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How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely This Thanksgiving Avoid Serious Mishaps When Deep Frying Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

A deep-fried turkey: delicious, but worth it? If you’ve seen any of the numerous videos of turkey fryer explosions and fires online, you may have asked yourself this question before. Running the risk of bodily injury or property damage is something to consider when menu planning this holiday season. Follow theses 5 tips to avoid such troubles:

  1. Deep fry outdoors, away from the house. Stay at least 10 feet away from the house. This includes staying out of the garage (even with the door open), and off of the porch. If a mishap does occur, you’ll be glad that at least you didn’t burn your house down. That leads us to #2…
  2. Have a fire extinguisher at your side. Don’t just have it in the house or garage, have it readily on hand. An oil fire can get out of hand in seconds, so you’ll need to be ready to act immediately in the event something goes awry. And by the way, never throw water on an oil fire! This will cause a violent reaction, resulting in an explosion; not advisable. Speaking of water…
  3. Use a thawed turkey. Excess moisture in a frozen can cause the oil in your frying pot to boil furiously and spill over on to the burner below. If oil from your pot spills onto the burner it will burn violently and can cause a fierce fire instantly. Also, to keep oil from spilling over…
  4. Set up on level ground. The oil in your pot must be level to prevent it from boiling over and spilling on the burner.
  5. Do not over fill your deep fryer pot. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Mark the water level with the turkey OUT OF THE POT. This is the level you will fill your pot to before you put your turkey in to deep fry it.

Follow these tips and enjoy your delicious deep-fried turkey! For complete instructions on how to deep fry your turkey let me suggest you go to www.butterball.com/how-tos/deep-fry-a-turkey.

SERVPRO of Frankfort provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs

HOW TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME THIS WINTER

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard HOW TO REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR HOME THIS WINTER Reduce Toxins In Your Frankfort Home Easily

Most of us spend more time indoors during the winter season. More time indoors means more exposure to the many toxins that are found in the typical home. But fear not, you can minimize your exposure to harmful toxins this winter by taking these 4 steps:

Take off your shoes inside the house. Sure, this is a no brainer, but it’s so often ignored! So many of the harmful substances in your home are dragged in on the bottom of your shoes. This includes stuff like pesticides, feces, urine, dirt and microscopic bugs.

Clean your air ducts & fire place. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, and the National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year.

Use a HEPA home air filter. Air conditioner filters only capture relatively large sized particles. HEPA filters remove smaller allergens like dust, smoke, chemicals, asbestos, pollen, and pet dander. If you can’t afford a HEPA system for your whole house, you can purchase room filters for the rooms you spend the most time in. Another option would be to use traditional furnace filters in the higher range of the MERV ratings (12-16). These filters can be used with your existing furnace and come close to the levels of HEPA filtration, with the exception of virus removal.

Use natural cleaners. Replace chemical cleaners with natural, non-toxic cleaners, such as baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and borax. Check out our blog next week for 5 easy to make yourself home cleaners; you’ll love it!

Top 5 Easy Home Tips to Prepare Your Frankfort Home for Winter

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

General Top 5 Easy Home Tips to Prepare Your Frankfort Home for Winter Prepare Your Frankfort House for Winter

INSULATE EXPOSED FAUCETS AND PIPES. Outdoor faucet protectors and foam pipe insulation or tape are super cheap and easy to apply. The pluming you want to insulate are the pipes exposed in unheated areas of your house such as in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Also, throw a faucet protector on any outdoor faucets after you have disconnected the garden hose.

CLEAN WINDOWS, LIGHT FIXTURES, AND BULBS. Day light hours are limited during the winter, so make the most out of the daylight hours you do have by cleaning your windows and removing any tree branches or bushes that may be blocking them. For streak-free windows, mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ teaspoon of dish detergent and 2 cups of water. Once the sun has gone down get the most out of your lamps and light fixtures by making sure they are good and clean. Your home will appear 30% brighter if you simply clean your light bulbs.

SCHEDULE A FURNACE INSPECTION AND CLEANING. OK, I’ll admit it, this is a no-brainer. Why then do so many people blow this off? Maintenance includes cleaning soot and corrosion, replacing filters and checking the whole system for leaks and damage. Neglecting furnace maintenance can take years off the life of your furnace (a new unit costs about $4,000), drive up heating costs, and fail to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter months.

While you’re at it, schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep also. Having your chimney cleaned prevents carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires during the winter months.

SEAL UP DRAFTS. Sneaky cracks can let cold air in and warm air out during winter. Find drafts around window sills, electrical boxes, recessed lights and wall outlets. You can use a lit incense punk to detect sneaky drafts. Cracks can be sealed easily and inexpensively with a simple tube of caulk.

SWITCH THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS. Slide that switch on the base of your ceiling fan to the opposite direction. You want the blades to turn counterclockwise when it’s warm and clockwise when it’s cool.

Follow these five easy tips for a brighter, warmer and more hassle-free winter!

How SERVPRO of Frankfort Can Help After a Fire

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How SERVPRO of Frankfort Can Help After a Fire Respond Fast After Fire & Soot Damage Occurs

Mitigation requires quick action. The faster a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results—including lower claim costs. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your insured’s home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

Is Your Family Ready in the Event of a House Fire?

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Is Your Family Ready in the Event of a House Fire? Are you ready in the event of a house fire?

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2017 theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off “you could have less than two minutes to get out safely,” yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was the first thought after hearing a fire alarm.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors.  Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.

Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Are you ready? Make a plan today.

Be Ready - With a Disaster Preparedness Check List for Your Frankfort Home

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Ready - With a Disaster Preparedness Check List for Your Frankfort Home Are you ready in the event of a disaster?

Be ready for a local disaster with this emergency supply check list. Exact needs will vary somewhat depending on what region of the country you live in and your particular circumstances, so check with your local emergency management services at www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/emergency-preparedness-response/ems for local recommendations.

  • Keep at least 3 gallons of clean drinking water per person in your household
  • Keep 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food for everyone in your household
  • Enough blankets or sleeping bags, some extra cloths and shoes
  • At least $1,000.00 cash
  • Map (don’t depend on your GPS)
  • Gas can
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Duct tape
  • Can opener or multi-tool
  • Wrench and pliers
  • Flash light
  • Radio
  • Spare batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A container for prescription medications
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Whistle or flare gun

Update and renew the supplies on this list annually.

Will you be ready?

Do I Need Flood Insurance in Frankfort?

10/8/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Do I Need Flood Insurance in Frankfort? Don't find out the hard way if you should have gotten flood insurance.

Homeowners are often surprised, rather unpleasantly, to find out that they do not have flood insurance. In fact, over 75% of homeowner’s find out too late that they should have gotten flood insurance, but didn’t.

Your realtor is supposed to make sure you, the home buyer, is made aware if your newly purchased home is in a flood zone. If your realtor did not inform you either way, call him or her up and ask! You can also check to see if your house is in a flood zone by creating a free account on FreeFlood.net and search for your property there.

If you find out that your property is located in or near a flood zone, you can also check out FloodSmart.gov, where you can get a ballpark estimate on how much flood insurance will cost you.

The most common flood insurance available is offered through a federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by FEMA, offers flood insurance to homeowners in communities that participate in the program.

NIFP has two policies: One that covers your actual home (building property), and one that covers your personal property. Premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. You’ll have to get your flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FloodSmart.gov can also help you find an agent if need be.

House Fire Prevention This Fall

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage House Fire Prevention This Fall Prevent House Fires This Fall

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire-free.

Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks, are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Keep emergency exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.

Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.

It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jacko- lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways, and yards.

Facts and information provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

Lessons Learned From Disaster Management Experts

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Community Lessons Learned From Disaster Management Experts Emergency preparedness can teach us life preparedness.

Life Lessons Learned From Disaster Readiness Planning, Part 1

At first thought, you might think that planning and preparing for an emergency or disaster has nothing at all to do with being well prepared for real life, every day challenges, but I’ve found that the very principles employed by experts in the in the fields of emergency response and readiness are the very same ones that help us to be well prepared in other areas of life. Read on a little bit, and see what I’ve found:

Know Why

Before embarking on any important mission, know your motivation for embarking on it. In other words, know your “why”. Knowing why you need to accomplish any mission, whether it’s preparing for a natural disaster or a career or a personal goal, brings the most important things about that mission to the surface; allowing you to keep the important things front and center at all times. It also provides motivation for you to draw upon when you run into difficulty, distraction, drudgery and discouragement.

Here are a few rules to follow when discovering your why (or whys). Clearly define your why. No wishy washy or fuzzy, ill-defined reason will do; this is much too important. Make sure your why is important to you; if it’s not it won’t matter enough when the going gets tough, and the going always gets tough at some point. Finally, memorize your why so you can draw upon it in times of need.

Check out this YouTube video of Michael Jr. about why you should know your why, https://youtu.be/LZe5y2D60YU. He’s hilarious, but he also makes the point perfectly in three minutes.

Set Small Easily Achievable Goals (aka Micro-goals)

When dealing with the general public goals have to be easy, or compliance will tank and nothing will get accomplished. This is because the average person is not a highly motivated, over-achieving, type A, super-freak personality. I’ll confess that I’m not this type of person. That’s why I love micro-goals!

The idea is to make goals that are ridiculously easy to achieve. Make goals that are almost impossible not to achieve; at least in the beginning. Then build on your goals, baby step by baby step. For example, if you want to start jogging to get healthier, don’t decide to run 5 miles your first day. Start with a jog you know you’ll accomplish, such as a trip around the block, or even a walk around the block. You’ll never tell yourself you don’t have enough time or energy to do this. You can’t lose! The next day add a block, or a half a block, or a quarter of a block. Whatever you know you can achieve.

Each goal achieved builds on the previous goal accomplished, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself doing quite well. For more information on micro-goal setting, see the Psychology Today article, “Why goal setting doesn’t work”, by Ray Williams.

Mexico City’s Earthquake a Warning for U.S.

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Last Tuesday’s earthquake in Mexico, which killed over 230 people, was so deadly because of it’s location, rather than the size or voracity of the quake itself. Just a couple of weeks earlier, another, significantly larger quake, struck much farther south in Mexico. Even though the quake was larger in magnitude, the death toll was much smaller at 96.

Mexico City is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and it sits atop three clashing tectonic plates, which means lots of seismic activity. But even this isn’t the biggest problem for the region.

The biggest problem is that the city is built on soft soil that was once the bottom of a deep lake. Seismic waves from an earthquake slow down and spread out when they travel through this type of soil. This magnifies the destructive effects of the earthquake. Seismologists and geophysicists often describe the city as being built on pudding or jello; the whole city just shakes around like a bowl of jello.

The problem isn’t unique to Mexico City either. Los Angeles, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area also have soft soils that can amplify seismic waves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

How much risk is acceptable to you? Would you be comfortable living in one of these areas despite what we’ve seen in Mexico City?