Halloween Safety Tips
The spookiest thing about Halloween are fire hazards. Here's a list of safety measures you can take to make sure your Halloween celebration stays fun.
Halloween is near and you’ve prepared costumes, decorations, and special treats. But have you considered the accidents that can occur on Halloween? According to the US Fire Administration, for each year from 2014 to 2016, there were about 10,100 reported fires over a three-day period around Halloween in the US. Those fires caused an estimated 30 deaths, 125 injuries and $102 million in property loss.
As you can see, the spookiest thing about Halloween is the hazards, especially those related to fire. Here’s a list of safety measures you can take to make sure your Halloween celebration stays fun and memorable.
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
- Decoration placement — Don’t place decorations near candles and other heat sources, such as electric heaters or light bulbs. Also, place decorations far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, driveways, doorsteps, and walkways. Ensure exits are clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Jack-o-lanterns — Use battery-operated lights or flashlights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns. If you use real candles, be extremely cautious when handling the pumpkins. Keep them at a safe distance from flammable items.
- String lights — Indoors and outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Also, check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Discard damaged sets. And don’t overload extensions cords!
- Other lights — Use battery-operated candles as alternatives to wax candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- Costumes — When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose a material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
- “Stop, drop and roll” — Tell children to stay away from open flames. Have them practice the “stop, drop, and roll” technique in case their costume catches fire: stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.
- When kids attend parties — If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Other Halloween Safety Tips
- Accompany your kids — Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a trusted adult when going out at night. Teens can be allowed to go in groups and trick-or-treat in well-lit areas.
- Know where your child is going — Be familiar with the route your kids will be taking and make sure they carry a mobile phone. Tell them to check in with you every hour and to come back home at a designated time.
- Costume props — Any props that a child might carry, such as a pitchfork, knife or scythe, should be flexible and safe enough to not cause an injury.
- Pets — If you choose to dress up your pet, make sure that the costume does not constrict the animal’s movement or annoy him in any other way. Additionally, keep candles, props, wires, and cords out of reach of your pets. Make sure jack-o-lanterns with candles can’t be knocked down by dogs or cats.
Tips to protect children from vehicles while trick-or-treating:
- Costume design — Choose a light-colored costume and attach reflective tape or stickers to make them more visible.
- Masks — Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, so consider replacing them with face paint or makeup. But if your child does wear a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Carrying lights — Children should carry flashlights or glow sticks to see and be seen during night time. Those can be a fun addition to their costumes, as well!
- Crossing streets — Tell them to walk and not run. Before crossing a street, they must use crosswalks whenever possible and look both ways.
- Driving — Adults should pay close attention when driving, and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, especially between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; remind other drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters, too.
Unfortunately, fire disasters can happen even to the most vigilant of people who follow these Halloween safety tips. If you require professional fire and smoke restoration services, contact your SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula at (906) 204-2450. Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!
Tips to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire This Fall
If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here for you. Contact SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula to learn more.
Are you ready for fall? Many people look forward to changing leaves, cooler days and fall sports like football. They also enjoy traditional fall activities like Halloween parties and visiting pumpkin patches or apple orchards.
But did you know that fall carries the highest risk for house fires to start? According to the American Red Cross, statistically most house fires happen in the fall and winter months.
Luckily there are steps you can take to lower your risk of a fire starting in your home. The first one is actually very simple. Just check the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors.
Working smoke detectors help keep your home and family safe. Experts recommend having a smoke detector in every bedroom.
If you have issues remembering when you need to change your smoke detector batteries, a good rule of thumb is to switch them every spring and fall when you change your clocks.
Don’t Forget Basic Fire Safety
Do you enjoy a big, happy bonfire with family and friends? If you do, you aren’t alone.
Bonfires are one of the most popular American fall activities. (And they’re a great way to make s’mores.) But if they aren’t properly attended, they can turn a fun night out into an accident waiting to happen.
Supervising a bonfire safely really comes down to keeping an eye on the fire. Don’t leave a fire burning by itself in your yard. If you’re done for the night, be sure to put out your bonfire so it doesn’t cause any unintended damage.
If there’s a fireplace in your home, then using it becomes more tempting on chilly fall nights. Before you light your first fire this fall, have a professional check out your chimney and fireplace to be sure it’s safe.
You don’t want to light a fire in a fireplace when the chimney is clogged or damaged. Having them check the condition of your home’s other heating units (like your furnace) can also help prevent fires caused by maintenance problems.
We’re Here if You Need Us
If an accident happens at your home this fall and you need help restoring fire or smoke damage, you don’t have to look far.
Our team is always ready to help you if a fire damages your home. Local experts can guide you through the fire restoration process and help get your home back in top shape.
Commercial Water Damage
Commercial Water Loss our SERVPRO Technicians responded to after hours this Spring. We responded fast & mitigated before farther damages occurred.
At SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula, our team of highly trained technicians works proactively and accurately to restore any damages and protect families from potentially dangerous mold growth. Using our updated methods, SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula's technicians first identify the extent of the problem and then work with care and sensitivity to rescue and restore the area to normal conditions. Our technicians are trained and ready to mitigate loss and meet every challenge with professionalism, reliability, compassion, and respect.
Commercial Building Water Loss
Any kind of commercial damage presents unique and different challenges than residential restoration. But Upper Peninsula residents are in luck! At SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula there is no job too big for us! Regardless of how big the property may be or how large the scope of work is, we are the guys that can handle it properly and professionally.
Our Promise to The Upper Peninsula
Our commitment to excellence includes you, which means that you can expect effective and quick mitigation services. SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula is open 24/7 to help the residents of The Upper Peninsula. Our certified technicians have handled jobs big and small, and we can handle your job no matter what. Just give SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula a ring at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Pure Michigan. 906-204-2450 is HERE TO HELP!
We Are Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today 906-458-9904
Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks
While we are following CDC guidelines of social distancing and the Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Safe Order" now is a great time to get a head start on your spring cleaning! Spring Cleaning can be an enjoyable experience that will leave you with a sparkling and refreshed home.
Ready to give your home a top-to-bottom buffing? Try focusing on furnishings, appliances, and carpeting. Once you’ve covered these major tasks, you’ll have your home spring-cleaned in no time.
Make doormats welcoming
Shake 'em, wash 'em, swat 'em with a broom. Give them the toughest cleaning they can take. They’re your front line against tracked-in dirt—so keep them clean enough to function at peak efficiency.
Clean carpets and upholstery
Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil, and germs will need a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear—and for that close inspection by your relaxing guests. Move furniture just slightly—not out of the room or against the wall, as the old rules dictated—and place the legs of each piece back on top of small wax paper squares after shampooing. The wax paper will protect your carpet and keep the furniture legs from getting wet as the carpet dries. Open the windows to speed the drying process, which can take a day or more. If you’re not the furniture-shifting and machine-renting type, use a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner like SERVPRO.
Finish your floors
To protect the floors in your kitchen from another year of wear and tear, wax or apply a sealer following label directions. The simplest method: Use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner. No-wax floors don’t need a polishing treatment, but an occasional makeover will keep them looking fresher and add a protective buffer that could help them last longer. Use a floor cleaner that cleans, shines, or both. If you have wood floors, move furniture and rugs aside, then apply a wood cleaner and either liquid or paste polish to clean and add a new wax coating.
Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards, and woodwork
The walls may not look as if they need a bath—dust and soot fall to the floor, right? Most of it does, but just enough clings to vertical surfaces to warrant a seasonal or pre-holiday bath. Use a sponge and hand dishwashing detergent, washing the surface in sections. A sponge mop makes it easier to reach higher spots. Use two buckets: one for dishwashing detergent solution and another for wringing your sponge. Dry the walls and woodwork with a clean cloth.
Vacuum with intelligence
The old rules mandated that you go through the labor-intensive task of dragging every stick of furniture off the carpet, just so the vacuum cleaner could cover every nook and cranny. Instead, simply move those big items a little to the left or to the right. Vacuum the area previously occupied by the furniture and then move it back into place.
Clean ceiling fixtures
Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment.
Clean your light fixtures
A few minutes with a stepladder, all-purpose cleaner, a sponge, and a polish cloth will give new light to your life. If your home has skylights or tall ceilings, consider investing in a stepladder and extended-reach dust-and-dirt-removal tools, all of which are available at your local hardware store and at home supply stores.
Check your coils
You should clean the refrigerator’s condenser coil, usually found behind the toe grille, with a long-handled bottle brush and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove dust and lint. Built-up dust can shut down the unit by causing it to overheat. To remove dust from coils attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet (newer models roll on casters) and vacuum thoroughly; finish by sweeping or vacuuming the floor area you’ve revealed. Expect to rediscover coins, bottle caps, and twist ties that you and the cat knocked over the past year.
Need help getting your home "spring" clean? How about SERVPRO clean? Call SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula at (906) 204-2450. Our team will gladly work with you to get your home fresh and clean for spring!
Winter Weather Preparedness
SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula is prepared to help you weather the storm!
Are you fully prepared for winter? Here's a few additional tips to make sure your home or business is prepared to weather the winter storms in the Upper Peninsula.
- Winter weather preparedness:
- Go over how to ensure your home is insulated properly:
- Weather stripping on doors/windows, insulate walls, attics, pipes
- Plastic sheeting over windows that are drafty
- Emergency safety kits, in case of power outages – in your home & in your vehicle
- Stock up on food, water, gasoline for vehicles, shovels, weather appropriate clothing, blankets, salt/sand, etc.
- Keep your phones charged
- If power goes out close any curtains, blinds & doors to rooms that are not needing to be used to keep heat centralized. Cover windows to reduce a draft
- If you have a wood burning stove, ensure you have enough wood in case of multiple days of power outages. Also, make sure the flue is always open. Keep a carbon monoxide detector in the home to detect any possible gasses.
- During/after winter storms:
- Shovel during & after to ensure a safe entrance/exit in case of emergency
- Keep an eye on your piping, watch out for frozen pipes. Make sure your pipes are properly insulated!
- Switch your thermostat from auto to fan on, this makes your burners run less which results in a more constant circulation of heat throughout aka a more regulated temperature.
What To Know About Ice Dams
If you experience water damage caused by an ice dam, call our SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula team.
For homeowners in the Upper Peninsula, winter can bring a number of problems, from burst pipes to leaky roofs. Another issue you may not be aware of is the formation of ice dams. While it may not seem like much of an issue on its own, it can cause extensive water damage to your house which can then create more problems. Here are a few things that you should know.
1. What Are They?
As you may be able to guess from its name, an ice dam is a formation that keeps water from properly moving from your roof. They occur when snow melts and then refreezes into harder ice. They often form on the edge of the roof which can make it difficult for water to drain properly but can also show up in other areas. When this happens, the trapped water can begin to back up and cause damage to the roof and ceiling underneath it.
2. How Do You Prevent Them?
These formations occur because of melting and refreezing snow, so one tip for ice dam prevention is to keep the temperature of your roof cold enough to prevent melting. This is most easily done by keeping the temperature in your attic low. Proper insulation can help as well. Another method of prevention is removing snow from your roof immediately after a storm.
3. How Can You Remove Them?
If you already have an ice dam on your roof, then you should remove it as quickly as possible to prevent it from causing any damage. One way to do this is by using an ice melt product. Hot water steaming can do the trick as well.
While a winter storm and cold weather can often create frustrating problems, you do not need to handle them all on your own. Our SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula team is always here to help!
Don't be a turkey this Thanksgiving
We're available around the clock because the leading cause of home fires is cooking.
We're available 24/7/365 because the leading cause of home fires is cooking. (Not your cooking, of course)
With November upon us, the holidays will be here before we know it. While signature dishes are a staple at every families holiday gathering; we would like to take the time to address the dangers of deep frying a turkey.
With a minimal amount of preparation there are a few simple precautionary steps that you can take in order to keep your home and family safe while still impressing the socks off your in-laws.
Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey
1.Be sure to place your turkey fryer on a solid, even ground a safe distance away from any flammable objects. They are known to tip easily; spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
2.Be sure to take into consideration the size of the turkey when filling the cooking oil. An overfilled fryer will displace hot oil when the turkey is placed into the fryer.
3.Due to a change in temperature, a partially frozen turkey when being placed in the fryer will cause cooking oil to splatter, be sure to thaw properly.
4.Be sure to wear heat proof gloves when handling the pot, lid or turkey in any way as the fryer surfaces can become dangerously hot.
5.Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can easily overheat and start fires, even the slightest amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a very large fire.
6.Most importantly, always use turkey fryers indoors or on wooden surfaces.
If you decide to be a turkey and blatantly disregard these tips, you may end up causing damage to your property. If that's the case SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula will be here to help. We would much rather have enjoying your dinner with your family and friends however. We hope you all have a SAFE and happy holiday season!
Avoid Bursting Pipes This Winter
This flooded basement was caused by a floor drain blockage.
SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula is here to help in case of a pipe that bursts or lines that freeze. Our crews are ready 24/7! No matter how big or small our local SERVPRO team handles them all, give us a call at (906) 204-2450!
7 Helpful Tips to Avoid Bursting Pipes This Winter
- Wrap outside faucets.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Disconnect garden hoses.
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems
- Let a stream of water run if the temperature dips below freezing.
- Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the house for several days.
Do not plug small space heaters into power strips.
SERVPRO of the Upper Peninsula would like to inform everyone of the dangers of using power strips. Power strips have become a necessity in the world we live in. Everything runs on electricity and we just plug it in and let it go never realizing how many amps or load that the power strip can handle.
With cooler temperatures expected, some may want to use their small space heaters. If so, DO NOT plug them into a power strip. These devises are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat causing a fire hazard.
We want you to stay warm and stay safe this winter. But, if damage strikes your home we are here to help make it "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula (906) 204-2450 where a team of professionals will help your house feel like home again.