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7 Posts authored by: gabby

Four legs don’t stand in their way. Whether they share space with just one of us or an entire family, pets are very special members of our households. They depend on us for a safe and secure home, and they pay us back every day with their unconditional love.

You’d never take your four-legged best friend for granted, but what about emergencies? Do you have a good pet fire safety plan in place just in case?

Our fire damage restoration services take care of residents all across Chicago, and we want everyone under your roof to be prepared for the unexpected. As you review your home fire prevention plans and practice evacuation procedures, be sure to include pet fire safety.

How to Keep Pets Safe From House Fires

Pet fire statistics from the American Kennel Club tell a disturbing story. Each year, more than 500,000 pets are affected by house fires. Those same furry family members also start an average of 500 fires annually.

You know how important it is to keep the kids aware of fire safety. Dogs and cats need protection too, so we offer an overview of three smart pet fire safety strategies that help your family and your pets stay safe in case of a fire at home.

1. Don’t Let Pets Start Fires

pet kitchen fire

How can a dog or cat set the house on fire? Pets have a great sense of smell, they’re naturally curious, and they love to run and play. Practice animal fire safety with these simple preventative tips.

• Don’t allow pet patrol in the kitchen while you’re cooking. All those wonderful aromas can tempt an agile cat or dog to investigate the stove top, and that can lead to a kitchen fire disaster.

• A tall dog can turn on the oven or stove with just a quick lift of the paw. Avoid this accident by protecting control knobs with covers or removing them when you leave the house.

• Wax candles are lovely, but battery-operated luminaries are much safer in a home with pets. Electric candles eliminate the hazard of open flames, and they rarely need replacing.

• When it’s cold outside, pets are attracted to the warmth of fireplaces and space heaters. Encourage them to safely snuggle up in their own beds away from open flames and heating elements.

• Celebrate beautiful Chicago weather with backyard barbecues, and make cookouts safe for everyone by expanding the no-kid zone to include four-legged best friends too.

2. Have an All-Inclusive Fire Response Plan

pet fire evacuation plan

It only takes a few adjustments to make sure home fire evacuation plans protect your pets. Include the dogs and cats in your practice fire drills, and keep them safe with a little additional pet fire safety planning.

• Assign each pet to a family member who’s responsible for ensuring quick passage out of the house. Store leashes and carriers close to exits for fast, easy access.

• The noise and excitement of a fire can scare pets into their own safety zones. Confirm their hiding spots now so that you can quickly round them up during a home evacuation.

• Develop an advanced plan for sheltering the pets in case you can’t return to the house for several days. Check with pet-loving neighbors who might be willing to exchange emergency housing favors.

• Put together a dog- or cat-centric survival kit. Stock a small bag with a few cans of food and any necessary pet medications as a part of home fire evacuation supplies. 

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It’s one of the first lines of defense in case of a workplace fire. As a business owner or manager, you understand how very important it is to have the correct type of commercial fire extinguisher on your property.

Eventually, the equipment ages out or needs replacement after an emergency. Do you know which model is the right choice for your business?

We’re often asked about portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. They play an invaluable role in keeping everyone at your business safe, but extinguisher requirements, types and even placement can seem confusing.

Choosing Commercial Fire Extinguishers: 6 Things You Need to Know

choosing business extinguisher

They’re a common sight in businesses, stores and restaurants all across the city, and they have to be ready for action 24/7. As you decide on the right fire extinguisher for your property, keep in mind these six important factors.

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The aftereffects of a residential fire can linger for weeks. Smoke damage, layers of soot and heavy odors create an environment that’s very difficult to clean up. It takes the expertise of fire damage restoration specialists to get everything back to normal.

During the recovery process, you might ask yourself, “Can soot cause health problems?”

The answer is, “Yes.” Exposure to house fire soot can lead to a number of health issues. That risk is one of the reasons that fire cleanup companies recommend immediate soot damage removal after any type of residential fire.

House Fires, Soot Damage & Health Problems: 7 Important FAQs

smoke damaged staircase

Worries about breathing soot after a house fire are always a concern. To help you better understand the dangers, we’ve put together this list of FAQs based on our years of experience with residential fire restoration.

1. What Is Smoke Damage?

The smoke that you see during a fire is produced by burning materials that don’t completely ignite and combust. The dark, rolling clouds contain a mix of gases and particulate matter. Even as a fire is contained, the smoke it generates continues to spread through a property.

Smoke damage refers to streaking and stains left on walls and surfaces after a fire is extinguished. It also includes layers of soot that coat interiors and personal belongings as well as unpleasant, lingering odors. Smoke damage often extends well beyond areas of the original blaze.

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Spirits are bright, and you’re decking the house in its holiday best. From frosty snowmen on front lawns to Christmas trees glowing in front windows, Chicagoland turns into a beautiful wonderland this time of year.

As busy as you are, have you set aside a little time to work up your checklist for holiday home safety tips?

As the leader among Chicago’s fire restoration companies, we can help. Based on our years of experience in the field, we offer a list of tips that are easy to apply to your upcoming celebrations this very special season.

Holiday Home Safety Tips: 10 Ways to Keep the Season Safe

1. Give Candles Clearance

flameless candle

Beautiful candles light up the holidays with a special glow, but they can quickly become a fire hazard. Give candles at least 12 inches of clearance on all sides, and display them on sturdy bases protected by hurricane globes.

Power Tip: Switch from wax to the soft light of flameless candles. These safe substitutes operate on battery power and come in a variety of styles and sizes.

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The warm kitchen fills with delicious aromas. Your plans include family favorites and a few new dishes. The most mouthwatering day on the calendar is well-seasoned with anticipation for even more holiday celebrations.

You’ve done it all for so many years, and everything always turns out just fine. Why think twice about Thanksgiving cooking safety tips?

The answer to that question is easy. Taking precautions can prevent disasters. You don’t want to spend the holidays cleaning up after a grease fire, tackling smoke damage or facing the devastation of a house fire.

Holiday Kitchens, Disturbing Numbers

Like most home chefs, you’re extra busy on Thanksgiving day putting in extra hours and putting the final touches on favorite dishes. All that activity in the kitchen results in holiday meals to be remembered.
It’s also the source of disturbing statistics.

According to figures from the National Fire Prevention Association, kitchen fires peak during the holidays. Three times more fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

10 Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips

family cooking during thanksgiving

By practicing basic fire prevention strategies and following these 10 life-saving Thanksgiving cooking safety tips, you can help keep your kitchen from becoming a holiday statistic.

1. Don’t Desert the Turkey

Too many cooks can be great in a Thanksgiving kitchen. They make sure that food is never left unattended over open flames. If you’re manning things by yourself, call in backup when you need to leave the room.

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It might be a flickering lamp or an odd odor around the wall outlet. Either one can indicate a hidden danger that easily leads to property destruction and fire damage repair.

The electricity humming through your home is a powerful energy source and, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one of the leading causes of devastating house fires.

We help residents and businesses across Chicago recover from fire damage every day. Our crews find that many people don’t completely understand the unusual nature of electrical fire or what to do when it suddenly breaks out.

Are you ready to handle this type of emergency?

Voltage Instead of Flames and Embers

Most homeowners think of fire hazards as unattended stove tops or stray fireplace embers.

You probably don’t worry about the voltage running through your home’s electrical system, but the statistics are disturbing. More than 50,000 homes are affected and almost 500 deaths are caused by electrical house fires every year.

Even when the damage is confined to just one or two rooms, this type of fire spreads very quickly. As electricity arcs through wiring in walls and ceilings, it fries lines, ricochets off equipment and ruins appliances plugged into your home’s electrical system.

The Most Common Sources of Electrical Fires in Homes:

electrical fire kitchen after

Wiring and related equipment are responsible for more than 60 percent of electrical home fires. Lighting fixtures, lamps and bulbs account for another 20 percent while plugs and cords are to blame for approximately 11 percent.

A 2013 report from the National Fire Prevention Association breaks down the different types of equipment involved in electrical house fires including space heaters, HVAC systems, water heaters and electric ranges.

Whether an electrical fire starts in the kitchen or sparks behind a wall, the causes are usually similar.

1. Equipment Wears Out

All appliances have limited mechanical lives. Once a space heater or electric range outlives its manufacturer’s recommended years of usage, it can become a fire hazard.

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Ever since 1927, Fire Prevention Week has focused on a different theme. This year, it’s all about the smoke alarm, so this small but vital appliance leads off our list of simple things you can do to prevent home fires.

 

1. Do More Than Test the Smoke Alarm

Three out of every five house fire fatalities occur in homes that don’t have a working smoke alarm. It’s not enough to change batteries and test the trigger mechanism.

Take the unit down from the ceiling or wall, and check the production date located on its frame. If it’s 10 years old, you need a new alarm.

Fire Prevention Week banner

This banner is reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. ©2016 NFPA.

2. Don’t Leave the Kitchen While You’re Cooking

Your stove and oven don’t look dangerous, but cooking equipment is statistically the leading cause of home fires.

If you leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off burners, and turn on a timer to remind you that the stove’s still on. Keep dish towels, pot holders and plastic utensils away from open flames.

Power Tip: Toaster ovens can generate intense electrical heat in just a few minutes. Always keep a close eye on these countertop appliances when in use.