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4 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Family for a Fire

12/8/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Escape Plan Practice your escape routes

4 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Family for a Fire

House fires are a scary reality for many families, but there are a number of ways you can be prepared. By planning and practicing your escape routes, installing the right number of smoke alarms, and teaching household members how to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire, you'll be much more likely to make it out safely.

1. Plan and Practice Your Escape Routes

Everyone needs to be on the same page about how you’re getting out of the house. That means you and your family need to have a plan, and you need to practice that plan at least twice a year.

If children are old enough, they can participate in this preparation by helping with planning and practicing their escape routes with their parents—and they should definitely do so! If they’re not old enough (or if you don’t want them included), that’s OK. You can still make sure they know where they should go when there is danger or an emergency occurring in your home.

You should also have an alternative escape route in case your primary one is blocked by fire or smoke during an evacuation attempt. For example, if everyone is escaping through a window out onto the roof, but finds that it's too hot for anyone else to follow suit without getting injured or burned (or worse), then secondary exits from another room may be necessary as well.

2. Use and Test Smoke Alarms

While there is no single rule of thumb for how many smoke alarms you should have, there are some basic guidelines. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you install one smoke alarm in each bedroom, plus one additional alarm on every level of your home. While this may seem like a lot, it's important to remember that even if you don't have children or pets living with you right now—or even if they're asleep when the fire starts—you never know who will be in the house later on.

If your home isn't currently equipped with any working smoke detectors, it's time to get started! You can purchase a do-it-yourself home protection kit from Amazon or another retailer (just search for "smoke detector"). Follow the installation instructions carefully and choose an area where it won't be obstructed by furniture or other household items. Remember: Smoke alarms should never be placed near sources of heat (such as ovens) or hazardous chemicals such as cleaning supplies.

3. Teach STOP, DROP and ROLL

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to teaching your children the STOP, DROP and ROLL technique.

  • Make sure they understand that if their clothes catch on fire, they should stop what they're doing immediately and run away from the flames.
  • Give them examples of how this would work with different kinds of clothing (e.g., if you were running around in circles while wearing jeans or shorts).
  • Remind them that they should not try to put out the flames themselves because doing so could cause burns on their hands or arms—it's best to get away from the flames as quickly as possible and hope someone else is there who can help.

4. Act Quickly

In a house fire, you don’t have time to think. You need to react quickly and get out as fast as possible. When seconds count, the difference between life and death could be one small decision: Do I stay or do I go?

Firefighters say that 90% of home fires are caused by human error—accidents like leaving stoves on or cigarettes unattended. But when a fire starts in your home, it can spread rapidly because many materials burn quickly and release toxic fumes that can make you dizzy or unconscious within minutes. Like all emergencies, it's important for everyone in your family to know what to do when there is a fire in the house:

Although your family will never be truly prepared for a house fire, these four simple steps can help you stay safe. If a fire does occur and you are able to escape safely, remember that there are many other resources available to assist you in the aftermath of such an incident. Your local fire department will have information about what steps must be taken next if your home catches on fire or is damaged by smoke damage from an off-site source (such as another building). You may also want to contact an insurance agent who specializes in property casualty insurance claims related to residential losses.

If your Miami home is struck by a fire, give SERVPRO of Miami Lakes a call! We will be there quickly to help you get back to normal. 

Filing an Insurance Claim and Your Rates

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

Feet with rain boots in a flooded house If your Miami Lakes, Fl home is flooded contact SERVPRO of Miami Lakes.

Filing an Insurance Claim and Your Rates

You got into an accident or your house flooded, and now you're wondering if filing a claim will raise your rates. It's a reasonable question, but there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

What to Consider Before Filing

Not all insurance claims are made for the same reason. Some people file a claim because they feel like they have to, while others file a claim because it's cheaper than paying out of pocket. If you're considering filing an insurance claim, you will want to consider a few things. 

Whether your Miami Lakes, FL home was damaged by the act of vandalism or theft is the first thing to consider. Many insurance companies offer coverage for acts of vandalism and theft, so if this is the case then filing a claim may be worth it; however, if you weren't directly affected by this act and only want reimbursement because your neighbor's house was damaged in the process, then it could raise questions as to why you're seeking reimbursement from them when you weren't directly affected by their loss as well.

What if it’s Not My Fault?

There are a few situations in which your rates can go up, even if you're not at fault. For example, if you live in an area that has a high rate of accidents and claims, then your insurance company may raise your rates to reflect this. Similarly, if you make multiple claims within a short period of time or have several claims over many years, then it's possible that they will increase your premiums as well. In cases where the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle (for example, when a car is totaled) or when there are no salvageable parts left after an accident, insurers may also increase premiums due to a "loss ratio" on their end.

More Claims Means Increased Rates (Usually)

The more claims you file, the more likely it is that your insurance premiums will increase. This isn't because of a personal preference or bias on behalf of your insurer; it's simply a matter of statistics. Each time you file a claim, your insurer sees that as an indication that there is more risk associated with insuring you and thus they must raise their rates to compensate for this.

As an example, if someone was involved in two accidents over the course of three years with no prior accidents before or after those incidents, insurance companies would consider that to be a high-risk situation—even if they were not at fault for either accident. On the other hand, someone who has been driving for 30 years without any accidents may find themselves considered low risk even though they've been in two fender benders during that time period (and therefore filed two claims). Therefore, filing claims responsibly means knowing when filing one is appropriate and when it might actually hurt your chances at getting affordable coverage down the road.

Different Claims Means Different Rates

There are two types of insurance claims: property and liability. Property claims include fire, theft, or vandalism. Liability claims are bodily injury or property damage.

You may be more likely to see your rates increase if you file a property claim than if you have a liability claim. 

Some types of common accidents raise rates more than others. If you have an accident that's the fault of someone else, your rates may not increase as much. However, if it was your fault and/or you've had multiple claims in the past, your insurance company may raise your premium for some time.

Some types of claims will never cause rate hikes at all. If a tree falls on your car because of windy weather or another natural disaster (such as a hurricane), there’s nothing to worry about when filling out an insurance claim! As long as everything was paid back in full by the company, this type of claim won't affect future premiums because no one person is responsible for what happened.

It's important to know that filing a claim doesn't necessarily mean your rates will go up. While it's possible that they could, it's also possible that they won't. You can lower your chances of raising your rates by avoiding accidents and reducing the number of claims you file over time.

When you experience a natural disaster in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Miami Lakes a call! 

Fire Commercial Cleanup Process

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage Call your local SERVPRO for fire damage restoration.

Fire Commercial Cleanup Process

Fire damage is a complex issue, but it's something we see every day. As professional cleaners and restoration specialists, we know the best steps to follow when dealing with fire clean-up.


Once the fire department has extinguished the fire and called in the clean-up crew, it's time to do an assessment of what needs to be done. The damage caused by each fire is different and will vary based on factors like whether it was electrical or accidental, how long it burned for, how much water was used in trying to put out the flames (especially if they were directly applied), how large your commercial space is, what kind of materials were involved in the fire itself (such as wood) and whether there was any smoke or soot damage from the smoke detectors going off during evacuation.

You may have physical damage such as charred walls or ceilings; melted carpets; damaged machinery; warped floors or air ducts due to heat exposure. You may also have emotional trauma from having watched something horrible happen right before your eyes—or even financial consequences if you need extensive repairs done quickly but don't have enough money saved up yet!

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning and sanitizing are critical parts of the fire damage restoration process. Cleaning is the process of removing soot, debris, and other foreign materials from the structure. Sanitizing involves using chemicals to kill bacteria and fungi in a structure that has been exposed to water damage.

It's important for both cleaning and sanitizing to be done by trained professionals with experience in this industry because it can be very dangerous for people who aren't trained properly. The use of improper chemicals could lead to further damage or health problems if they are not used correctly.


Restoration is the process of returning a property to its preloss condition. It includes cleaning, repairing, replacing, and restoring damaged property.

Restoration can be done by a professional restoration company that has experience in these types of situations. The cleanup process is the first step in getting back to normal after a fire. A professional restoration company will make sure that you’re able to use your home again as soon as possible so you can get back on your feet after losing everything due to a fire loss.

Fire damage is complex, but it can be fixed.

It takes a lot of work to clean up after a fire. In addition to the smoke damage that you'll notice right away, there's also hidden water damage caused by fire extinguishers and hoses used by firefighters in the cleanup process. This additional damage needs to be addressed before you can feel comfortable moving back in. But don't worry, we're going to walk you through all the steps required for complete restoration!

The good news is that your homeowners' insurance policy will cover any structural repairs required after a fire has occurred at your home or business; however, most policies do not cover any personal belongings lost during these events (unless they were stolen). So, if this happens—and we hope it never does—don't expect help from your insurance company! They won't pay for new furniture or clothing items destroyed by smoke damage either... so don't forget about those expenses when calculating how much money will come out of pocket when cleaning up after an incident like this one.

Fire damage is complex, but it can be fixed. The fire cleanup process starts with an assessment of the property and its contents to determine what needs to be cleaned and how much it will cost. If your fire damage repair is extensive, your insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of cleaning services up to a certain amount depending on the type of policy you have. We would be happy to help you determine if this applies to your case!

How To Handle Finding Water in a Light Fixture

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

water leaking from a fixture Finding water in light fixtures is serious and not a do-it-yourself repair.

You do not expect in the normal course of the day, to see water in light fixtures or dripping from the ceiling in your home in Hialeah, FL, but it can and does occasionally happen. It is a serious situation that needs immediate attention in order to minimize water damage.

What to Do

Panicking will only make matters worse as you may do something dangerous by accident. It does require quick action, however, and knowing what to do can help you handle things more safely.

Turn the electricity off at the breaker box, not with the light switch, as switches have a direct line of electricity to the light and you could get a great shock.

Determine whether the cause is a leaking pipe. If so, shut off the water supply immediately. If the water is coming from rain, that indicates there is some damage on the roof that is letting water in. In either case, check all the other fixtures and ceilings in the home to determine how widespread the leaking is.

Finding water in light fixtures is serious and not a do-it-yourself repair. Because of the dangerous combination of water and electricity, you will need a skilled electrician to check the area and make sure it is dry and safe to replace the fixture. It is generally not safe to reuse the light

What it Means

When a fixture has water in it, that can mean either a broken pipe or a roof leak. In either case, it usually means a certain amount of ceiling damage goes with it. After a plumber has repaired the pipe or a roofer has made the necessary repairs call the water cleanup and restoration professionals in Hialeah, FL  to assess the ceiling damage and restore a safe and sound ceiling, ready to receive a new light fixture.

If you find water in light fixtures, do not hesitate to do what has been outlined above. Your safety and well-being depend on getting the situation in hand right away, which can restore your peace of mind.

Prevent After-Flood Risks and Damage

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Damaged contents from a home due to flood Contents of a home damaged by floodwaters

Prevent After-Flood Risks and Damage

There are many dangers and lurking hazards during and after a flood, whether you're looking at a home flood from a backed-up toilet or a citywide flood after a major storm passes through Palm Springs North, FL. Some of these risks are more obvious than others:

  • Electrocution
  • Water contamination, such as chemicals, feces, and asbestos
  • Hidden objects such as broken glass, nails, and debris
  • Mold growth
  • Build up of fumes and noxious gasses

After floodwaters recede, it's important to take the right steps to clean up your home and property.

Dry Everything Thoroughly

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends three steps after a home flood. Start by clearing away as much water as possible. Make sure that your home and belongings are thoroughly dry to prevent secondary storm damage, such as weakened structures and mold. Use fans and ventilation to move excess humidity out of your home.

Clean Up Your Belongings

Cleaning up after a flood may seem overwhelming, but a professional restoration company can alleviate a lot of your frustration. Technicians have the resources to save some of your hardest-to-clean items, such as electronics, paperwork, photographs, and rugs. If you contact pros quickly, they may be able to save your favorite belongings before mold has a chance to start growing. A simple solution of one gallon of water with two tablespoons bleach can be used to clean surfaces throughout the home. Take care not to leave too much water behind.

Throw Out Items You Can't Save

The final step, and hopefully one you can avoid, is throwing out moldy or damaged items. There are some products that must always be thrown away after a flood, such as exposed foods, makeup, and medications. When it comes to other items, a good rule of thumb is if you can't clean it, then throw it out. For example, you can't wash the padding under your carpet, so throw it out and replace it.

It's important to clean your home from top to bottom after a home flood. After working through the rest of your home, don't neglect the attic, basement, and crawlspace.

3 Common Measures That Will Not Get Rid of Mold

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Seven gallons of Clorox bleach Bleach works on many things, but it will not effectively kill mold

Here Are A Few Measures That Will Not Work Against Mold

If you are in need of a fungus cleanup for your business in Hialeah Gardens, FL, it is important to take the proper steps to remove mold. Unlike mildew, mold is a tenacious fungus that requires specific measures to eradicate. Mold penetrates porous surfaces and sends out roots that cling to carpeting, upholstery, and wood. If you notice areas of dark color that appear fuzzy or even slimy, you will likely need the surfaces of a professional mold mitigation team. Certified experts will use advanced techniques that kill persistent fungus. 

1. Wipe and Spray. While it might seem that mold is no more difficult to clean than dirt or grime, the truth is that mold grows into a number of different surfaces, sending roots deep into the material. Even if your fungus cleanup appears effective, more than likely enough spores remain to sprout again as soon as your back is turned.

2. Bleach. This all-purpose cleaner works on many things, but it will not effectively kill mold. A professional mold team will know the best antimicrobial and antifungal agents to use to get your house a clean bill of health. Industry leaders consistently assess the best cleaning products to tackle mold growth. A restoration company that stays current on the latest information will know the most effective and safest products to use.

3. DIY. When you clean up mold on your own, you might encounter problems you are not equipped to deal with. For example, you might paint over mold hoping that this will deal with the problem. In reality, unless you kill the mold spores first, the mold will often grow right back. Also, cleaning porous materials infected with mold is notoriously difficult and often requires professional help.

A successful fungus cleanup requires more than basic cleaning measures. A trained, professional team is the surest way to remove mold from your company.

3 Damage Mitigation Tips for Commercial Roof Leaks

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Secured ceiling from a water leak. Secured ceiling from a water leak.

Mitigation Tips

A commercial roof leak can ruin insulation and lead to interior damage within a matter of hours or days. These mitigation tips are helpful for any leak that occurs at a building in Miramar, FL, whether roof damage is minor or major.

1. Collect Dripping Water
A leaking roof can introduce gallons of water into a structure. Depending on the size of the breach in the roof and rapidity of flow, this accumulation may take place over time or occur suddenly. Protect the interior of a structure that is experiencing a rapid roof leak by collecting water in one or more containers. Mop buckets or trash cans that have wheels can be easier to maneuver for the purpose of extraction or dumping.

2. Tarp Over Damage
The owner of a property should contact a commercial roofing company and have an expert determine the source of a leak. If it is not possible to repair a roof leak immediately, an area with missing shingles or other damage should be tarped over until repairs take place. In addition to laying out a tarp to cover the entirety of the damaged area, it is also necessary to use anchor boards to secure the covering.

3. Schedule Roof Repair
It is a good idea to repair a damaged roof sooner rather than later. Mitigation measures may temporarily serve to reduce some of the urgency, but high winds or another storm may undermine tarps and allow a leak to resume. Once the roof has been repaired, storm damage restoration can get underway in the interior of a structure rather than merely pursuing mitigation to limit the severity of the damage.

It is important to act quickly and pursue mitigation as soon as a roof leak becomes apparent. Commercial building managers or owners may want to check for signs of roof damage after severe weather in Miramar, FL.

Get Quick Cleanup To Avoid Additional Damage After a Fire

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

woman removing soot damage in a building Soot removal in a Miami Lakes, FL building.

Ways To Avoid Additional Damage After A Fire

A commercial fire is a frightening event for business owners. Not only does it put lives at risk, but it also can cause massive property damage in a short time. Once the fire has been put out, though, there are still a number of dangers to your business in Miami Lakes, FL. For starters, the facility structure is likely to be unstable, increasing the risks for slips and falls as well as the falling of heavy materials. The danger of soot inhalation is also present right after a fire. Professional fire cleanup can address these issues.

The Need To Secure the Building
Even a small fire can result in damage to windows, doors and the roofing system. This makes your building vulnerable to many sources of additional damage:

  • Bad weather
  • Wild animals
  • Insect pests
  • Vandals and thieves

Cleanup should begin with securing the building against these dangers. A professional team assesses the situation and implements tarp services if needed. This protects your building from the possibility of rains or high winds. The professionals also may board up the building in certain spots to keep people and animals out.

The Need To Work With Experts
Fire cleanup at a business calls for the services of an experienced fire restoration company. Not only can certified technicians handle all aspects of the cleanup, but they can also do it in a safe and efficient manner. They have the necessary equipment to deal with such concerns as a roof repair and to remove soot and smoke damage from your building.

In the aftermath of a fire, trained technicians can develop a plan to restore your building to its original condition. They can do this as quickly as possible while keeping an eye on doing it in an economically responsible manner. Securing the building prevents any additional damage as workers do fire cleanup and restore your building.

What Equipment You Need Before Performing Mold Removal

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

technician removing mold on a white wall Mold removal in a Miami Lakes, FL home

Mold Equipment Removal

When your home in Miami Lakes, FL, suffers from mold, you need proper protective equipment in order to thoroughly and safely eradicate the offending spores. Before tackling such a project on your own, research the options before you in relation to your overall budget.

Required Protective Equipment

If you elect to handle the matter yourself, you must first acquire:

  • Face masks, to protect from inhalation.
  • Air movers, to push away spores.
  • Dehumidifiers, to lower chances of mold worsening.
  • Air scrubbers, to destroy any floating particles.

Some of these items can be expensive, so consider this before attempting to fix the problem independently. Instead, it may make better financial sense to hire a professional mold removal service. Also, ridding yourself of mold damage can be both complicated and unsafe, so be honest about your abilities before attempting to go it alone.

The Right Protective Equipment
Of all the equipment you and your team will need, making the right choice regarding face masks is the most critical. Consider your sensitivity to mold, as well as what type of growth your house is suffering from, as certain infestations require tougher measures. Whatever your scenario, seek out the best protection possible, taking care to remember that high quality can come with an equally lofty cost.

The two key elements of protective masks are filtration and style. Only choose HEPA-rated filters that are either P100 or N100 quality, guaranteeing 99.7% of harmful particles will be dispatched. Select a mask that covers your entire face, as spores can infiltrate not just your mouth and nose but also your eyes. Consider comfortability, too, especially for extensive projects that require a serious time investment. Keep in mind that improperly fitting masks only provide partial protection.

Face masks are just one piece of necessary gear required for handling mold cleanup. Should deciding what you need ever become overwhelming, hire an expert to tackle the job for you.

Quick Response Means Faster Claim Process

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician at a commercial building if you have storm damage call SERVPRO of Miami Lakes

A Faster Response Means A Faster Claim Process.

When the next big storm hits Hialeah, FL, there is a good chance that many businesses will need storm restoration services. Ensuring that the claim and restoration processes happen fast is essential for the business owner to get back on track. When you choose a trusted leader in the restoration industry, you get a team of experts to make that happen.

Ongoing Training

A fast storm response time is vital to minimize secondary damage, which is beneficial to all parties involved. Along with that, there are key benefits to choosing SERVPRO that ease all processes involved with getting back to preloss condition.

24/7 Availability: Storms aren’t on a regular timeline, which means you need a reliable company that is available 24/7 to take the emergency call.
Certified Technicians: Once help arrives, you can be confident that your storm restoration team includes a point person and IICRC-certified technicians who receive ongoing training and focus on restoring instead of replacing.

Corporate Support: Every franchise is backed by a corporate team that provides support at every level to ensure that every disaster is handled fast and accurately.

Smooth Claims Process: Along with helping clients understand the restoration process, these trained professionals are also well-versed in the insurance world. Thanks to an electronic claims service, every step of the process if documented with precise details, updated regularly, and accessible to all pertinent parties.

Services for All Flood Damage

Along with getting a trusted water and mold damage restoration brand that is always ready and able to ease the claims process, clients also get the services they need from beginning to end. From the initial assessment to board-up services to clean-up and restoration, the right professional will be able to handle everything that needs to be done to get clients back to normal.

Finding the right storm restoration company doesn't have to be a difficult choice. When you find one with local professionals backed by a corporate team and have proven fast response times, you can feel confident you are making the right choice.