Avoiding Thanksgiving Kitchen Fires
Avoid kitchen fires this Thanksgiving by staying alert while cooking and knowing safety protocols if a fire does breakout.
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and house injuries. The leading cause of fires in kitchens is unattended cooking.
Stay Alert While Cooking
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains.
Safety Protocols for Cooking Fires
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- For an over fires, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires.
Locally Owned & Operated
SERVPRO of South Brevard is locally owned and operated so we are part of the Melbourne Beach, Florida community too. When you have a fire, flooding or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help.
As fire and water damage specialists, we have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Please call (321) 953-8600
Smoke Alarm Safety Tips
Smoke alarms are life savers, and these tips can help you.
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, reduces the risk of fire injury in half. It is recommended that smoke alarms are installed in every bedroom on every level of the house. Business owners should ensure that their space is up to building codes and smoke detector requirements are met. If owners are unsure about the building, be sure to consult with your local Fire Marshall. It works the best when pairing the smoke alarms with a fire escape plan. In an emergency situation, a plan will allow your family, employees, or clients escape quickly and safely. Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.
Tips for Smoke Alarms
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Locally Owned and Operated
SERVPRO of West Brevard is locally owned and operated so we are part of the Viera, Florida community too. When you have a fire, flooding or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help.
As fire and water damage specialists, we have the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Please call (321) 953-8600
What to Do After a Hurricane Strikes
After a hurricane strikes your area, there are certain steps you should and should not take.
Hurricanes can be devastating, and to many Brevard County residents, Irma was just that. If your home had damages caused by the hurricane, here are the immediate steps you should take.
Photograph and Document Damage
Dealing with your insurance company is not always a walk in the park, but by documenting your damages, the process can go a lot smoother. Take photos of all damages, both inside and outside of your home. Also create a list of all damaged contents inside your home such as water damaged furniture.
Conduct Emergency Repairs
In many insurance policies, it suggests it is your responsibility to stop any future damages from occurring. For example, if you have a large hole in your roof, you need to place a tarp over the hole to prevent rain and other elements from causing further damages. Don’t make any permanent repairs until your insurance adjusters come out to reviews your home’s damages.
Secure Home Inventory
By securing your home inventory, this will help your claim process go much easier. A home inventory is a document detailing all your possessions in the home. Your inventory should include photos, detailed descriptions, and if possible, the item’s receipts.
File a Claim ASAP
If you experienced damages to your home from the hurricane, you should file a claim immediately. Be prepared to explain all the damages that occurred to your home in detail. This will help your insurance provider in starting your initial claim, and they can also provide you with some advice while waiting for your adjuster to come and assess the damages firsthand.
Secure Safe Lodging
If your home is damaged to the extent where it is no longer fit to live in, you will need to secure a place for you and your family to stay in the meantime. Check your insurance policy to see if you have coverage for temporary lodging while your home is being repaired. In standard homeowner’s insurance policy, this is typically covered as long as the overall damage to your home is part of the covered insurance claim.
Financing To Fit your Needs
SERVPRO of West Brevard is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through our new corporate partner, GreenSky Financing.
Why use GreenSky Financing?
GreekSky loan program is focused on simple and out-ranks its competitors in the financing business. They offer low monthly payments, no prepayment penalties, multiple ways to make payment, and quick approvals (same day in most cases), which allows us to let our customers rest assured that their property is being taken care of, as well as the payment. Financing terms are available for a variety of services- from deductibles, non-coverage on insurance claims, or even just a home remodel.
Why did SERVPRO partner with GreenSky?
We at SERVPRO of West Brevard realize that damages to your property, either residential or commercial, never come at a GOOD time. Sometimes we are prepared, but most of the time we aren’t…. so while SERVPRO of West Brevard helps make your property damage “Like it never even happened,” we can take some of the pressure of financing the job off as well.
How Does GreenSky Program Works?
Step #1: Customer Applies
Customers can apply online through the program website, by phone, or on the mobile application.
Step #2: Customer Gets Approved
Credit decisions can be delivered in SECONDS!!! The approved customers receive a GreenSky account number and loan agreement from the lender.
Step #3: You Get Funded
Use the customer’s GreenSky account number to process the payment just like a credit card.
7 Steps in Preparing For a Hurricane
Even though hurricane season has just begun, it’s never too early to prepare. Unless you prefer to rush to several different stores and stand in hour long lines, within hours of the hurricane actually hitting. I know I’d rather not do that! I’ve been in that situation, and let me tell you, it is not fun.
Instead, follow these 7 steps you should take before a hurricane hits.
1. Stay Informed
Make sure you know what is going on with the hurricane. Such as, what is the category of the storm, will it be hitting your area directly, if so, what time? Make sure to know your county’s evacuation route, and customize your evacuation plan for your family specifically. The hurricane’s course is never set in stone, so be sure to establish a back-up plan for every scenario. There are great phone apps you can download and utilize while preparing your family’s hurricane plans and staying informed. Click Here to learn more about these apps.
2. Make a Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Be sure that you create a checklist of supplies that is specific to you and your family and then more general supplies. Click Here
3. Do you have Hurricane Shutters?
Be proactive! Hurricanes are known for causing damage to houses, and the first thing that’s usually damaged is your windows. Florida Home Builder’s know this and sometimes provide hurricane shutters to new homes. Make sure to check and see if yours has or not. If not, you can purchase shutters or you can pre-cut boards for your house windows.
4. Have a Back-up Power Source
During hurricanes, it is likely that power lines get damaged or fall down, causing many people to go without power after the hurricane. It can take several days to several weeks for your local power company to repair the power line and get power up and running again. Because of this, it is a good idea to have a generator. Remember that they need gas to run and they are quite noisy.
5. Have at least 2 weeks of water and non-perishable food
FEMA recommends that each household has 2 weeks of food supplied. Hopefully you will not need to 2 weeks worth of food, but disasters do happen, and hurricanes can change on a flip of a dime. It is always best to be over prepared than under prepared.
6. Know How to Cook Without Electric
Without electric it can be hard to cook or warm up some of your food; considering this day of age, we rarely cooks without electric. But instead of trying to figure out how you are going to heat up the can foods you stocked up on, decide this issue before hand. Here are some ways you can cook without electric.
- Canned heat
- Camping stoves
- Grills- propane or charcoal
7. Remember to Relax and Stay Calm
Being relaxed and calm during disasters are much easier when your family and you are prepared for any kind of scenario a hurricane throws your way. Come up with some ideas and activities that can take your mind off of the storm or its aftermath. Pull out those dusty board games in your closet and take out the stack of books you’ve been meaning to get to. This should preoccupy you and your family, and give you some quality time together.
Wildfire Danger Index
Wildfires are rapidly taking over our state of Florida. The lack of rain this spring is fueling wildfires across Florida, making 2017 fire season the most active fire season since 2011. So far this year over 2,000 wildfires have consumed more than 150,000 Florida acres.
With wildfires being so active, staying informed and being safe is of the up most importance. The state of Florida provides its’ residents with a Fire Danger Index (FDI), which is a continuous reference scale for estimating the potential for a fire to start and require suppression action on any given day. The Fire Danger Indices are classified as Low, Moderate, High, Very High, or Extreme, and represented by a color. Below is a description of each fire warning level and the specific actions that should be taken.
(FDI: 0-11) Easy for fires to be controlled, and there is little to no risk for life or property damage. Monitor the situation for changes and know where to get additional information
(FDI: 12-24) Fires can be controlled. Expect embers to blown away, which can cause small fires around main fire. It is unlikely for loss of life, and there will be minimal property damage. Be well prepared and to defend home in case of wind speed or direction change.
(FDI: 25-49) Fires may be difficult to control. Embers will blow ahead of fire, causing tree tops to burn and spot fires that can be up to 2 km from main fire. Some home and business could be affected, but there is a low chance for loss of life or injuries. Only stay at your residents if you’re well prepared and can actively defend it.
VERY HIGH: Red
(FDI: 50-74) Fires will be uncontrollable, move quickly, and flames may exceed the tree tops. Embers will blow around and cause spot fires that can be up to 4 km from main fire. Buildings may be damaged or destroyed, and there is a chance for loss of life or injuries. For insured survival, leaving your residents early is the safest option. Only stay if you’re well prepared and you can actively defend your home.
(FDI: 75-100+) Fires will be uncontrollable, unpredictable, and fast-moving. Flames will be higher than the tree tops, and embers will be blowing by the thousands. Spot fires will be forming in all directions and fast-moving. Anything that comes in the path of the fire will be affected. Hundreds of homes and businesses will be destroyed. Leaving is the best and safest option for survival.
If you spot a forest fire, remain calm, go to the nearest telephone and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to your local fire department. Calmly tell the emergency dispatcher when and where you saw it. Stay on the telephone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.
Tips for Spot Cleaning Carpets
Do you have those tough spots on your carpets that just will not come out? Here are some tips you may have not tried when cleaning that spot on your carpet.
ALWAYS blot or scrape up as much material as possible before it soaks into the carpet.
For scraping solid material, use a table knife or a SERVPRO scraper. Never uses a sharp instrument.
For blotting liquids, use white paper towels or tissues instead of a cloth. If a cloth is used too long, the fibers may redeposit in the carpet and spread the stain.
Never use soap. This frequently leaves a sticky residue that causes rapid resoling.
Do not allow solvent-based products to penetrate to the backing of carpets. Solvents might damage and soften the latex compounds used to strengthen the carpet backing.
Cell Phone Emergency Alerts
Who know our cell phones' could possibly send a text that could potentially save a life?
Technology has come a long way! The only way you used be able to receive Emergency information was by radio or television, but there is a better way and that is your cell phone.
Everyone has a cell phone, right? In this day and age, we couldn’t imagine anyone not owning a cell phone; it’s practically unheard of. More people own a cell phone than a car or a TV, and could you blame them. You can watch TV or catch a ride from your phone in minutes. In 2002, only 62% of U.S. adults possessed a cell phone, and that percentage increased to 95% of Americans in 2016. Today, cell phones are used for more than just to make calls. Cell phone capabilities aren’t what they were 10 or even 5 years ago. New technology has helped make our cell phone do practically anything, from GPS services to video chat, to web surfing, and to virtual reality.
Now knowing this, what is the best and quickest way to notify Americans in case of a major emergency? I’d say through our cell phones! You can be warned of upcoming dangers by emergency alerts from anywhere, while choosing how you’d like to receive them from your cell phone. The ability to be warned of oncoming dangers at a moment’s notice can provide you with a jump-start to safety. Here are 5 different ways to set up your emergency alerts from you cell phone.
- National updates
Receive updates regarding National Security from Homeland Security, the latest outbreaks from CDC, and computer threats from US-CERT. These notifications are issued through WEA- Wireless Emergency Alerts. If you have ever received an Amber Alert it’s coming from the WEA, which is a default setting in most cell phones.
- Statewide activity updates
Do a Google search for a Public Warning System for your state. This will allow you to customize your alerts specifically to your state.
- Weather apps for smart phones and tablets
You can receive custom weather alerts from your state or city while customizing the level of warning you want to receive. Apple users can download NOAA Radar Pro and android users can download the app Pro Weather Alert. These apps can range from $2- $3, and is worth every penny to keep you and your family notified of weather emergencies and dangers.
The FEMA text message program informs you of safety tips for specific disaster types, and allows you to search for open shelters and disaster recovery centers.
- Apple devices-text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA)
- Android devices-text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA)
- Blackberry devices-text BLACKBERRY to 43362 (4FEMA)
- Survivehive Alert Center
For those of you that are like me and hate cluttering up your email and social media, this is the resource for you. Stay up to date with the latest disaster/emergency, terrorism, disease outbreak, significant earthquake, and severe weather alerts all from one site.
Fire Survival Tips
This house fire stared by leaving a candle unattended.
Fire preparedness is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of disaster preparation. Preparation is key to minimize the size and speed in which a fire can grow, allowing time to escape or wait for the fire department to come to the rescue.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape?
Are you prepared in case a fire?
Here are safety tips that everyone sure know:
-Never leave heating appliances unattended in your home.
-Frequently check that all smoke alarms within your home are properly working.
- Take note of flammable items in and around your home.
- Remove pine needles, leaves, and broken branches from around your house.
- Pine shrubs can quickly catch on fire; so think carefully before planting them close to your house.
-During dry seasons, use your garden hose and spray the roof and side walls of your home.
-Store fuel away from your house and in approved containers.
-Learn basic firefighter skills by taking a fire course. This can prepare you to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to protect your family and home when fire disasters strike.
-Obtain a complete floor plan of your residence.
-Identify all available exits, especially basements and attics.
-If there is an upstairs exit, make sure there are emergency ladders available and all windows/doors open easily.
-Plan several exit routes in case the fire does not allow you to use a certain exit.
-Identify a meeting location after you have exited the building.
- Once the escape routes are planned, test out the routes before an emergency and make sure they work efficiently.
Resources to extinguish fires:
ABC Fire Extinguishers – A popular active fire protection device to control small fires, not intended to be used in an out-of-control situation.
Fire Extinguisher Ball – A light weight ball that can be thrown into a fire causing it to self-activate releasing chemicals to suppress the fire.
Indian Pack - A portable water pouch with a hose, which can allow you to put out small brush or wild fires around your home.
Baking Soda- Use baking soda to smother a small fire before it can spread by sprinkling over the fire. This is great to use for grease fires.
Chimfex Fire Extinguisher - Fire suppressant used for chimneys and fireplaces.
What You Should Know About Water Damage
Water damage can be a very difficult situation for any homeowner. But there are certain tips that can help save you time and money. There are also things you shouldn’t do as it can make the situation worse. Here are some tips to guide you in dealing with water damage in your home.
Do not open the windows
It may seem like instinct to immediately open up any and all windows when you first discover unexpected moisture, but that could actually make matters worse. You want to avoid any excess heat and humidity in order to not complicate the drying process. Instead, call SERVPRO immediately so that the moisture can be examined and removed right away. It is also wise to pull any wet materials or furniture away from the water so that they do not become damaged. Keeping the windows closed will allow the air system to run as it usually does and maintain a stable environment for proper drying.
Your insurance company needs to know right away
When water damage occurs, the best method of defense is calling SERVPRO immediately to schedule an inspection and begin the treatment process. It is also extremely important that the next phone call you make is to your insurance company to get more information on if and what they will cover. Your insurance agent can guide you through the process and help protect your property from further damage. This is important information that can impact the value of your property if it is not addressed immediately and correctly.
Not all water damage is covered by insurance
There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage, so not all water damage is created equal. These are things your insurance agent will have questions about and need as much information as possible in order to report a claim. Make sure to specify where the water came from and how much there is so that your insurance company can work with you to handle the situation the best way possible. Most policies cover things like sudden damage such as an overflowing washing machine or a storm, but situations caused by neglect or carelessness are not typically covered by insurance. It is also important to know if you have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy so that your insurance company can adjust your claim appropriately.
Where the water came from matters
Not only does where the water came from matter for repairs, it matters because the water may be polluted. Water alone can be extremely damaging if it is not dealt with immediately, and if there are any chemicals or bacteria in it can speed up the damaging process and even cause illness. There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time that water is exposed to an area and the time that mold begins to grow. Mold multiplies quickly and can be extremely dangerous to the health of anyone around it so it is vital that it does not have the opportunity to spread within the water.
Standing water breeds bacteria so that means that any contamination the water touches is spreading germs and can worsen the contamination of your property the longer it is there. The worse the contamination becomes, the more extensive the cleaning process becomes. It is important to address the situation immediately so the water does not breed any bacteria and is removed before further damage occurs.
What not to do
Beyond keeping windows shut and calling SERVPRO and your insurance company, there are several other things you should not do in the case of water damage. Do not leave wet fabrics in the standing water or they will be ruined. Also, do not leave any books or magazines on wet carpets or floors. Avoid turning on any televisions or household appliances that may have been exposed to the standing water as a safety precaution. No matter how tempting it may be, leave the water removal process to the professionals and do not use your household vacuum to remove the water yourself.
SERVPRO can remove water and prevent damage
When unwanted moisture accumulates, the highly trained technicians at SERVPRO use advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to find and remove it as quickly as possible. The water damage experts will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the water restoration industry and is able to take on water damage incidents of all types, including storm damage, mold remediation, sewage cleanup, and commercial water damage.