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How to Keep Your Beloved Pets Safe if Your Home Catches on Fire

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Dog welcome home on brown mat Remember to include your pet in your fire escape plan

In a fire emergency, you’re going to be seriously pressed for time and will be under about as much stress as is possible. When you realize an active fire is in your home, having a plan and thoroughly practicing it can be the difference between life and death for you and your family – including your pets. With a few simple steps, you can dramatically increase pet safety and give them an excellent chance of surviving the fire in Palm Springs North, FL.

Think About Being Ready Now, While There’s No Pressure

With some pet preparation and a plan in place, the risks of serious injury to your pets drops considerably. Here’s what you should do in advance:

  • Have all pet vaccinations and ownership records in your fire safe or safety deposit box.
  • Include all your pets in your family plan.
  • Practice your escape plan with your entire family, including the pets.
  • Learn where your pets like to sleep and hide.
  • Get your pets used to crating.


Your Family Plan

From the time the smoke detectors go off, you may have as little as one or two minutes to escape – every second is a jewel beyond price in a fire emergency. With plenty of smoke alarms – especially newer ones that are wirelessly linked – you can raise your time to get out. Either way, follow the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendations to create a family plan, know all the escape routes and designate a meeting place for your family.

Practice that Plan!

Animals like fire even less than people. Practice the plan, get your pets used to it with plenty of treats, and make a game of it. If you know where a stressed pet is likely to hide, you can quickly scoop them up and get out. If you have time, get them into crates.

Hopefully, everyone is safe, and your home has survived the fire emergency. Once the fire is out, contact an experienced restoration company in Palm Springs North, FL, to board up the house and begin the fire damage cleanup, so you can get your home back to its previous condition.

4 Steps to a Solid Business Continuity Plan

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan sheet with eyeglasses and pen You need a business continuity plan that you can put in place if this happens.

Water damage in your commercial building in Miami Lakes, FL, requires professional remediation. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may also require you to vacate the premises while repairs are made. You need a business continuity plan that you can put in place if this happens. Here are four steps for coming up with such a plan.

1. Analyze Essential Services

Every business has key things that have to happen to keep it afloat. These are the essential services. You must figure out a way to continue these services if you are going to stay in business while water mitigation experts restore your building. Create a questionnaire for key personnel in order to determine what these services are.
2. List Necessary Resources

Once you have established the bare bones of your operation, you must determine the resources you need to carry them out. This list should include supplies, equipment and personnel required.

3. Form a Recovery Team

Your business continuity plan needs people who are in charge of carrying it out. It's always good to know who is responsible for which aspects of your business, but in an emergency situation, this knowledge is essential. Your recovery team decides how to implement the emergency response plan so that it can go off without a hitch.

4. Train and Practice

Everyone who holds a responsibility during the continuity period needs to know exactly what to do. There should be formal training for the continuity process. Actually simulating the process through practice can help you identify any problems or glitches that keep it from running smoothly. That way, you can fix problems so that they don't happen if you need the process in reality.

Any extensive repairs to your building can mean that you need to evacuate and operate elsewhere. A solid business continuity plan can help you make the transition happen more easily.

3 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait for an Insurance Adjuster After Your Home Sustains Storm Damage

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

An insurance claim form File a claim by filling out the necessary paperwork

There are Several Reasons You Shouldn't Wait For An Adjuster

After storm damage occurs, making an insurance claim is often a priority for homeowners. Many homeowners in Miami Lakes, FL, aren't sure if they should wait for their flood insurance adjuster to visit their homes before beginning restoration. However, there are several reasons you shouldn't wait for an adjuster to start restoration.

1. Your Home May Sustain Further Damage the Longer You Wait

If you wait for your insurance adjuster to visit your home before beginning cleanup and restoration, more damage is likely to occur to your home. In addition to water damage, mold damage can occur within a matter of days if water remains in your home. Flood damage restoration professionals can often help to mitigate the damage quickly, which can decrease the cost of your insurance claim and can help to reduce the amount of time necessary to complete restoration.

2. You Can Still File a Claim if You Provide Documentation

Though some homeowners may be concerned about the status of their claim before an insurance adjuster visits, there's no need to worry. You don't need to wait for an adjuster to assess your home before you can make an insurance claim. If you have flood insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance provider by filling out the necessary paperwork and including additional documentation.

3. Insurance Adjusters May Not Arrive Quickly

Though your insurance company is likely to send an adjuster as soon as possible after your home sustains damage, that doesn't necessarily mean that your insurance adjuster will visit quickly. When many houses in your area are affected by flooding, your insurance adjuster will have to asses many homes, which can be time-consuming. As a result, you may have to wait an extended period of time if you begin cleanup and restoration after your insurance adjuster assesses your home.

As a homeowner with flood insurance, it's wise to know when you can begin cleaning and restoring your home. You often don't need to wait for an insurance adjuster, as your home could sustain further damage, you can file an insurance claim if you provide documentation and your insurance adjuster may not visit your home immediately.

Why Mold Grows in Your Home and How To Address the Problem

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Condensation around window Regularly wipe away moisture to keep mold from growing around the window sill

Why Mold Grows In Your Home?

Mold is found naturally in the environment. It actually helps break down animal and plant matter. The mold then spreads via spores that are transported by animals, air and water. However, excess black mold in your Palm Springs North, FL, home can cause major damage.
If you see a large section of mold in your house, then you probably have a moisture problem. That’s because mold thrives in damp areas. There are numerous possible sources of wetness in your home, including:

  • Condensation
  • Plumbing or roof leaks
  • Kitchen or bathroom steam
  • Poor ventilation of cooking appliances
  • Wet clothes
  • A dryer that vents indoors
  • Flooding
  • Broken pipes or supply lines
  • Humidity

How To Prevent Mold Growth

Some parts of your home are consistently moist and are thus particularly prone to black mold growth. These include window moldings, refrigerator door seals, air conditioners and bathrooms. You should thus clean and dry these areas regularly to prevent mold damage.

Eliminating Mold

If you do notice mold in your house, the first step is to find and eliminate the source of the moisture. Otherwise, the mold will keep coming back.
You can then begin the mold cleanup process. You should discard any porous materials with mold on them, such as carpeting, paper and drywall. You should similarly throw out anything that can't be completely dried.
You may be able to remove smaller patches of black mold on hard surfaces with soap and water. You can also try a strong cleaner. Either way, make sure to protect yourself with an N95 mask and rubber gloves.
If the fungus takes up more than 10 square feet of space, you should call your local mold remediation professionals. Besides thoroughly cleaning and drying your home, they may also restore valuable items.
This black mold cleanup can be costly and time-consuming, however. Your best bet is thus to prevent mold growth by keeping your home as dry as possible.

How To Test Home Fire Alarms

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A smoke alarm with the battery being replaced Periodic testing increases the likelihood that safety equipment will operate as intended in the event of a fire.

A residential fire safety plan should factor in the number and placement of fire alarm devices in a home. Follow these three steps to test fire alarms at your home in Hialeah, FL, and determine whether additional equipment could increase occupant safety and reduce the risk of major fire damage.


Step 1: Check Alarm Count
Residences should have a fire alarm on each floor. The National Fire Protection Agency also recommends installing an alarm outside of each bedroom or sleeping area. A two-story home with two bedrooms or sleeping areas would need two to four fire alarms. It is also a good idea to install and maintain alarms in basements or attics.
Step 2: Press the Test Button
Whether you rely on battery-powered or hardwired alarms or smoke detector designs, these safety devices come with test features. If the device or system does not emit sound, it may be necessary to replace batteries or check wiring.
Step 3: Confirm Alarm Locations
While an alarm is beeping, you can check the range of the sound. If you cannot hear a sleeping area alarm in your bedroom, another smoke alarm or a connected hardwired or smart system that activates all of the alarms at once may be helpful for promoting safety.


By taking these steps, you can make sure that your home has the amount of alarms recommended by the NFPA and other fire safety authorities. Situating alarms in critical locations or upgrading to a hardwired or smart fire alarm system may allow more time for evacuation or extinguishing efforts. A blaze may still break out and cause fire and smoke damage or a total loss. For an expert opinion and accurate all-in-one estimate, consult with damage mitigation and restoration specialists in Hialeah, FL. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration for more information on fire tips

What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Gas emitting from a stove. A visit from your local emergency services is far cheaper than risking your life or having to repair your home after a gas fire.

Natural gas leaks are nothing to joke about. When ignored or left unnoticed, in the worst-case scenario, a gas explosion can occur, causing incredible damage and casualties. Unfortunately, these types of accidents happen more frequently in Hialeah, FL than they should, so it’s important to know what you can do to stop the problem immediately or at least keep your family out of harm’s way.


Rotten Egg Smell in the House


If you have been sitting at home and just suddenly begin to smell natural gas, especially accompanied by a hissing or high-pitched whistling noise, it’s ultimately up to you to determine whether it’s safe to find the source of the leak.

Verify that gas stove knobs are all turned off. Bumping them without noticing is very easy!
Do not turn any lights on or light any matches, as that could spark a gas fire.
Open all windows and doors until you can no longer smell the rotten-egg smell.
If the gas is not coming from your stove or any other easily identifiable location, find your gas meter and turn it off. This may require a wrench to adjust the valve to the “off” position. Gas meters are often located in the basement or outside the home. Ideally, you will know where it is and how to do this before an emergency situation or potential gas fire occurs.

Safety First


Only take these steps if you are fully confident that the situation has not escalated into an emergency. Natural gas is incredibly flammable, and a gas fire can far too easily break out. If you haven’t been home and walk into a house filled with that rotten egg smell, it is probably safer to stay outside, preferably some distance away like across the street, and call 911.


Time permitting, open a window from the outside and if your gas meter is outside, turn it off. If you have trouble deciding what to do, take the safest route and evacuate. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/ for more information on fire damage

How to Treat a Burn Injury at an Office

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flames in a commercial facility with storage boxes SERVPRO of Miami Lakes is here to help after fire damage.

Fire damage doesn’t just affect the structure of a building. A building fire in Hialeah, FL could injure employees, too. Any injury which occurs at the workplace should be addressed as soon as possible. If a burn injury is sustained at the workplace, it is critical to know how to treat the burn, so that an employee has the best chance at a quick and full recovery. Here are several tips for how to treat a burn injury at an office.


1. Assess the Degree of the Burn
If an employee is burned in an office fire, understanding burn first aid is vital. The first step should be to evaluate the extent and the degree of the burn. If a worker is severely burned, calling emergency services or taking the employee to a hospital should be a priority. A severe burn is one that is very deep and typically covers a large area. This type of burn requires immediate medical attention.


2. Run Cool Water Over the Burn Area
If a burn is determined to be minor, running cool water over the affected area may help calm and cool the injury. Running water over the area for approximately five minutes may be beneficial. It is important to note that ice-cold water could cause more damage to a burn due to the constriction of blood vessels. Therefore, ensure that the water being used is cool, but not freezing cold.


3. Utilize a First Aid Kit
Any sort of fire damage that occurs – whether it is to the building or an individual inside of the office – should be treated urgently. For an injury experienced by a person in a fire, a first aid kit at a workplace may be very helpful. A kit that contains bandages and special burn cream can help alleviate pain and facilitate healing. (If a building is damaged in a fire, professionals who specialize in fire restoration can help.)
Fire damage at an office is a serious issue, and this is especially true if a burn injury is sustained. However, following these steps may help an individual – and a business – to recover quickly. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/ for more information on fire damage tips

3 Things You Should Know About Mold Removal

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Wood planks with black growth Mold removal should be done as soon as you notice the growth.

If you have black mold in your Miami Lakes, FL, building, it is important to have it removed as quickly as possible. If you have not experienced this problem before, you may be wondering exactly what to expect. The following information may help you to better understand the process.


1. Mold Removal Times Can Vary
While you may want to know exactly how long it will take to remove the growth from your building, this will vary for each case. Mold grows quickly and can, therefore, spread to a large area before you’ve noticed. If this has happened, you can expect the cleanup to take longer. If you have caught the mold early, removal may only take a few days. On the other hand, more severe cases can take up to a week or longer.


2. Mold Can Sometimes Return
It would be great if you could remove the mold growth and simply be done with it. However, this is unlikely to be the case. If mold has appeared in your building once, then it may eventually do so again. To prevent this, you should be careful to repair leaks and remove water damage quickly when it occurs. Keep moisture levels low and clean the building regularly.


3. Mold Can Be Spread During the Removal Process
If not performed properly, the mold removal process can actually end up spreading mold even further throughout the area. For this reason, it is best to have this done by a professional mold remediation specialist who has the necessary training and equipment. To keep mold spores from traveling, the area should be contained, and disposable protective clothing should be worn at all times. These should be removed before entering clean spaces.


If you do not act quickly, the mold can spread which will result in a longer cleanup process. Remember to take preventative steps once it has been removed to keep it from returning. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/ for more information on mold. 

Candle Tips and Alternatives for Homeowners

9/2/2019 (Permalink)

3 LED candles. One is red, one is blue, one is yellow. Why Do Candles Commonly Cause Fires?

Many homeowners in Miami Lakes, FL love to use candles in their homes. However, candles are common causes of home fires, and it can be easy to light one without considering the risk of fire. There are several ways you can prevent a candle fire, and there are also various safe alternatives that you may enjoy.

Candles often cause fires in homes. To fully restore a home that has been affected by a house fire often requires time and the help of smoke cleanup and fire restoration professionals. This type of fire is more likely to occur under certain circumstances:

Lit candles are left unattended.
Candles aren't placed on a durable surface.
Flammable items are positioned too close to a candle.

How Do You Safely Use a Candle in Your Home?
There are several ways you can lower the risk of a candle fire in your home:

Make sure that flammable items are not placed near the candle.
Ensure the candle is not within reach of children or pets.
Blow out the candle before going to sleep or when leaving the room.

What Are Alternatives to Candles?
There are several safe candle alternatives available. If you love the scent of candles, you may like using room sprays or wax warmers. Room sprays are quick and easy to use, and wax warmers are often appealing because you can enjoy the scent of your favorite candle by placing wax from the candle into the warmer.


If you enjoy the warm glow candles give off, then you can try battery-powered candles or LED string lights. These both emit a soft glow that can create a cozy atmosphere in your home.


Consider the most effective ways to keep your home safe if you use candles there. Knowing why candles often cause fires, how to safely use a candle in your home and what are the alternatives to candles can help you to decrease the risk of a candle fire. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/ for more information on fire damage. 

4 Signs of a Behind-the-Wall Water Leak

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Discolored wall with paint peeling up The longer the leak has been there, the more damage it will cause and the more costly it will be to remedy the situation.


A water leak is never expected for a business owner in Miami Lakes, FL. It can be pricey, especially if the leak has escaped detection for a long time. Here are four signs that there is a water leak behind your wall:


1. Damp Floor
A damp floor may be the first noticeable sign that you have a leaking pipe behind your wall. The floor will be consistently damp, or may even puddle.


2. Wall or Ceiling Stains
You may notice discoloration of your wall or ceiling. This water damage means that the leak is significant enough or has been there long enough to soak through. This is likely to eventually lead to the growth of mold and/or mildew on your wall.


3. Musty Odor
Moisture behind your walls will inevitably result in mold if it is there long enough. Since mold can start growing within 48 hours of a water leak, it can be a big problem by the time you notice that there’s an issue. Mold will emit a musty odor. One way to check for mold is by smelling electrical outlets, since they provide an opening to the inside of the wall.


4. Water Bill Increase
As a business owner, you may not be involved with the utility bills first-hand, but a spike in the cost of water for your business over a short period of time is a reason for concern. It could mean that you have a significant leak such as a pipe break behind your walls. The increase in your water bill could, financially, be the most critical factor of all.
When you have a water leak in the wall for a prolonged period of time, the wall doesn’t have a chance to dry. The problem continues to get worse. It’s best to hire remediation experts who can do a thorough job of finding the leak and quickly resolving all issues involved. Visit https://www.SERVPROmiamilakes.com/ for more information on water damage.