Does Your Place of Worship Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan?

House of Worship Emergency Plan For Water, Fire, Flood, Smoke, Remediation

Are you a Chicagoan who attends a place of worship every week? If so, the atmosphere there may give you a sense of safety and security. Emergency preparedness isn’t something that may come to mind while you’re there because you may consider your church, synagogue, mosque, or another place of worship as a sanctuary where nothing could go wrong.

But what about severe weather, floods, or fires? It’s impossible to predict when or if such an event will happen to the building you meet in. But if they do, are all your fellow worshippers prepared and know what to do? The following are tips on how to create an emergency preparedness plan for your place of worship.

 

What Is an Emergency Action Plan?

 

An emergency action plan answers the questions about what to do in an emergency. Being specific in this plan helps ensure everyone understands what to do and their role. It will include:

 

  • A chosen meeting place near the building, but far enough from it to be safe.
  • A list of phone numbers to the police, fire department, gas, and electric companies, and a trusted disaster restoration company.
  • A list of people who will take the lead in regrouping the congregation and will be responsible for hiring companies needed for clean up, and repair your place of worship.

 

How to Write an Emergency Response Plan

 

The good news is that an emergency plan for your Chicago area place of worship doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow these steps:

 

  1. Download an emergency action plan template.

    At the U.S. Department of Homeland Security site, Ready.gov, you’ll find a downloadable template and many tips on what to do in an emergency.

  2. Conduct regular risk assessments.

    Walk around your place of worship with your designated leadership team and instruct them on what to look out for. This could include blocked emergency escape routes, windows or doors that won’t open, and fallen debris. Regular clean-up and maintenance will help ensure everyone’s safety.

  3. Be aware of local problems and natural disasters.

    For instance, if your building is in an area with frequent power outages, invest in a generator. If it’s located in tornado alley (Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for the most tornadoes per 10,000 square miles), be sure your place of worship has a tornado shelter, whether underground or in the middle of the building that’s large enough for the entire congregation and stock it with food and water. FEMA also recommends planning for unexpected events.

  4. Write your emergency response plan.

    Your plan should include information such as where people will shelter in place and evacuation routes. Once completed, make multiple copies of your plan, placing them in easily accessible locations. It’s a good idea to also send a copy to each member of your congregation.

  5. Practice your emergency plan.

    Since the first instinct many have in an emergency is to panic, conduct emergency drills a few times a year with those who have important roles to ensure everyone is aware of exactly what they should be doing. This will help them to be calm and act quickly should a disaster hit.

 

Include ServiceMaster in Your Emergency Preparedness

 

Whatever the emergency, Chicago’s ServiceMaster By Simons is available 24/7. If your place of worship has experienced water damage, fire damage, or severe storm damage, we will assess the situation, mitigate the damage, and create a plan to restore your property to pre-loss condition and as quickly as possible. Our experts are standing by to serve you and give your congregation peace of mind once again.

 

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is an SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family-operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

 

How to Prevent Fires In Healthcare Facilities-Fire Damage Restoration-Chicago-Illinois

How to Prevent Fires In Healthcare Facilities-Fire Damage Restoration-servicemaster restoration by simons-chicago-illinois

 

 

Fires in Healthcare Facilities are considerably more dangerous, no matter their size. Patients may be seriously injured, expensive and specially designed equipment can be put out of commission or destroyed, and a blaze could spread more quickly as oxygen is widely used throughout the building. Fire threats shouldn’t be taken lightly because according to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2011 and 2015 there were an estimated average of 5,750 fires in healthcare facilities each year. So preparing for a possible fire at your Chicagoland site can keep your patients and employees safe while it helps to prevent them from happening in the first place.

 

Three Main Fire in Healthcare Facility Dangers

 

Healthcare centers present many opportunities for fires to erupt if people aren’t careful. While preventing fires takes more than just one approach, you should always adhere to your accrediting organization’s guidelines and take into consideration these three common dangers:

  • Have all electrical outlets and wiring checked regularly to ensure they’re up to code. Broken, cracked, or split electric cables and cords will catch fire if they’re overloaded. Multi-plug adaptors, which allow numerous appliance cords to be plugged into the same outlet, can also overload an outlet.
  • Never should smoking be allowed anywhere near areas where oxygen is being used or near oxygen tanks and containers. Fires fed by pure oxygen burn much faster and can seriously harm a person using oxygen while also catching the building on fire.
  • Kitchens contain more fire hazards than any other part of your facility. So besides routine cleaning, areas like grills and hoods should be degreased regularly. All oils and other flammable liquids need to be safely stored away from stoves. Prevent grease fires by draining appliances’ grease traps frequently.

 

What To Do if a Healthcare Facility Fire Breaks Out

 

Should a fire break out, it’s vital that you already have an emergency plan in place so that all employees will know how to respond accordingly. This plan will include:

  • prioritizing the patient’s safety
  • rescuing all at-risk patients
  • evacuating the building calmly
  • shutting doors to contain fires
  • ensuring that critical care equipment remains operational
  • extinguishing small fires

 

While putting together the best action plan for your facility, it’s best to consult with professionals.

 

Additional Ways to Avoid Healthcare Facility Fires

 

Taking steps to ensure a fire in healthcare facilities never start in the first place, is a priority. One thing that can be done is to appoint a fire safety officer. This person will receive ongoing training on how to recognize fire hazards. They will check fire extinguishers to ensure they’re up to code, and train the staff on how to use them. This person may also be responsible for practicing emergency exercises with all employees and leading them during emergencies.

Another thing that can be done is to cultivate a relationship with your local fire damage and restoration company, ServiceMaster By Simons. There’s no substitution for professional help from experts. They can give you the edge you need by helping you develop an emergency contingency plan for Fires in Healthcare Facilities. If you do experience a fire, we’ll use state-of-the-art equipment and cleaning solutions. We’ll get your healthcare facility back to pre-loss conditions quickly. With two convenient locations in Chicago and Chicago’s North Shore, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is the trusted name in Cleaning & Restoration.

 

Safeguard Your Thanksgiving with These Fire Prevention Tips

Thanksgiving is a popular holiday in Chicago and many families look forward to reconnecting with loved ones. But unfortunately, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is also the foremost day for home-cooking fires, with three times as many fires caused by cooking than a typical day.

And according to FEMA, in the years between 2017 to 2019, there were an average of 2,300 residential building fires that were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $26 million in property loss.

Although many like Thanksgiving because it’s a day to reunite, let’s face it, it’s also about the food. Tons of it! So with all that cooking, it pays to be extra careful in the kitchen. The following are fire safety tips to keep you and your family and your Chicagoland property safe this year.

Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

  • While baking, frying, or grilling food, stay in the kitchen. If you must leave for even a few minutes, turn off the stove or have a responsible adult remain there while you’re away.
  • Although it takes a while for a turkey to cook, never leave the house while it’s still roasting in the oven. Someone should always be nearby, checking on it frequently.
  • Booze, drowsiness, and cooking don’t mix! Never use a stove if you’re sleepy or have consumed too much alcohol.
  • DING! Always use cooking timers as reminders to shut off the oven or stovetop.
  • We all like to be comfortable while doing work around the house, including cooking. But loose clothing and long sleeves are more prone to getting near flames and catching fire. So wear tighter clothes. Also, long hair should be tied back while cooking.
  • Keep all flammable objects away from the stovetop. Use only flame-resistant oven mitts, not the ones Aunt Polly knitted for you.
  • Keep a pan lid nearby to smother any possible grease fires. If one roars up, place the lid on the pan, shut off the stove, and let it cool. And never throw water on a grease fire to put it out unless you want a roasted house along with your turkey.
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is installed in your kitchen for added fire prevention.
  • Keep your kitchen floor clean so that it’s not slippery and remove any objects that could cause trips or falls.
  • Keep kids and pets at least three feet away from a hot stove and hot food. Serious burns can occur from fresh, out-of-the-oven foods and their steam.
  • Some kids like to help in the kitchen, but there’s a time and place for everything. During busy holiday cooking, keep them involved with other activities outside the kitchen.
  • Keep electric cords attached to hot kitchen utensils out of the reach of children and pets.
  • All matches and lighters need to be in a locked cabinet and/or out of the reach of children.
  • Instead of real candles, use battery-operated ones.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace their batteries yearly.
  • Reexamine your home fire escape plan with your family and inform any visitors about it.

Preventing Turkey Fryer Fires and Injuries

The NFPA disadvises using outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that submerge a turkey in hot oil. They recommend any who prefer deep-fried turkey to instead use the new type of oil-less turkey fryer. But if you prefer traditional hot oil fryers, then keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Your turkey fryer needs to be outside on a sturdy, level surface far from people, animals, any structure, and anything combustible.
  • Don’t overfill the fryer. First, put the turkey in it with water. That will tell you the correct amount of oil you’ll need.
  • Confirm that the turkey is completely defrosted before frying it or you may (hopefully) live to regret it.
  • Check the temperature of your fryer with a cooking thermometer as it could easily overheat and start a fire.
  • Wear long cooking gloves to protect your hands and forearms when working with a turkey fryer.

If you experience a cooking fire:

  • Flee the house and shut the door to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 once you’re outside.
  • If you try to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher, make sure everyone else gets out of the house and check that you also have a clear path out. Since your hands will be full, ask someone else to call 9-1-1.
  • For oven fires, shut off the heat and keep it closed.

For Professional Fire Damage Restoration, Contact ServiceMaster By Simons!

By following these safety tips you can increase the odds that you’ll have a safe and enjoyable celebration with family and friends. Still, disasters can happen when they’re least expected. If you experience a fire, you’ll require fire damage cleanup services urgently. For professional smoke remediation and fire damage repair in the Chicagoland area, contact ServiceMaster By Simons.

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

 

3 Mistakes to Avoid When You Need Disaster Restoration

Stop, drop, and roll. Head for the cellar. Duck under a doorway. Most advice for saving yourself from a disaster is simple and easy to remember. But the process of saving your Chicagoland home or business after a catastrophe is another story. When you realize that you need more restoration than you’re able to handle, you can get confused and make some basic mistakes. The following three are the biggest errors property owners can make after a disaster.

  1. They wait too long

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. Some who experience damage from a disaster kid themselves that all is not lost. The impulse to downplay a problem or “see how it works out” is understandable, but it will cause numerous problems in the near future.

The sooner a disaster restoration service gets to work on your property, the better things will go. Damage, no matter what its source, will not repair itself if left alone. Ignoring the problem will add to additional problems down the line—water damage turns into a mold infestation, fire damage will weaken the structure of the building, and so on.

  1. They hurriedly select a service

Once some property owners realize that they truly need professional help, they rush the selection process. Yet, selecting a service should be where property owners devote some time. A home or business may be your largest investment, so doing your homework is very important.

Collect quotes from a few companies to see what they claim would be needed to fix your property. Many times there’s damage that only experts can see. When deciding on a bid, don’t pick the service that offers you the lowest cost or accept a quote over the phone. Remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for”. That contractor might be offering fewer services, or they may lack experience or good references. You don’t need to be suspicious of every contractor but make very certain you know upfront what you’re paying for. Then you can choose the service that best works for you.

  1. They begin the cleanup on their own

The last and, perhaps, worst mistake homeowners can make is starting the cleanup process without sufficient documentation. If it’s at all possible, don’t clean up a thing by yourself. For instance, if you use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water, you can’t prove to your insurance company that your property was damaged by water or for how long. The first to do any cleanup should be the disaster restoration service you choose. They should be very acquainted with working with insurance companies. They’ll be able to complete the needed paperwork and help assemble the documentation that you’ll need to prove the degree of damages you’re claiming.

How to Avoid Mistakes

These three mistakes can have long-term consequences, but the good news is that they’re easy to avoid. Be attentive for signs of damage and don’t let hope turn into denial, make sure you have a range of bids and document the disaster meticulously before any cleanup begins. Doing so will make the rest of the process smooth sailing.

Contact ServiceMaster By Simons for a fast, professional response to your disaster emergency. Our recovery team will assess your damage, work with your insurance company, and immediately provide the required services that will return your Chicago area residential or commercial property to normal.

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

 

Why Should You Call a Water Damage Restoration Professional?

When your Chicagoland property experiences water damage, you’re frequently urged to contact a water damage restoration specialist to handle cleaning and repairs. But why? Aren’t you able to take care of it yourself? What’s so great about what restoration professionals accomplish that’s better than what you could do?

The science and resources behind water damage restoration and remediation have advanced considerably since its inception. For example, when the contents of your home or business were damaged, they were usually thrown out, along with water-damaged structural materials. Now, much of it can be saved. Technology is a big reason why. Let’s look at a few examples:

Powerful Truck Mounted Vacuums:

These are useful for removing large amounts of water quickly. A typical truck mount vacuum sucks up about 25 gallons of water per minute. And since they’re so powerful, they can rapidly eliminate most every bit of water from a soaking carpet.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers:

These are used in specific conditions. Desiccants release dry, warm air (110°F and 5% relative humidity) in high humidity conditions to remove moisture from the atmosphere. This is accomplished by using silica gel to absorb airborne water particles. (A tiny example of that is found in the packages of some products.) Desiccant dehumidifiers are very effective and even operate in below-freezing temperatures.

LGR Dehumidifiers:

These can lower relative humidity to as low as 10% and remove up to 25 gallons of water from the air each day. This is a huge increase from a few years ago when simple dehumidifiers could only reduce relative humidity to 40% and remove only 5 gallons of water a day from the air.

Intra-Wall Drying:

This technology dries the insides of walls without removing and replacing wet drywall. How it works is the baseboards are first removed and small holes are drilled through the drywall in that area. Air is then forced into the cavity behind the wall while powerful fans (air movers) blow air on the outside of the wall, causing wet walls to dry much faster.

Air Movers:

These are very powerful, high CFM fans. These work much more efficiently and faster than a typical box fan. The high movement of air they produce greatly speeds up the evaporation process. This not only dries your property quickly but also helps to ensure no further water damage can occur.

Floor Mat Systems:

These enable professional water restoration contractors to dry hardwood floors fast. Applying the power of a high-pressure blower, these mats vacuum water vapor right through the surface of the floor. At one time, wood floors that had been warped by water were immediately torn up and replaced. These floor mat systems can save hardwood floors in many instances.

 

The Benefits of Advanced Drying Techniques

Besides the benefits of professional drying equipment that were already mentioned, there are also these:

Mold prevention –

Faster drying times decrease the danger of mold growth, thus helping to prevent health issues, including respiratory infections and allergic reactions. Lower humidity levels don’t allow mold to grow.

Lower expenses – 

Many building materials once automatically disposed of now can be restored and not replaced. Reduced drying times also mean lower restoration costs and allow lives and businesses to return to normal more quickly.

As water restoration equipment has advanced, so have the procedures and training undertaken by water damage restoration professionals. Chicago’s own ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration By Simons uses the latest equipment and we put our staff through IICRC continuing education (CE) classes. Our certified and experienced team uses the most advanced scientific methods along with sophisticated equipment to get your Chicagoland home or business back to pre-loss condition quickly, professionally, and with personal attention to every detail.

 

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

When Fighting Odors, a Complex Deodorizer May be Needed

When we’re able to spend time out in the country, whether we’re hiking, camping, or just riding around with the windows down, the fresh air invigorates us. Unfortunately, most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, whether we’re home or at work. In fact, the EPA reports that “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” Because of that, sometimes inside air is not nearly as fresh smelling due to unpleasant odors. So what’s the best way to handle them?

 

Air Fresheners Don’t Always Do The Trick

 

While air fresheners and deodorizers will cover odors adequately in your Chicagoland home, they do little to remove them altogether. That’s when you’ve got to pull out the big guns. It’s a good idea to always have an odor-neutralizer on hand. They’re made with neutralizing components that form a bond with diverse molecules, including the ones that carry potent odors linked with sulfur (skunk) and nitrogen (nicotine and rotten seafood).

 

But before you attempt to clean any area, always remember the first rule of deodorization: remove the source of the odor first! Afterward, thoroughly scrub the area of all contamination before applying any deodorizer. Otherwise, those odors may come back to haunt you.

 

Try This Experiment

 

Pour a cup of household ammonia (nitrogen) or purchase “liquid skunk” (sulfur) at a hardware or hunting supply store. In another cup, mix the odor neutralizer as directed. Dip a cotton swab in the ammonia, take it out and smell it. Once you’ve picked yourself off of the floor, immerse the swab into the odor neutralizer and you’ll find that the ammonia smell has disappeared. This is because the neutralizer forms a complex with the nitrogen that is part of the ammonia molecule. Once this complex is formed, the new molecule is no longer perceived by the brain as it moves through your nose, thus no bad odor. This demonstration shows what a big difference there is between masking (covering up) odors and neutralizing (destroying) them.

 

The majority of odor neutralizers can be used by themselves or added to a water-based deodorizer to enhance odor removal. If you use a concentrated odor neutralizer, don’t add much to a deodorizer, otherwise, you might get a heavy residue that will have to be cleaned up afterward.

 

Serious Odor Problems May Require Professional Help

 

If you have a widespread odor issue, call Chicago’s ServiceMaster By Simons. When removing odors from large areas, we apply neutralizers by using a ULV (Ultra Low Volume) fogger. As it’s being dispersed, we mist the product through air ducts as well. We also cover any water-sensitive furniture or remove it from the area being treated. Additionally, we always wear a respirator when using a ULV fogger as the micron-sized particles emitted from it could cause coughing and choking. Because of this, once we’re finished, we block off and leave the area for about two hours to allow the mist to settle.

 

When possible, we may use ozone generators to take care of the odor issue. These machines change the chemical makeup of odor molecules so they no longer smell and are gone forever. No matter the source of your odor problem, whether from fire, skunk, or anything else, when it’s extreme, it’s likely to evade every nook and cranny of your home. ServiceMaster By Simons has the technology to remove it all.

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

 

How Your Possessions are Saved After a Disaster

After the last flames of a fire have been snuffed out or water damage from flooding or a burst pipe has been repaired in your Chicagoland home or business and you’ve called ServiceMaster By Simons, what happens to your damaged treasured possessions, irreplaceable family keepsakes, or retail inventory? Are they forever ruined and unsalvageable?

In the past, that may have been the case. But we employ an extensive contents restoration system that’s devised to return your possessions and property to their pre-damaged condition, whether they were damaged by fire, smoke, water, or mold – even objects that were once thought to be unrecoverable!

First, our specially skilled staff will cautiously pack up your damaged property, handling them with care, before moving them to our protected warehouse for cleaning, deodorizing, and storage. Privacy and discretion are always preserved as the content restoration work proceeds.

After an expert examination of each of your damaged items, we’ll determine which type of cleaning is most appropriate for each piece. It’ll be contingent on the item’s composition, framework, sturdiness, and the type of damage it suffered. Once that’s determined, we’ll employ one or more of the following procedures and/or equipment:

 

  • Drying chambers
  • Ultrasonic cleaning
  • Laundering/dry cleaning
  • Spray and wipe
  • Heat agitated immersion cleaning
  • Odor Removal (Using Ozone and Hydroxyl Methods)
  • Deodorization

 

These methods efficiently clean, dry and deodorize even problematic items like china, silver, brass, delicate figurines, ceramics, electronics, mini-blinds, chandeliers, plastics, and stuffed toys. Ultrasonic machines effortlessly eliminate smoke residues, mold, water damage, and rust.

ServiceMaster By Simons utilizes assembly-line contents cleaning procedures for any disaster restoration job. Once your items are cleaned, we carefully wrap them up in bubble wrap and paper then cautiously pack them in boxes and warehouse them until your home or business has been restored when they can then be returned.

 

How Do Ultrasonic Machines Work?

 

Ultrasonic machines carefully and successfully remove contaminants from your belongings. This is done by immersing objects in a tank of liquid while high-frequency sound waves create imploding bubbles that generate a scrubbing brush-like action that acts on impurities adhering to surfaces such as metals, glass, plastics, ceramics, rubber, and even electronics. This action infiltrates holes, cracks, nooks, and crannies so that it systematically removes all traces of contamination and malodors. This technology allows us to clean your possessions faster, more carefully, and less expensively.

 

How Does Ozone Treatment Work?

 

Contents that need deodorization are put into an ozone chamber. Ozone, occasionally called “activated oxygen”, contains three oxygen atoms rather than the two atoms we usually breathe. It’s the second most effective disinfectant in the world and may be used to obliterate bacteria, viruses, and smells. When they collide with ozone, they’re totally destroyed by oxidation. In the process, that extra atom of oxygen is annihilated and there’s nothing left – no odors, no bacteria, no extra atom, only oxygen.

Ozone arises quite frequently in nature, most often as a consequence of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. That “fresh, clean, spring rain” smell you may detect after a Chicago area storm most frequently results from nature’s creation of ozone.

If you have questions about how our other cleaning procedures work or would like to schedule a free consultation and estimate, call ServiceMaster By Simons at 773-376-1110.

 

About Us: Co-Authors RESTORE your complete guide to protecting your home as your most valuable asset from water and fire disasters  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952779529. Recipient of 2022 award for Daily Herald Entrepreneurial Excellence. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers.

 

 

You Often Get What You Pay For

Fire Damage Restoration - smoke odor and soot cleaning - Chicago - IL - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons

When you need a fire or water damage restoration company, time is of the essence. If you do a quick internet search, you’ll find many in Chicago to choose from. And since it’s an emergency, you may just pick the one that’s closest to you. That’s why you should do your research before a disaster ever strikes to find a company you know you can trust.

With the economy the way it is, many may be tempted to go with the company that offers the lowest prices. That would seem to make your decision easier. Yet, the cost isn’t the only aspect you should consider. A cheap disaster restoration contractor may underestimate the cost of a project, or worse, add hidden fees after the job is completed. So that low-cost company could cost you more.

 

Problems With Hiring Cheap Disaster Restoration Contractors

 

Here are some reasons you may want to avoid a low bidder:

  • They give you a killer price to lock you into a deal and then the costs start to rise.
  • They’re not insured. This puts you and your property at risk.
  • They’re disorganized. This means that the job of putting your Chicagoland home or business back together will take much longer and will be of lower quality.
  • The estimated time of completion gets longer and longer. This is not just due to disorganization but in their ability to hire enough qualified workers.
  • A high-quality restoration contractor has methods of removing dust, garbage, and dirt during the job to keep your home cleaner. They’ll also completely clean up after the job is finished. Low-budget contractors will leave you with a mess to deal with.
  • To cut costs, they use inferior products when rebuilding. These can not only be unsafe but will lower the value of your property.

So, low prices aren’t always the best deal. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

 

Choosing the Right Disaster Restoration Contractor

 

Now that you know the reasons to avoid a low-cost contractor, the following lists qualities to look for in a reputable one:

  • Comfort Level – do you feel at ease with them, or are they pushy and put down their competition? Do you feel a high level of trust?
  • Transparency – are they open and honest about the restoration process? Is there a clear point of contact you’ll be able to rely on throughout the job?
  • Experience – have they shown you their portfolio of other similar types of jobs they’ve completed? How long have they been in business?
  • References – a reliable contractor will offer you references from their past customers. Also, check out the BBB and other customer review sites online like HomeAdvisor and Angi to see if people who used their services were happy or not.
  • Price – if their price is lower than others, ask them directly why and have them lay out a detailed plan to keep that price low.

At Chicago’s own ServiceMaster By Simons, we understand that sometimes price has to be your first consideration. That’s why we let you know upfront what you can expect. But we refuse to substitute quality work and materials for a price, because a cheaply and poorly done restoration is unsafe and will always cost you more in the long run.

 

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. For more information, call 773-839-5542 or visit www.servicemasterbysimons.com or info@servicemaster-rbs.com

 

Why Dirty HVAC Filters Are Costly and Unhealthy

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There is a list of items in your Chicago home that need regular maintenance, such as cleaning out your gutters, replacing the battery in your smoke alarm, cutting the grass, etc. But there’s one item on that list that’s often ignored for too long. That’s replacing the filter in your HVAC system.

Is it such a big deal if it’s not done regularly? Most Chicagoland homeowners aren’t aware of the harmful effects of a dirty HVAC filter on their unit. A clean filter performs two functions: it helps keep your home comfortable and increases the HVAC’s efficiency. So homeowners should make replacing their HVAC filter a top priority.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. They also say that inside air is nearly 5 times dirtier than outside air. So for the majority of our lives, we’re breathing air that’s been circulating through an HVAC system. But regularly replacing its filter will mean cleaner air for your family to breathe. That’s a major benefit. But what other plusses are there to a clean air filter?

Why You Should Regularly Change Your Filter

  • A dirty air filter can cause air ducts to become home to dust, allergens, and mold that can invade your breathing space.
  • Air filters in homes with pets or smokers can become blocked with fur, dander, smoke particulate matter, and secondhand smoke.
  • A clogged air filter can diminish a humidifier’s effectiveness.
  • Dirty air filters make your system work harder by reducing the airflow within the system. The harder it has to work, the less energy efficient it is, shortening its life span and causing higher utility bills.
  • During the summer, a clogged air filter can cause the evaporator or cooling coil to freeze up.
  • Clogs during cold weather can lead to ineffective operation of the entire system, meaning you may experience hot and cold spots in your home, making it difficult to reach your chosen indoor temperature levels.

Can you remember the last time you changed your air filter?

How Do I Change My Filters?

First of all, set a reminder on your phone or a notation on a calendar for the first day of every third month to remind you to change it out. The actual process is very simple. If you don’t know how to do it, have a friend or family member show you. Or just look it up online.

Be aware that it’s possible to install them backward. But each filter will have an arrow somewhere on its side indicating the direction of airflow. Be sure that the arrow is pointing into your system, not out.

Can I Clean Dirty Air Filters?

Some air filters — permanent and semipermanent models — can be cleaned as part of regular HVAC system maintenance. But even washable filters have a life span — usually just a few years.

But most homes in Chicago have HVAC systems that use disposable filters. You might be tempted to try and clean yours instead of swapping it out with a new one. However, this simply won’t work for these reasons:

  • Disposable air filters are manufactured from soft mesh and other flexible materials that can’t survive the wear and tear of washing. It won’t completely dry after washing either, creating a moist breeding ground for mold and mildew.
  • Vacuuming an air filter does remove some of the buildups on the outside, but it can’t get to all the dust, pollen, and dirt that collects on the inside of the filter which blocks it from doing its job and causes wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Do My HVAC Filters Remove Odors?

HVAC air filters are designed to improve your home’s air quality and protect your unit. But if you have a serious odor problem caused by smoke from a fire or another pungent source, they are not designed for that. For those types of issues, you’ll need professional help to remove the source of the odor, along with high-tech equipment to permanently remove those smells. Be sure to contact ServiceMaster By Simons for any odor problems you may be experiencing.

 

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. For more information, call 773-839-5542 or visit www.servicemasterbysimons.com or info@servicemaster-rbs.com