Summer Safety Fire Tips
Summer outdoor cooking is fun, but don't let an unattended grill lead to disaster.
Summer weather means cookouts on the BBQ grill and backyard fire pit, and all sorts of campfire fun, but it’s also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines.
SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West is happy to bring you our summer fire safety tips:
- Keep a bucket of water handy. If an ember floats out of your fire pit, or a log falls down from your bonfire stack and sets nearby foliage, paper, or other flammable materials aflame, you don’t want to be scrambling for a way to put the fire out. Having a bucket of water nearby is a great first response tool to keep a fire under control.
- Supervise all fireworks (if fireworks are legal in your state). Sparklers and pinwheels might seem “low risk,” but the reality is that there aren’t any fireworks out there that are safe enough for kids to use without adult supervision. It’s also important to ensure that no one tries to re-light fireworks that don’t work properly the first time. Dump these in a bucket of water and move on to the next package.
- Don’t let barbecue grease build up. Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent accidental grease fires caused by all of the gunk that can accumulate on a grill over time.
- Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire. You don’t want to grill or light a campfire anywhere near other flammable materials. This includes deck railings, overhanging branches, dry grass or that pile of dry wood and recycling sitting in the back corner of your yard. If you’re camping, clear out the area immediately around your BBQ or campfire spot to be sure that there’s no scrub or brush nearby that could ignite if a spark lands on it.
- When you’re done with the fun, put out the flames. While it might seem romantic to fall asleep in front of a campfire or your backyard fire pit, you really should dump water and/or sand on those embers before catching some shut-eye. The same goes for BBQs – close your propane valve and the unit’s lid, as well as any vents on a charcoal grill once you’re done. Unsupervised BBQs can easily tip over in the wind. A breeze can pick up and carry coals and embers from that campfire, dropping them where they can ignite dry grass, branches, trees or deck planks.
And if you do accidentally catch your house or business ablaze, please contact SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West. Our skilled technicians can clean, restore and reconstruct your structure and make it "Like it never even happened."
Working as a Team
We are always building relationships and assisting property managers, facility directors, and business owners protect their buildings.
Emergency property damage happens and, when it does, a prompt response can save you time and money.
The faster an expert can arrive on scene to mitigate the disaster the better, the scale of damage is reduced, and the inconvenience to the occupants can be minimized. People may be able to stay in their residences and business tenants may be able to continue operating when a skilled response team is in charge. That’s why we provide 24/7 emergency response services for fire and smoke, water damage, and biohazard cleanups.
Not everything is an emergency. Property owners, property managers, and facilities personnel face a variety of important maintenance and restorations issues that can be planned and scheduled. That’s why our local SERVPRO franchise performs non-emergency, specialty cleaning and restoration services such as Mold remediation, HVAC system cleaning, odor control, graffiti abatement, hoarder scene cleanup, death scene cleanup, and reconstruction services. You don’t have to have an immediate emergency to use our services.
SERVPRO is a nationwide cleaning and restoration franchise system that is well respected for its expertise in serving insurance companies and we are proud to be an important part of that team. We also understand the property management and commercial real estate industry in our community. That’s how our company began many years ago. Today, serving property managers, risk managers and facilities engineers remains our focus.
SERVPRO Takes Pride in Our Alachua County Community Involvement
SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West is proud to be a locally owned/owner operated franchise location serving the North Central Florida region for emergency fire/water/mold damage restoration and cleaning services. We are owned by husband-wife team Mark and Becky Raymond and our production team is led by their son, Jason. As a family business, we strive to give back to our local community, not just as business owners, but with various charities, sponsorships and networking programs.
When you choose SERVPRO, you are supporting a business that is deeply rooted in the Gainesville area. Co-owner Mark Raymond is a Gator grad and he and his wife enjoy giving back to the community, especially over this past year when life was turned upside during the pandemic. We were able to turn a hardship into an opportunity to give back, one example being when we provided free drive through vehicle disinfection services to first responders in the surrounding counties.
Two local organizations that we've been active with for years are the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and the Newberry Jonesville Chamber of Commerce. Becky currently serves in a leadership position at the Newberry Jonesville chamber and we sponsor the Gainesville Chamber's annual DrinkGNV events - follow us on our Facebook page to see the upcoming events we are sponsoring!
These Chamber networking events are a great opportunity to showcase and collaborate with our fellow local businesses. We are also committed to continually improving our business, and both groups provide development and education opportunities that we have taken advantage of so we can better grow our business and serve our customers.
When you face an unexpected disaster impacting your biggest asset, we hope you will think of us at SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua County West. Our slogan is "Not just a BRAND you can trust, but a FAMILY you can trust. Water damage, fire damage, mold... We make it "Like it never even happened."
We are invested in our community and want to do the best job possible when our fellow neighbors or local businesses face an emergency, so give us a call at 352-374-6589, 24/7/365!
What to Do If You See or Suspect Mold
If you see mold like this in your home, call the experts at SERVPRO right away!
Mold is a common part of life in Florida's wet and humid climate and can wreak havoc on your home or business site if left untreated.
Why worry about mold? If left undetected and untreated, it can grow rapidly and affect the structural integrity of your home. It has been linked to health effects and can ruin the contents of your home, as well as creating an unpleasant musty smell. An unexpected finding of mold during a home inspection can also impact ability to buy/resell a property.
Maybe you are starting to notice a musty odor or worse, you see some questionable spots appearing.
You see or suspect mold...what next?
You should call a professional mold remediation company like SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West. We can perform a site visit and assess the area, as well as look for hidden mold. If you have visible mold, the damage often extends beyond what you can see.
An independent mold testing company should also perform testing. We work with your insurance company throughout the mold remediation process.
It may be tempting to attempt treating the mold growth yourself to save money, but this is a job really best left to the professional experts like SERVPRO.
Why let SERVPRO professionals handle mold remediation?
- As a licensed mold remediation company, we have years of experience providing this service
- Our crew uses proper personal protective equipment to avoid mold exposure and cross contamination during removal
- We are knowledgeable in setting up containment areas to avoid disturbing and spreading the mold spores around to even more areas in your home.
- As per Florida state law, we use a separate mold inspection company to independently test levels before and after to ensure our removal is successful
- Our technicians receive certification and ongoing education to follow best practices (learn more about our training & certifications)
If you are concerned about mold, give us a call right away at 352-374-6589!
You Can Trust SERVPRO for Your Commercial Emergency Restoration Needs
At SERVPRO, we are experts in emergency commercial services such as water damage & mold remediation.
When your business faces an unexpected disaster like fire damage, flooding, or mold, you need a restoration service that can get on the job fast so your business can resume normal operations as soon as possible. With over 40 years of local experience in the restoration business between SERVPRO Gainesville West/Alachua West co-owner, Mark Raymond, and the Production Manager, Jason, we are a brand you can trust.
Here is an example of one type of work we do for commercial customers. We received a call from a store at the Oaks Mall where they had noticed some water staining on their ceiling. This is often a sign of mold growth and that was found to be the case here. Our on-call crew loaded up their equipment and immediately began working, staying late in the night to get the business back in order.
In the photo of our employee at the job site, you will notice that we take mold very seriously and not only get the job done quickly, but take pride in doing it right. On this job, we set up a containment chamber to avoid spreading mold particles and wore personal protective equipment to avoid cross-contamination. We also work with an independent specialist for mold testing after our mold remediation is complete.
Our emergency restoration service is available 24/7/365 because we know emergencies can happen at any time! As local business owners ourselves, we know that time is of the essence and will get your commercial site back in business ASAP. Learn more about our commercial services here, and see more of our before/after photos of local residential and commercial restoration work here.
Is Your Home Ready for Rainy Weather & Hurricane Season?
Today is June 1st which officially marks the beginning of hurricane season. In Alachua County, we'll soon begin to experience our typical summer weather pattern of afternoon rain and thunderstorms. Check out all of our disaster preparedness blog posts below to prepare your home and commercial properties:
Hurricane Preparedness Steps
Create a Family/Business Emergency Plan
Build Your Emergency Supplies Kit
Review Your Insurance & Important Documents
Strengthen Your Home & Yard Before a Storm
Sign Up for Local Weather/Emergency Alerts
Florida's Tax Free Disaster Supplies Week
Even if a major storm doesn't hit our area this year, these tips can help you prevent water damage from heavy rains, roof damage and leaks from fallen trees, and readiness for power outages during thunderstorms. Addressing any water damage or flooding properly and right away is crucial, especially in Florida's hot and humid environment where mold can grow quickly.
For business owners, we also offer our complimentary Emergency Ready Profile - call us at 352-374-6589 to schedule an appointment.
SERVPRO is always ready to clean up any storm or water damage after an adverse weather event. With our professional water extraction and dehumidifier equipment and IIRCRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) trained staff, we are the local experts you can trust.
Storm Preparation: Alachua County Tax Free Disaster Supplies Week
Take advantage of Alachua County's tax exempt disaster supplies week to prepare for hurricane season!
Hurricane season starts next week and now is the time to gather your supplies. Stocking up now can help you deal with heavy rains and potential power outages that are so common during the summer - plus you can save money by taking advantage of the tax free disaster preparedness holiday!
From May 28th to June 6th, Gainesville area residents can purchase the following disaster preparedness items that will be tax exempt:
$20 or less:
$40 or less:
- Portable, self-powered light sources (candles, flashlights, lanterns). From a fire safety perspective, we suggest flashlights and lanterns over flammable candles.
$50 or less:
- Any gas or diesel fuel container
- Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, these sizes only:
- Two-way or weather band radios (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank)
$60 or less:
- Coolers & ice chests (non-electrical)
- Portable power bank
$100 or less:
- Bungee cords
- Ground anchor systems
- Ratchet straps
- Tie-down kits
- Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
$1000 or less:
- Portable generators used to provide light or communications or to preserve food in a power outage
Always exempt, and you will want to have on hand in case of disaster:
- Bottle water (unflavored, uncarbonated)
- Canned food and nonperishable food items
- First aid kits
- Prescription and nonprescription medication
- Baby food and formula
- Feminine hygiene products
For detailed information, check out our blog post on building your emergency supplies kit. The rest of our hurricane preparedness week blog series will help you get your home and commercial property ready.
When it comes to natural disasters, sometimes damage and destruction still occurs no matter how prepared you are, and SERVPRO will be ready to help!
Hurricane Preparedness Week: Sign Up for Emergency Alerts
Have an evacuation plan & sign up for severe weather alerts to get ready for hurricane season!
With hurricane season quickly approaching, now is the time to prepare your homes and businesses. Day 4 of Hurricane Prep Week is about being informed - get an evacuation plan in place and know where to receive timely, reliable emergency alerts for the Alachua County area so you are never caught by surprise.
Even if you don’t live near the coast, evacuation may be recommended depending on your type of residence or special medical needs. If you don’t have friends or family to stay with or can’t travel away from the storm’s path, know where your nearest emergency shelter is located and what you’ll need to bring. You can find information about Alachua County emergency shelters at https://www.alachuacounty.us/depts/em/preparedness/pages/emergency-shelters.aspx. If you have pets, be sure to locate a shelter that accepts them. Alachua County doesn’t have designated evacuation zones, but the County may still issue evacuation orders, so sign up for alerts.
The good thing about hurricanes is we usually have an idea well in advance if a storm is potentially heading our way. Staying informed about approaching storms (typically hurricanes and tornadoes in our region) can help you prepare ahead of time and avoid crowds and lengthy lines to stock up at the stores and gas pumps. You can download the FEMA app to receive real time alerts from the National Weather Service at https://www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/mobile-app-text-messages. Alachua County Emergency Management also has a local emergency notification system you can sign up for at https://www.alachuacounty.us/depts/em/preparedness/pages/personal-preparedness.aspx
During a hurricane, extended power loss is common so you may be unable to rely on mobile alerts or internet access for updates. A simple weather radio can provide reliable information for your area during a bad storm.
Having your hurricane preparation in place will give you peace of mind during hurricane season. If you’re a business owner, don’t forget to call us at 352-374-6589 to set up your free ERP (Emergency Ready Profile). If your home or commercial property suffers storm or water damage, we will be standing by ready to help with emergency restoration!
Hurricane Preparedness Week: Strengthen Your Home & Yard
Get the exterior of your home ready for hurricane season with these tips!
Hurricane season starts June 1st - is your home and business ready? Today’s hurricane season preparation tips are all about ways you can strengthen your property in advance of the heavy rain, falling trees, and strong winds that we typically experience during summer storms in our region.
1. Inspect the trees around your property or business for dead limbs and trim them. UF IFAS has tips for preparing trees for hurricane season and choosing landscaping specific to our North Central Florida region. Preventive maintenance of trees and landscaping can minimize flying debris or tree limbs falling onto roofs. Gainesville has been deemed a “Tree City of the World”, but all those trees also create potential for storm damage and roof leaks even though we aren’t near the beaches.
2. Check the drainage in your yard. Heavy rainfall is not uncommon in our area, so make sure gutters and storm drains are clear.
3. Make room in your garage to store outdoor items that may become projectile during a storm.
4. When a storm is close to approaching, you can also take these steps:
- Cover your windows if necessary
- Secure loose outdoor items such as patio furniture, trash cans and recycling bins, and children’s outdoor toys.
- Move vehicles to a safe location
- Bring potted plants and yard decor inside.
You can also check out our blog post on exterior home maintenance to prevent water damage, which will help your home during the rainy summer even if we don't have a busy hurricane season.
At SERVPRO, we have been helping homeowners and businesses with storm and water damage restoration in the Gainesville/Alachua County area for over a decade, so we are prepared to help you with whatever the 2021 hurricane season brings our way.
Restoring Commercial Properties
Our techs are knowledgeable in handling any commercial water loss scenario.
Flooding and water damage events in Gainesville and the surrounding counties, commercial properties often have complex issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West
SERVPRO of Gainesville West/Alachua County West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our technicians are highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, you can have peace of mind knowing that our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.