The 4 Elements of Fire and Ways to Snuff it Out

When you see a fire raging, it seems like it’s an almost uncontrollable force, consuming all that gets in its way and inflicting fire damage on every item it touches. And the bigger it gets, the more difficult it is to manage. But every fire does have its Achilles’ heel.

Enter the fire tetrahedron. This triangular pyramid represents the four equal components that every fire must include. Without just one, a fire falls apart. Knowing this can help you kill a fire before it gets out of control and causes fire damage to your Chicago area property, necessitating a call to ServiceMaster By Simons for assistance.

 

The 4 Things Fire Needs to Exist

  1. Fuel.  A fire must have something to feed on, to consume. Just like living things, it has to have something to eat to survive. The fuel can be anything flammable such as paper, wood, fabric, chemicals, or combustible materials.

 

  1. Heat. A heat source is needed for the initial ignition of fire and to maintain a fire and enable it to spread. Heat allows a fire to spread by drying out and preheating nearby fuel and warming the surrounding air. Some objects’ flashpoints are lower than others, so they combust more easily, resulting in massive fire damage.

 

  1. Oxygen. Air contains about 21 percent oxygen, and most fires require at least 16 percent oxygen content to burn. Oxygen supports the chemical processes that occur during a fire. When fuel burns, it reacts with oxygen from the surrounding air, releasing heat and generating combustion products (gases, smoke, embers, etc.). This process is known as oxidation.

 

  1. Chemical Chain Reaction. While the three components above are still needed, an actual chemical reaction must take place for a fire to ignite. Once a fire has started, the resulting exothermic chain reaction sustains the fire and allows it to continue until at least one of the elements of the fire is blocked

 

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

  1. Cool it. If a fuel source can be cooled by, say, pouring water on it, a fire can’t continue because you’ve removed some of the heat energy. Water simultaneously cools and suffocates the fire. It cools it so much that it can’t burn anymore, and it smothers it so that it can’t burn any more of the oxygen in the air. But never use water on grease or electrical fires! Those need the correct fire extinguisher.

 

  1. Smother it. If the oxygen supply to a fire can be sufficiently decreased, burning will cease. By preventing fresh air from reaching a fire, you reduce the oxygen content in a confined atmosphere until it extinguishes itself. Some examples of this are:

 

  • smothering a pan fire with a lid
  • wrapping a person in a fire blanket
  • applying a blanket of foam over a burning surface, thus separating the fuel from the air

 

  1. Starve it. Sometimes, a fire can be extinguished simply by removing the fuel source. Ways this may be achieved are by:

 

  • stopping the flow of liquid or gaseous fuel
  • removing solid fuel from the path of a fire
  • allowing a fire to burn until all fuel is consumed

 

  1. Interrupt the chain reaction. There are certain compounds that, when introduced into a fire’s atmosphere, disturb the chemical chain reaction, causing a fire to delay and ultimately stop. Dry powder, Bromochlorodifluoromethane (BCF), and other halon extinguishers do the trick.

 

If the fire tetrahedron ends up being the cause of fire damage to your Chicago area home or business, we’re ready 24/7 to help you recover. Contact ServiceMaster By Simons anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery of any fire damage.

 

 

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

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Fire Damage Cleanup

Residential Fire Damage Restoration - Smoke & Odor removal - content cleaning - restoration laundry and dry cleaning - Chicago il - servicemaster restoration simons

Experiencing a fire in your Chicagoland home or business can be overwhelming, to say the least. But it’s vital that fire damage cleanup and the restoration process is begun as quickly as possible to get your life back to normal.

But do not attempt to do this on your own! You’ll need to rely on fire damage experts to handle the situation. There are specific steps the professionals know and will follow to restore your Chicago area property and contents to their pre-loss condition.

Because of the seriousness of these situations, here is a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to fire damage restoration and smoke cleanup:

Do

  • Make safety the priority. Even if the situation looks safe and clear to you, don’t enter a burned structure until a professional has informed you it’s safe to do so. Not only may the building be unstable, but fires can start again — even after they seem to be extinguished.
  • Document, document, document. Take photos of the fire damage, save receipts, take notes of conversations and keep all email correspondence. These actions help when dealing with your insurance company.
  • Call your insurance agent to initiate a fire damage assessment.
  • Call your Chicago restoration company, ServiceMaster By Simons, to help with fire damage cleanup and repair.
  • Limit movements inside the structure to keep soot particles from spreading.
  • Change furnace filters.
  • Cover dry furniture and upholstery with sheets until they are assessed or until they are cleaned.
  • Weather permitting, open windows and doors for ventilation.
  • Remove clothing and soft contents from the property and have it cleaned by ServiceMaster By Simons professional fire damage restoration cleaners, not just a dry cleaner.
  • Throw away all food and drink left after the fire.

Don’t

  • Enter a building before the fire department gives you the green light, even if it looks safe.
  • Start cleaning residue from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Everything needs to be assessed by your insurer first.
  • Walk on carpets or touch furnishings impacted by smoke residues or debris until they’re professionally cleaned.
  • Eat food, including canned goods, that were exposed to heat or fire.
  • Turn on utilities until professionally checked.
  • Turn on, clean, or use any electronic equipment until professionally checked.

Smoke and soot residue left behind after fire damage can cause severe health problems if not handled correctly. Only trained experts with professional equipment that understand the complicated chemical interactions involved with soot and fire can ensure your fire damage restoration is done safely and thoroughly.

The best thing to do is get in touch with ServiceMaster By Simons as soon as possible. We will assess your Chicagoland property and come up with a fire damage cleanup plan that includes:

  • Securing your property to prevent further damage
  • Removing damaged and unsalvageable items
  • Cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing of your property and belongings
  • Repairing or replacing all fire and smoke damaged areas of the structure

Our main goal at ServiceMaster By Simons is to restore your fire-damaged property and return it to its pre-loss condition or better. As a locally owned and operated company, providing the best possible customer service is our business.

 

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

 

How to Prevent Puff Backs From Your Fireplace

A frosty Chicago winter evening spent next to a roaring fireplace can be very enjoyable. But that occasion can become a disaster if your fireplace begins spewing smoke into your home’s interior. When that occurs, it may be the result of a puff back. This could occur only once per season or it may happen every time you start a fire.

The results of puff backs are terrible. The smoke can damage all surfaces it touches. A foul odor permeates the environment while the air becomes dangerously contaminated with carcinogens and carbon monoxide. Additionally, smoke particles lodge in curtains, clothing and carpeting.

The good news is that fireplace back puffs are preventable. But what causes them?

Back Puff Causes and Cures

 

Cause: Creosote buildup

Creosote is a byproduct of fireplace smoke. It builds up inside a fireplace flue every time the fireplace is lit, growing thicker and thicker. The creosote causes your chimney to generate more smoke then can be exhausted, allowing the smoke to travel the path of least resistance – back into your home.

Cure: Hire a chimney sweep

A CSIA-certified chimney sweep can inspect and identify creosote accumulation. If it’s a problem, you’ll need to have your chimney swept, which will remove creosote buildup and restore your chimney to its peak working condition.

 

Cause: Lack of air supply

While a well-insulated home is more energy efficient, a tightly-sealed home could actually “suffocate” your stove or fireplace, resulting in negative air pressure inside. This could cause the fireplace to release smoke into your home. Fire needs oxygen to burn and a tightly sealed home will limit the flow of air into the fireplace.

Cure: Introduce air flow

Before lighting your next fire, simply open a window. Back puffing should discontinue if the issue was caused by an inadequate air supply.

 

Problem: Obstructions

If your chimney is blocked, it’ll restrict airflow and smoke will build up in the flue until it’s exhausted through your fireplace or stove. Bird and wasp nests built inside a chimney can restrict its airflow, along with balls and tree branches.

Cure: Clean the chimney

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you have your chimney, fireplace, and vents inspected and cleaned annually, regardless of whether back puffs occur or not.

 

Problem: Unsuitable firewood

You may be trying to burn wet wood which can produce more smoke than usual. To burn efficiently, the fire needs to first burn off any excess moisture within the wood. The higher the moisture content of the wood, the harder it’ll be to burn.

Cure: Use seasoned wood

Wood needs to be dry to burn efficiently. Wood that’s freshly cut is high in moisture content, which is why wood needs to be dried out (known as seasoning) for 12 to 18 months before it’s ready to be used on a fire without causing smoke issues.

 

Sometimes, a badly built fireplace can cause smoke problems. All aspects of a fireplace, such as its opening size, smoke chamber, smoke shelf, damper size and chimney height, must be built without design and construction flaws in order to prevent smoke buildup.

When your fireplace pours smoke into your home, the resulting damage can be significant. Rather than replace fouled up belongings that have been contaminated with smoke particles, consult your Chicagoland smoke damage cleanup company, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. Our fire and smoke damage restoration technicians will remove all traces of smoke from your property.

 

 

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a 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

 

 

Odor Removal – Clearing the Air of Pesky Odors

Odor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or

Lemon Carpet CleaningOdor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or business. At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons 855-9-SIMONS, we are experts at removing unpleasant odors that can affect your home.

Our trained and certified technicians understand how to remove and eliminate persistent odors by using a combination of professional products, systems and odor removal technologies. Many commonly used deodorizing products only mask the smells temporarily, but properly removing the odor will ensure the disagreeable scent does not resurface later.

At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, we use a four-step odor removal process:

1. Identify and eliminate the source of the odor.
2. Clean the affected area to properly remove odor residue.
3. Select the necessary deodorization process.
4. Seal the surface if necessary.

While it may be necessary to perform multiple treatments to eliminate severe odors, the use of neutralizing agents included in our extensive line of OdorGo® deodorizing products, coupled with advanced technologies such as nano-particle air cartridges in our air filters, gives us the ability to quickly knock down odors. This effective combination can help to reduce additional living expenses by allowing you to remain in your home.

With our advanced technologies, extensive training and years of experience, there is no odor too strong for our team to handle.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a Woman-Owned and Family Operated Cleaning & Restoration Company. With three locations to serve our customers, ServiceMaster By Simons serves Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, Elmwood Park, Cleaning Services in Chicago’s North Shore and the North Shore of Lake County to Wisconsin’s State Line.

For immediate service or a free consultation and quote, call us at 773-376-1110 or toll free at 855-9-SIMONS.

Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Company

Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Company can be a daunting task.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides tips to choosing the right one. Most home-owners and business-owners will only experience a water damage or fire loss once in their life. Because the frequency is low and your knowledge of how to choose a restoration professional is limited, you’ll […]

Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Company can be a daunting task.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides tips to choosing the right one.

Most home-owners and business-owners will only experience a water damage or fire loss once in their life. Because the frequency is low and your knowledge of how to choose a restoration professional is limited, you’ll require a professional opinion for direction and/or help on the topic. While choosing a restoration professional may seem like a daunting task for you, your knowledge of the industry will be invaluable. At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, 855-9-SIMONS, it is our goal to be a trusted partner to you, the property owner. To arm you with the right tools to make the most informed decision possible, here are 10 questions that can help you through the process:

  1. How quickly can the restoration company respond to a crisis situation, and what is their track record?
  2. Have they gone through a certified training program for water remediation, fire remediation and policyholder communication?
  3. Do they follow IICRC guidelines and protocols?
  4. Do they focus on restoration or replacement?
  5. Do they conduct regular meetings with me, the insured, to review program costs/satisfaction levels?
  6. Are they up-to-date on latest information and technology in the industry?
  7. Do they ask me the right questions?
  8. Do they have a procedure for communicating with the agent, adjuster and policyholder?
  9. Do they make make me feel more at ease with the loss, explain the process and answer all questions?
  10. Do they have a system for asking and measuring customer satisfaction and feedback on a job?

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a Woman-Owned and Family Run company in the Chicagoland area.  We provide professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and Specialty Cleaning Services including Post-Construction Cleanup, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning and Air Duct Cleaning.

For immediate response, Call Us at 773-376-1110 or toll free at 855-9-SIMONS.

ServiceMaster By Simons Comes to the North Shore!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This […]

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - North Shore, Illinois - Professional Disaster Restoration Services - Professional Cleaning ServicesServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois

The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This new state-of-the-art facility will serve commercial & residential customers in Chicago’s North Shore. It offers the same great services that the ServiceMaster By Simons’ companies offer in the city and west suburbs.

The company offers professional services in Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, to name a few. “This new facility will help us meet the demand for services that we are receiving from the North Shore area,” said Sam Simon, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons’ owner.  Our brand name has grown so much over the past two years with radio ads and television commercials. It made sense to open the second location to meet the growing demands for our services.

Water & Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since opening its first location in Chicago at 400 North Paulina Street in 2013, we  remain the leader in Water & Fire Damage Restoration and professional Cleaning Services to homes and businesses in the Chicago-land area.  This includes the newly acquired ServiceMaster of Oak Park-River Forest. The franchise that has offered quality Disaster Restoration and Cleaning Services for the residents of Oak Park and River Forest for over 30 years. “We were receiving so many calls from the North Shore, it made sense to open the second location to serve our customers faster, rather than spend time in traffic,” said Neda Howell, ServiceMaster By Simons’ manager.  “Our reputation not only depends on our quality cleaning services, but on the timeliness of our professional technicians.”

As a result, North Shore businesses and residents can now experience our quality, professional services.  By calling 855-9-SIMONS, you can conveniently schedule your specialty cleaning services.  Our services include Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Hard Surface and Wood Floor Cleaning. It also boast the best in Post-Construction Cleanup, Move in/Move out Cleaning, Air Duct Cleaning, Steamed Carpet Extraction and Hoarder Cleaning services.  If you prefer, you can click here to schedule your services on our website.

 

Professional Upholstery Cleaning Will Get Rid of Pet Stains and Odors in The Loop

We can probably all agree that our four-legged friends are an important part of our lives. After all, they love us, they depend on us, and they provide hours of enjoyment. However, there’s not much enjoyment in trying to remove the result of a urine or fecal matter accident made by our furry friends on […]

We can probably all agree that our four-legged friends are an important part of our lives. After all, they love us, they depend on us, and they provide hours of enjoyment. However, there’s not much enjoyment in trying to remove the result of a urine or fecal matter accident made by our furry friends on our upholstered furniture.

Often, home remedies will eliminate the stains and odors, but a do-it-yourself approach doesn’t work, the upholstery cleaning professionals at ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons are standing by to address and remove stains and odors. In addition to being able to clean many commonly used fabrics, our team members have the expertise to tackle many hard-to-clean materials. Another great reason to call on us? As long as your pet can smell his personal scent, he’ll continue to return to the “accident zone.”

If you’re a “doityourselfer” and you want to tackle the odors and stains on your own before calling us, here are several tips from The Humane Society of the United States for cleaning upholstery after your dog or cat has “done his or her business” on your favorite upholstered chair or sofa.

FOR NEW OR WET STAINS:

  • Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspapers and paper towels. At this stage, the more urine you can remove, the easier it will be to remove the odor.
  • If possible, put the urine-soaked paper towels in the area where your pet should be doing its business—your cat’s litter box or your dog’s designated outdoor bathroom area. This will teach them to come back to this area.
  • For urine or fecal matter stains, rinse the accident zone thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting.

FOR STAINS THAT HAVE ALREADY SET:

  • Use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Nature’s Miracle—available at pet supply stores—is one example of this type of product.
  • Try a high quality upholstery stain remover if the area still looks stained after it’s completely dry from rinsing, extracting, and neutralizing the spot.

Contact ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons at 773-376-1110 for all of your upholstered furniture cleaning needs in Chicago’s The Loop neighborhood.

We follow an effective and efficient four-step cleaning process to remove stains left by your pets and a whole lot more! Your upholstered furniture will look and smell terrific after we’re done cleaning it.