can cause the whole string to overheat.
- Make sure to check that any lights or extension cords that are going outside are safe to use outside. They need to be weather resistant.
- When hanging lights only use approved hangers. Do not use staples or nails, they can cut through the wire insulation and cause a fire.
- Do not keep lights hanging outside for too long. Having lights hanging outside for too long can cause a safety hazard due to weather damage.
If you do happen to experience any Christmas lights disasters, be sure to call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison as we are always here to help.
Kitchen Fire Prevention
Cooking fires are the most common house fire. They are also the most dangerous. Follow these tips to keep your family and home safe while in the kitchen.
Never leave the kitchen
While you are cooking or even while you are just preheating the oven, never leave a hot stove or oven unattended. The most common kitchen fires are caused by leaving cooking food unattended. If for some reason you have to leave the kitchen, be sure to remove all pots and pans from the hot stove top and from inside the oven.
Be aware of your surroundings
While you are cooking, try to avoid wearing long-sleeves or any clothing that might be too big for you. Also, if you have long hair try to keep it tied back while cooking. Be aware of where you place kitchen towels and oven mitts, make sure to keep them away from the hot stove top. Make sure there is not anything flammable near the stove top while it is on.
If there ever should be a fire in the kitchen, make sure you are prepared. Make sure to check and change the batteries in the smoke detector regularly. Make sure your fire extinguisher is up to date and not damaged. Also, if a fire was to occur in your home make sure to go over a fire escape plan with your family so that they know where to go and what to do.
If you ever experience a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison (630)543-1700. We have a highly trained team and we are always here to help.
Decluttering makes us feel more in control of our lives, so now is a perfect time. Especially, with starting a new year. Start you New Year off right with a clean and clutter free home.
Start with unopened travel shampoos and conditioners, do you really need that many? probably not, chances are you will not use half of them. Get rid of all lotions that have been sitting for a long time and are dusty, or if you just do not like the scent of them or how they worked. Get rid of the face wash or shampoo that you tried and ended up totally hating and now just sits and takes up space because you will never actually use it again. If you have unopened toiletries and feel bad about just throwing them away, donate them to your local shelter.
Having books just sitting around is a great way to collect dust. Start by getting rid of books that you have already read, chances are you are not going to reread it. Get rid of cook books that have been sitting around and you only use a few recipes out of it. photocopy or write down the recipe and get rid of the rest of the cookbook. Books can always be donated to a library or even a local used book store.
Getting rid of clothes can be challenging, but it needs to be done. Get rid of clothes that you have not worn in over a year, that have holes or stains, and that you do not fit into anymore. Also be sure to get rid of any mismatched socks and any jewelry that you do not wear anymore.
How to Prevent Pipe Freezing
How to Prevent Your Homes Pipes From Freezing and Causing a Disaster
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts a lot pressure on whatever is holding it, including pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
- Make sure pipes in your attic, basement and crawl space are insulated. The more insulation the more protected the pipes will be. Bare pipes are more likely to freeze.
- Make sure all leaks that can bring cold air into the home are sealed. You can use caulk or insulation to seal the leaks. Common places to check are: dryer vents and pipes.
- Make sure to disconnect all garden hoses from the inside valves, if possible Make sure to drain the water from the pipes that lead to outside faucets.
If your pipes happen to freeze and you experience a water loss call SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison. (630) 543-1700
We are always here to help.
How to Clean Your Carpets to Help With Allergies and Asthma
Most people will vacuum their carpets at least once a week. But if you are asthmatic, you may consider doing it two to three times a week. Some allergy symptoms are exacerbated during particular seasons, for instance, when pollen count is high. If this is the case with you, then, it is advisable that you adjust the frequency of vacuuming accordingly.
A popular belief is that the use of vacuum cleaning machines with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters helps get rid of more effectively common house allergens.
However, a note worth mentioning is that dust mites and pet hair are larger than .3 microns, which is the minimal size of particles that a HEPA vacuum cleaner is designed to retain. Thus, specialists indicate that sufferers should not exclusively invest in a more expensive vacuum cleaning machine but focus on the regular and meticulous cleaning maintenance of their carpeted floorings.
People who have a severe allergic reaction to certain antigens take additional precautions by choosing the right type of carpet that is designed to alleviate their condition. The manufacturing industry has evolved greatly in recent years in that respect. There are different hypoallergenic or antimicrobial carpeting and padding on the market, which have a very low level of VOC and are easy to maintain and clean.
And let’s not forget that allergens can thrive on a variety of other surfaces throughout your home, hence, the importance of cleaning your upholstered furniture and mattress on a regular basis. Washing frequently your bedding, the curtains, any mats, cushion covers and throwovers will also reduce your allergy symptoms and will improve tremendously the quality of air you and your family breathe.
The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it is a gas that you can't see. According to the CDC each year 20,000 people visit the emergency room, 4,000 are hospitalized, and 400 Americans die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs mostly in the winter time because as we burn fuels to heat our house, these fuels give off carbon monoxide. Not having and maintaining proper appliances in your house can cause a carbon monoxide build up in your home. Buying and maintaining a carbon monoxide detector in your home can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Replace and the batteries in your detector once and year and make sure your detector work once a month. Learning to operate appliances safely is another big prevention tip. Never run a generator in your home or garage because the generator does not get the proper ventilation it needs, even opening up the windows and doors will not prevent carbon monoxide build up. When using a generator the safest place for it is outside.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are like insurance: you have it in hopes of never needing it. There are three different types of fire extinguishers class A, class B, and class C. Class A is for fires that involve combustibles such as wood, paper, plastic, cloth, and trash. Class B is for fire that are caused by flammable liquids such as gas, kerosene, and oil(not cooking oil). Class C is for fire that start by an electrical spark.
even though there are different types of fire extinguishers, they all operate basically the same way. They all use the P.A.S.S. system which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.
STEP 1: Pull the pin, usually attached to a metal or plastic ring, used so that no one hits the lever by mistake. Do not pull the lever after you pull the pin, if you pull the lever you could break the canister's seal and decompression will begin.
STEP 2: Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. This is important because blasting the flames will not stop the source of the fire. Stand at least 6 feet back from the fire. Most extinguishers have a range of 6-20 feet and you can check yours by looking at your extinguisher.
STEP 3: Squeeze the lever to spray the extinguishing agent . Usually, extinguishers have an average spraying time of 10 seconds, so you will need to do be precise and fast.
STEP 4: Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire has been put out. Close in on the fire as it dies down, and make sure to watch closely for re-ignition. If there is still smoke that means that there is still fire, so if you see any smoke that means that the fire isn't completely out yet. The best way to make sure that the fire is out is to feel for heat. Slowly and cautiously holding your hand out to feel if there is any heat coming from the surface before actually touching the charred surface.
STEP 5: After using your fire extinguisher, you will need to refill it. Contact the manufacturer or local fire department to see where you can refill your extinguisher. If you can not refill the extinguisher, let it sit for a few days to make sure it is completely depressurized. You can also contact your local fire department for information about recycling the extinguisher and purchasing a new one.
Make sure you check you extinguisher monthly to make sure the pin is in place and the pressure gauge shows either between 100 and 175 psi, or the needle is in a green ready zone.
How to Remove Pet Hair From your Home
For any animal lover, pet hair and pet hair removal are just a fact of life. It's one of those annoyances that comes with owning any type of pet. when the dust bunnies under the couch start to look furry enough to make a call to the exterminator, we have some suggestions that will make it easier to control pet hair.
- From wooden furniture the easiest way to remove pet hair is to use a soft cloth and anti-static dusting spray and just wipe the furniture down.
- From fabric furniture use rubber gloves and run your hand over the surface and all the hair will attract to the glove. When the glove is full of hair, just rinse off the glove.
- With carpet floors while vacuuming up the pet hair go nice and slow and even go over some areas twice! Also, alternate directions to pick up any stubborn hairs.
- With hardwood, laminate, or nay other bare flooring use a dry mop to pick up the hair; vacuums tend to blow the hair around rather than pick it up.
- Always keep a lint roller handy, especially if you like to wear a lot of dark colors.
when washing clothes with pet hair on them try putting your clothes in the dryer with a dryer sheet for ten minutes. The movement and softener loosens hair, which winds up in the lint trap. Also, adding liquid water softener to the washer helps with removing pet hair.
A Clean Mattress is a Happy Mattress
We use our mattress every night. How often do we clean it though? Even with linens and mattress pads, our mattresses are on the receiving end of dead skin cells, sweat, stains, dust mites, and some other lovely things. Here is one way to clean your mattress.
- Vacuum your mattress to pick up all of the crumbs, pet hair, dirt, and dust that has piled up over time
- Spot clean your mattress for any stains that might have occurred. Most stains are protein based, but they probably are notnew so you might really have to scrub at them to get them out.
- Deodorize your mattress by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda over the entire mattress. Let the baking soda sit for about an hour or two. and then vacuum off the baking soda.
- Air out your mattress. The best way would be taking it outside for some fresh air and UV sunlight. It's a great way to get rid of any bacteria naturally. If you can't get your mattress outside for whatever reason, just letting it sit on the house for a couple hours will be fine.
- Cover and protect your mattress with a mattress cover and linens. They are easy defensive mechanisms against future dirt and stains and they are really easy to clean.
How to Prevent a Dryer Fire
According to the U.S Fire Administration 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported a year and caused $35 million in property loss.
34% of these fires occurred because they were not cleaned. Dryer fires are more likely to happen during the fall and winter months.
- Make sure to clean your dryer's lint trap. Make sure to get all the lint, even the lint that is in the back of your dryer.
- Every three months be sure to clean out the vent pipe.
- Make sure the outside vent is opening when the dryer is on. Also make sure the went is not getting rained or snowed on.
- Keep dryer area free of any items that are flammable.
- Get your dryer cleaned by a professional regularly.
- Check the vent system behind the dryer to make sure it is not damaged.
- Don't use the dryer without a lint filter or use a lint filter that is broken.
- Don't dry anything that is foam, rubber, or plastic.
- Don't leave the dryer running while you aren't home or while you are sleeping.
If tragedy does strike in your home give SERVPRO of Lombard/Addison a call (630) 543-1700