ADA-Compliant Fire Safety for People with Disabilities

Make sure emergencies don’t turn to tragedies. Here are our top tips when it comes to ADA-compliant fire safety for people with disabilities.

ADA compliant fire safety for people with disabilities

More than 43 million Americans have a disability, over 520,000 in the Chicagoland area alone. This is an incredibly important stat when it comes to fire safety and evacuation. Every home and business should be aware of their occupants’ situation — and should work to increase well-being by implementing ADA-compliant fire safety tips for people with disabilities.

In order to understand the dangers at hand, we must first recognize the unique fire safety challenges that people with disabilities face. People living with mobility, physical, auditory, visual or mental impairments experience everyday difficulties navigating daily life. This is exactly why ADA-compliant fire safety tips for people with disabilities are crucial. For people with impairments, the risk of starting a fire or getting hurt in one due to:

  • Decreased mobility, health, sight, and hearing that may limit a person’s ability to take the quick actions necessary to escape during a fire.
  • Physical limitations. Many actions individuals can take to protect themselves from the dangers of fire may require help from a caretaker, neighbor or outside source.

To overcome their unique challenges in emergency situations, disabled ones, along with their caregivers, need to create a safety plan specific to their needs. Here are eight ADA-compliant fire safety tips for people with disabilities — whether they be physical, auditory, visual, or mental:

  1. Install ADA-compliant smoke alarms in every sleeping area and every level of your Chicagoland home. Test the alarms monthly by pressing the test button and replacing the batteries each year. If you can’t reach the test button, ask someone to test it for you. 
  2. For the hearing impaired, install smoke alarms and alert devices made specifically for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This is, perhaps, the most important ADA-compliant fire safety tip for people with disabilities, and the best way to protect visually- or hearing-impaired residents against an already blazing fire. They detect the sound of smoke alarms and flash strobe lights to alert you. Those hard of hearing can also opt for smoke alarms that emit a loud, low-pitched sound alert. Additionally, use vibrating pillows and a bed shaker that wake you up when a fire alarm sounds. And keep a telecommunication device for the deaf (TTD) phone in your bedroom close to your bed.
  3. Always be vigilant when cooking. The kitchen is where most fires caused by people with disabilities start. Always supervise the oven or stove when cooking and use a timer. Have a fire extinguisher located nearby that’s reachable and be trained on how to use it.
  4. Live on the ground floor. Whether you live in an apartment building or a multistory home, you should arrange to live on the first floor. By doing so, you’ll be able to escape quickly and more easily in case of a fire.
  5. Discuss and practice your fire safety plan with your family, friends, building managers and/or neighbors. Practice your fire escape plan with your service animal if you have one. Be sure your fire safety plan accommodates impairments by ensuring its ADA-compliance for people with disabilities. 
  6. Let your local fire department know about your condition and explain your needs. They can perform a home fire safety inspection and suggest escape plan ideas at your request.
  7. If you use a walker or wheelchair, make sure you can easily get through your doorways. If possible, design your home around your disability. Widen the doorways and install exit ramps to make an emergency escape easier.
  8. Always keep a cell phone on or near you to call 911 if a fire or other emergency occurs. For best practice ADA-compliant fire safety for people with disabilities, make sure you let the operator know whether someone affected by the fire is impaired. 

Your Chicagoland home is where you should feel safe and secure. But often, danger occurs when we forget to pay attention to the simple things that could easily prevent a disaster. These risks are much more dangerous for people with disabilities, who have certain impairments and unique challenges in emergency situations. However, with the right planning and preparation, you’ll help keep yourself and loved ones safe when a crisis occurs. It all comes down to ensuring you’ve implemented measures that speak to ADA-compliant fire safety for people with disabilities. 

While nobody ever likes to think about disasters occurring, fires do happen in America each and every dya. It’s better to be well-prepared to make sure an emergency doesn’t turn into a tragedy. And, remember, if you do experience fire damage, call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons immediately to repair your home and return it to pre-loss or better condition.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Disaster Restoration Services including  COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning,  Post-Construction Cleaning,  Carpet Cleaning, and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons provides Specialty Cleaning Services For Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Does Your Building Project Budget for Post Construction Cleaning Costs? Here’s Why It Should.

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterwards, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a post-construction cleaning until the very last minute.

Post-Construction Cleaning Chicago - Oak Park - River Forest - North Shore Illinois - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons

Budgeting For Post Construction Cleaning Costs – ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons Chicago – Oak Park/River Forest – North Shore IL

 

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project in Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, or the North Shore, and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterward, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a Post Construction Cleaning until the very last minute.

The problem is, customers, don’t realize that post-construction cleaning is an important part of any building project. They don’t understand that Post Construction Cleaning is some of the most important projects a restoration company will take on. These kinds of jobs usually require a company’s entire crew to be onsite for anywhere between a few days to a whole week depending on whether it is a residential or commercial project.

We like to make sure that customers understand the level of care and commitment that goes into each of our post-construction cleaning projects. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons are IICRC Certified and well-trained in providing unrivaled and thorough post-construction cleaning. We use products and equipment that meet the highest standards to remove all dust and debris properly. Some of the post-construction cleanup services we offer the Chicagoland area include:

  • Dusting air diffusers
  • Cleaning light fixtures within the construction area
  • Cleaning restroom fixtures
  • Wall washing or spot cleaning walls
  • Ceiling washing
  • Cleaning interior windows
  • HEPA Vacuuming
  • Cleaning carpet areas
  • Damp mopping hard-surface floors
  • Renewing hardwood floors
  • Roto buffing ceramic tile or linoleum

For larger jobs that need further cleaning after construction work has cleared, we often bundle the cleanup with these services:

Our process is one that maximizes efficiency while still delivering the highest level of service. Ideally, our process begins well before the construction project occurs — when a customer reaches out proactively for a quote. No worries if you’re one of the many who let post-construction fall by the wayside during the planning stages; if we can accommodate your dates, we will absolutely still offer quotes to contractors and homeowners who reach out during the construction project. After our professional quote is approved and we are hired for a Post Construction Cleaning, we begin to formulate a scope based on the job’s specific needs and we gather up the necessary personnel and equipment.

Sometimes, we are asked to begin our on-site cleaning for a mid-way cleaning while construction is still taking place. This is helpful for large construction projects that generate so much debris that it creates an unsafe environment and poor air quality for workers. We are available to come in and clean periodically during construction so that waste and dust are properly removed and workers can continue building and renovating on schedule.

Most of the time, though, our on-site cleaning starts immediately after construction concludes. We have two primary objectives during our cleanup: The first, to eradicate and control the dust generated by sanding and plastering before it ends up in the air ducts; and the second, to remove all dust and debris in a timely manner to restore safety to the job site. We do this in five steps:

  1. Schedule air duct cleaning
  2. Wipe down all hard surfaces, nooks and crannies, furniture, and items in renovation space
  3. HEPA vacuum carpet and upholstery
  4. Clean flooring with wet mopping, WoodGlo Renew, or roto tile buffing depending on the floor material
  5. Dispose of all construction debris on-site according to municipal guidelines and regulations in a safe manner

Because these jobs can be so large and costly, it’s important that customers budget for them in their initial construction project plan. Customers are sometimes floored to learn the cost of their site’s post-construction cleanup and are too late in the game to make room in the budget for it. Instead, they choose to DIY the cleanup or, worse, forego it altogether. We never recommend this and we would rather see customers reach out for a quote during the planning stages of a construction project so they can budget accordingly.

Though professional cleanup services are costly, they are always one hundred percent worth it. Here are three reasons why:

  • A professional cleaning increases safety

With construction projects, there will inevitably be debris left behind. From sawdust to nails and broken glass to stray wires, these debris present dangers to both the building crew and those responsible for a DIY cleanup. Accidents during cleanup happen more often than you might think. Hiring a professional crew trained to deal with hazardous materials will ensure the safety of everyone involved. A restoration company is equipped with better equipment than a broom and a dustpan.

  • Professional cleaning ensures debris is properly disposed of

Most municipalities have special rules for the disposal of residential and commercial construction waste, like paint and other chemicals. In general, they must be separated, sorted and eventually delivered to a special facility for lawful disposal. It is important to work with a professional restoration company like or you could face a fine.

  • A professional cleaning promotes efficiency and timeliness

We estimate that a professional cleaning crew will likely be able to complete a post-construction cleanup job four times faster than a DIY-er. Professional crews come with the necessary equipment it takes to clean thoroughly and efficiently. A quick cleanup allows you to move on to the final stages of your construction project. Plus, calling in the professionals for a quick turnaround can mean all the difference for contractors whose agreements include penalties for going overtime on the project.

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we understand that every good construction project includes a professional and thorough post-construction cleanup. Our crews have decades of experience clearing construction job sites safely and quickly to ensure peace-of-mind for contractors, homeowners and business owners alike. For a professional quote, please give us a call as early as possible in your construction planning process. As always, your satisfaction is our number one priority!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the ServiceMaster Achiever Award and outstanding service in disaster restoration by Build Magazine. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

 

 

 

 

What is Fire Content Cleaning and How We Do It

House fires are one of the biggest causes of property loss in America. But while some property is left in ashes after a fire, not all property is completely ruined. Instead, after a house fire, property is most often partially damaged — oftentimes by smoke. If you are facing the aftermath of a house fire and your belongings have incurred smoke damage, ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons has you covered with our guide to fire content cleaning. 

fire content cleaning in home

Fire Content Cleaning – Smoke and Soot Cleaning – ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons

 

Learn About Our Content Cleaning Process After A Fire, Smoke or Soot Damage in the Chicagoland Area

 

House fires are one of the biggest causes of property loss in America. But while some property is left in ashes after a fire, not all property is completely ruined. Instead, after a house fire, the property is most often partially damaged — oftentimes by smoke. If you are facing the aftermath of a house fire and your belongings have incurred smoke damage, ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons has you covered with our guide to fire content cleaning. 

Smoke damage is one of the worst side effects of a house fire. When a fire occurs and smoke rises from the flames, its microscopic particles are suspended in the air until they settle on surfaces and items around the house. The soot that covers your belongings is what causes the awful smokey smell and black residue that a fire leaves behind. And, while the stain and smell are frustrating, the real concern is that they are toxic and expose house residents to unwanted chemicals. 

It’s important to work quickly to mitigate the smoke damage and restore your belongings. Any content recovery that involves removing smoke/fire damage from the fibers of an item (clothes, furniture, photos, housewares, etc.) is called fire content cleaning. While some people choose to go the DIY route for cleanup after a fire, we must recommend that you hire a professional restoration company, such as ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, an IICRC Certified Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, to ensure the fire content cleaning process provides your belongings the highest chance of full recovery. 

When we provide expert fire content cleaning services to Chicagoland residents, we follow these steps to get their belongings back in healthy, pristine shape: 

Establish Safety

When ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons professionals are called in for a fire/smoke damage restoration project, the first step we take is to establish safety — for residents, our workers and anyone who enters the fire-damaged structure. Above all else, our first concern in every fire damage cleanup situation is safety. Our team will make sure everyone stays safe during the restoration process. 

An essential part of this safety is understanding the state of indoor air quality. After a fire, indoor air contains floating smoke and soot particles, which are carcinogens and could be both toxic and dangerous. Our team comes equipped with respirators and other safety equipment and clothing to protect against soot exposure. We’ll also increase ventilation to help toxic contaminants exit the indoor air naturally. The presence of unsafe air and the need for expert safety measures is why it’s so important to call in a professional restoration crew to handle fire content cleaning and fire/smoke damage. 

Evaluate the Damaged Items

Net, we’ll begin to determine which items should be cleaned and where, as well as which items are unsalvageable and will need to be discarded. We’ll take into account item material, cost, cost of restoration, antique value and homeowner desires when we evaluate items for their repairability. Our team will assess affected items quickly to minimize the soot damage that can be incurred in just a few hours or days after the initial fire. 

Our team will leave no item untouched: From textile goods (draperies and bedding) to furniture and food, we evaluate every item that could have been in the vicinity of the fire. Even if a belonging doesn’t necessarily look smoke damaged, we’ll restore your peace of mind by thoroughly inspecting it and confirming its safety and cleanliness. 

Create an Inventory

After we determine which items should undergo fire content cleaning, we’ll decide on a cleaning process for each item. There are three options we utilize for fire content cleaning: Cleaning items onsite in the home, taking items to our warehouse cleaning facility or taking items to be dry cleaned. If we determine any items that need to be taken to a facility or a dry cleaner, we call that a “pack out” and our technicians will carefully pack up items to be cleaned. You can trust that everything is in good hands! We’ll keep a detailed inventory of the items we remove from your home, including information about the condition and location of the items. 

If we determine there are items that can be cleaned onsite, we’ll take care of moving them to the cleaning area — usually the garage or basement. It’s important to leave the transporting of smoke damaged items to a professional crew to because items could be more fragile or likely to tear or break. Additionally, if we determine any items are not salvageable by a fire content cleaning and should be discarded, we’ll record everything we throw away. An inventory of all discarded items is essential to receiving compensation when filing an insurance claim.

Clean the Affected Items

Once the items are evaluated and recorded, our team will begin the fire content cleaning process. We have a variety of advanced products and systems we take advantage of to professionally clean and restore smoke or fire damaged items. We’ll perform testing to determine the appropriate product and cleaning solutions to use on each item. You can rest assured that our professionals use best-in-industry, eco-friendly products. 

Whether we’re onsite at your home or in our warehouse cleaning facility, our team will gently remove soot and smoke damage from each restorable item. We provide fire content cleaning services of all types, such as: 

  • Cleaning of all soft goods including garments, drapes, bedding, carpet & upholstery
  • Cleaning of all electronics, appliances
  • Drying and restoration of documents
  • Art Restoration
  • Cleaning of bookshelves, shelving, furnishings and light fixtures

The type of cleaning method and products we use depends on the item in question. Some of the cleaning methods we take advantage of to remove stains and smell include: 

  • Hand Washing and Drying: Items are carefully cleaned by hand. Care is taken to use dry methods with water-sensitive items.
  • Ultrasonic Cleaning: Ultrasonic tanks are used to clean certain items. Some items that might be cleaned ultrasonically are blinds, collectibles, and other smaller contents.
  • Furniture and Upholstery Cleaning: This requires specialty equipment, products and technicians trained and certified in furniture restoration.

Our team knows that dealing with fire and smoke damage can be daunting, time-consuming and stressful — especially when it comes to a tragic or unexpected fire. Your family’s life may be displaced and disrupted, and we understand how painful that can be. We’ll work quickly and efficiently to ensure that you can step right back into your daily routine. We’ll also work with insurance agents to help you file claims and restore items within your budget You can count on us to perform fire content cleaning in an ethical and professional manner, restoring your loss while also restoring your peace of mind. 

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore. For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Avoid Fire Damage From Holiday Lights and Decorations This December

ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons wants to help your family prevent the need for fire restoration services this winter with our top tips for fire safety.

Christmas fire restoration safety

Wintertime in Chicago is magical indoors and out. Lights go up, carolers roam the streets, and people are generally a little nicer than usual. Unfortunately, the risk of fire damage and the demand for fire restoration services also increases during the holiday season with the use of lights, Christmas trees and additional electrical stress. In addition to potential damage and disaster in the home, bodily injuries involving holiday decorations have been steadily increasing over the past few years.

The last thing anybody wants is a holiday emergency that turns into a tragedy. Luckily, the experts at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have a few tips for avoiding the need for fire restoration in Chicago so you can keep your home safe and enjoy the splendor of the season:

Check each set of lights for damage. Make sure your decorative lights are free of broken sockets, bare or frayed wires, and that all connections are tight and well-fitted. Also make sure that your lights have passed the strict requirements of and have been tested by nationally-recognized laboratories.

Use the appropriate extension cord.  Indoor extension cords are not meant to hold up to the weather and elements they are exposed to outside. Lights and extension cord will both be marked with labels that specify whether or not they can be used outside. Be sure to use the appropriate outlet as well to avoid the need for fire restoration services.

Keep burning candles within sight. This tip applies to everyday use as well as during the holidays. Keep a close eye on candles, and make sure to extinguish them before you go to bed or leave the house. Only burn candles on stable surfaces that are heat-resistant and clear of other items that may catch fire, such as trees, curtains, furniture, and paper decorations.

Buy the freshest tree you can find. Dry, old trees are much more likely to catch fire, especially with the added heat from all the decorative lights placed on it. When buying a live tree, make sure the needles bend instead of breaking, and that they don’t fall easily from the branches. To elongate the life of your tree, distance the evergreen from fireplaces, and heat vents so that the tree doesn’t dry out too quickly. Keep an eye on the water levels in the tree stand and don’t block any exits or doorways with the tree.

Do not burn wrapping paper. The large amount of paper and the mixture of materials used in wrapping paper may cause fires to take off quickly and burn intensely. The last thing you want is fire damage in your home from out-of-control flames caused by wrapping paper! Check with your local recycling company to see when and where wrapping paper can be recycled, or reuse it for various craft projects in the home.

Remember, just because a label on an item says that it is fire-resistant does not mean that it is not able to catch on fire. The label “fire resistant” just means that it will take longer to become fully engulfed. Be especially careful with items that have fringe, such as the rug placed under a Christmas tree.

Even if you were to follow all these tips to the letter, there is always a risk of a fire disaster in your home because of the additional heat sources and the extra flammable items. If fire damage does occur in your Chicago home this holiday season, know that ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons is here to help combat damage with fire restoration services.  Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons to get back to normal as soon as possible.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides  disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Thanksgiving Fire Prevention

Fire prevention shouldn’t be hard this Thanksgiving. Follow these top tips to keep your family, friends and belongings safe from the flames this holiday season.

home fire prevention

Halloween has come and gone, which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Soon, ovens will be busy tackling stuffing and turkey. While the holidays are a fun time to celebrate family and togetherness, they’re also a time of increased fire hazards that beg some mindfulness of fire prevention measures.

Cooking and reveling without the proper precautions can lead to a house fire, a tragedy that has caught many unsuspecting homeowners off guard during the holiday season. In fact, damaging fires happen every 24 seconds in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While the number of fires and fire-related deaths has been trending down since the 1970s, they still continue to wreak havoc all across the country.

Residential properties are no exception to this reality. In fact, an average of 382,397 fires that occur in the United States happen on residential properties. These fires typically result in nearly 12,000 civilian injuries and over $7,298,475,292 in property damage. But ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons is here to help you increase your fire prevention and preparedness, as well as to react to fire disasters if they do occur.

What do I do if there’s a fire in my home this holiday season?

  • Act immediately but stay calm.
  • Alert everyone in the home and make sure to leave the property immediately. Use your pre-planned escape route if you have one, and consider developing one now if you don’t.
  • When everyone is evacuating the building, make sure everyone stays low and crawls since smoke rises.
  • Do not stop to retrieve any valuables or collectibles.
  • Do not stop to find your pets and help them out of the home.
  • If you can, close the door to the room the fire started in and close doors as you continue to exit the building.
  • Before opening any closed doors on your way out, touch it with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, then there is likely fire behind it and you must find an alternative route to exit the building.
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you are trained to do so.
  • Do not go back into the building.
  • Call the fire department as soon as you safely have the opportunity to do so. If there is anyone remaining in the building, make sure to inform them of this.

What should I do after the fire department leaves?

Once the fire is extinguished and the dust settles, call a restoration company immediately to address the damage. Only those who are equipped to handle the water, smoke and fire damage your home has suffered should be entering the building and handling the situation.

How do I prevent my oven from catching on fire while I’m cooking?

  • Fire prevention starts by ensuring your oven is clean before using it
  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended
  • Put a cover on food that might splatter
  • Keep an eye on your timer

How do I prevent my mantel from catching on fire by holiday decorations and candles?

  • Consider using battery operated candles
  • Make sure you don’t hang paper ornaments over open flames
  • As long as flames are ignited, be sure to monitor your mantel
  • Increase fire prevention by keeping decorations far away from open flames

Why should I choose ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons?

We recognize that buildings in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Downtown have guidelines that set them apart from other properties and homes in the city. Occasionally, there are more than one insurance policy involved. It takes an experienced and knowledgeable company like ours to know how to navigate these situations.

We’ll work closely with your family and the various adjusters to make sure that the job is done right. We understand that your home needs to be cared for and respected during this difficult time. We pride ourselves on limiting our interruption into your lives. When possible, we will work around your schedule so that the day-to-day routine of your family is not disrupted further.

What steps do we take to handle fire damage restoration?

Though we always encourage adequate fire prevention before disaster strikes, sometimes the unthinkable finds a way to wreak havoc on plans anyways. In the event of a holiday fire emergency, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Structural Cleaning and Content Cleaning for Chicago & Suburban homes that have been affected by Smoke or Fire Damage. The following is a brief description of those services.

Structural Cleaning Services:

Structural cleaning involves the cleaning of the property itself. This covers soot sponging of walls & ceilings, including crown molding and baseboards. It also includes: Cleaning of floors, doors, and windows. Cleaning of all flat surfaces including countertops and windowsills. Cleaning of all ventilation and duct systems for HVAC.

Content Cleaning Services

Content cleaning includes the cleaning of all soft goods including garments, drapes, bedding, carpet & upholstery. It also includes: Cleaning of all electronics, appliances. Drying and restoration of documents.

Art Restoration

Cleaning of bookshelves, shelving, furnishings and light fixtures

What services do we provide?

  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Home-owners
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Business-owners
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Places of Worship
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Educational Institutions
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Multi-Family Properties
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Medical Facilities
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Manufacturing Facilities

What equipment do we use?

Air Scrubbers
Air scrubbers use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration to remove these particles from the air, enhancing the efficiency for cleaning and clearing the air for safe breathing. Please do not move or turn off this equipment.
Thermal Fogging
This process neutralizes odor, using a strong deodorizer that penetrates everywhere the smoke traveled and will require the removal of pets, plants and humans occupants for a short period of time.
Ozone
Ozone is an oxidizing agent produced by a portable ozone generator. This process will require the removal of pets, plants and human occupants for a short period of time.
OdorKlenz Technology
This environmentally friendly deodorizing process removes odors and particulates using OdorKlenz air cartridges in traditional air scrubbers. Safe for people, pets and plants.

How much will it cost?

The costs of restoration depend on the insurance provider you have. Fortunately though, as a QRV or Quality Restoration Vendor, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is part of the elite group of national ServiceMaster franchises chosen to take part in the national contract agreements with most major insurance companies. Some of the insurance companies we work directly with include State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Hanover, Chubb, Asco, Progressive, Travelers, USAA, Farmers, Nationwide, AIC, Zurich, American Family, and Erie, among others. That means that we prescribe to the strict guidelines and to the required estimating software administered by these insurance companies and provide a direct pipeline to your insurance company. It also means that you don’t have to be the middle person in the process. We work and communicate directly with your insurance provider to ensure your property is correctly restored after water damage, bringing your property back to its pre-loss condition.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides  disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Commercial Fire Damage 101: What do I do if there’s a fire in my restaurant?

Restaurants are no exception to this reality. In fact, nearly half a million structure fires occur in the United States during any given year. These fires result in over a whopping $10 billion of property damages and over 13,000 civilian injuries. During 2010-2014 alone, approximately 7,410 structure fires occurred in restaurant establishments in the country. According to the NFPA, the cooking equipment used in restaurants is the main cause of these reported incidents. Surprisingly, fires related to electrical distribution, lighting and heating equipment only accounted for 27 percent of these fires.

Commercial Fire Restoration - Restaurant Fires - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - Chicago IL

What Do I Do if There’s a Fire In My Restaurant? Helpful Tips On Navigating The Fire Damage Restoration Process For Restaurant Owners In Chicago IL

Damaging fires happen every 24 seconds in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While the number of fires and fire-related deaths has been trending down since the 1970s, they still continue to wreak havoc all across the country.

Restaurants are no exception to this reality. In fact, nearly half a million structure fires occur in the United States during any given year. These fires result in over a whopping $10 billion of property damages and over 13,000 civilian injuries. During 2010-2014 alone, approximately 7,410 structure fires occurred in restaurant establishments in the country. According to the NFPA, the cooking equipment used in restaurants is the main cause of these reported incidents. Surprisingly, fires related to electrical distribution, lighting and heating equipment only accounted for 27 percent of these fires.

Dealing with an emergency like this is extremely stressful and often unplanned. Fortunately, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is equipped to handle the aftermath of incidents like this in any kind of commercial or residential property, including restaurants.

What do I do if there’s a fire in my restaurant?

  • Act immediately but stay calm.
  • If the fire is relatively small, like most restaurant fires are, gauge if you can put it out yourself with a fire extinguisher. Even if it is a manageable fire, it is advised that you evacuate the building and leave the extinguishing to professionals.
  • If a fire occurs in a pan, do not move the pan. Instead, deprive it of oxygen by placing a lid over it. Cookie sheets or pizza pans can also do the trick.
  • Try to cut any sources of heat if you can do so without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Alert everyone in the building and make sure to leave the property immediately. Use your pre-planned escape route if you have one, and consider developing one now if you don’t.
  • When everyone is evacuating the building, make sure everyone stays low and crawls since smoke rises.
  • Do not stop to retrieve any valuables, documents or collectibles.
  • If you can, close the door to the room the fire started in and close doors as you continue to exit the church.
  • Before opening any closed doors on your way out, touch it with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, then there is likely fire behind it and you must find an alternative route to exit the church.
  • Do not go back into the building.
  • Call the fire department as soon as you safely have the opportunity to do so. If there is anyone remaining in the building, make sure to inform them of this.
  • Make sure to thoroughly document any and all damage.
  • Take steps to prevent a similar incident from happening again in the future.

What should I do after the fire department leaves?

Once the fire is extinguished and the dust settles, call a restoration company immediately to address the damage. Only those who are equipped to handle the water, smoke and fire damage your restaurant has suffered should be entering the building and handling the situation.

Why should I choose ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons?  

We recognize that restaurants in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Downtown have guidelines that set them apart from other properties and homes in the city. Occasionally, there is more than one insurance policy involved. It takes an experienced and knowledgeable company like ours to know how to navigate these situations.

We’ll work closely with your property manager, facility manager, and the various adjusters to make sure that the job is done right. We understand that your restaurant needs to be cared for and respected during this difficult time. We pride ourselves on limiting our interruption into your lives and services. When possible, we will work around your restaurant’s hours so that your day-to-day operations are not disrupted further.

What steps do we take to handle fire damage restoration? 

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Structural Cleaning and Content Cleaning for Chicago & Suburban properties that have been affected by Smoke or Fire Damage. The following is a brief description of those services.

Structural Cleaning Services

  1. Structural Cleaning involves the cleaning of the property itself. This covers soot sponging of walls & ceilings, including crown molding and baseboards.
  2. In some cases, using a soft detergent to clean walls & ceilings.
  3. Cleaning of floors, doors, and windows.
  4. Cleaning of all flat surfaces including countertops and windowsills.
  5. Cleaning of all ventilation and duct systems for HVAC.

Content Cleaning Services

  1. Cleaning of all soft goods including garments, drapes, bedding, carpet & upholstery.
  2. Cleaning of all electronics, appliances
  3. Drying and restoration of documents
  4. Art Restoration
  5. Cleaning of bookshelves, shelving, furnishings and light fixtures

What services do we provide?

  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Home-owners
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Business-owners
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Places of Worship
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Educational Institutions
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Multi-Family Properties
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Medical Facilities
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Office Spaces
  • Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration for Manufacturing Facilities

What equipment do we use?

Air Scrubbers: Air scrubbers use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration to remove these particles from the air, enhancing the efficiency for cleaning and clearing the air for safe breathing. Please do not move or turn off this equipment.

Thermal Fogging: This process neutralizes odor, using a strong deodorizer that penetrates everywhere the smoke traveled and will require the removal of pets, plants and humans occupants for a short period of time.

Ozone: Ozone is an oxidizing agent produced by a portable ozone generator. This process will require the removal of pets, plants and human occupants for a short period of time.

OdorKlenz Technology: This environmentally friendly deodorizing process removes odors and particulates using OdorKlenz air cartridges in traditional air scrubbers. Safe for people, pets and plants.

How can I prevent a fire from happening in my restaurant in the first place? 

Designate a safety officer: Having a fire prevention officer is essential for any business.. This is due to the fact that they are held responsible for planning fire escape routes, safe meeting places for all employees and educating everyone in the restaurant about fire safety. While it may seem like having a fire in your restaurant is highly unlikely, having someone stay up to date on fire safety and a plan of action for the worst-case scenario is critical.

Regulate where you and your employees smoke: Perhaps a minor detail at first glance, having a designated smoking area outside of the building is something that should not go overlooked. Fires often start from sparks that come from cigarettes and other lighters. By having a designated smoking area removed from your main structure, the risk of stray sparks igniting paper or other objects in your restaurant is reduced. By having several ashtrays and containers for employees to trash used cigarettes, the risk of a fire is eliminated even further.

Check the wiring in your building: If any of the electrical cords or wiring in your building appear to be broken or cracked, they need to be replaced immediately. Do not let clusters of wires converge over one another on one outlet. Either of these situations can result in an electrical fire and can easily be prevented.

Maintain machines: By maintaining your machines and keeping them up-to-date, you will prevent any machine-related fires from sparking. By keeping your machines clean, there is less debris that can light on fire. Leave them unplugged when they are not in use. You should also inspect solid fuel appliances on a monthly basis. In a low volume kitchen, cooking appliances can be inspected quarterly.

Make sure each cooking appliance has a non-combustible grease filter: This will significantly reduce the risk of oil catching on fire in your kitchen.

Cooking appliances should vent toward the outside of the building: When exhaust from machines accumulates inside your restaurant, the risk of fire increases. You can reach out to a local inspector or company like ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons to see if your ventilation system meets your local region’s kitchen codes.

Grease containers should be emptied at least once a day: Grease accumulates much faster than you would think and becomes harder to clean and remove the longer it is left on appliances. The only exception to this rule is that grease accumulating underneath sinks can be cleaned by professionals on a monthly basis.

Make sure your fire extinguisher is updated: Not only must your extinguisher be kept in a location that is easily accessible, but it should also be charged completely and checked by a professional at least once a month to ensure it is in proper working order.

Regularly test smoke alarms: Smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years. They should be checked at least once a month to make sure they are in working order and their batteries need to be changed regularly.

Make sure you’re up to date on any recent fire code changes: Knowing the latest information on your local region’s fire code is extremely important and can provide you with even more insight as to how to protect your business.

How much will it cost?

The costs of restoration depend on the insurance provider you have. Fortunately though, as a QRV or Quality Restoration Vendor, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is part of the elite group of national ServiceMaster franchises chosen to take part in the national contract agreements with most major insurance companies. Some of the insurance companies we work directly with include State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Hanover, Chubb, Asco, Progressive, Travelers, USAA, Farmers, Nationwide, AIC, Zurich, American Family, and Erie, among others. That means that we prescribe to the strict guidelines and to the required estimating software administered by these insurance companies and provide a direct pipeline to your insurance company. It also means that you don’t have to be the middle person in the process. We work and communicate directly with your insurance provider to ensure your property is correctly restored after water damage, bringing your property back to its pre-loss conditions.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning,Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, an MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2018 Chicago Business Journal Influential Women in Business Honoree, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She serves on the board for the Civic Federation, is the Government Liaison to the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, and the serves on Advisory Board for Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.