Autumn Fire Dangers
Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Clinton is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.
Do you feel that? The air is getting crisper, the humidity is dropping, and in the mornings and evenings, you may even want a light jacket. That’s right: Fall is here again. A favorite season for campers, leaf-peepers and of course trick-or-treaters, fall is perfect for many fun activities.
As always, however, each season brings its own potential fire hazards as activities commence. So grab a pumpkin spice latte, and let’s look over a few fire safety tips for the season.
Knowing where and how to build a campfire is as important as knowing how to put it out. Use a match or lighter to set fire to dry leaves or twigs, then add dry wood and bigger sticks.
Never use an accelerant like kerosene or lighter fluid. Build your fire away from structures and out from under tree branches.
Extinguish your fire completely before leaving your campsite. Slowly douse it with a bucket of water and make sure no embers remain—anything you leave behind can start up again with the right breeze.
Your yard is almost certainly full of dry, brown leaves by now, and many people like to burn them as a disposal method.
This is fine, provided it’s legal in your area, but only put leaves in that burn barrel. Adding household trash or debris can have adverse effects like explosions or the release of toxic fumes.
Portable space heaters are one of the most frequent causes of home fires in fall and winter. Keep your heater away from anything flammable on any side.
Make sure it’s on a level surface away from kids or play areas, and that it has automatic shutoff capability for tip-overs and overheating. Plug it directly into an outlet, never an extension cord, and turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.
We’ll talk more about this later, but candles, decorations and even costumes can be fire hazards, and all these things are ubiquitous during the spooky season, so be attentive and responsible as you celebrate.
If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.
Where to Look for Water Damage at Home
A water leak can turn into a big problem. Contact the SERVPRO of Clinton team if you are dealing with any water damage.
No one dreams gleefully about waking to water damage—those dreams are always nightmares. Sadly, these nightmares occasionally come true, and they occur on their own timetables, giving us little or no notice.
Water is always on the prowl, looking for any crack or gap through which it can flow and explore new spaces. It’s critical to know the ways water might cause a ruckus at home, so let’s look at a few of the common culprits.
Toilets. Toilets are one of the most-used items at home, and over time, flappers and wax seals can fail and allow water to leak through the floor.
Appliances. Water tanks, washing machines and dishwashers can all develop leaks over time. Hoses and connections may corrode or dry and crack, creating opportunities for fissures, leaks, and with older water heaters, full-on explosions.
Clogged gutters. Months of dirt, fallen leaves and debris can gunk up those gutters and send water up into your roof when heavy rains come. Gutter backup overflows and manifests itself in soggy ceilings, cracked or bubbling paint, or pooled water by the walls.
Roof damage. Roof damage is a malicious storm’s favorite friend, as it allows easy access into your home. Heavily aged roofing, fallen limbs or large hailstones can create problems for your roof that allow water to set up shop in your attic or upper level.
Pipes. Aged or damaged pipes are a leading cause of water damage—corrosion or rust, frozen pipes in winter or even tree roots finding a crack in outdoor lines can cause big headaches for homeowners.
Blocked garbage disposals or other pipes. Disposals and drains can clog because of excess or difficult-to-process food particles, and under-sink pipes can give way under the force of repeated plunging if joints are loose, leaving you with a mess of water and bits of leftovers all over the floor.
Pipes, home appliances and roofs all have limited lifespans, and it’s on you to keep up with routine maintenance and necessary updates. If you catch trouble before it gives way to a leak or burst, you’ll be much happier. Sweet dreams indeed.
If a water leak erupts into a big problem at home, you’ve got the best team in the business on your side. Contact SERVPRO today so we can get started.
Summer Storm Basics
If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Clinton is on the line, ready to make things right.
Summer is fully upon us, and it has brought the things we love about the warm part of the year. Many of us got to take that vacation we’ve been waiting for, warmer weather begs us to spend time outdoors, and days are prolonged and sunny—well, most of them.
It might sometimes seem as if summer months are more likely to bring thunderstorms, and that’s actually true. Warm air and moisture combine to create storms such as last August’s destructive derecho.
Storms may be a typical part of summer, but they should never be taken lightly. Always listen to storm alerts, and consider whether outdoor activities may need to be postponed. Get yourself an NOAA Weather radio that will continue to alert you even if you lose power.
It’s hard to predict flooding, but if it’s forecast to be likely, you should plan to keep off the roads and stay at home. Heavy storm winds can overturn backyard items and snap weak tree branches. Keep the arbor trimmed and move patio items or trampolines to safe areas if possible.
Dozens of people die every year because of storms, so you should never take your safety for granted.
When a thunderstorm hits, the presence of lightning means you should stay inside. Don’t head outdoors until there’s been no thunder for at least 30 minutes—this indicates that the storm has moved far enough away that lightning won’t strike your area.
And your mother was right (as usual)—you should avoid windows and stay out of the tub or shower during a storm.
In cases of tornadoes or extreme thunderstorms, make sure you’ve prepared an emergency kit, and that you know local evacuation routes.
If flooding occurs, head to high ground and stay out of flood water if at all possible. If you encounter flooded roads while driving, turn around. Rushing water can carry your car away into danger and cover up roads that have been washed away altogether.
There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.
Why Clinton County Residents Call on SERVPRO
When you are dealing with any damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Clinton is your local restoration expert.
If you own a home or business, you juggle several jobs—you have to manage resources, keep people happy and productive and deal with financial issues.
When disaster strikes, those responsibilities all go flying out the window and a new job takes their place. As the pressure mounts, you realize you’re up against something you haven’t trained for, and it’s affecting everyone.
That pressure isn’t fair to you. But we thrive in it. Because disaster recovery isn’t your job; it’s ours.
Here’s why you can count on SERVPRO when life hits the fan.
We’re Always Ready
We’re ready to take care of your disaster at a moment’s notice. Who’s got time to wait around when the office pipes have burst or the grill caught the deck on fire?
We stay ready so we can be there when you need us.
We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster
We know better than most that every second matters when it comes to fire, mold or water disasters.
Every day you wait before restoration starts causes more mold growth, stronger smoke smell or more lost items. A fast response is essential, but with our local franchise right here in Clinton, you reap the benefit of having a powerhouse national resource network in combination with the readiness, flexibility and personal touch of a local business.
We’re Trained to Handle Residential and Commercial Services
Disasters strike without remorse, and both houses and businesses have equal chance to be damaged in storms or fires.
But our custom solutions take your specific situation into account, so you can get back to business or residential life quickly.
We’ll Make It "Like it never even happened."
We don’t start what we can’t finish, and we’re committed to finishing well. When we’re through, we’ll have restored your property equal to or better than its pre-disaster state.
We Offer the Services You Need in a Changing World
We live in an era in which disease prevention is a major focus, and in light of that we offer a next-level cleaning program that goes beyond the boundaries and standards of traditional sanitation services.
We can offer you a hyper-clean space that give anyone who walks by peace of mind before they even step inside.
Disasters happen. Stovetops catch fire, pipes freeze, storms cause flooding. And when disaster comes knocking, your local SERVPRO will be ready to answer, so you can get back to your real job.
Regardless of why you need cleanup or disaster recovery, SERVPRO has the tools, the technicians and the training to get your situation under control. When you’re ready to get help from the best, get in touch with SERVPRO of Clinton.
Keeping Wildfire From Threatening Your Home
If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Clinton is ready and able to repair any damage.
Wildfires are a more common threat to homeowners than you might realize. They are incredibly powerful, damaging and fast-moving, and given the amount of natural terrain and manmade structures made of combustible material, it’s a bit of a marvel that we are even able to contain them at all.
But there are some things we can do right at home to give ourselves a better chance of keeping our home safe from wildfire, aside from the obvious choice of simply being more careful.
Specifically, we’re talking about “defensible space.”
What Is Defensible Space?
Despite the nomenclature, it has nothing to do with Star Wars. “Defensible space” is the buffer zone (actually there are three zones, but we won’t go that deep today) you can create around your home by removing potential fire fodder like leaves and dead trees, adding gravel and hardscaping to the immediate area around your exterior, and pruning and planting responsibly.
Think of it as a barrier of protection (aka defense), designed to slow the spread of fire as it nears your home, keeping it from breaching your exterior walls as it runs out of fuel. Defensible space also gives first responders their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it breaches the perimeter of the structure.
Defensible space is not required by law in Iowa like it is on the West Coast, but it’s a good fire safety doctrine to consider all the same.
Why Defensible Space Matters
You may think of wildfires as a California problem, but wildfires can happen anywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.
Even removing California and its astounding 10,000+ fires from the statistics, the national average of wildfires per state in 2020 was almost 1,000.
What’s more, the first six months of 2021 have seen an increase in fire activity of about 25% over last year’s rate. Iowa suffered 126 wildfires (see, we told you) that burned over 2,100 acres of land.
Defensible space is just one of any number of preventive measures we can take against fire damage, but any measures that can save lives and property are worth taking.
If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.
The Rising Cost of Severe Storms
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Clinton to start the restoration process.
As if 2020 didn’t bring enough drama to the table, it also became a record-setting year for weather and climate disasters. Of all the years in history for which we have data, 2020 was the most financially destructive.
2020 saw 22 official weather disasters (which are defined as events that cause at least a billion dollars in damages), plus a host of other damaging storms not counted in that statistic. There were so many hurricanes and tropical storms that the NWS had to dip into the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history just to be able to name them all.
Not Only Hurricanes
Although it’s easy to understand why hurricanes would bring immense destruction and cause large amounts of monetary damage, they’re not doing it all. In fact the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Fourteen of the official weather disasters of the year were severe thunderstorms, some of which unleashed ravaging tornadoes as well. Thunderstorms happen everywhere, in every season, and there’s no avoiding them. They happen inland and on the coast, Seattle to South Beach, and everywhere in between.
One example of what a single storm system can become: In August 2020, a seemingly typical line of thunderstorms in eastern Nebraska exploded into a derecho (think of something like a tornado, but with straight-line winds instead of swirling ones, combined with a heavy thunderstorm) which impacted more than 10 million acres of corn fields, almost half the state’s corn crop—that’s over 11% of the entire country’s corn fields. This same storm tore through eastern Iowa, including right here in Clinton County, producing winds up to 140 miles per hour.
Not Only 2020
Unfortunately, when it comes to weather, 2020 seems to be more like a new normal than an outlier. It was the 10th consecutive year with at least eight billion-dollar disasters. 2018 and 2019 saw a combined $136 billion in damages, and 2017 saw a damage total of over $300 billion, the highest total on record.
The bottom line is that storms are inevitable, and their frequency and intensity show no signs of diminishing. As a home or business owner, you should take whatever precautions are possible to minimize any damage to your property and keep yourself and any family living with you safe.
And should those precautions give way to property damage, you’ve got a friend in the restoration industry whose goal it is to recover your valued items and restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.
Serving Your Business Community With a Higher Level of Clean
If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, get in touch with the SERVPRO of Clinton team.
With recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic expanding everywhere from rural and suburban areas like DeWitt County to major metropolitan areas, hopes are rising that life patterns we once considered normal are on the verge of returning, and business owners are holding onto that hope as well.
But consumers are now more contagion-conscious than ever, and they are going to need to know they are protected from airborne threats or surface contagions as they enter your building. And that peace of mind has to extend beyond COVID-19 precautions.
Your customers need assurance that their safety is as important to you as your bottom line as they being the familiar habits of in-person shopping, and your employees need the same as they return to on-site work. They need the assurance of knowing your business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives customers and employees the peace of mind they need when returning back to brick-and-mortar businesses by providing a deeper clean than they knew was possible.
Your building will never have been cleaner than when we’re through, and your customers will know it right away, and they’ll feel good about spending more time in your business.
So what makes this partnership so unique? Let’s look at the Three C’s of a Certified: SERVPRO Clean.
Consult. There’s no business quite like yours, and your customer and employee base deserve a cleaning solution that fits like a glove We’ll sort out exactly what your specific needs are, and how they should be implemented. It helps that SERVPRO of Clinton is locally owned and operated, so we are already aware of many intricacies of the area.
Clean. Once we’ve established your business’ needs, we’ll being cleaning like you’ve never experienced, with proprietary, ultra-high-grade cleaning solutions and techniques unavailable anywhere else. Your building will receive the highest standard of available cleaning, the degree of which always meets or exceeds current CDC standards. And this extends beyond the coronavirus: Our methods are engineered to reduce the risk of transmission of any number of viruses or spreadable surface contagions.
Certify. Before your office team or customers cross the threshold of your building, they’ll know that you’ve gone the extra mile to consider their safety. That’s because you’ll be displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned badge in your front window or on your door. Along with other digital and physical resources, you’ll be displaying a beacon of sanitation to cautious shoppers and a promise of care to your team.
If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.
Avoiding Fires While Enjoying Barbecue Season
Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Clinton to learn more.
Spring and summer give us a lot of things. They give us a gentle reminder that even the coldest, harshest winters pass and give way to warmth and new life.
They give us encouragement to get out and get going on all the things we’ve been putting off since January. And of course, maybe the greatest thing spring and summer give us is an excuse to barbecue.
Barbecuing and backyard activity skyrockets in the spring and summer months, and it’s a joy in which to partake. But it also means that there’s an unfortunate rise in the number of accidental fires.
In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. Let’s take a look at the main culprits of grilling season fires and how we can prevent them.
The grill. Let’s start with the No. 1 perpetrator of barbecue season fires: the barbecue grill. It has all the elements needed for accidental fires—high heat, open flame, grease and in some cases flammable gas. Some important things to remember: Only operate your grill if it’s in good working order, with no leaks or rusted-out holes. Don’t use liquid accelerants to speed up the process or quickly raise the temperature. And don’t forget how important it is to keep the grill clean. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.
The fire pit. A newer favorite among homeowners, the fire pit has become the center of the backyard hangout for some families. So when you’re gathered around the pit on a warm evening, make sure you have a bucket of water within reach, so you can quickly quell any jumping flames or falling ash. Use a grate to cut down on flying embers, and don’t add leaves or pine needles for the same reason. Never leave the fire unattended, and don’t allow unsupervised activity around it by children or pets. When it’s time to turn in, douse the fire slowly with your water bucket, making sure all ashes are soaked through and cool to the touch before you call it a night.
Chimneys and dryer vents. And while we’re on seasonal fire safety, it’s probably a good time for you to clean out your chimney, getting rid of layers of built-up soot and leftover ash, and to check your dryer’s vent pipe for dangerously flammable lint that may have snuck past the lint trap initially.
Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 24⁄7 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today, and experience the SERVPRO difference.
Ready For Summer Barbecues? Follow These Tips To Prevent Home Fires When Grilling.
Grill safely this summer!
It's summer time and that means it's barbecue season! Many families will be camping or hosting barbecues at their homes and we want to help everybody take the proper precautions to grill safely.
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined! 6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job. Don't:
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family, and pets.
Should you need assistance with fire restoration, call SERVPRO of Clinton at 563-212-2874
Home Fire Safety
Call SERVPRO of Clinton should your home sustain any fire damage.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.
Steps You Can Take Now:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
SERVPRO of Clinton is here to help should your home suffer any fire damage. Our team is ready to assist and available 24/7. Please call 563-212-2874.