“In the warm yellow glow of the Christmas Candles
I see the magic of Christmas shining bright, shining bright…”
From Christmas Candles by Breen, LeVeen, Sampson
The fragrance and ambience of candles have long-outlived their pragmatic use as a source of light in our modern world. Yet, they continue to be a part of almost every household, especially at the Holidays: so many fragrances, so many shapes and styles to suit the occasions!
As you enjoy the warmth of candlelight and the sensory pleasure of the seasonal aromas, we wish for you to be safe burning your candles. There is no need for many to be concerned about burning candles on Christmas trees, but please be cautious throughout your decorated homes. Fires caused by burning candles have destroyed more than one family’s holiday season.
Please be vigilant in your use of candles, making sure to always keep an eye on them as they burn:
- Keep from touching other decorations, i.e., greens, ribbons, silk flowers.
- Try to use candles in containers: jars, votive glass, etc.
- Place columns, 3-wicked candles, tapers and other free-standing candles on a fire-resistant tray or in a bowl. Monitor the wax flow that may occur as the edge cracks.
Not all candles are created equal. Many inexpensive candles contain inorganic materials that, when burned, can send toxins into the air of our enclosed spaces. They often give off more soot, too. Quality soy candles and fragrances from essential oils will still release soot into the air, but generally burn cleaner. Keeping any burning candle away from walls and ceilings will reduce the chance of soot residue staining those surfaces.
A candle’s flame is often seen as Holy Fire. Please, let’s keep it that way. May your holidays, however you celebrate, be merry and blessed!
O, Christmas Tree!
O, Christmas Tree!
O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree! How lovely are your branches…
Families are decorating their holiday trees, many purchasing fresh trees, some for the first time. They are lovely and fragrant and offer a wonderful touch of nostalgia, often remembering the holidays at the grandparents.
If you are enjoying a fresh tree, please remember that they need special attention. Place it away from heat sources to keep it from drying to quickly – and from possibly catching fire.
Place it out of traffic patterns in your home in order avoid tripping hazards of a bump in the night. So many times, the furniture is rearranged to make the appropriate space for the tree in the room and family members must retrain themselves to new traffic patterns.
Beware of electrical hazards! Although a fresh tree, as it dries throughout the season, is at greater risk of catching fire with faulty wires in strings of lights, artificial trees are not exempt from this danger. Make certain that all wires are in good condition before hanging them on the tree. If it is a pre-lit tree, check the safety of those wrapped wires and connections.
No matter what type of tree you are using to decorate for the holidays, DO NOT OVERLOAD CIRCUITS!! This is one sure way to set things ablaze and ruin the holidays.
When leaving the house for holiday shopping or other festivities, it is a wise thing to unplug or turn off the holiday electrical elements: cords, strings of lights, the train set under the tree, etc.
Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Holidays!
We wish you Happiness and many Blessings in the coming year!
May 2021 bring us good health and a return to the loved ones we are missing!
It's Virtually the Holidays
As we came out of our first month donning the world of virtual family gatherings, we step into a second month of those possibilities. Many of us find ourselves questioning how we are going to make the festivities we celebrate in December feel joyous. We find ourselves struggling with what it will all look like, how the logistics need to line up and work out, and it's causing additional holiday stress.
As we have been organizing things with our families we have pondered many questions. How? When? Will we have a meal together somehow? Open gifts? Share some spirits? What platform will we use? How much time do we need to set aside? How are we going to feel?
Keep this in mind. The season is meant to bring cheer, don't lose sight of that. Try not to stress all the little details of your time together, they will fall into place. You will ultimately feel what you want.
As someone who is adjusting to their best friend moving thousands of miles away during a pandemic (making it impossible to physically visit), we have learned how to make things seem more like we are still together. Here are some suggestions to make it feel a little more "normal".
- Virtually bake together
- Prepare a meal together
- Build a gingerbread house together
- Watch a movie together (we stream and try to just start at the same time)
- Open gifts together on a video platform
- Take turns opening them
- Host a virtual secret santa
- Cheers a virtual drink the same way
- Setup a video gaming campaign
There are several video chatting services available. FaceTime, Facebook video, Alexa Show, Zoom, Teams, and Google connect are just a few.
Remember, it's a time for cheer. We hope you all have happy holidays, however possible!
COVID and Region 1
Our Region 1 is designated for “Resurgence Mitigations” after the rise in Covid-19 cases above the state threshold!
Outwitting the Pandemic Takes Patience.
It is apparent to all that Covid-19 will be with us for quite some time to come. The anticipated flu season could bring even more unwelcome concerns. It is certainly not a time to become complacent about our health routines, no matter how frustrated we may become. Keep wearing your mask; continue to physical distance; avoid large gatherings; cover your cough – and your sneeze (those of us with allergies can clear a space in a hurry!); wash your hands thoroughly; stay home if not feeling well.
Remember that cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas in shared space will help to keep others safe, too. Not sure what to do or continue doing to maintain the health of home or workplace? Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn or contact us for information or a consultation.
The only way we will ALL come through this world-wide health calamity is to follow the science and deeply care about one another.
Falling for Leaf Burning
For some of us, fall is the favorite time of year. There is a crispness in the air that rouses a sluggish body from the stifling days of heat and high humidity. The colors of fall foliage fill the air with almost fluorescent colors. The smells are pungent as Mother Nature drops leaves, seeds and nuts to find their new homes to ready for winter shelter and new life in the spring. There are apples and cider and pumpkins and squash and heady spices used in baking and mulling. And for many, there is the fall ritual of burning leaves.
With any type of burning, SERVPRO of Rockford would like you to remain safe in this leaf-burning activity:
- Where will you burn that hefty pile? Make certain that it is far enough away from buildings and other flammable materials.
- Be prepared! Make certain that you have a handy water supply, a metal rake to keep the leaves contained and a shovel to control escaping flaming materials.
- Be courteous of neighbors. Smoke that smells delightful to our senses, may contribute to another’s allergies, including asthmatic responses. Also, don’t burn with a breeze towards the neighbor’s house.
- Don’t burn on a windy day! This will send sparks and burning leaves to places you will not wish them to be, placing your property and possibly the neighbor's at risk.
- Be aware of local regulations regarding burning. Each community or county has its own regulations. Here are the links for the City of Rockford and Winnebago County:
Stay safe and enjoy your fall activities!
Here to Help during this time of need
Covid-19: Here to Help
SERVPRO of Rockford is Here to Help during this time of need
Why turn to SERVPRO?
We are Cleaning Experts
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 –
SERVPRO of ROCKFORD, 815-964-0599
Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer
Did you know that more than fifty thousand people visit the emergency room each year, and of those people 400 will die from carbon monoxide poisoning? There are even rare occasions where carbon monoxide is used as a suicide measure. Often times the individual will sit inside a running car with nothing allowing air circulation.
Carbon monoxide can be very hard to detect as it is colorless and odorless (hence the name "silent killer"). Symptoms can be very similar to every day ailments: headache, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, and other flu like symptoms. It can represent the flu without the fever. It can also mask itself so that you feel better when you leave an environment. So, if you are feeling ill inside, and you go outside and find your symptoms going away, then it may be CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin and prevents those cells from carrying oxygen. Those with weakened immune systems (such as elderly and infants) can have an increased risk of getting sick from carbon monoxide. It can be fatal.
What kinds of things can emit carbon monoxide? Portable space heaters, gas heaters, an old furnace, or a gas oven can all emit the gas. You can also risk exposure if you use outdoor camping related products indoors; such as a camping stove, or charcoal grill.
Adequate ventilation is the key when using one of these types of entities. It is also wise to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home (or business) when using these types of appliances.
*photo from CDC website
O, Christmas Tree…
Deck the Halls…
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire…
All of these things can lend themselves to fire disasters over the holidays. Please keep your family and home safe throughout the season by being aware of how you decorate, how you use the electrical outlets, how you conduct your holiday cooking and baking.
The Christmas Tree:
- If it is a live tree, keep it well watered. Clean the floor of excess needles.
- Make certain all lights are functioning properly.
- Turn off all holiday indoor lighting when away from home.
- Be careful not to overload electrical outlets.
- Keep flammable ornaments away from high-heat sources.
As you Deck the Halls:
- If using fresh greens, keep them away from lit candles and other heat sources.
- Make sure lights used with fresh greens are functioning properly, that they are of cool temperature and are turned off/unplugged when no one is home or while family is sleeping.
- Candles add much ambiance to the season, but never leave them unattended. That warm, inviting flame can soon become an inferno of burnt fabric, greens, wood (furniture, decorations, trim). And melted wax can quickly ruin heirloom linens and festive moods.
- Again, please be careful with the use of electrical outlets.
- A real wood fire in the fireplace is most welcome during the winter months. As we crowd more visitors into our gathering spaces, make sure that everyone keeps a safe distance from the flames. Keep all of those boxes and wrappings away from the fire. Note: burning the gift wrap in the fire is not recommended. This can easily send ash and sparks outside of the hearth area.
Baking the Special Christmas Goodies:
- There is little more inviting than the smell of baking breads and cookies or the spices of mulled cider or wine. When we get so busy over the holidays, we can forget how long some of those cookies have been in the oven.
- Whether grilling, or deep-frying the Christmas goose or turkey, keep the grill, fryer and smokers away from the house – and out of the garage. It is very tempting to want to stay warm while doing these chores, but safety must always be the first concern.
- Some of our special holiday recipes can require high heats on the stovetop in order to achieve the special results we desire. Watch these closely and carefully.
SERVPRO of Rockford wishes you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your season be filled with the love of family and friends. May the New Year bring you good health, much happiness and many blessings. Please stay safe during the holidays. If disaster does strike, we will be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Fall Preparation for Winter
Did you get those gutters cleaned and cleared before the cold weather came upon us? Did you disconnect the outdoor hoses? And shut off the outside spigots? There will still be some above freezing days coming our way in order to get that done. They just won’t be warm tasks to complete!
If you do not get these outdoor chores completed, the brutal cold of a polar vortex could make your life even more inconvenient and uncomfortable. Those clogged gutters won’t allow the melting snow from the roof to flow easily or freely. Since water seeks the path of least resistance, it will cascade over the gutters onto sidewalks, landings and other walkways. This makes for dangerously icy walking spaces. As it makes its way closer to the foundation of your home, it may find a way through your foundation into your home… Remember the note about the path of least resistance?!
That snow on the roof that spills over the gutters can become ice dams, damaging roofing, soffits, facia and gutters from the sheer weight of ice and snow. The water from this can often make its way along the inside walls of your home. Wet ceilings, walls, insulation, flooring and baseboards can make such a mess. Left to dry on their own, they can soon harbor mold. The roof itself can be damaged and continue to have leakage problems. (NOTE: Do not use standard rock salt on your roof! Calcium Chloride based products are safer for roofing materials and will work at lower temperatures.)
If that hose is still connected or the water has not been shut off to those outside spigots, freezing weather causes the water in those lines to expand. Breaks and cracks are frequently the result. Where does the water from those broken lines go? Back into the house, of course, where it is warmer and the water can flow freely! What a mess!
Yes, “Baby, it’s cold outside!” But it will only get colder as winter progresses. Take advantage of the next warmer – above freezing – day and get those outside chores completed. Otherwise, you will find yourself needing to call SERVPRO of Rockford to make those water damages “Like it never even happened.”
The Rock River had flowed into the basement of this local home.
With the recent flooding of our local river a large amount of homes had water intrusion. Many people had to even leave their home until the water had resided.
Unfortunately, unless you have flood insurance and the area is deemed a disaster, this is a problem that ends up burning a hole in your wallet.
Here's a few tips that you could utilize while trying to re-mediate your home or business:
1) Protect yourself, besides water being from the river it has also flowed up through the sewer into your home. Most flood water is considered sewage due to the high amount of microbial growth.
2) All carpet and pad will need to be removed. Make sure you get this up first, due to the amount of saturation they can hold. It's difficult to dry an area or dwelling if there is still saturated material.
3) Drywall will need to be cut and removed at either 2ft or 4 ft. If you keep it consistent, it is much easier to replace.
4) Sadly, most contents will have to be disposed of due to how contaminated the water was. Again, please protect yourself.
If there is anyone that needs assistance or wants us to come out and take a look, don't hesitate to give us a call! Even if it is just for advice, we are here to help!