Fire Safety Tips for Christmas

Fire Safety Tips for Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to relax next to the fire, bundle up with a blanket, and enjoy a nice, warm drink. However, Christmas also comes with many potential fire hazards, which means your Christmas could be ruined if you are not careful! If you want to enjoy your Christmas fully, without having to worry about fire damage in Orlando, be sure to follow these helpful guidelines from the fire repair experts at FLA-CAT.

  • Make sure you buy a fire-retardant tree. Many more people are choosing artificial trees every year, but they can actually be more of a fire hazard than natural trees are. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire retardant. Furthermore, if you choose a natural tree, make sure it is a healthy one, as unhealthy, dry trees are far more likely to catch on fire.

  • Choose a proper tree placement. Most Christmas tree fires are started when people accidentally place their trees near heat or fire sources such as fireplaces or radiators. To prevent these fires, you simply have to make sure your Christmas tree is placed at least three feet away from any source of fire or heat.

  • Water your tree regularly. If you decide to buy a natural tree, be sure to water it on a regular basis. Doing so ensures that your tree not only stays healthy, but also remains moist. Dry pine needles are a major fire hazard and can easily catch on fire.

  • Use indoor lights only. One mistake that many people make each year is to put outdoor lights on their Christmas trees. These lights are meant to burn brighter, which means they become very hot and can potentially cause Christmas trees to catch on fire.

  • Avoid candles. Even if they make your tree look nice, never use candles to decorate your Christmas tree–whether it is real or fake. Candles are just too much of a fire hazard.

  • Turn off your lights. Make it a habit to turn off your Christmas lights when you go to bed or leave your home. This is fire safety 101, but you would be surprised by how many people damage their homes every year because they forget to turn off their Christmas tree lights.

You can significantly reduce the risk of having your Christmas ruined by an unexpected fire just by following these simple tips. However, if you do run into some fire trouble, you can always contact the fire damage specialists in Orlando at FLA-CAT!

How to Navigate the Insurance World When Disaster Strikes

Most homeowners never expect to have to submit insurance claims when damages occur to their homes, but unfortunately, accidents do happen. Whether it is damage from a flood, a storm, or a fire, it can be an emotional experience that leaves you feeling alone and frustrated. However, by following these guidelines, you can easily work with your insurance company to submit an insurance restoration in Orlando claim for the damage to your home and get back on your feet.

Meet With Your Representative

Submitting a claim sounds easy, but if you’re not exactly sure what you are doing, it can be a difficult process. When submitting a claim, you should try your best to speak with your insurance representative one on one. Having a good relationship with your representative can lead to a better understanding of the entire claim process.

What to Expect

Depending on the amount of damage to your home, you should expect any of the following to happen after you submit your claim:

  • Reimbursement of Living Expenses if Home is Unlivable

  • Removal of Debris When Applicable

  • Reimbursement of Common Household Property Such as TVs and Computers

  • Repairs–Even When Someone Else’s Property Damages Yours

Be Firm

If you initially face a little resistance from your insurance company, you need to be firm with them. Call or meet with your representative on a regular basis to make sure you are being kept up to date on your claim process and that you are submitting all of the required paperwork. It never hurts to be a little assertive, especially if your home has suffered significant damage.

Seek Help

If your claim is rejected, or it is taking too long to process, you need to seek the help of an experienced insurance attorney immediately. He or she can help expedite the entire claims process and will make sure that you receive the money you deserve from your insurance company.

Submitting a home insurance claim can be a difficult process, especially if your home has been damaged significantly by a flood or fire. Nevertheless, as long as you maintain a good relationship with your insurance representative and stay on top of the claims process, you should receive the money to which you are rightfully entitled. If you have any questions about dealing with your insurance company during your home’s restoration process, contact the Orlando insurance restoration experts at FLA-CAT today!

Tips To Help You Avoid a Disastrous Fire During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family and enjoy some home-cooked food, but it is also a time when thousands of families across the United States make costly mistakes that cause needless fire damage to their homes. If you want to avoid Thanksgiving fire damage in Orlando, brush up on your fire-safety cooking tips.

  • Keep a watchful eye. Most kitchen fires are simply caused by people who do not pay attention to what they are doing. It does not matter whether you have done it many times in the past; you should never leave food unattended on your stovetop. This is especially true if you are using a deep fryer to cook your turkey, as they are among the most common fire hazards during the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Always be ready. Even if you are confident in your cooking abilities, it is always a good idea to be prepared. If a fire does happen, you will definitely want to have the proper equipment ready to help put it out. Always know where the fire extinguisher is kept, and if you do not have one, buy one immediately. It’s also important to always keep flammable things away from your stovetop such as paper towels and anything made of plastic.

  • Wear appropriate clothing. Thanksgiving is usually a time when people like to bundle up in comfortable winter clothing, but if you are responsible for cooking, you should still wear short, tight-fitting clothing that will not be at risk of catching fire. You should also tie your hair back if it is long, as you certainly do not want it to catch fire!

  • Keep children out of the kitchen. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, but if you want to lower the risks of a fire, make sure that younger children stay out of the kitchen. This will not only prevent them from being a distraction, but also keep them from potentially burning themselves.

  • Act quickly if you are burned. If an accident does happen, and you do suffer a burn, put the burned area of your body under cold water for three to five minutes and then apply a soothing ointment. If the burn is any larger than a fist, you should seek medical attention immediately.

By following these tips, you are sure to have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. If you want to learn more tips to avoid fire damage in Orlando, browse through the FLA-CAT blog posts today.

Do you have fire-safety precautions set up in your home? Tell us how many fire extinguishers you have and where you keep them for easy access. We’ll share your tips to help out our other followers.

Home Maintenance Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Purchasing your first home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be an incredibly daunting one. It comes with a lot of responsibility and is a potential lifetime investment. This means you should properly be prepared, especially when it comes to performing standard home maintenance. If you recently purchased your first home, follow these guidelines to try to prevent any major home accidents from occurring:

  • Ensure water drains are properly installed and functioning. Water drains that are not properly set up can lead to significant water damage within a short period of time. Drain water away from the foundation of your home and ensure that no obstructions prevent your drains from working correctly.

  • Regularly inspect your roof. It’s important to inspect your roof for any missing or broken shingles. In addition, you should check your attic for evidence of leaks.

  • Examine your home siding for damage. Whether your home is made of brick, stucco, wood, or any other type of material, you should thoroughly inspect the siding at least twice a year for any type of cracks or separations in its foundation.

  • Check your HVAC system. If you do not take care of your HVAC system, it could potentially cost you thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Be sure to have your unit checked out on a regular basis. This regular maintenance includes keeping the lawn and weeds trimmed, as well as preventing insects from building their homes in or around the unit.

  • Test smoke detectors frequently. Thousands of homeowners deal with fire damage every year, but damages from house fires can be significantly reduced by maintaining your smoke alarms. Check your smoke alarms at least twice a year to make sure they work properly and have fresh batteries.

  • Perform routine home maintenance. Home maintenance includes things such as checking air filters once a month and making sure the moisture-prone areas of your home (such as bathrooms and kitchens) are well-ventilated to prevent mold from growing. You should also use surge protectors to avoid overloading your electrical systems.

By following these tips, you can easily avoid most home disasters that a significant number of homeowners experience every year. If your home does suffer any type of damage from a flood, storm, or fire, you can always depend on FLA-CAT to provide you with outstanding repair services!

Do you have any tips for first-time homeowners? Share your suggestions with us and we’ll share them with our followers.

Toilet Backed Up?

One of the most disgusting and inconvenient things that can happen in your home is a backed up toilet. If you have dealt with this issue before, you know just how frustrating it can be to find out there’s a clog. What causes these backups to happen? You might be surprised to learn that there are multiple reasons a toilet becomes backed up–reasons that go beyond a clogged U-bend. To better prepare yourself for the next time the flush handle produces no flushing results, take a look at these reasons your toilet could be backed up.

Wet Weather: Nature’s Clog

You may be surprised to find that a frequent cause of toilet backups is wet weather. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes can cause toilet backups if you live in the right (or wrong) area. Clogs occur in wet weather because the sewer systems we use are also built to collect excess rainwater. The grates you see in the streets allow water flow to travel into the sewers, keeping the ground level free of flooding. However, flooding can also happen in smaller and older sewers, causing toilet backups throughout the city.

What May Be Happening

Many different issues can cause an excess of rainwater to create backups in your toilet. The most frequent causes of toilet backups include:

  • Small Sewers. Sewers built for older residences are often smaller than more modern sewers, since the population was often smaller at the time. Some old sewers might be too small to carry everything, causing backups around the area.

  • Blocked Pipes. Clogs in the sewer can affect the rest of the system all the way back to your toilet. Roots, trash, machinery, and other items can find their way into your pipes, making it impossible for the rest of the system to function.

  • Old Pipes. As with all technology, things get old and break, and sewer systems are no exception. Old pipes can collapse or fold in, which can cause buildup or flooding that takes immense effort to fix.

Unclogging Your Toilet
There are a lot of reasons why your toilet could be backed up, and you may not be sure where to start. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath on your own. Call FLA-CAT for professional water damage repair in Orlando help.

How Flood Damage Repair in Orlando Can Help You

Have the rains been falling down heavily, leaving you with multiple water leaks throughout your home? Perhaps your toilets have been overflowing and your house and carpet is starting to pay for it. Flood damage repair in Orlando is important for anyone who finds their home overcome by water. Water causes significant damage, whether its from plumbing issues, toilet flooding, or natural disasters.

When May You Need Flood Damage Repair in Orlando?

Storms are one of the main reasons for flood damage. With heavy rains or hurricanes hitting Florida often, one can imagine that at some point or another, you will need flood damage repair. Damaged roofs cause leaks, leading to further in-home damages. Flash floods are another way that water may cause damage to your hardwood floors and it can be the origin of deterioration for other areas of your home.

The longer water damage is allowed to remain, the more difficult and time consuming repairs may be. To avoid higher costs in damage repair, and to keep your home free from the troublesome outcomes that come with flood damage, it is highly suggested that you find someone who can perform flood damage repair in Orlando as quickly as possible..

Other sources of flood damage in your home may not be caused by natural disasters such as storms or floods, but simply by faulty plumbing. If you find your home flooded by toilet water and water leaks from your plumbing system, there is no need to panic. A flood damage repair company can help remedy the situation with the proper materials and equipment.

Flood Damage Repair in Orlando: Call in the Professionals

If you and your family end up with a serious flooding situation that is damaging the walls and floors of your home, it is important to get help right away. Flood damage that is left unattended has the potential to ruin your floors, carpets, walls, and much more. The key to having your home restored to its previous state is to act quickly and get help before it’s too late.

If you need flood damage repair services in Orlando, contact FLA-CAT today. You can get the 24/7 service you want, when you need it. FLA-CAT will work tirelessly to return your home to its normal, undamaged state.

Understanding Possible Storm Damage Repairs

Given the weather we experience, Florida can be a crazy place to live. Hurricanes are more of a threat to us than to any other location in the country. Even beyond hurricanes, we still have to deal with a slew of different storms, from the light drizzle of an afternoon shower to the thunderstorm that causes flooding. This wide spectrum of weather is not only inconvenient, but it can also cause real damage to your home or business. Understanding the different possibilities can help you find solutions.

Whether you have experienced storm damage in Orlando in the past or you just want to be prepared for the future, take a look at this list to help increase your awareness about the various types of storm damage than can occur at your home or business.

  • Roof Damage and Leaks: We do not often think about our roofs until something goes wrong with them, but roof damage from a storm can be a huge problem. Strong winds can tear off sections of your roof, which allows for leaks and interior damage.

  • Broken Windows: When something flies through a window in the middle of a storm, there is suddenly no protection from the elements. Windows can be shattered by debris or strong winds and excess rain can rot frames, which can also cause damage to the pane or wall.

  • Structural Damage: If you live near the Everglades or in a part of Florida that often suffers from flooding, you understand this concern all too well. Flooding and excess water can cause a building’s foundation to shift, creating structural damage. The foundation does not have to move for the structure to suffer, however. Sagging wet walls or exposed parts of the home can ruin the framework of a building, creating danger for everyone inside.

  • Lightning Strike Damage: Lightning can be just as frightening from far away as up close, but the effects are much more real when a bolt hits your home. Lightning can destroy sections of a building, burnt out electrical wiring, and even start a fire in some cases.

  • Floor Damage: Your floor is more than just carpet or hardwood, and storm exposure in the wrong place can do real damage to the floor of a home. Of course, carpeting and hardwood flooring can be ruined by rain, but breaking and slanting can also occur.

If you’re home or business has suffered any storm damage in Orlando, and you’re in need of repair, contact the experts at FLA-CAT. Have you experienced damage from a storm? How do you protect your home from the threat of storm damage?

Secure Your Home and Peace of Mind During National Fire Prevention Month

3The second week of October marks the 143rd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. The legend goes that the fire started when a cow kicked over a lamp, first setting the barn ablaze, and then the city itself, leaving over 100,000 people homeless. Though historians have since discredited that story, the utter devastation left in the fire’s wake is a lesson in how important it is to fireproof your home or business. Even though the second week in October has passed, fire safety should always be a priority for property owners.

Updating and Maintaining Your Basic Fireproofing Tools

The fire extinguisher is the most obvious and symbolic tool in fire defense; however, one fire extinguisher is not always enough. Is your fire extinguisher in a place where you can access it easily and quickly? Do you have one on each floor of your home or business? Are all the residents in the building aware of where the extinguisher is? Do they know how to use it? These are all questions that home and business owners must ask themselves so that they can fight a fire if, in fact, one does start.

Smoke alarms are also an important tool when it comes to fire prevention and safety. Modern homes and businesses already have these alarms installed, but it is not enough to have them–they must be maintained. This means testing alarm batteries every four months and replacing those that are weak or dead.

Fireproof Your Furniture and Floors, Secure Peace of Mind!

Keep in mind that smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are ideally last resorts. There are other proactive steps that can taken to ensure for your home or business is fireproof. For instance, fire-resistant rugs are sold in a variety of colors and patterns, making every room look good while being one step ahead of fires. Furniture can be sprayed with fireproof chemical, as well. It may cost a bit of money, but that money is nothing when compared to the cost of damages caused by a fire, or the peace of mind that comes from protection.

A fireproof home is a clean home. Excess junk or clutter, such as newspapers, cardboard boxes, or old magazines are all flammable materials that could catch fire at even the smallest spark. Keeping floors clean serves the dual purpose of ensuring your home or business is free of rodents, which have a habit of chewing through electrical wiring which could then create a fire hazard.

The Best Defense is Common Sense

Ultimately, some fireproofing is common sense, such as turning electricity off when leaving a room or making sure all fires or matches have been properly extinguished. Other fire preventative measures are not as obvious, but by taking these steps in your home or business, you are not only securing your property but allowing yourself to have peace of mind in everyday life.  If your home actually does experience fire damage in Orlando, call the experts at FLA-CAT.

How else do you practice fire prevention? Share your tips and tricks with us and we’ll share them with our followers.

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