Keeping Your Business Safe During the Holiday Season
When it comes to small business security, you truly cannot be too careful.
It’s finally fall and that means that the holiday season is right around the corner. For many businesses throughout South Florida, this is the time of year to prepare the commercial properties for increases in customers, and hopefully, increases in sales. From office holiday parties to family gatherings, the holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, however, it is also the time of year when business owners must account for potential criminal attacks. As such, it is important to create a security plan for the holiday season.
Small business owners are at risk of robberies since they often have extra cash in-store during this time of year. Be sure to keep in mind the following safety tips in the upcoming holiday season:
- Go over all of the security employees with the staff and ensure they have a thorough understanding of protocols
- Check that all alarm systems, surveillance cameras, locks, and cyber security software are in working order
- Ensure all doors and windows are locked upon closing each night
- Update your system to account for the extended holiday hours
- Try to make bank deposits at different times, avoid having a set routine
- Consider bringing on a nighttime security guard
- Avoid checking your business email account when you are on a public Wi-Fi network
- Install an outside lighting system
- If hiring seasonal employees, be sure to do thorough background checks
The holiday season is a profitable time for many businesses, but an unexpected break-in could send your business into a tailspin. When it comes to small business security, you truly cannot be too careful. Keep these tips in mind this year and have a wonderful holiday season!
9 Most Common Causes of Water Damage
If you believe that your home has suffered from water damage, our team of SERVPRO water damage restoration experts is here to help.
Water damage in the home, especially damage that is not identified, can cause serious issues to the home’s structure and even to you and your family’s health. Unfortunately, far too many homeowners are unaware of some of the most common causes of water damage and are therefore not prepared to prevent it in the first place. While some water damage is unavoidable, being educated on typical sources for water issues will make you more prepared to identify a problem and handle it before it becomes both costly and destructive to your home.
Residential water damage is extremely common, especially in homes throughout the South Florida region. Understanding potential sources of water issues is the first step to prevention. The following are some of the most common causes of water damage:
- Washing machine supply lines pressure
- Dripping toilet
- Busted or leaking pipes
- Sewer lines backup
- Water buildup in crawl spaces
- HVAC problems
- Malfunctioning appliance like dishwasher, sink, refrigerator, etc.
- Heavy rains or major storms
While the above causes are the most commonly seen challenges for homeowners, there are a variety of additional causes of water damage. Being proactive is the best way to save money and maintain your home’s interior and exterior in optimal condition. If you believe that your home has suffered from water damage, our team of SERVPRO water damage restoration experts is here to help. Call us today to learn more!
Fire Safety Tips While Cooking
As you cook your meals this year, be sure to share these fire safety tips with your entire family.
Cooking is a special activity that many families like to do together. Unfortunately, cooking fires are the leading cause house fires and home fire injuries today. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40 percent of all home fires begin in the kitchen and U.S. fire departments record that they respond to an average of approximately 166,100 cooking-related fires annually. There are about 455 daily fires in the United States and with cooking fires being the top source, it is important to be aware of how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.
Cooking equipment can be very dangerous if not used properly and carefully. Thanksgiving is actually the leading day for home fires involving some type of cooking equipment. That number is 4 times the average number of home fires! Since the average American household cooks at least one hot meal each day, it is absolutely essential to be doing so safely. These are some of the most critical fire safety tips to follow while cooking:
- Never leave the kitchen while boiling, frying, broiling, or grilling food
- Turn off the stove every single time the kitchen is left unattended
- Do not use the stove or stovetop if you have consumed alcohol or are feeling sleepy
- Keep items like wooden utensils, oven mitts, towels, and food packaging away from the stovetop
- Regularly check on food items that are roasting, baking, or simmering
- Always use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking food
- Be aware of your clothing like large-fitting shirts or loose sleeves
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen
- Never throw away hot grease in the garbage can
- If a small fire starts on the stovetop, smother the flames with a lid to cover the pan and then turn off the burner
- If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and do not open the door
- If you have any doubts about stopping the small fire, get out of the home immediately and call 9-1-1
As the fall holiday season begins, many families will be enjoying their time together in the kitchen. As you cook your meals this year, be sure to share these fire safety tips with your entire family. If your kitchen does suffer from fire damage, contact SERVPRO right away to handle the cleanup and restoration. Contact us today for more information!
Some of the Worst Hurricanes of All-Time
Hurricane season has been good to South Florida residents in 2018, but it is important to remain vigilant and continually monitor the weather.
Florida residents are all too familiar with hurricane season and the massive destruction that it can cause. Unfortunately, the 2017 hurricane season broke all kinds of records in regard to damage and disaster. With the most notable storms of Harvey, Irma, and Maria, people across the globe have suffered tremendously at the hands of one of nature’s scariest, most unpredictable weather threat. In many cases, the damages incurred following a particularly bad hurricane create lengthy, sometimes permanent, effects on the physical locations, the community members, and the economy.
While troubling to recall some of the most destruction storms, it is important to remember that hurricanes are something to be taken very seriously. In Florida, Hurricane Andrew was a big wake-up call for many. As such, remembering some of the biggest storms of the past can serve to enhance preparation in the future. In no particular order, the following are some of the worst hurricanes of all-time:
- Katrina, 2005
- Galveston, 1900
- Harvey, 2017
- Andrew, 1992
- Camille, 1969
- Sandy, 2012
- Irma, 2017
- Ike, 2008
- Maria, 2017
- Gilbert, 1988
- Florida Keys, 1935
- Mitch, 1998
Hurricane season has been good to South Florida residents in 2018, but it is important to remain vigilant and continually monitor the weather. Preparedness is extraordinarily important to protect your loved ones, yourself, and your property. Coastal residents must be even more prepared and aware of the current and future weather. Be sure to check back on our blog for updated tips on preparing your home for hurricane season!
Expectations for Professional Mold Removal
Unlike some of our competitors, our highly trained mold remediation specialists are here to quickly restore your property.
Spreading throughout a residential or commercial property in as little as 48 hours, mold infestations are something that must be taken seriously. It is important to understand that since mold spores live everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, any company claiming the ability to remove all mold from a building is being dishonest. The reality is that microscopic mold spores occur naturally and only become an issue in high quantity. The problem in the mold remediation industry is that far too many companies make false claims and are actually lacking the skills, experience, and equipment to so that job the right way.
Mold removal is a specialized skill that requires licensing to do the job effectively, safely, and with the proper restoration techniques. The following are important qualities to look for when you are hiring a professional mold removal and restoration company:
- An Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist should be on the job
- An inspection and assessment should be done to determine mold damage
- Actions should be taken to contain the mold and prevent spreading (the best method is using negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area)
- Air filtration should be used
- Protective safety gear should be worn at all times when dealing with mold projects – look out for things like face masks, gloves, or even a full suit if the mold issue is very large
- Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be utilized
- All contents in the contaminated areas should be cleaned properly to not only disinfect but to also remove odors
- Restoration should take place last to restore affected areas and repair damage
SERVPRO is proud to offer our mold damage repair and restoration services at a reasonable cost. Unlike some of our competitors, our highly trained mold remediation specialists are here to quickly restore your property. Call us today to learn more!
Preparing Your Home for a Big Storm
If heavy rains or storms have damaged any part of your home or property, contact SERVPRO today to speak with our storm restoration team!
The middle of summertime means almost daily rainstorms. In South Florida, the rain seems to come as quickly as it leaves and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, however, we all know how much impact even short-lived heavy rains can have on the roads, on the neighborhoods, and on individual homes across the county. While some storms are so massive they cause unpreventable damage, the majority of South Florida storms will cause minimal to no damage if the homeowner is readily prepared for them to occur. There are a number of home maintenance tips that can help to mitigate potential storm damage, especially for those who live in flood-prone areas and neighborhoods.
Preventative measures can save thousands of dollars in storm damage repairs. As such, keep the following tips in mind when preparing your home for a big storm:
- Make sure the fence surrounding your home is secured
- Clear your gutters of all debris and ensure they are faced to drain away from your home
- Remove any dead tree limbs and trim trees near on the property
- Place any valuables in waterproof containers
- Gather documents like insurance policies, birth certificates, health/medications paperwork, and important phone numbers
- Check your roof’s condition
- Secure all loose items around the property
- Protect important areas like your windows and doors
Being prepared for a big storm means being proactive in safeguarding your property, both inside and outside of the home. Those living near the coastline must pay extra attention to the news to determine if they need to evacuate their neighborhood. If heavy rains or storms have damaged any part of your home or property, contact SERVPRO today to speak with our team of storm restoration professionals!
Recognizing Signs of Water Damage
Water damage can arise in all areas of your home, but the most commonly seen areas affected are the walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, and exteriors.
Homeowners in South Florida are well aware of high stressful and costly water damage can be. Water damage is caused by a wide variety of things, ranging from things like heavy rainstorms all the way to washing machine leaks. While many people think of water damage in terms of a busted pipe or a massive flood, some of the most intense damage comes from seemingly minor issues. That is why it is so important to recognize signs of water damage as early as possible, before the damage grows significantly. Fixing a water damage problem in the earliest stages is the key to reducing the amount of restoration required.
Identifying the source of the water is the very first step in detecting water damage. As water accumulates in one location, the damage begins to spread quickly, so being vigilant is imperative. The following are some of the most common signs of water damage to keep an eye on:
- Foul smells caused from bacterial growth
- Peeling paint
- Water bill increases
- Stained or discolored ceilings and/or walls
- Warping, sagging, or buckling of floors, ceilings, or walls
- Puddles of water
- Mold growth
- Hearing running water when the home is quiet
- Damage to the exterior of the home, particularly cracked roof tiles
Water damage can arise in all areas of your home, but the most commonly seen areas affected are the walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, and exteriors. If you believe that you home may have some water damage, it is important to act right away. Contact the water damage professionals at SERVPRO for immediate help!
Preventing Mold Growth in the Shower
The ability to prevent mold growth in your bathroom is the easiest and most effective way to eliminate the problem.
Bathroom mold is something that most homeowners have to deal with at one time or another. From the ceiling all the way down to the tiles, mold growth in the shower, bathtub, sinks, toilets, and other areas of the bathroom are all too common. Mold thrives in dark, damp, humid regions, particularly in isolated spaces. As such, the bathroom creates the perfect scenario for mold to flourish after bathing or showering. When a bathroom lacks adequate ventilation, moisture begins to linger and then mold begins to develop. Some of the other typical causes of bathroom mold are things like damp flooring, rugs, wallpaper, or grouting as well as any type of leaks in the plumbing pipes like the sinks and toilets.
The key to preventing mold growth in the shower is stopping the issue before it starts. The following are some of the most effective ways to prevent mold growth in the shower:
- Purchase a mildew-resistant shower curtain
- Use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner in the bathroom
- Keep the humidity levels under 50 percent throughout the household
- Always use the bathroom ventilation fan during the bath or shower, as well as leaving it on for an additional 30 minutes following
- Regularly wash the bathroom rugs
- Keep your shower items like shampoos, loofahs, and shower toys outside of the shower
- Dust your bathroom with a microfiber cloth at least once a week
- Utilize all-purpose cleaner at least once a week and be sure to spray all of the bathroom surfaces
- Squeegee the shower walls immediately following your washing
- Utilize glass cleaner to clean the bathroom windows and mirrors
- Fix any bathroom leaks immediately
- Wipe all areas of the bathroom dry
- Keep the bathroom as well-lit as possible
The ability to prevent mold growth in your bathroom is the easiest and most effective way to eliminate the problem. Mold treatment can be quite the headache, so the ability to prevent it from developing in the first place is the ultimate cure. If you believe you have a mold growth issue in your home, contact SERVPRO and our team of mold remediation professionals will address the problem promptly and effectively. Call today!
Top Tips for Workplace Safety
It is absolutely vital that all employers and employees have a regular discussion regarding potential safety hazards and unsafe practices.
Whether you are an employee or an employer, having a basic understanding of workplace safety is extremely important. For many organizations, the simple practice of creating safety guidelines and procedures seemingly is sufficient enough as their workplace safety protocol. Even worse, many companies do not even inform their working staff about safety regulations and best practices. Unfortunately, these mistakes are what lead to far too many on-the-job accidents and injuries. Safety standards should lay the foundation for all things done in your organization and communicating these standards is imperative.
With that said, it is absolutely vital that all employers and employees have a regular discussion regarding potential safety hazards and unsafe practices that are specific to their organization. The following are some of the top tips for workplace safety to share with your company:
- Safety equipment should be worn correctly and consistently
- Each and every machine and/or tool must only be used by a trained employee
- Remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings
- Every employee must take regular breaks throughout the day
- Emergency exits cannot be blocked
- Inform management or direct supervisors of any unsafe working condition immediately
- Be cognitive of proper posture while sitting down
- Avoid taking safety procedure shortcut at all costs
- Inform employees and entire staff of any new or updated safety procedures
Employers have the responsibility to ensure that their entire workforce understands possible workplace hazards and the proper rules and procedures to avoid them. Risks are inherent in virtually every type of job, but avoiding accidents and injuries hinges on a company’s ability to enforce their workplace safety best practices.
Flood Control Facts for You
Being an informed member of your community is essential to keeping your local area and your home safe from severe flooding.
South Florida home owners are all too familiar with major storms and the flooding the follows them. From heavy winds and heavy rains to inefficient drainage systems, experts have made some frightening predictions for the future of South Florida homes. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UOCS) recently released a report pointing to the potential of chronic flooding effecting one million Florida homes by the year 2100. These warnings are certainly scary and they make most South Florida residents think about how to handle flooding today and tomorrow. One of the most important things to consider is the concept of flood control and how you can use it to your home’s advantage.
Understanding some of the basics of quality flood control is important to minimizing potential dangers that stem from major storms. As we find ourselves in the thick of hurricane season, Florida residents should learn the following flood control facts:
- Drainage systems are always in operation in order to keep water elevation desired level
- The drainage district is in control and cannot open its discharge control to the community
- Opening the discharge control to the community is only authorized in emergency situations
- Older communities typically suffer from severe flooding due to their older storm water systems
- Homeowners can play a role in preventing flooding by avoiding putting trash bags in road swale and avoiding throwing debris in canals or lakes
Being an informed member of your community is essential to keeping your local area and your home safe from severe flooding. Working together as a community to keep canals and lakes free from debris and not placing trash bags in road swales are just a few ways to play a part in controlling flooding. Florida is surrounded by water and with hurricane seasons getting increasingly more potent, it is important to stay educated on flood control.