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Florida's Extreme Heat Safety Tips

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Florida's Extreme Heat Safety Tips Summer days in Central Florida can be dangeous because of the extreme. Know how to protect your home and family before Florida's extreme heat is here.

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months in Central Florida. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. As Florida residents, we have a greater chance of being chance of being affected due to the high temperatures and humidity. There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you and your family.

Prepare Your Home

  • Install windows air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapers), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep call air in. This can also help keep your electrical bill down in the summer months.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awning or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

Prepare Yourself Before Going Outside

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake on those days.
  • Be aware and pay attention to signs of Heat exhaustion

If possible, limit your time outside on extremely hot days and stay indoors in the air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Staying hydrated will help you from experiencing heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life- threatening. Signs of heat stroke are high body temperature (103+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness.

DID YOU KNOW? On average, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.

About your local SERVPRO of Osceola County in Central Florida

SERVPRO of Oscoela County specializes in fire, water, and mold remedition. Our highly trained technicians are restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your home quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Kissimmee, Celebration, Four Courners, and Champions Gate. Contact our office staff if you have any questions about water or mold damage in you home or business area. Schedule a FREE Assessment at 407-933-0707

Mold: When to Call the Professionals

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold: When to Call the Professionals When is it a good time to call Mold Professionals in Celebration, Florida- Osceola County.

There are particular situations where the homeowner can clean up mold. However, there’s a time when it’s passed your ability, and it is time to call the professionals. The best thing for you and your family is to know the different. Here are some examples of situations:

Call the Professionals:

  • If there has been a large water damage in the area the mold is located, and if there is more than 10 square feet of mold growth.
  • If you think your AC unit (including ducting and ventilation) could be contaminated with mold or if you visibly see evident of mold around the outside of the vents or returns.
  • DO NOT run your AC unit, you can run the chance of spreading mold spores throughout your home.
  • If any water damage or mold growth was caused by the sewage system.
  • If your regularly experience allergies or respiratory issues.

Do Yourself:

If there is Less than 10 square feet of mold or fungi inside your home.

  • If there is any on the surface of your bath tub or shower.
  • If you see mold or fungi growing or the outside of your home, such as windows, doors, concrete, stucco, etc.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Osceola County specializes in mold removal and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained technicians are restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Kissmmee, Celebration, Four Corners, and Champions Gate. Don’t hesitate to contact our office staff if you think there may be mold in an area in your home. Schedule a Mold Assessment at 407-933-0707

5 Mold Prevention Tips

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Mold Prevention Tips The steps towards the prevention of mold is ultimately the key for keeping mold out of your house. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent mold.

Living in Florida isn’t the best environment for preventing mold. Florida’s all year around high humidity, the constant Florida showers, and the coastal sea breeze is a prefect recipe for mold to grow. Here are 5 tips for preventing every Florida homeowner should know.

#1 Eliminate Clutter

When there are many items and lots of furniture in one area the air flow decreases and can prevent your HVAC system from circulating the air correction. Over time, this can cause issues in you AC ducting and could cause condensation which can lead to mold growth. By removing the items you don’t use or need anymore, the air flow in the home will increase.

#2 Control Indoor Climate

During those hot and humid Florida days, but sure to keep your eye on your thermostat. A health home should keep the humidity between 40% to 55%. When the humidity is higher than 60%, there is more water in the air than your air conditioner can handle. Which can lead to areas in your house collecting moisture, and moisture is the prime feeding source for mold. To prevent this, set your thermostat around 77F and keep the humidity around 50%. If your humidity is around 60% or more, think about investing in a small dehumidifier.

#3 When AC is On, Shut Windows & Doors

When your air conditioner is on and your windows and doors are open, your cool air is escaping, and hot and humid air is entering from your house. Not only is your money flying out the window, but condensation starts to form around areas of exchanging air temperatures. Be sure to keep the windows and doors when the AC in on and let the family knows that too.  

#4 Look for Standing Water

Standing water can turn a small problem into a big problem. Make sure to consistently check areas where water or condensation can build up such as the pan under the hot water heater, the area your HVAC handler is set on, and moist/humid areas like around the shower, bathtub, and bathroom air vent/fan.  

#5 Proper AC Unit Size

It gets hot in Florida and 8 out of the 12 months the temperature is in the 90’s. But bigger isn’t better where it come to your AC unit. If your AC unit is too big for you home, it will constantly shut off and turn which will waste money and fluctuate the temperature often. If the unit is too small, then the air conditioner will continually run without adjusting to the desired temperature and increase cost.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Osceola County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our technicians are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. We service the residents of St. Cloud, Poinciana, Four Corners, and Champions Gate. Don’t hesitate to contact our office staff if you think an area in you home may have mold. Schedule a Mold Assessment at 407-933-0707

Stay Fire-Free this Holiday

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Stay Fire-Free this Holiday Ensure your family's safety this holiday by following these recommendations of a fire-free December!

This Fall season in Florida has brought us cooler temperatures, amazing weather, and an abundance of outdoor activities.  You can help make sure your seasonal plans don’t go up in smoke by taking a few precautions. Keep your family safe and fire-free by planning ahead this season.

Fall Decorations

Decorations like flowers, wreaths, and Christmas trees are likely to dry out and are very flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

Emergency Exits

While celebrating these Holidays, be sure to keep all decorations clear from any emergency exits, whether that’s a window or a back door. Nothing should be blocking an escape route.

Bon Fires

Though Florida isn’t known to have many bon fires, they still occur on those rare cold nights either on the beach or in a backyard. Teach your children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Candles/ Lanterns

If you’re like me as soon as December arrives, my seasonal and holiday candles are out and lit! But even adults should use caution using real candles. Ensure that nothing flammable is close to the candle before lighting, such as paper, linens, and decorations.

Locally Owned, with National Resources

SERVPRO of Osceola County is locally owned and operated so we are part of the Celebration and Harmony, 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 (407) 933-0707

Does your Office Have a Fire Plan?

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Does your Office Have a Fire Plan? Business Emergency Evacuation Plan for fires are essential to keep your staff safe.

With holiday’s right around the corner, our minds are not always focused on safety, especially at the office. Now-a-days emergency escape plans are not a requirement for all businesses. If your office had a fire, would you know what to do? Every second counts during a fire. Experts say people have as little as two minutes to escape before it may be too late. Let’s plan ahead this season to help ensure your office and staff is safe and fire-free.

Organize an Emergency Plan

Gather all employees and review the company’s Emergency Plan and procedures. Make sure everyone knows and understands the escape route, and if anyone has any questions be sure to go over them.

Post Evacuation Procedures

In the office building post the evacuation produces somewhere where the entire staff has access to see it. Be sure to clearing mark all routes and exits in the building and ensure all are well lit and unobstructed at all times.

Exercises and Drills

Set aside a time to actually conduct an office evacuation exercise. Before starting, discuss a designated safe spot outside the building for all staff members to meet after the evacuation. Once the drill is over, evaluate how well the exercise went and how the plan worked.

What To Do Until Help Arrives: When Water Damage Occurs

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do Until Help Arrives: When Water Damage Occurs This water damage occurred during a Florida thunderstorm and was caused by heavy rainfall, which flooded the entire home.

Central Florida has been bombarded with thunderstorm almost daily the last several weeks. These storms’ lightning and heavy rainfall have caused many of our Florida homes' roof damages and water damages. SERVPRO of Osceola County has seen an increase of houses affected this summer, and some of the damages have been catastrophic. These emergency tips will assist homeowners and their families in taking the proper actions until SERVPRO of Osceola County arrives. By following these Dos and DON’Ts, it will help to reduce the amount of damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

Water Damage from Clean Water (Rain Water)

DO:

  • Find the source of the water if possible and stop or block the water from entering the home.
  • Turn off the circuit breakers in the wet areas of the house. Be sure the access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock before doing so.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirts off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON’T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn of ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

2017 Hurricane Outlook

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

This Hurricane Season 

The first of June is the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, and does not end until the last day of November. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season’s start date is a little different. It begins on May 15th, but ends on the same day as Atlantic Ocean, November 30th. On both coasts, most of these storms do not occur until the peak of the hurricane season, which is around August through October. This is because the Atlantic Ocean and El Nino’s waters are warmed from the summer months, and hurricanes first condition needed is warmer waters.

Above-Normal Season

Each year on May 25th, the Climate Prediction Center releases its outlook on the upcoming hurricane season. For the Atlantic, this year is predicted to be an above-normal hurricane season. “The region has a 70 percent chance of experiencing between 11 and 17 storms with sustained winds of 39 mph (62 km/h) or higher. Between five and nine of these storms may become hurricanes, or storms with sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or higher. And anywhere from two to four of these storms could become major-category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes, which means they would have sustained winds of 111 mph

(178 km/h) or higher” according to National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Hurricane Names

For the 2017 hurricane season, the following hurricane names could come into play in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to the WMO:

Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irma
Jose
Katia
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rina
Sean
Tammy
Vince
Whitney

Causes of Wildfires

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Wildfires are growing rapidly through the state of Florida and effecting our own communities and homes. Many believe the causes of these wildfires are the lack of rain Florida has had this spring, which is definitely a factor, but not the only one. Humans are actually one of the leading factors in these occurring wildfires even though we, Floridians are in a drought. In the United States, 90% of wildfires are caused by humans. What are we, as a society, doing to cause acres upon acres of burning?

  • When cooking with fire on a grill or over a camp fire, people are not taking the right precautions, whether that is not making sure all debris around the fire is clear or keeping a close eye on the fire or leaving it unattended.
  • Some smokers are negligently discarding cigarettes or cigars, and in dry weather are unintentionally igniting debris or leaves.
  • Children playing with fireworks, matches, or lighters.
  • People who are intentionally participating in acts of arson.
  • Equipment malfunctioning such as vehicles, tractors, yard equipment that uses gas, garage tools, etc.
  • The burning of trash in yards or on large properties. These fires can easily spread by burning ashes or leaves or debris close to the fire. 

8 Items to Toss out During Your Spring Cleaning

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Expired Medication


It is important to know and stick to your medications expiration date. Over time medication can lose its original potency, decreasing its effect. Instead of allowing these expired medication cluttering your medicine cabinet, simply flush them down the toilet or crush the pilled form and mix with dirt, kitty litter, or coffee ground and throw the mixture in the trash.


Old Receipts


First make sure you do not need the receipts for any kind of tax purpose. If you don’t, you should then shred the receipts (by hand, scissors, or shedder) and toss in the trash.


Freezer Foods


Frozen foods can be tricky, but foods that are freezer burn or any kind of meat products that are older than one year should certainly be disposed. The best way of disposing of these foods is waiting until trash day, this way the frozen foods will not have time to thaw and start smelling.


Makeup/Nail polish


Believe it or not, makeup and nail polish have an expiration date. It’s not printed on the items, but if you “google it” people have put together charts with lengths of time each type of makeup product lasts. Nail polish should be thrown out once too much air has gotten inside the bottle and becomes like molasses.


Clothes


Your clothes that don’t fit, are discolored, or have holes, must go. They are just taking up valuable closet space that could be replaced by items you would actually wear. Throw out the clothing that are discolored or have hole and drop off the others at Goodwill.


Towels/blankets


Towels and blankets wear overtime and loose that soft fluffy feeling it had when you first bought it. Take these worn linens and donated them to your local animal shelter. You will feel good about it and get to treat yourself with new ones.


Gift bags


Recycling gift bags is a great way to save a few bucks, but that requires you to actually use them. If you did recycle them, you did it! If not, the bags are probably bent or ripped a bit and taking up storage space. Toss them out and feel good about the space you’ve recovered.


Travel samples


If you’re like me and always bringing home the mini travel size shampoo, conditioner, and lotion and believe that I’ll be able to use them for the next time I travel somewhere. But in reality, these samples are forgotten underneath the bathroom sink, simply taking up space and collecting dust.


 


 

14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your Home

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your Home Electrical fires can occur rapidly and takes minutes to burn down your home.

As busy homeowners, fire prevention has taken a back seat on our list of priorities creating bad habits. House fires are becoming more and more frequent due to common bad habits that can quickly become a fire hazard. Without you realizing it, these potential fire starters are hiding in plain sight throughout your home. For instance forgetting to take the time to change a dull light bulb or leaving an abundant amount of lint in your dryer. Our mind disguises these simple tasks as harmless, when in reality, it can become quite devastating.

 

1.           Piling up dirty, oily rags- If left sitting, these rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust.

2.        Misusing electric blankets- If heat starts to buildup or the coils bend the wrong way, the electrical blanket can catch on fire.

3.        Neglecting appliance recalls- Last year defective appliances caused 150,000 fires.

4.        Lingering dryer lint- The combination of lint buildup and excessive heat creates fire.

5.        Letting your laptop overheat- If the cooling vent airflow is restricted, the laptop can over heat and catch on fire.

6.           Choosing the wattage- Using the wrong wattage of a light bulb can initiate an electrical fire.

7.        Using too many extension cords- This can create an overload leading to a short circuit, which produces a fire.

8.        Performing DIYs you’re not qualified to do- Electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC mistakes can easily ignite fires.

9.        Disregarding dust- Dust buildup around electronics and electronic sockets can become a fire hazard.

10.     Storing batteries improperly- If the battery’s terminals make contact with other metals (screws, papers clips, etc.), it can short out the battery producing enough heat to possibly catch flammable material on fire.

11.     Ignoring mice or other rodents- These animals are known for chewing on electrical wires, which removes the sheathing and exposes the heated wiring. This can lead to sparking surrounding surfaces caused by short circuiting, resulting in igniting a fire.

12.     Forgetting the chimney sweep- Chimney fires are commonly cause by buildup of creosote, dead animals (usually birds or raccoons), and cracked mortar.

13.     Overlooking the range hood- Grease and other cooking buildup that’s left on the vent hood filter can drip down on the stovetop, catching the fallen material on fire.

14.     Arranging furniture unwisely- Furniture can unexpectedly ignite, if you position it by a source of heating such as a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater.