Sump Pumps in the Summer | How to Deal With Heavy Rains

Posted on August 16, 2019.

This is an updated blog.  Click here to visit the latest version.

Summer brings barbecues, baseball, swimming, warm weather, and RAIN. Lots of rain can flood basements if you don’t take proper measures. Now, not ALL basements have a sump pump, but if yours does, it’s important to know what you can do to make sure when you need it, it works properly. Nobody wants to wake up after an overnight storm to a flooded basement, and a failed sump pump.

As of August 19th, 2019, the total precipitation at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reached 29.64 inches. This is the second wettest year, right after a whopping 31.75 inches that fell in 1892. What exactly can a sump pump do to save you the pain of a flooded basement during these rainy months?

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Down in the lowest part of your basement, is a sump basin that manages and collects water levels as they rise and fall during rainfall, flooding, the dreaded winter melt, etc. Inside that basin is a sump pump that prevents your basement from flooding by pumping out any accumulated water. Its main purpose is to keep your basement dry and prevent standing water and mold growth. Sump pumps should last up to 10 years, with regular maintenance and upkeep. To maintain its quality, and prevent failure, there are some steps you can take to test your sump pump throughout the year, before a chance of flood.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Back-Up Battery – Sump pumps run off battery power and if during a heavy storm you lose power, that pump will continue to run on reserve battery power temporarily. However, for a prolonged electric outage, you want to make sure you have a backup battery or power source to run the pump to avoid flooding and standing water. A heavy storm + power outage = lots of water building up, with nothing but mops and buckets to stop it. Don’t let that happen to you!

Water Sensor  – Purchase a water sensor! There are water sensor alarm systems you can set up in or near your sump basin or on the basement floor that will sound an alarm when it detects water. There are now sensors that are app capable and will text right to your phone that your basement floor is wet. This can help prevent flooded basements and failed sump pumps before you walk down there and discover it yourself. Which at that point can be too late.

Annual Test – By testing your sump pump every year, you can work at preventing any mishaps during a time when it needs to work. Make this your opportunity to do any preventative maintenance, and repairs on it before it’s an emergent situation. For those living in areas with high flood risk, you may want to consider bi-annual checkups on your sump pump. Make sure all drain hoses are connected correctly, tightly, and are fully intact. Check for leaks, and make sure it’s working properly. Check your battery life and give it a run through – turn off your power and make sure that back-up power kicks in. Pour water into your sump basin and let it fill up to do the full test and ensure everything is in working order.

If Your Pump Fails – If your pump does fail on you, don’t panic, just keep in mind some tips for fast-acting flood control. You want to dry out your basement as quickly as you can, immediately removing all items that may have gotten wet. Mold can begin growing within 48 hours, so it’s important to get valuables, cardboard boxes, rugs, and furniture out and dried as soon as you can. Put fans and a dehumidifier in the basement to ensure the basement gets completely dry, and no dampness remains. In fact, if you have a moist basement to begin with, running a dehumidifier often can help alleviate dampness and prolong items stored down there. Lastly, contact your local ServiceMaster for a clean-up and/or damage assessment. They have some more tips on how to make sure your sump pump is working as it should here.

If you do find yourself with a failed sump pump and a mess in your basement, give us a call for all your clean-up needs!


How to Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer

Posted on July 17, 2019.

Summer in Minnesota can get hot, humid, and unbearable. When heat indexes are on the rise, know there is so much more you can do to keep your house cool than cranking up that air conditioning, which means cranking up that bill.

Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned before and after of air duct after air duct cleaning, air duct cleaning minneapolis

Over time, dust and pollutants can build up in your air ducts and, aside from causing potential respiratory problems, it can keep your central air conditioning from working properly. Getting your air ducts cleaned out by a professional can save you money and prevent ailments like asthma from occurring or getting worse. Don’t let your ducts turn into a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, mold spores, and other microbes, call us to get them cleaned properly and boost that air conditioning.

Draw the Shades

Windows produce a ton of extra heat in your home, especially on a sunny day. Drawing the shades and closing your blinds before you leave for work in the morning can keep extra heat out, and keep your air conditioning from working extra hard to combat that temperature. West-facing windows are going to get hit with the sunniest part of the day, so definitely keep those windows covered while you don’t need them.

Invest in Blackout Curtains

In addition to closing your blinds, investing in blackout curtains can work wonders when it comes to keeping heat out, or IN in the winter months. Blackout curtains are thick to block out the sunlight, but also the inside is reflective to the outside to keep from soaking up any more of the sun’s heat. In older homes, they can help with any leaky windows from letting hot or cool air in, which saves you money! They are also great for those LONG days in the summer, where the sun wakes us up before our alarm or is still up when we wind down for bed. They’re a great investment!

Sleep With Cooling Sheets

This doesn’t keep your house cool, but it can keep you cool which is why we want to turn down that air conditioning, to begin with, right? You should have different sheets for each season, especially in Minnesota where we get to experience every single type of weather. Swap out your winter flannel or fleece sheets for a more breathable fabric like bamboo, cotton, or linen. The lighter fabrics like cotton are going to be naturally cooling, which improves sleep because our bodies actually prefer cold to sleep. Cooling mattress pads and pillows are also a great way to stay cool at night. Make sure you have an osculating fan in your room at night which can help circulate the cool air around the room, and keep it cooler in the humidity.

Don’t Cook in the Oven

Gather your friends and family for grill-outs! Or, just enjoy having an intimate weeknight dinner of burgers and brats for yourself. Either way, using the oven to cook dinner can really heat up your house, and most things you are cooking in the oven can be made on the grill! Make the switch and enjoy the outdoors, then bring it inside to eat your delicious meal in the nice, cool, air conditioning in your home.

Take Advantage of Cooler Evenings

Summer evenings can see temperatures drop to the 70s and even upper 60s. This can be perfect weather and a time to take advantage of opening those windows for some fresh air and give the AC a break. A nice rainstorm can be calming for sleep, but also refresh the home with some cooler winds, as long as it’s not humid.

Run the Ceiling Fan Counter-clockwise

If you have a ceiling fan, it’s good to know there is a switch on the side or top of its motor that can change the direction to clockwise or counterclockwise. A counter-clockwise turn will push cool air down and is what you want running during the hot summer months. The cool breeze effect will make it seem cooler than it actually is. On the other hand, a clockwise turn, on low, will draw cool air upwards and is best for winter weather.

Keep Unused Rooms Closed

To truly utilize the cooling air conditioning, and cool the house down overall, close the doors to rooms that aren’t being used or aren’t regular living areas like laundry rooms, spare bedrooms, bathrooms. If you have central air vents, close those vents, which will help force that air to the other parts of the house you need cooled down. Close your bedroom doors before bedtime so you can walk into a nice, cool environment for sleeping. Sounds nice, right?

 

Follow these tips and you should be living in a blissfully cool house this summer. Remember though, a blocked or dirty air duct can negate all that work your air conditioner is doing, so please call us anytime or request a free quote for air duct cleaning and maintenance. Stay cool!


5 Benefits of Using Rug Cleaning Machines

Posted on September 11, 2018.

As far as accidents go, nothing is more frustrating than accidentally spilling coffee, wine, ketchup, or anything else for that matter, on your rug. What was once a beautiful centerpiece on your living or dining room floor is now stained with an unattractive blemish.

But, all hope is not lost. There are tons of options out there when it comes to getting rid of a stain and making your rug good as new once more. One route you could take is investing in a rug or carpet cleaning machine. Today, we’re going to talk about five benefits a rug or carpet cleaning machine has to offer for your home cleaning needs.

1. There is a Wide Variety to Choose From

No matter what your budget is or the type of rug you have, there is a rug cleaning machine for you. if you’re a pet owner, the Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet Carpet Cleaner can help you not only get rid of stains caused by your dog who couldn’t hold his bladder but also can gather pet hair in your rugs. Or, if you want a multifunctional cleaner that allows you to clean stairs or couches, check out the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe which features an 8-inch hose attachment for those hard to reach nooks and crannies.

If you’re hesitant of having a heavier machine in your home, check out the Spotless Cordless Carpet and Spot Cleaner from Bissell which is a great lightweight, portable option. There are plenty of manufacturers and styles to assist you in keeping your home clean.

2. You Have the Option to Rent or Buy

You don’t even have to buy a rug cleaner, but you can rent one instead. If you keep your home clean and the rugs free of dirt, grime or other stains, then renting might be the best option for you. Renting allows you to avoid making a big purchase only to find out that you never really use it. However, if you find that your rug or carpets typically do get quite dirty, buying a rug cleaner will allow for a quick clean anytime you need it.

You can also hire a professional cleaner to make sure that the stain is cleaned properly. At ServiceMaster Clean, our team of experienced professional cleaners uses the latest and most advanced rug cleaning technologies to ensure that your stains are a thing of the past.

3. Not Just for Stains – Keep Your Rugs/Carpets Clean All the Time

A clean space is a clean mind. Cleaning your rugs and carpets don’t have to only occur when an accident happens. A clean home or office allows for more productivity and more peace of mind and even if you don’t have a nasty stain or odor to clean up on your rug, you can still use a cleaning machine to keep your home fresh.

4. Rug Cleaners Are Easy to Use

We’ve all found ourselves at some point down on our hands and knees, with a rag in one hand and some carpet cleaner in the other, trying desperately to rub a stain out of our rug. It’s not fun and it usually doesn’t work as well as we’d like. Luckily, a rug cleaning machine allows for a much more simple process when it comes to making your rug clean again. By simply plugging it in, a carpet cleaning machine can help keep your floor clean.

5. They Are More Effective in Getting Rid of Splatter, Smears, and Spots

Simply put, you’re going to see better results if you decide to invest in a rug cleaning machine. While it will be more expensive than traditional methods of getting rid of stains, in the long run, it will be worth it. With a rug cleaning machine, you’re going to see less damage to your rug then if you using a cloth to rub out the stain. Overall, a machine cleaner will help keep your rug in pristine condition, especially with those tough stains.

Reach out to ServiceMaster Today for Your Cleaning Needs

Whether you’re in need of residential or commercial cleaning, we offer the best cleaning services in the Twin Cities.  If it’s your own home that needs cleaning, impress your friends and family by utilizing our services to make your home as clean as it was when you first moved in. If it’s an office that is in need of some upkeep, our commercial cleaning technicians undergo a strict hiring process so you can trust us to make your business is in tip-top shape and ready to make a solid first impression on your prospective customers.

Call ServiceMaster today at 612.324.4981 or send us a message about your cleaning needs and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Small Water Leaks Turning Into a Huge Problem

Posted on July 19, 2018.

This blog has been updated.  To read the updated version, click here.

 

As one of the most expensive problems you can face as a homeowner, water leaks need to be dealt with immediately. Even small water leaks, whether in your kitchen, laundry room or bathroom, can cause big issues over time if left unfixed. To protect your home, yard and wallet, there are plenty of things you can do to fix small leaks before they become a huge problem.

Let’s explore how leaks can exist within your home and how to take care of them quickly and effectively.

Why Small Leaks Turn Into a Huge Problem

You may not think that a dripping faucet or leaky pipe could cause serious damage – but you couldn’t be more wrong. The reason small water leaks cause such an impact is because they are often hard to detect. Most of these smaller leaks don’t let water rush in, rather they allow water to slowly fill the surrounding areas, making the hard to notice at first. This is what allows them to cause serious damage that can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation, floors, ceiling, attic and more, until catastrophic failure happens.

Common Signs of Leaks to Look For

When it comes to a leaky home, there will be plenty of signs to look for. If you experience any of the following, it may be time to contact a water damage expert to assess the problem and make the proper repairs:

  • General feeling of dampness throughout the home
  • Corrosion of fixings such as screws and nails
  • Uneven floor surfaces, like buckling wood or lifting of vinyl
  • Stained or rotting carpet, or rusting of carpet fixings
  • Condensation forming on surfaces throughout the home
  • Mold or fungi forming on surfaces (this can also be caused by poor ventilation)
  • Musty or damp odors
  • Missing shingles from roof
  • Sagging of ceiling linings
  • Stained drywall or other surfaces

Leaks are an Inevitable Part of Home Ownership

Where water meets structure, there will almost always be leaks that can cause damage. Just because you can’t see or hear a leak doesn’t mean there aren’t multiple areas where your home’s plumbing or structure may be susceptible to water infiltration.

Pipes behind walls or ceilings, missing shingles on the roof, missing window flashing and more can be at risk for leaking, and you may not even be able to notice it before it’s too late. Sometimes, water damage can take years to repair, causing a musty smell that’s incredibly hard to get rid of. This can hurt the resale value of your home and can lower your overall quality of life.

Plus, not only can leaks damage your home, it is incredibly wasteful – according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leaky faucet alone, that drips at the rate of one drip per second, can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! Overall, you’re bound to save quite a bit of money on your water bill to seal up any leaks around your home.

There is good news, however, in that it’s generally an easy process to hire an experienced water damage mediation company to pinpoint and fix leaks, even if they are not visible. ServiceMaster, for example, uses special equipment to assess the extent of leaks and stop them before they cause serious harm to your home.

Small Leaks = Big Costs

There’s no doubt that leaks can cause serious damage to your home – and your bank account. The best way to prevent small leaks from becoming a big repair cost is to stop them before they grow into a problem.

This is where ServiceMaster can lend our expertise. We use various tools and experienced operations to identify leaks in your home. Determining the exact location of these leaks allows us to fix these problems no matter how easy or complex.

Once the leaks are located, we get to work repairing them using a number of techniques. We can excavate the problematic leaks, patching it if it’s still in proper condition, or we can replace entire lines using proven methods of leak repair.

Have a minor leak? Want to avoid a HUGE headache?

Contact ServiceMaster today!

If you find a minor leak, such as behind a cupboard, under the faucet or in your attic, get in touch with our team of water damage experts as soon as possible. If that minor leak is not dealt with correctly right away, it could turn into a HUGE problem down the road. ServiceMaster can help fix the small leak and make sure that it dries out quickly and properly so you don’t have to worry about any major problems.

Get in touch with our team now.


5 Ways to Prepare for Emergency Restoration Services

Posted on July 12, 2018.

As summer gets into full swing, there’s always the potential for devastating storms, tornadoes, fires, flooding and more to wreak havoc on your home or business.

If you do suffer damage or loss in a disaster event, hiring an emergency restoration company will do a lot to get your life back to normal. They can do everything from clear the basement of water to recovering important financial documents to removing musty or smoky odors. But, to do their job as best they can, there are a few things you should do before they arrive.

Here are five easy to remember, practical tips to help you prepare for emergency restoration services.

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/globalx/

1) Prepare an Emergency Kit

First things first – It’s crucial to have an emergency kit in an easy-to-access area of your home, so you can stay safe before, during and after a disaster hits. Prepare an emergency kit so that you can be ready to go in an instant, as the restoration team may need you to clear the premises so they can get to work.

A properly prepared emergency kit is ideally kept in something that’s easy to carry, such as a waterproof bag, and can include such items as:

  • First aid kit
  • GPS device
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Battery-powered radio or television
  • Flashlight
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Extra batteries
  • one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • A change of clothes
  • Blanket
  • Identification
  • Cash, wallet, and checkbook
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Keys to your home, car, and/or office
  • Helmets, especially for young children

2) Prepare the Space

Heavy winds and rain can easily spread debris around your property, making it hard to navigate the grounds. Broken windows, downed branches or blocked escape routes can be unsafe for you and your family and make it tough for the emergency restoration company to work. As best you can, clear the property of harmful debris.

It’s also a good idea to have a designated shelter somewhere on the property. In your home, choose an interior room located away from outside walls and windows. On a commercial property, there should be a designated space in the building that can fit all tenants or employees.

3) Prepare People

Create an emergency plan and share it with every member of the family. Young children can be especially vulnerable, so go over each step and do some practice run-throughs to get them used to the actions to take in an emergency.

For commercial property owners, it’s imperative to have the contact information of tenants and/or employees in case of injury. Inform everyone of emergency procedures, such as where the shelter is, and remind them to bring essentials like cell phones, wallets, and purses with them if they need to leave the property during a tornado warning.

4) Prepare Possessions

Damage to the possessions on the inside of your structure can be even more devastating than the damage to the property. Losing important documents, important personal items and other valuables is a stressful situation. Backup your important information onto flash drives or a cloud service, such as:

  • Contact information for friends, family, or business
  • Financial documents (wills, taxes, etc.)
  • Account details for credit cards, banks, utilities and other accounts
  • Insurance policy information and agent contact information
  • Passwords
  • Itemized list of things you own
  • For homeowners: jewelry, paintings, electronics, and other valuables
  • For businesses: furniture, paintings, documents and inventory

5) Find an Emergency Restoration Company before Disaster Strikes

One of the best things you can do to protect your home or business is to find an emergency restoration company before disaster strikes. When you have a reputable company on call, you’ll be better prepared to quickly and effectively address damage from destructive events, protecting your investment, minimizing your losses and helping you maintain your peace-of-mind.

Looking for the Best Disaster Restoration Specialist in Minneapolis? Contact ServiceMaster today!

Whether it affects your home or business, fire, flooding, mold damage and other disasters can be the most stressful event you ever experience. All you want is to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. That’s where the disaster restoration team at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis can help, with our 24/7/365 availability, premier services and expert service technicians.


The Benefits of a Thorough Air Duct Cleaning

Posted on May 18, 2018.

This blog has been updated.  Click here to see the updated version, posted on December 29, 2020.

Air ducts are responsible for circulating the air from your heating and cooling system, spreading it to each room throughout your home and keeping you comfortable all year round. This is the air that fills your living spaces, and the air that you and your family breathe. As such, it should be as clean as possible.

You can accomplish this through a thorough air duct cleaning, which removes dust, mold and other debris trapped in the air system. Using heavy-duty vacuums, a professional duct cleaner will suck up all those harmful, odor-causing elements in your ducts to stop it from re-circulating in your house. This includes cleaning the supply and return ducts, in addition to the diffusers and registers located throughout the rooms of the home.

If you’re thinking about having your air ducts cleaned, here are a few duct cleaning benefits of the process that you may not know.

1) Cleaner Air for Your Living Spaces

With professional cleaning, your air ducts will be completely cleared of dust that accumulates within the system. When dust accumulates, your HVAC system will ultimately circulate it throughout your living spaces, affecting the quality of air in your home. All of that dust settles on things such as furniture, bed, dishes – pretty much anything that’s not sealed in a bag or box – and then you end up breathing it in. A thorough air duct cleaning reduces the amount of dusting you’ll need to do around the home, as well.

2) Improved Air Flow

As dust, mold, contaminants and other debris accumulate in air ducts, it blocks the system’s incoming/outgoing airflow. Cleaner air ducts allow larger volumes of clean air to circulate throughout the home. This air is also able to maintain its temperature over extended time periods, which also provides less strain on your HVAC system. Consequently, this will lower the cost of utility bills, because a clean system can operate at peak efficiency and provide the most cost-effective performance for your energy dollar.

3) Reduces Allergens and Irritants in the Air

Beyond dust, your air ducts can accumulate other harmful contaminants, such as mold spores, bacteria, pollen, mildew, and pet dander. These contaminants put allergens and irritants into the air, affecting people who suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues. Even among healthy individuals, allergens and irritants entering the nose and lungs can trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as sinus and bronchial problems. Cleaning your air duct system promotes healthier living, otherwise the bad air in your home will keep recirculating.

4) Removes Unpleasant Smells and Odors

Have you ever left your home for a few days, whether for vacation or a business trip, and come back to notice an unpleasant odor? That’s what other people smell when they come to your home. Because you live there, you’ve likely to grow accustomed to however your house smells. Every time you turn on your air system, you’re just pushing all of those odors throughout the house.  An air duct cleaning will get rid of those bad household odor particles, leaving you with a better smelling home.

Are you looking for professional air duct cleaning? Contact the expert home cleaners at ServiceMaster today! With a wide variety of professional service offerings, we’re the premier provider of HVAC cleaning in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area – find out why by getting in touch with our dedicated team today! Continue reading…


3 Reasons to Get a Thorough Upholstery Cleaning

Posted on May 10, 2018.

This blog has been updated.  To read the updated version, click here.

When your furniture is in dire need of cleaning, you may consider trying to save some money by doing it yourself. However, that may be easier said than done. Many people don’t have the necessary training to properly clean their own furniture. You must be experienced with crucial aspects of the job, such as the type of cleaner to use on which fabrics and the proper cleaning methods, to avoid causing even more damage.

Most furniture requires specific cleaning chemicals and tools that the regular homeowner does not have access to. That’s why many people choose to hire a professional upholstery cleaning company to clean stains off of furniture with specialized equipment and chemicals.

If you’re on the fence about whether to hire a professional for the job, consider these three reasons you should get a thorough upholstery cleaning. Let’s get started!

1) Appearance

The first reason you should get a thorough upholstery cleaning is to keep its appearance up. With periodic cleaning, you can keep your furniture looking nice for longer by stopping dust, dirt and grime in its tracks.

Remember: don’t forget about the special needs of leather furniture — leather furniture requires special care and attention, so don’t let your cleaning duties fall by the wayside. To keep your leather furniture beautiful long into the future, it should be cleaned and conditioned on a consistent basis, otherwise, it’s likely to dry out and crack. Any stains on a piece of leather will slowly seep into the material, making them permanent. As a bonus, properly cared for leather is much more comfortable, giving you a cozy place to relax for years to come.

2) Family Health and Air Quality

Dirty, grimey furniture can harbor harmful bacteria, microbes, even mold and fleas. It’s crucial that you keep your furniture in good shape to keep you and your family healthy. Not only does cleaning furniture reduce pathogens and dirt in the fabric of furniture, it also keeps the air in your home cleaner, as well. When you plop down on your sofa or favorite recliner, everything that was trapped in the fabric and cushions gets expelled into the air.

A good cleaning will do wonders to reduce these harmful contaminants, like mold, mildew and allergen spores, from being circulated throughout the home. With better air quality, you and your family can breathe easy knowing you won’t be affected by common, airborne irritants.

3) Removes Odor Problems

Any upholstered furniture is a huge odor absorber. Body oils, food and beverage, pet fur, dirt particles, dust, and more will be absorbed into the fabric, causing potential odor problems. If you want to keep your home smelling fresh, cleaning your upholstery is key.

A professional upholstery cleaning company can deodorize your furniture to help remove unwanted smells from deep in the fabric. By cleaning your furniture on a regular basis, you can keep your upholstery, and your home in general, smelling great.

Are you in need of professional upholstery cleaning services? Get in touch with ServiceMaster of Minneapolis today! We’re the area’s leading supplier of home cleaning and restoration services. Whether you’ve experienced fire damage or are in need of a simple furniture cleaning, our team will fulfill your needs.

Get in Touch! Contact ServiceMaster of Minneapolis today by calling (612) 354-5466 or filling out a form on our contact page. We’re here whenever you need help cleaning your residential air duct system– get in touch now!


How to Prevent the Most Common Causes of House Fires

Posted on April 17, 2018.

This blog has been updated on November 6, 2020.  Click here to be redirected to the updated post.

While we hope that you never experience any magnitude of fire, you should always be prepared for the worst. To help you out, here is how to prevent the most common causes of house fires so you can gain peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep your home protected.

First – General Tips to Prevent Common Causes of House Fires

First, let’s discuss a few general best practices that you can adhere to in order to prevent common types of home fires:

  • Always have charged fire extinguishers in easily-accessible places throughout the home. Check them regularly to see if they need to be re-charged.
  • Ensure fire escapes are clear of furniture and other hard-to-move objects.
  • Never disable your fire or smoke alarms and make sure to test the batteries regularly.
  • If you do experience a fire, get out of your house as quickly as possible and dial 911. Many fire injuries occur when the homeowners attempt to put out a fire by themselves.

Cooking

At the top of our list is the leading cause of house fires – cooking – accounting for almost half of all residential fires in the country. Unattended ovens, stovetops, grills and even microwaves, can set your home ablaze. Frying grease is also a big culprit of devastating home fires.

How To Prevent Common Cooking-Related Fires

Never leave cooking food unattended, no matter what type of preparation method you’re using. Turn off any actively hot surfaces when you leave the room.
Do not hang flammable materials above the stovetop or next to a grill. Things like towels, food packaging, oven mitts, wooden utensils or curtains can catch on fire quickly, especially near an open flame.
Do not attempt to put out a grease fire with water – it will only spread the flames making it harder to put out. Instead, use a metal object to smother a grease fire.
Have a fire extinguisher that’s classified as either A, B or C, which are designed for common kitchen fires like grease, electrical appliances and ordinary combustibles.

Smoking

Smoking can cause devastating effects to your home, as well, if you’re not careful. While we don’t condone smoking, we know that it’s a personal choice and you should always take the necessary preventative measures to avoid causing a fire.

How To Prevent Common Smoking-Related Fires

  • Always make sure that you put your cigarette, cigar butts out.
  • Head outside for a smoke and avoid the issue completely.
  • Buy an ashtray that’s heavy enough so it won’t tip over, and always ensure the contents of your ashtray are cold before emptying it.
  • Do not ash on anything that’s flammable.

Electrical

Another common cause of house fires comes from malfunctioning electrical components. Whether you’ve overloaded an outlet or an appliance starts sparking, electrical fires can start before you know it and cause lasting damage to your home. As a homeowner, you need to be smart with your home’s electrical consumption to ensure you aren’t putting yourself in any danger.

How To Prevent Common Electrical-Related Fires

  • Hire a professional electrician to conduct an annual inspection of your home’s electrical system. They can spot everything from damaged circuits to faulty wiring to efficiency improvements and more.
  • Don’t overload a circuit or leave your lights on for an extended period of time.
  • Understand the electrical capacity of your circuit breaker and do not attempt to overload it. A licensed electrician can help you understand how much capacity your electrical system can handle if you don’t know how.
  • Analyze all the electrical cords throughout your home and replace or discard any fraying wires. Ensure no cords are pinched, knotted, twisted or running under any objects such as an area rug.
  • Know how surge protectors and power strips differ from each other. Surge protectors are needed to protect devices from a power spike, while regular power strips do not offer any protection. It’s generally recommended to use a surge protector when powering valuable devices like TVs and desktop computers.

Always Be Prepared!

A home fire can be a devastating experience – sometimes people simply think that it can’t happen to them. Don’t be caught unprepared. Take the necessary preventive steps to ensure that your home is always protected from the damaging effects of a fire.


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