Do you have a Preparedness Plan for Winter Weather Events?
Emergency Preparedness Checklist
“After a brief moderation from the cold at midweek, more bitter cold and downright harsh air will return,” AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliott said.
A potent winter storm threatened to dump wind-driven snow and ice from Florida to Maine as a fierce cold wave's unrelenting grip on the nation showed no signs of easing Tuesday, forecasters warned.
But the main question regarding low temperatures in Florida or heavy rains will be…
Do you have a Winter Weather Home Preparedness Plan for extremely low temperatures?
Do you realize how you can be affected?
People in Florida might not consider planning and preparing for winter weather events because of its normally mild temperatures. However, some northern Florida regions can experience temperatures below freezing and occasional snow and ice storms during the winter months. These storm events can be dangerous and even deadly.
These following safety reminders can help you and your family be better prepared for Florida’s winter weather events.
Guidelines to Follow During a Winter Weather Event
- Allow a small stream of water to run from faucets to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
- Fill plastic containers with cold water and place inside the refrigerator to help keep the air cool inside the refrigerator and slow down food spoilage; this also increases your emergency water supply.
- If you lose power, unplug all appliances. This reduces the initial demand on the power system when service is restored, but leave one light switched on, so you know when the power has been restored.
- Inspect your outside pipes. Cover exposed pipes and have outside faucets drip slowly to reduce the risk of breaking pipes.
- Never burn an open fire indoors unless it is in a properly ventilated fireplace.
- Never burn a charcoal fire indoors.
- Only use safe heating sources inside. If you use space heaters, then make sure to follow instructions. Also, be attentive to any open flames inside the home.
- Open refrigerator and freezer doors as infrequently as possible to maintain cold temperatures, and plan ahead of time what you need to remove when the door is open.
- Do not hesitate to seek shelter at a locally designated safe spot (e.g., public school). Contact your county’s Emergency Management Office for locations.
How to Operate Generators Safely
- Never operate one inside the home or garage.
- Operate one only outdoors in an open and well-ventilated area.
- Do not connect the generator to your home’s wiring to avoid “back feed” into utility lines; this can injure or kill people who are working to restore power.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator.
When the weather cast brings news anticipating winter events, do not wait to take action. Have a Home Preparedness Plan handy and run safety drills to be prepared for sudden events. Another thing to consider is getting to your grocery stores. As you might know, shelves quickly become empty and can increase the difficulties at home in case you have to stay in for a couple of days, or in case the storm lasts longer than anticipated. The same applies to gas stations and their fuel pumps. Staying indoors and off the roads is a safe way to endure a storm, but adequate preparation for becoming stranded may save your life.
Winter weather events can be enjoyable and perhaps beautiful, but they also can catch you off guard if you do not know what to anticipate. Plan ahead to be prepared and in case there are any major issues, feel free to contact us. Contacting SERVPRO is the first step you should take when addressing disaster strikes. We will help you minimize your particular issue whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response, and we will help you safely and efficiently get your residential or commercial property back in working order.
SERVPRO of St. Lucie County 772-934-6957 - SERVPRO of Martin County (772) 334-8762
Humid Climate and Mold Growth: How to Prevent?
Humid Climate and Mold Growth: How to Prevent?
Living in a wet climate requires you to take more care in relation to mold growth. Like most living things, mold needs humidity to live and grow. That sounds like common sense, however, a lot of people don’t realize this. They tend to think that because they have a home with a good plumbing system and an air conditioner, they don’t have to worry about any kind of mold growth. Nevertheless, when living in a wet, humid area of the country, the property can harbor a lot of moisture, especially if there is carpet.
Taking into account that the only option to prevent mold growth is to make sure the ambient conditions in the house are not right for mold to grow, here we share some tips to help you prevent mole:
- Guarantee Adequate Ventilation: Musty, stale, moist air offers a perfect breeding ground for the delicate mold spores. To prevent such breeding opportunities for mold, you need to allow an adequate amount of fresh air inside your house and ensure good air circulation within your house. Some ways to achieve this include keeping the windows open on sunny days, opening the doors between rooms, opening drawers and closet doors, reducing untidiness and moving furniture away from walls to improve the airflow in your house. You should also keep air ducts clean and in good condition, and run exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens where steam and moisture can build up as a result of common everyday activities. Make sure all areas of your house are well ventilated and free of musty odors.
- Take Care of Condensation: Mold grows and proliferates on surfaces with condensation, such as windows, metal pipes, and concrete walls. To reduce condensation in your home, you need to keep the indoor temperature higher and the relative humidity in the house lower. For that you can install suitable insulation to any necessary surfaces. If you notice condensation, make sure you dry the surface immediately
- Use Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers to control your indoor climate and keep air humidity low.
- Monitor Humidity: Keeping in mind that above 70% relative humidity certain species of mold can begin growing, it seems wise to get an indoor humidity monitor. An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity. In very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%, but if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture.
- Look for Standing Water: If the air conditioner isn’t the issue, search for standing water or chronic dampness that’s increasing indoor humidity and providing an attractive environment for mold. Check for puddles or dampness around hot water tanks, sump pumps, freezers, refrigerators, basement doors, and windows. Inspect crawl spaces for ground water dampness or ground leaks.
- Clean, dust, and disinfect household surfaces: Regular cleaning helps remove the mold spores from the surfaces. A clean environment reduces the appearance of dirt and grime (excellent sources of organic food for the harmful fungi) in the home. Therefore, you are strongly recommended to wash and disinfect plastic, metal, glass, stone, tile and other hard surfaces in your home on a regular basis and dry everything very well, right after the cleaning session. Also, make sure you dust and vacuum often (preferably with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter) to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt on your furniture, carpets, draperies, etc. It has been found that about 80% of domestic mold grows on dust. Consider having the carpets and upholstery in your home professionally cleaned once or twice a year.
Last but not least, plan and carry out habitual inspections of your property, especially immediately after violent storms, torrential rains, snow meltdown, etc., to detect subsequent mold proliferation in its early stages and prevent it from further dispersion into your home.
You know SERVPRO as a leader in Mold Remediation in Martin County, but our expertise can also make a dirty carpet look "Like it never even happened." Our highly trained technicians can offer you the following services:
- General cleaning and graffiti removal
- Brick, stone, and concrete cleaning
- Odor removal and deodorization
- Debris removal
- Water damage restoration
- Fire damage restoration
- Mold damage restoration
- Contents cleaning
Water Damage & Flood Insurance Claims: Preventing a Nightmare
Water Damage & Flood Insurance Claims: Preventing a Nightmare
After water damage has occurred to your property, you will be busy getting your lives and your things back into order again. In the midst of this stress and coming to terms with the unexpected emergency itself, you will have to contact your insurance agent to start the homeowner’s insurance claim process. At this point, your insurance company ‘s requirements and the process of filing a claim can rapidly become a pressing part of your life.
In our experience, we have found there are five most basic, yet forgotten, tips to bear in mind to minimize the additional stress that this type of claim process can produce.
1. Choose your water damage restoration company ahead of time
When threatened by this type of emergency, panic is often the first reaction. It is essential to react quickly to prevent further damage and mitigate the problems resulting from the water damage situation.
Subject to the laws of your state, your insurance agent may be prohibited from endorsing a specific company to repair your damages. Nonetheless, you have the right to decide on your water damage restoration company. However, it is important to only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Do not make your selection based only on the price. Make sure you choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services, and a company that is available 24/7, because emergencies are not scheduled for a convenient time.
2. Keep a home inventory
Insurers recommend taking the time to track your possessions in case of emergencies. A home inventory provides not only a much-needed sense of order, it ensures all your possessions are accounted for and supports you getting an appropriate return for them. It also can speed up the claim process, since it will provide your insurer with a detailed list of items with data such as model and serial numbers, and an idea of their purchase price and condition.
Nowadays, you can find mobile apps that can help you compile this inventory and save you from a nightmare when the unexpected emergency comes along.
3. Know the coverage of your insurance policy
Be sure you are aware of what is covered, because coverage from water damage varies from policy to policy. Essentially, there are two different policies that cover water damage: the homeowner’s insurance policy and the separate flood insurance policy to go along with it. Most times, natural flooding will not be covered under your homeowner policy, so flood insurance must be purchased separately.
4. Take steps towards mitigating the loss
It is usually appropriate to take protective actions as soon as possible after an incident. However, if there is a strong sign that your damage was caused by an accident, it is better to leave everything in place and be careful with what you clean up.
On the other hand, you should do whatever you can to prevent more water from entering the affected area and/or reduce ongoing damage. Keep in mind that insurance claims are from time to time denied because the homeowner did not engage in "mitigation of loss."
Try to balance your actions with the need to “preserve the scene.” Don't create a situation in which it is your word against the insurance adjustor’s word as to what caused the damage. If you have to move something or repair it, keep a visual record (video or photos) of this situation.
5. Have a visual record
A visual record is nothing more than a set of photos to adequately document the damage. Normally the claim process requires the story to be as complete as possible, and for this reason, it is expected that the insurance adjustor will take plenty of pictures too. The combination of your pictures along with the adjustor’s pictures will supplement your case, and strengthen your arguments if there's a dispute. You should also be sure you have “after” photos in your home inventory as well.
Seasonal Tips: Mold Summer Cleaning
Mold Summer Cleaning
Everyone knows, if allowed to grow uncontrolled inside your home, mold can result in damage to both the structure and your health due its allergic reactions, odors, and damage that the spores can cause.
Summer is around the corner. Now is the perfect time to make sure an optimum level of home protection from mold damage. Being one step ahead of mold growing, is the key to prevent a greater problem down the road.
Common places to control
The fungi normally have need of a moist environment to grow. Typical areas where mold can be found in the home include:
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Around windows
- Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
- Basements and crawl spaces under the property
- Pipes and ductwork
- In attics due to leaking roofs
During the summer months is frequently to find excessive mold growth because of the increase in relative humidity. It is known that 65%-70% relative humidity will enhance mold growth. The air conditioner can help you control the humidity in your home during the warm months. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to keep constant air circulation too.
Another aspect that is worth keeping in mind is to maintain a clean home. It might sounds obvious but some people temp to forget the carpet´s natural tendency to absorb dirty and moisture. You have a couple of choices here; you can either clean your carpeting yourself or seek for the experience and expertise of professionals. The last one would work wonders when the mold problem of a property has gotten out of hand.
Indoors Mold Prevention Checklist
- Correct use of bleach solution
- Indoor Humidity: Keep the indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent and use a dehumidifier to lower when necessary.
- Wall Leaks: Weather strip and caulk leaky windows.
- AC Drain Leaks: Be sure the HVAC units drain properly
- Ductwork Condensation: Inspect unit’s ducts for excess moisture. Repair or replace when needed.
- Air Filters: Use a high quality air filter for the units, and change it regularly.
- Bath Vent Fans: Install bathroom fans to ventilate after showers.
- Window Condensation: Install insulated glass or storm windows to avoid condensation.
- Air Circulation: Open doors and windows to intensify air circulation.
- Vent Gas Appliances: Make sure gas and kerosene heaters and fireplaces are ventilated.
- Roof Leaks: Check attic for roof damages, and repair.
In addition to the indoors maintenance and seasonal check outs, it is also pertinent to make good use of the opportunities offered by summer. In contrast, the high temperatures and the characteristic dryness of summer can also hinder mold growth. For that reason during these months, is a great idea to take advantage of the heat and torrid weather, to get any mold or additional problems on your property taken care of when it’s hot outside. For instance carrying out a driveway cleaning, will prevent algae and molds from building up.
Outdoors Mold Prevention Checklist
- Plumbing: Examine pipes for leaks and insulate.
- Blocked Drainages: Keep drainages and downspouts clean.
- Foundation: Channel water from downspouts away from house, to prevent leaks.
- Basement: Examine basement for leaks and repair if necessary.
- Water under house: Check crawl space for excess moisture, and apply black plastic to ground to reduce humidity.
As you know SERVPRO is the leader in Mold Remediation in Martin and Saint Lucie County. Our team can take care of everything including your carpeting and flooring needs. If having a professional going through your property, assessing your risks, and handling the cleanup is what you have been putting off… Don’t procrastinate any longer and call today to schedule a visit from our experts. You are just a call away from taking action to protect your home or business this summer.
How to make the property renovation process easier
How to make the property renovation process easier
Have you ever done an extension to a house? Have you had your house remodeled? Added any rooms? Or done substantial upgrades because you wanted to sell your property? In the event you are looking to sell your home after your renovation be prepared, and learn what’s the best time of the year to sale your house. It is also very important to take in consideration the amount of time and resources it will take to clean your property after renovation is completed. You may want hire a professional company such as SERVPRO to help you with this important task.
Based on an analysis of supply, demand, buyers and sellers’ outcomes in “Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate,” co-authors Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries have revealed the magic window to list your home: mid-March to mid-April.
So, in order to determine the exact weeks, you should list in different parts of the country. Turns out, the best time to list follows weather patterns. In markets with warm climates like Miami, the magic window start from mid-March to mid-April. But in places with harsh winters like Boston, waiting until mid- to late April is your best bet. (Sherman, 2015)
After adding a room or making any renovation to your property, mess and dirt left behind is expected. Then, do not be surprised to find that your newly renovated home left with rubble, paint stains, dust and looked like a construction site. Property cleaning after construction or renovation may be relatively complicated operation.
The cleaning should be done in stages, It is recommended to invest some time and build an orderly work plan in stages, in order to avoid wasting valuable time and to make the work more efficiently. Here are few pointers we recommend after renovation home, we also suggest to write your tasks according to priorities and the appropriate order:
- Look for the removal of rubble and large debris.
- Vacuuming and removing the first layer of dirt.
- Scraping and removing the paint stains of the floor, panels, windows, doors, cabinets and so on.
- Check thoroughly cleaning of the windows, rails, and blinds
- Go thoroughly cleaning the doors and door frames
- Look thoroughly cleaning of the kitchen cabinets, wall cabinets, etc.
- Cleaning and disinfection of toilets, tubs, and showers
- Check carefully for a general cleaning
Scraping and sanding paint stains and leftover construction materials, cleaning and removing paint stains and residues building materials in the wrong way can cause scratches and scuff marks and removal of lightning from the surface. Therefore, this action should be gentle and use suitable materials.
Sealing your house or apartment can be a very time consuming and tedious job, so let SERVPRO help you minimize your hassles by taking over the big task of properly cleaning the house before you put it on the market.
Why SERVPRO is the best company to help you with your home cleaning after a big renovation?
SERVPRO has the expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service. Our residential cleaning services will ease the burden of the constant maintenance cleaning of your home, but will also create a safe, clean, and comfortable living environment for you and your family. Mold is very harmful and it is important to contact a professional to perform a proper mold inspection and remediation.
As You know SERVPRO is a leader in Fire/Water Cleanup and Restoration; our staff is equipped with the tools and skills to restore your property in no time. “Like it never even happened.”
If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today!
SERVPRO of South Port Saint Lucie County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage.
IS SPRING THE IDEAL SEASON FOR CLEANING A HOUSE?
SEASON FOR CLEANING A HOUSE
Spring seems to be the perfect time of the year for a deep cleaning home due to the change of the seasons. However, in states like Florida or warmer cities you don’t have to wait for a specific month to do it, as the weather is just accurate to start open windows and let the air ran to your home, instead Florida homes need to be prepared for the hot summer months.
The true of the matter is that spring cleaning could be the most boring task that needs to be done at home or could be the easiest, all depends of the way you arrange this tasks and the actions you take every day in order to have a clean and a cozy home.
Every Florida’s new home or old home has its own unique characteristics and needs when it comes to straightening things up, there are a few basics that anyone can fall back on when it comes to spring cleaning.
Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas, for washing, replacing, dusting, sorting…not sure where to start? Don’t feel overwhelmed, here are a few handy tips that you can also use as a check list to make your spring cleaning easier and fun than a summer breeze. We also recommend you to have all the cleaning supplies you need beforehand so you won’t be tempted to put it off.
We recommend to start cleaning something you like to see shiny so this task will be more appealing as you will see the results immediately.
- Start cleaning inside and outside of refrigerator, and take the opportunity to throw out expired food products, since you will be emptying the shelves to clean them.
- Clean stove and oven and wipe down microwave
- Wipe down shelves in cupboards and inside drawers
- Clean garbage disposal blades by grinding ice and freshen it with baking soda and/or citrus rinds
- Clean or replace if needed it your range hood filters
- Finally Sweep and mop floors with a nice clean fragrance…Your done!
This task could be one of those you would like to leave it to the last, but think of the idea of enter to your fresh and clean bathroom, having a nice bath or listening to your family saying…This is great and smells fantastic!!!
- Wipe down shower and tub and re-caulk if your caulking has cracks or is moldy
- Clean toilet, countertops, and mirrors
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Wipe down shelves in cupboards and inside drawers
- Clean/wash bath mats, shower curtain, rugs, etc.
In case you have many Bedrooms at home you can start with one per day so the task will be easy and you won’t get tired and overwhelm with the rest of the house cleaning.
- Wash all bedding including your mattress cover
- Wash pillows (or replace if needed it)
- Rotate and flip mattress
- Organize and clean out closet ( take the opportunity to storage in bags clothing you don’t use and keep them in a place you can see it ready to take it for dotation’s)
This kind of areas are the most used at home so we recommend to leave it to the last so you can clean it and organize it properly.
- Vacuum/sweep and mop floor
- Polish furniture (You can start weekly with a piece so you don’t get tired doing it at once)
- Dust electronics/media centers other.
- Organize DVDs, remote controls, magazines, etc.
- Clean sofas and pillows
Throughout the House
This tasks can be done one per day and depending of the amount of work needed it
- Dust furniture surfaces and ceiling fans
- Vacuum, wash or dry clean all carpets, rugs, and draperies
- Wipe down walls, baseboards, and light switches
- Wash windows (inside and out) and windowsills
- Wipe down blinds
- Change air filters
- Apply a light coat of wax to wood cabinets and furniture
The following tasks are more for maintenance but its essentials you take the time to do it as they will reflect the good conditions of your house and the safety of your family.
- Test all smoke detectors (this should be done monthly)
- Check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors, inside and out
- Check for cracks on the exterior of your home and seal them up with proper caulking
- Clean sliding door track and apply silicone lubricant if necessary
- Oil moving parts of garage door
- Visually inspect roof for broken shingles and clean rain gutters
- Check your attic for evidence of roof leaks, and ensure your attic soffit vents are not blocked with insulation – if they are, move the insulation back to its original location on the attic floor
- Pressure wash soffits, walkways, and roofing to rid of mildew
We also recommend to contact us, SERVPRO have the expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service. Our residential cleaning services will ease the burden of the constant maintenance cleaning of your home, but will also create a safe, clean, and comfortable living environment for you and your family.
You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today! SERVPRO of Martin and Saint Lucie County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage.
Don’t wait more, and be ready to enjoy your fresh and clean home organizing the activities during the coming months with this useful checklist or by contacting us, don’t rush for spring or summer time we are here to bring you a hand!
Christmas safety tips to help you avoid holiday disasters at home
Christmas safety tips
The holiday season is a time of year for celebration, reflection and spending time with those you love. Worrying about fire damage, the destruction of your home or some other disasters, shouldn’t be the focus during Christmas, unfortunately accidents can happen. Ensure your loved ones’ protection by implementing a fire safety plan at the holidays and also keep in mind this useful tips to avoid major disasters.
Don't overload your outlet
The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends connecting no more than three strings of incandescent lights together. If you're using LEDs, most UL labeled lights will tell you on the package how many strings of lights you can safely string together.
Use a GFCI outlet
Only plug your lights into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These outlets will shut the circuit down if there is too much current flowing through, preventing fires. If your outlet is a GFCI, it will have a reset and test button in the center. If you don't have one, you can purchase a portable GFCI outlet from your home improvement store like this Waterproof In-line GFCI or this Portable GFCI.
Prevent tripping hazards
Use anchoring pins or ground staples to secure extension cords to the ground on either side of a walkway to prevent tripping hazards. Simply thread the cord through the middle and push the ends of the pin or staple into the dirt. If you have some wire hangers, a pair of pliers and wire cutters laying around, you can make your own staples in a pinch. Just cut 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) of wire and bend it into a U-shape.
Elevate the light
Keep your light strands off the ground, too. If you want to make a cool runway effect down your walkway, use light stakes. You just stick them in the ground and the lights clip to the top of the stake. Make sure to keep them dry, don't let your cords sit on the ground, be aware that the junction where your light cord and your extension cord meet stay out of puddles, damp soil, water etc. You can buy an inexpensive cord protector like the Twist and Seal Heavy Duty Cord Protector or the Extension Cord Safety Seal-- to keep your cords dry or plan your light display so that connections are in the air instead of on the ground.
Try to use an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use. Indoor-use extension cords aren't meant to be used in the cold or wet, check to make sure your lights are labeled also as waterproof and follow the American National Standards Institute.
In Case of a House Fire
Many fires that can lead to fire damage inside a home are triggered by candles that drip hot wax or candle residue onto these flammable coverings.
Other causes of indoor fires can be caused by candles that are near other.combustible materials such as:
• Decorative tissue paper
• Wooden toys or holiday decorations
• Oils or potpourri
A Smoke detector can provide enough protection during a house fire
Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning to a smoke or fire incident, but can do nothing to extinguish a growing fire. They also do little to protect those physically unable to escape on their own, such as the elderly or small children.
Increasingly often, battery operated smoke detectors fail to function because the batteries are dead or have been removed. As the percent of homes in America that were “protected” with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease. A home needs more than just a set of functioning smoke detectors. Families need an escape plan, fire extinguishers, and certain circumstances even a sprinkler system.
Keep an eye on Children’s
If you're hosting a holiday party, then either you or your guests will tag their kids along. Kids love to imitate adults, and they're quite curious; as a result, alcohol poisoning in children is not uncommon during the holiday season. Adults are likely to leave half-empty drink glasses lying around, and kids are there for the taking. Be sure to either warn guests to leave their kids at home with a babysitter or strongly enforce after-drinking cleanup.
Provide guests a special place to store their pocketbooks and bags, too, which regularly house pills and other medications. Children are adventurers and love to rummage what’s new at home.
Keep in mind the safety of yourself and of those around you. That is something that certainly everyone can be grateful for.
Contacting SERVPRO emergency is the first step you should do when addressing disaster strikes. we will help you to minimize your particular issue either if it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you efficiently to get your property back or building in working order.
SERVPRO of St Lucie County 772-934-6957 - SERVPRO of Martin County (772) 334-8762
Our best wishes to you and your love ones during the holidays!
Plan A, B and C for any disaster strikes
Prepare your Commercial Building for any disaster emergency
Did you know that less than 50% of the businesses never recover after disaster?
Natural disaster can happen like the one caused by hurricanes, suddenly emergencies and some other situations can face commercial building as well as houses. The importance about it is how to address those issues and also what to do in each case.
Planning in advance might help commercial businesses owner to be prepared for any disaster strikes. The following guideline are brought to you in order to prevent or at least to be prepared for an emergency.
How to be prepare to protect your commercial building?
Step 1: Turn off water valves to prevent damage in commercial buildings.
Turning off the water supply at the main valve is vital to avoid additional damage. Identify where the broken pipe is located to determine if a water valve is near the source rather than on a lower floor or utility closet.
When plumbing leaks occur in a multi-story building such as office buildings or hotels, turning off water valves as quickly as possible prevents primary damage to surfaces in addition to secondary damage from mold and fungus. Business owners can also prevent slow leaks in buildings by tracking water bills each month and maintaining safety protocols in boiler and water heater rooms.
Step 2: Avoid business interruption to prevent financial losses.
When leaks happen at unusual times such as during the night or on weekends, tenants, employees and managers do not regularly know what to do. That’s why maintenance personnel in businesses prepared and ready to address those issues is very important. For this particular situation the maintenance personnel are responsible for turning off the main water valve during normal hours of operation before beginning remediation services. At any case preventing extensive property damage also helps to avoid business interruption loss along with the possibility of creating liability claims from nearby property owners, tenants or guests.
Step 3: Inspect Properties
Check water distribution systems, including bathroom fixtures, kitchen plumbing and drinking fountains, especially devices that are old and degraded. At least once a month, Evaluate various areas of a building to look for signs of moisture from leaking pipes and fixtures, keep also record of plumbing fixtures that are susceptible to having frequent failures such as galvanized or steel pipes and connectors. Inspect decorative water fountains, swimming pools and hot tubs at the same time. Another important item to look after are the areas of the property that do not have drainage systems such as parking garages. In a water leak emergency, lower levels of a building without drains require portable or fixed sump pumps.
Step 4: Mitigation Plans
A basic emergency plan should contain written guidelines that include conducting initial and annual training for staff and tenants concerning procedures to follow after finding a water leak. It’s vital create and implement a loss mitigation plan for employees to follow when finding a leak in a multi-story building.
The plan should also include a map showing the location of water shutoff valves and exactly how to close the devices. If a building has a sprinkler system for fires, then it is often necessary to turn off these devices to avoid damage from water or chemicals. For sensitive areas of a building its important to have a list of the designated employees who can enter the space.
Step 5: Additional Plans.
Business owners should always have duplicate records in a safe place off-site in addition to having online records they also need to know where all records are kept along with essential services and key operating systems.
Its critical understand the procedures for relocation or movement of goods, records or tenants to a safe area. A written plan for evacuation of employees, guests and tenants along with equipment shutdown and closing a facility is essential to save property and people from danger.
Step 6: Emergency Contact List
Keep an up-to-date 24-hour emergency contact list with names and telephone numbers for:
• The business maintenance staff
• Local water company after-hours number
• Building agent or broker
Understanding your building location areas as well as what to do at first in case of an emergency its crucial to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Contacting SERVPRO emergency Ready profile is the first step you should do when addressing disaster strikes. we will help you to minimize your particular issue either if its a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. By choosing SERVPRO’s emergency Ready profile you will have skillful and professionals with 48 years of experience, equipped to reduce the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.
SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you efficiently to get your property back or building in working order.
SERVPRO of St Lucie County is available 24/7 hours a day to restore your property and get you back to business. Call Today 772-934-6957
Fire Emergency Escape Planning!
Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month!
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 fl ame can become a major fi re, 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 fi re 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 survivng a fi re by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. Th e 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 fl oors. 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 fi re escape plan during the day and at nighttime.
Escape Planning for Your Business
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reccommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate
the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional
training or exercises are needed.
Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Steps to Reduce the Risk of Storm/Tornado/Hurricane Damage to Your Home
About 1,000 tornadoes occur each year in the United States, causing billions of dollars in damages to property.
Florida is located in one of the most exposed areas to hurricanes, tornados or huge storms. That’s why we stay alert and heed all of the warning signs that can suggest more damage to our home when faced with a big storm. The cost of rebuilding after a storm, -even with the help of insurance-, can be huge.
Uprooted trees, broken branches, and stray debris are common post-storm eyesores. Get ready and prepare your house to help reduce the cost of damages from potential upcoming storms.
1.Roof: Check your roof condition on a regular basis, and if possible, brace and strap it properly. A badly maintained roof may be damaged easily if something falls on it. If any shingles are loose or missing, repair themit as soon as you can, because leaks may occur with damage from future storms.
2.Doors and Windows: Make sure to keep exterior doors and windows closed and locked, and make sure they are properly installed and in good working condition. Remember that unsecured windows and doors may allow wind and water damage to occur inside your home.
3.Store Valuable items: Keep stored in your house heavy or expensive items that could get damaged by inclement weather.
4.Trees: Check the trees around your house, and make sure none of them come in contact with any wires. They usually get energized when they come in contact with electrical sources. Also make sure all of the trees are trimmed and do not have split branches that can fall over your house or other buildings on your property. Make sure of the state of health of the trunk and, main limbs. Did you know mushrooms growing from the bark can indicate a decayed and weakened tree?
5.Debris: Keep your gutters clear, and inspect and repair loose or damaged building components such as siding, soffit and fascia, brickwork, and brick chimneys.
If you think ahead about how to reduce the costs of damage from a storm, you can save money, time, and also protect your family members. But if you have just experienced a storm, and have some damage of your property, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of St. Lucie County.
Remember that a fast response is crucial with respect to flooding and storm damages, because it reduces secondary damage and restoration costs.
Call us today: (772) 934-6957