Recent Posts

Local Emergency Relief Services

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

This is going to be a short and sweet post about emergency relief services in Central Illinois. It’s important to know who you can contact in the case of a natural disaster in Central Illinois, especially considering we’ve already had a few tornado warnings this year and this last winter was a tough one. So here are some contacts that you can reach out to in the case of an emergency

  • Red Cross
    • Central and Southern Illinois Region Headquarters
      • 309-677-7272 or 844-319-6560
    • Central Illinois
      • Peoria: 309-677-7272 or 844-319-6560
      • Bloomington, IL:309-662-0500 or 844-319-6560
  • Local Illinois Emergency Management Agency
    • Ms. Dawn Cook - Tazewell County EMA
      • (309) 925-2271
  • The Illinois Disaster Center
  • The Salvation Army
    • 243 Derby Street, Pekin | 309-346-3010
    • 2903 W Nebraska Avenue, Peoria | 309-682-8886
    • 510 N Kellog, Galesburg | 309-342-9168

There are plenty more contacts for emergency situations if you look them up, but these are the main ones for Central Illinois. Knowing these contacts can help get you to safety and can help you recover from a disaster quicker than you would if you were to try to handle the aftermath on your own.

If you experience damages from storms or other natural disasters, you can reach out to SERVPRO® to help with the cleaning and restoration of your property.

SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073

SERVPRO® Vandalism Cleanup/Restoration

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

The common mental image for vandalism is profane words spraypainted on the sides of city buildings or train cars or damaged property in the neighborhood playground. There is so much more that constitutes as vandalism though. Furthermore, vandalism can happen on much more than just large buildings and cargo vehicles.

The following are some interesting facts and statistics on vandalism and graffiti.

  • The definition of vandalism is damage that occurs when someone deliberately and consciously destroys or damages property (public or private). This includes the destruction or damage to buildings, vehicles, and venerated objects.
  • Graffiti is still a common form of vandalism. According to some 2016 research, the most common building types to get tagged with graffiti are:
    • Residential, public transport, business/commercial, & outdoor/public place
  • Under Illinois law, a person is guilty of criminal damage if they perform any of the following acts without the consent of the property owner:
    • Damaging any property of another.
    • Damaging another’s property by means of fire or explosive.
    • Knowingly starting a fire on someone's land.
    • Knowingly injuring someone's pet.
    • Intentionally placing a stink bomb or any other offensive smelling compound on someone else’s property with the intent to interfere with daily functions.
    • Damaging property to collect insurance money.
    • Intentionally shooting a firearm at any part of a train.
    • Damaging, defacing, destroying, or tampering with any fire hydrant or any public or private fire-fighting equipment.
    • Intentionally opening any fire hydrant.
  • Vandalism can also be offenses like:
    • carving initials into public park trees/benches or writing your name on a store window with a marker
    • “keying” a car or puncturing its tires
    • breaking a building's windows
    • knocking over grave markers.

So why does SERVPRO® want you to know all of this information about vandalism types and what buildings can become a target to them? It’s simply because our teams are trained to clean and restore graffiti and vandalism damage.  Technicians can offer services in general cleaning and graffiti removal, brick/stone/concrete cleaning, odor removal/deodorization, debris removal, water and fire damage restoration, and contents cleaning. With all of these services, you can rest easy knowing you can call us to help get your life and property back to normal after your home or business is vandalized. We can help to make it Like it never even happened.®

Information retrieved from:

http://www.crimeprevention.nsw.gov.au/Pages/cpd/protectcommunity/graffitivandalism/facts_and_figures.aspx

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/illinois-law/illinois-vandalism-laws.html

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/Vandalism.htm

Our franchisees are always Here to Help® if you call:

SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073

Grill Safety

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is a time for outdoor fun. Pool parties, family reunions, holiday get-togethers, and most other summer gatherings end up being partially if not completely outside. When it comes time to feed the crowd, a grill is going to be one of the most efficient ways to do it. However, there are some safety risks that come with your perfectly grilled burgers and hotdogs; and they’ve got more to do with the flames than any undercooked food.

Let’s face some real facts. From 2013-2017, grills were the cause of an average of 19,000 injuries. Half of those were thermal burns from fire and from contact with hot objects. The majority of these accidents are caused by people bumping or falling into the hot surface or flames, and about 38% of those people are children. It has also has been determined that July is the peak month for grill injuries. Gas grills cause about 8,700 home fires per year, which is the sum of 3,600 structure fires and 5,100 outdoor fires. Charcoal or other solid-fueled grill caused nearly 1,100 home fires per year - 600 structure fires and 500 outside fires.

Needless to say, grilled require a special amount of care and safety. The following tips should help with that.

  • Grill outside and away from any structures
    • Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that a good portion of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and many others were started on an exterior balcony or open porch.
  • Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill as well.
  • Make sure your grill is stable
    • Grills belong on flat surfaces so as to prevent them from being tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio from anything that might fall off or out of the grill.
  • Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
    • At the start of grilling season, check the gas tank hose for leaks. You can apply a light soap and water solution to the hose which will bubble when you turn on the gas if there is a leak. You can also check for the smell of gas or a flame that won’t light.
  • If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
    • (Gas Grills) If the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.
  • Take care around the grill
    • Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill (grills will stay hot for at least an hour).
  • Be careful with charcoal starter fluid or consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.
  • Be sure your shirt tails, sleeves, etc don’t dangle over the grill. Wear safe clothing.
  • Be ready to put out the fire
    • Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires (a bucket of sand is the next best thing). NEVER use water.

By following these safety tips, you can feel a little safer knowing that you have prepared for the unexpected. That’s the best thing you can do for the safety of your home and for your family. We hope that you have a fun and safe summer!

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Grilling

https://blog.nationwide.com/grill-safety/

If you do experience damages from a grill fire, you can always contact one of our SERVPRO® franchises to help clean and restore your property.

SERVPRO® North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073

Burn House Training - CIFIA (May 2019)

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

The weather from the last few weeks turned May into a pretty busy month for us here at SERVPRO®. We’ve had a boatload of water jobs and more than enough storm jobs to keep us busy. From all of that, we had building dry-outs and board-ups. With all of that, we still found time to help the Central Illinois Fire Investigation Association (CIFIA) with their training.

We had our carpenters build five small burn houses to simulate different types of rooms that could be affected in a fire. These rooms were lightly furnished and then set ablaze. Firefighters waited for the rooms to be completely engulfed, and then they would work to put the fire out. It was an exciting experience that some of our employees had the chance to attend and observe.

When it was determined that the rooms were safe to enter, the fire investigators began doing their job. They identified the source of the damage, the areas affected, and just how much damage was actually done. The process took time but was very educational for those who took part.

Training like this is important for a multitude of reasons, but two of them stand out the most.

  • Fires are one of the most unpredictable dangers. When firefighters are trained in real fire situations, they are going to have a better idea of what to expect when they’re in the field. They’ll be better prepared to come in and get the occupants of the building out safely and stop further damage.
  • When investigators are learning from real fire damage, they know what to look for and what to inspect for damage. They’ll be able to better report the source of the fire, making the cleaning and restoration process flow more smoothly. Finally, they’ll be able to offer a complete report and better advice to the client, hopefully preventing future damage from ever occurring.

We are so grateful to have been given the chance to work with the CIFIA. Opportunities like these help us form bonds with first responders. Most importantly, when we get the chance to see what they do to keep the people in our communities safe, we have a better respect for all of the effort and risk that goes into what they do every day.

We want to say thank you to our Central Illinois Fire Professionals for everything they do.



If you experience fire damage and your home or business is in need of cleaning and restoration, please contact us at:

SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073

If you would like to see some footage of the burn house training, please head over to our video gallery or check out the video on Youtube by following this link:

https://youtu.be/9TqQTnKCTWs

Plumbing Issues

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Plumbing - the home maintenance that nobody wants to do or ever think about until there is a real problem. It’s not your fault; we’re all guilty. The only way to really understand why you should keep up on it is to educate yourself on all of the worst case scenarios and what causes them. We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest plumbing issues and we hope it will make you see exactly why you need to stay vigilant.

  • Corroded Pipes
    • As materials like iron and galvanized steel age, they begin to fall apart. Pipes that are out of sight and out of mind are usually the ones that are affected by these issues. The older the pipes, the closer you are to dealing with corrosion issues.
  • Tree Roots
    • Nature is an unpredictable source of plumbing issues. Trees fall into this category, especially when it comes to plumbing. They are unpredictable due to the fact that they are underground. Tree roots can warp and break pipes causing leaks and/or sewage backups. There are ways to fix this (remove the tree or use a chemical root killer).
  • City Sewer Collapse
    • Old sewer pipes made of materials such as asbestos and concrete can collapse over time. When this happens, sewage will flow along the path of least resistance, including up through a home/business’s drain(s); such as sanitary sewer line. Damage like this is the responsibility of the city/other jurisdiction.
  • Pipe Burst
    • Pipes burst or leak for any number of reasons. Most pipes are hidden within walls or between floors. Because of this, when a leak occurs, water may come down from a first-floor ceiling beneath a bathroom or down the top of a wall beneath the leak.
  • Major pipe leaks
    • These are fairly common. Watch for these warning signs
      • discolored stains on the walls or ceiling
      • higher water bills
      • lower water pressure
      • odd behavior from the water heater
    • If leaks escape your attention, the danger of flooding is likely. Know where the water main shut-off valve is located.
  • Slab Leaks
    • These are insidious leaks that are hard to spot because they occur down in the stone foundation of a home. These leaks are a waste of water and can cause serious damage to a building’s foundation if not fixed.
  • Loss of Freshwater - Broken Water Main
    • Never ignore signs of a broken water main. This includes unexplained dampness on the lawn or drop in water pressure.
  • Blocked/Damaged Sewer Line
    • This type of damage can be caused by materials coming from the building blocking the pipes or from the aforementioned tree roots. Sewage backups can cause a serious health risk for anyone in the building.

These eight types of damage can cause moderate to severe damage to homes and businesses. Depending on the type of water that comes into the house or the type of pipes that you’re dealing with, it could be damaging to the health of the people in the building. The best way to avoid plumbing issues and the damage that comes with it is to keep an eye on it and make sure to keep up on maintenance. So stay alert and keep the plumbing damage to a minimum!

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/list-major-plumbing-problems-87184.html

https://www.modernpi.com/blog/plumbing-service/the-worst-plumbing-emergencies-how-to-prevent-them/

If you do experience damage from plumbing issues, you can always contact us for your cleaning and restoration needs at:

SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County: 309-346-5600

SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300

SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073

ERP - How Do You Set It Up?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO®, we do our best to make sure that our commercial clients know about our Emergency Ready Profiles (ERPs). Of course, if you’ve experienced damage (especially in a commercial setting) you know that having a plan in place before the damage happens can be the difference between getting things running again or having to shut things down completely. That is why we feel so strongly about our ERPs. Because of this, we would like to take a moment to explain just how to set these profiles up, giving you a better idea of what you can expect the experience to be like.

Get ahold of your local SERVPRO®.

  • SERVPRO® is always glad to hear from businesses in our community seeking a safety plan to protect them. Whether you know it’s something you want to do, or even if you’re just curious about the idea. Reach out and you’ll get the answers you’re looking for.

Take a tour with your SERVPRO® MR.

  • If you make the choice to do an ERP with SERVPRO®, one of our marketing representatives will meet with the owner, manager, or maintenance head of the building to go over the building and its safety information. The MR will find your shut off valves, find safety exits, locate all of your extinguishers and sprinklers, compile an emergency contact hierarchy, and so much more. There will be photos taken to visually identify the important information as well. The MR will then take that information and spend a good deal of time building your emergency ready profile.

Let the MR do the work.

  • The MR that worked with you to research the building will take a few days to correctly put together all of your information. They will match the information with the photos. They will make sure all of the contact information is accurate. MRs will put all of their efforts into being certain that your ERP will be as effective as possible if and when there is an emergency.

Review and use your ERP.

  • When the MR completes the profile, you’ll have a chance to look it over. If everything looks good, then you’re all set! The best part is, the service is completely free.

The process is easy and the payoff is high. There's no cost to you and we have a chance to show you why you should choose us if damages are unavoidable.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; Preparedness is key. ERPs are the very definition of preparedness.

If you would like to talk to an MR about setting up an ERP for your commercial building, you can contact them at SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County. 309-346-5600

You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073

Flooding Safety Measures

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding can affect different geographic areas in varying ways. In Central Illinois, flooding can be defined as anything from “a little too much rain” to “up to your knees in water.” It’s important to know how to stay safe for the best or worst case scenario. That said, the following are tips from varying reliable sources on how to prepare for and stay safe during a flood.

Preparation is key:

  • Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house in a flood event.
  • Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go make a household inventory, especially of basement contents.
  • Put insurance policies, valuable papers, medicine, etc. in a safe and accessible place.
  • Collect and put cleaning supplies, camera, waterproof boots, important documents, etc. in a handy place.
  • Talk with your family about what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued. Discussing floods ahead of time helps reduce fear, especially for younger children.
  • Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts - Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Find out if you are located in a floodplain, which is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area. If so, you are still eligible for flood insurance.
  • Find out if local streams or rivers flood easily.
  • Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
  • If you live in a floodplain, elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
  • Install check valves in plumbing to prevent water backups. Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and floodwalls. Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds. Use sandbags when flooding is expected.
  • Know types of flood risk in your area. ( FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center )
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system.
    • The Emergency Alert System (EAS)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • Weather Radio also provides emergency alerts.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

Preparation is only the first step to action. When the time calls for action:

  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so.
  • Boil tap water until any boil order is lifted.
  • Flood water may be contaminated by a number of things - avoid contact with it and avoid food that has come into contact with the water.
  • Stay tuned in to radio stations for updates.
  • Don’t use flooded gas or electrical appliances.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. If it’s too late, do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
  • Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

These tips will keep you and your loved ones safe in case of a flood. If you have any other questions do some research or contact your local safety teams for more answers.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood.html

https://www.ready.gov/floods

https://www.lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12495/FLOOD-DAMAGE-PRECAUTIONS-SAFETY

When the flood has subsided, you can contact SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County for the cleaning and restoration of your home or business. 309-346-5600

You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073

Carbon Monoxide Safety

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

When thinking of everyday dangers, it’s easy to forget about the odorless and silent killer that is Carbon Monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by burning fuel; like the fuel burned in

  • cars/trucks
  • small engines
  • Stoves
  • Lanterns
  • Grills
  • Fireplaces
  • gas ranges
  • portable generators/furnaces

Carbon Monoxide is easy to produce and hard to detect, which is why the majority of victims are caught off guard or even in their sleep by the effects. Proper ventilation or not, this gas can build up and poison humans, pets, and any other living thing in the vicinity. Of course, the people most at risk when Carbon Monoxide are infants, the elderly, and people with pre-existing health issues (heart disease, breathing complications, etc.).

The sad fact is that the gas collects in dangerous amounts often by accident. It will build when people attempt to heat or power their home with gas-powered generators or if a car gets started or left on in a sealed garage. Situations like these can be prevented with just a little extra care and consideration. For example:

  • Schedule yearly professional servicing for heating systems, water heaters, and any other gas or coal-burning appliances.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent. The gas can build to dangerous levels and cause sickness or death, and ventilation can still fall short of protecting you.
  • Keep chimnies and fireplaces clean and in proper working order, especially gas-powered fireplaces.
  • Ventilation for gas-powered appliances is key and never use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Don’t run vehicles in closed garages.

Even with all of these precautions, safety can still fall short. When it does, watch for signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Poisoning starts with headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. As it gets worse victims will face mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Know how to avoid buildup of Carbon Monoxide gas and know the side effects of poisoning.

Information retrieved from:

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/other-poisons/carbon-monoxide

Remember that you can trust SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County to have safe equipment for any of your cleaning and restoration needs. 309-346-5600

You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073

Using A Fire Extinguisher

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

An emergency is no time to be learning safety techniques; especially when that emergency is a fire. They spread quickly and before you know it they’re out of control. If you and your loved ones learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher prior to a fire, you could increase the chances of a speedy response and reduce the amount of damage or injury. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has a couple of informational pages on their website dedicated to this topic, but we would like to share some of the information with people who follow us.

In case of a fire, sound the fire alarm. If needed, call the fire department. Safety plans should be in place so that you can quickly identify a safe evacuation path; somewhere that won’t allow the fire, heat, or smoke to block the exit. Before a fire happens, the appropriate type of fire extinguisher should have been bought and placed somewhere where it can be quickly grabbed and used. It is always possible for a fire to flame up again after it has been extinguished, so once the initial flames have been put out back away to avoid being caught by a second blaze. Along these lines, if the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate the premises immediately of any people or animals. Once evacuated, contact fire officials if you haven’t already and wait for them to arrive at the scene.

When it comes to using a fire extinguisher, there is an easy way to remember exactly what to do. OSHA says you should just remember to P.A.S.S.

  • Pull - Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.
  • Aim - Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep - Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 - 4.

These steps will make it easy for adults and children to remember what to do in case of a fire.

Just remember that while it is possible for you to contain and extinguish a fire, it is important to know when to get out of a situation to keep yourself safe. Items are replaceable. People are not.

Information retrieved from

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/portable_use.html

If you have a fire and need cleanup from the flames or from extinguisher mess, you can contact SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County at 309-346-5600.

You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073

March 2019 WRT/ASD Training Courses

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

March has been an interesting month here at SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County. The fluctuating weather has made for some unexpected work and the spring sunshine makes the days feel so much more upbeat. For our newer employees and our employees who want to keep up on their certifications, there was an IICRC WTR/ASD course for them to take. While this course is offered to the public for any insurance professionals or restoration workers to attend, this particular five-day course was an educational experience for our techs and for our office personnel who attended.

The course, taught by Kevin Fisher, covered the basics and some more advanced information about water restoration and applied structural drying. The water restoration and drying sections combined to cover information relating to water extraction, safety hazards on water jobs, water classifications and categories, the equipment used for identifying and for drying water, and so much more. Because of the detail and depth of the course, it is much easier for our employees to relate to the information to the work they experience every day.

As mentioned earlier, new employees take the course to gain their WRT/ASD Certification, and current employees take the course to renew that certification every year or so. However, the techs and other job site teams aren’t the only people who take the course. The people in our offices take them as well. While this may seem strange from an outside perspective, it’s actually an important move. This ensures that not only will the people on the job know what’s happening during water damage, it means that the people behind the scenes will have a clearer idea of the process as well. Our goal is to make sure that our franchise as a whole is the best and most knowledgeable available to the community, and the IICRC courses help to make that possible.

That being said, if you are looking for a team that can be everything you need them to be whether they’re drying your property or pushing paperwork, you can feel secure in choosing SERVPRO. In the office or out in the field, we’re Here to Help®.

If you would like some information on our IICRC Training Course Schedule, please contact SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County at 309-346-5600.

You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073