Be Prepared for Snowstorms this Winter in St. Charles County
Hwy 40 WB and Hwy K exit early Thurs morning (11/15/18). The snow plows were out, but the snow kept coming making it hard to keep the roads clean.
We are currently in our first snow storm of 2018 here in St. Charles County. While the kids are enjoying their snow day and snowball fights, we still need to recognize that some these storms can be dangerous, and we need to be prepared. Unfortunately, some storms can come along with ice or last several days making leaving the house no longer an option. Here are a few tips to help make sure you are prepared for when/if we do experience a bad storm:
- Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
- Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
- Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.
- Use generators outside only and away from windows.
Helpful Cooking Fire Prevention Tips for Thanksgiving
Use these helpful tips to help prevent cooking fires in your home.
Thanksgiving is next week, so SERVPRO of Western O’Fallon/Wentzville wanted to remind you of some cooking facts to be aware of to help prevent home fires through all the hustle and bustle
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
- Unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires, so stay in the room where/when the cooking is taking place.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire, so always be aware of what is on or surrounding the stove/oven.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than one percent of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 18 percent of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share (62 percent) of home cooking fire incidents.
- More than half (55 percent) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
Help Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter in St. Charles County
Don't let frozen pipes make you spend more this holiday season.
Winter is here!!! (Yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference for any of you GoT fans.) The temperature has started falling (and fast) in the St. Charles County area, so SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville wanted to share a few tips on how to prevent some pretty nasty water damage by preventing your pipes from freezing this winter.
- Keep your garage door(s) closed, especially if there are any water supply lines in there.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors help warm air to circulate around the plumbing (don't forget to remove anything harmful to little ones or pets beforehand).
- Let the cold water drip from a faucet, even a trickle can help!
- Keep the thermostat consistent day and night.
- If you plan on leaving for an extended amount of time, leave your heat set at no lower than 55 degrees.
- For long term help, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
Source: Consumer Reports
SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville Helps "Arrest Hunger"
Helping Arrest Hunger in 2018
Community is very important to SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville, and because of that we are always looking for a way to lend a hand to help out in the community when possible. For the month of Oct some of the surrounding police departments (Wentzville, O'Fallon, and Lake St. Louis PD) were participating in a food drive called "Arrest Hunger". When we heard about the food drive we knew we wanted to help such a wonderful cause. The next day we went up to the store, purchased several carts of food, went back to the office to separate, and went to deliver to all three departments that we knew were participating. We are so appreciative of each of those departments for the kindness they showed us while we delivered the food, and the time and dedication they show the community everyday. We are so lucky to have such great officers in our community, and look forward to help "Arrest Hunger" again next year!
Home Fire Safety Tips
In observation of Fire Prevention Week last week (Oct 7-13), we wanted to post some helpful facts/tips to prevent home fires.
- “Keep an eye on what you fry.” Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or using an open flame.
- “3 feet from the heat.” Furniture, curtains, dish towels and anything that could catch fire should be kept at least 3 feet from any type of heat source.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Make sure all large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.
- Matches and lighters should be locked away.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Different types of smoke alarms, ionization and photoelectric, detect fire in different ways. Experts recommend having both types in your home.
- Change smoke alarm batteries every year unless it has a long-life battery.
- Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
- At least twice a year, use your home fire escape plan to practice your 2-minute drill with all your family members. Practice makes perfect! After each fire drill, mark down your escape time.
- Try to find at least two exits that can be used to get out of every room.
- Make sure everyone can escape in 2 minutes or less, and try to find at least two exits that can be used to get out of every room.
Source: American Red Cross
Conditions in your St. Charles County Homes Might be Right for Mold
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.
These conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Common Molds Found in Homes:
- Aspergillus is a common allergenic mold found in households. This mold is most commonly found on foods and found in air ducts. This mold is usually characterized by fuzzy green and white spores.
- Cladsporium is a mold characterized by dark green or brown suede-looking spores. It's very unique that this mold can grow in both warm and cold environments unlike most molds that either do better in warm or cool environments.
- Stachybotrys, also known as black mold, is a toxic mold due to the mycotoxins it can create. It is characterized as very dark green and black with a very slimy texture. this "black mold" likes to grow in wet areas with high humidity levels.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
If you suspect mold, call us today: 636-856-9700
What to Do if You Find Mold:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville for mold remediation services.
"When thunder roars, go indoors"
Don't let the calm before the storm fool you
While Missouri hasn't had as much severe summer weather as usual, it is important to brush up on storm safety. Severe weather safety is especially important during the warmer months. Did you know that most lightning strikes occur in the summer months, especially July, during the afternoon and evening? Your chances might be relatively low for being struck by lightening, but Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards.
Lightning Safety Tips:
- If you hear thunder, remember the phrase "when thunder roars go indoors". Lightning always accompanies thunder.
- If caught outside avoid the following: Open areas, high ground, standing or leaning on concrete floors/walls, and any metal objects. All of these are areas most likely to be struck by lightning.
- Avoid water; do not bathe or swim. Lightning is very likely to strike open bodies of water and travel through the metal plumbing in your house.
- Try not to use stoves, dryers, washer, or any other electronics plugged into the wall during a storm with lightning. This is because lightning can travel through electrical systems.
- Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.
Please remember that lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground without storm clouds looming overhead. The storm doesn’t have to be overhead in order for you to be struck so always listen for thunder in the distance when there's moderate risk for severe weather.
If lightning strikes your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville with your storm restoration needs. Call 636-856-9700 to make your home look "Like it never even happened".
Emergency Preparedness Month-Businesses
50% of Businesses permanently shut down after a disaster. Don't let your business be the half that shuts down for good.
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow. This September, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.
Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. When fire and water cleanup is needed, getting help is now quicker and easier using the SERVPRO® Ready Plan App. The Ready Plan is an emergency preparedness tool for home and business owners, property managers, risk managers and facility management. It allows for the creation of an Emergency Ready Profile® containing critical facility information to help speed up response time.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage
- A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.You'll have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens."
Avoid Garage Fires
You can avoid disasters like this in your home by following SERVPRO's fire prevention tips.
As wildfires rage on the west coast of the United States, the region of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville has faced many household fires of our own. Our franchise has seen two garage fires in the past two months and we feel it is important to remind homeowners that fire safety is essential for your entire property. Many people do not realize the potential hazards lurking in the garage that could ignite a fire.
Garage Fire Hazards
For many homeowners, the garage is a extended storage space for cars, lawn care equipment, and appliances such as fridges and deep freezes. These household items seem harmless, but with the right combination these items could turn dangerous. Anyone that works on cars knows that when there is work being done on a vehicle, there are messes bound to happen with motor oil and other flammable liquids that are a fire hazard. For many people who take smoke breaks in the garage, cigarette ashes in an ash tray can turn dangerous if spilled or even if there are flammable items near by in dry conditions.
Keep your Garage Safe
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the garage
- Install smoke alarm in garage
- Store dangerous products in safe places (example: store combustibles away from sources of heat, such as space heaters, furnaces and boilers.
- Store flammable products such as spray paint and paint thinner in a dedicated storage space in garage.
- Keep water nearby
If tragedy strikes your home, you can count on the professionals at SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville. Call (636) 856-9700
Emergency Ready Profile
Why should you plan for a disaster at your place of business before it happens?
Many business owners have caught themselves asking this question or even "How do I plan for something that hasn't happened yet?". The first question can be answered simply by stating; a recent study showed that HALF of all businesses that closed due to a disaster NEVER reopened. Wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry when it comes to your business or home? Answering how to prepare for a disaster is also simple if you have SERVPRO on your side. SERVPRO offers a FREE Emergency Ready Profile that can help your business recover from emergencies faster.
What's included in an Emergency Ready Profile?
- A FREE assessment of your facilities
- A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. This will save you time searching for necessary contacts during an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. By having an immediate plan of action available to your employees, they save time calling you for a plan of action to use during the disaster.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin without unnecessary calling to find a restoration company.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. These details can also include pictures of these shut-off valves and other important locations.
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you Ready for whatever happens?”
If you're interested in setting up an Emergency Ready Profile in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville at (636)856-9700