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Nassau/North Jax Homeowners: Keep on Eye on Temps to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Nassau/North Jax Homeowners: Keep on Eye on Temps to Prevent Pipes From Freezing All it takes is a few hours of freezing temperatures for your pipes to freeze.

Okay, so it’s probably not likely, but it never hurts to be prepared. With temperatures expected to drop to at or near freezing over the coming week, frozen pipes could be an issue in North Florida.

Action News Jax meteorologist Mike Buresh says to expect a widespread inland freeze for Sunday and Monday mornings with temps in the low 30's nearly everywhere except near the St. Johns River, Intracoastal, and the beaches. Cooler than average temperatures are expected to last throughout the next 10-14 days.

Especially with everyone busy for the holidays, winter weather can catch us off guard. All it takes is a few hours of freezing temperatures for your pipes to freeze.

Here are some helpful hints to help you avoid problems:

  • Keep one or two faucets dripping
  • Direct warm air to any colder areas of your home
  • Leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air in--especially if your kitchen sink is on an outside wall
  • Disconnect your hose from the outside faucet
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located

Water damage caused by frozen pipes can be one of the most damaging problems a homeowner can face. Most homeowners insurance will cover damage resulting from a frozen pipe provided you can prove that you took measures to prevent the pipe from freezing.

The good news is that SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee will be here to help 24/7 if you run into frozen pipes and resulting water damage problems. Call us at 904-729-2401.

Enjoy Holiday Magic on Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, This Weekend

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Community Enjoy Holiday Magic on Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, This Weekend From Christmas caroling, to costumes, music, and photos with Santa, Dickens on Centre is a perfect holiday outing!

Wondering what holiday festivities you can enjoy this weekend on Amelia Island? Do you know about the Dickens on Centre festival that starts with a parade on Thursday, December 7, and goes on all weekend in Downtown Fernandina Beach?

Here’s more information on the festival from the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, along with a complete schedule of festivities.

Travel back in time December 8-10, 2017 during the third annual Dickens on Center festival in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, on beautiful Amelia Island. Free to the public, this Victorian inspired holiday festival is as fun as the dickens for the entire family. Enjoy costumed characters, themed entertainment and performances, visits from Saint Nick, and a variety of vendors selling seasonal gifts and wares. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens on Centre transform downtown Fernandina into a classic English village, sure to enliven your Christmas spirit. Think chestnuts roasting, carolers strolling, and readings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This Christmas, Come Make Memories.

Thursday, December 7
Lighted Christmas Parade
America’s Youth lights up downtown Fernandina Beach with the annual Lighted Christmas Parade
 
Friday, December 8, 5-9pm
5-6pm, Stage - Yancy Clegg
5-6pm, Kid Zone - Children’s Story Telling
5 & 6pm, Welcome Center - Dickens After Dark Ghost Tours, $10 adult/$5 kid
6-6:30pm, Stage - Opening Ceremony w/ Phil Amato, St. Nick Welcome & Reading of The Night Before Christmas
6-8pm, Centre Street - Caricature Artist & Old Fashioned Photos
6:45-7:15pm, Stage - Yulee High School Band
7-8pm, Kid Zone - Children’s Story Telling
7:45-9pm, Stage - King Guys Band
  
Saturday, December 9, 10am-9pm
8am, Main Beach - Run Like The Dickens, 1 mile sprint, all ages
10-11am, Stage - Amelia Island String Ensemble
10am-2pm, Welcome Center - Historic Walking Tours, free
11-11:30am, Welcome Center - Fernandina Beach High School Band
11am, Welcome Center - Parade of Paws
11:30am-12pm, Stage - Fernandina Beach High School Chorus 
12-12:30pm, Stage - Fernandina Beach High School Saxophone Quartet
12-4pm, Centre Street - Caricature Artist
12-7pm, Welcome Center - Holiday Gift Wrapping
1-2pm, Stage - Chris Thomas Band
2-4pm, Kid Zone - Children’s Story Telling
2:30-4pm, Stage - Amy and Dillon Basse
3-5pm, Centre Street - Old Fashioned Photos
3-7pm, Centre Street - Holiday Carolers
4:30-5:45pm, Stage - Crescendo Amelia
5 & 6pm, Welcome Center - Dickens After Dark Ghost Tours, $10 adult/$5 kid
5-8:30pm, Art Galleries - Second Saturday Artrageous Artwalk
6-6:15pm, Stage - Royal Amelia Dance Academy
6-6:30pm, Stage - St. Nick Welcome with Phil Amato & Reading of The Night Before Christmas
7:30pm-9pm, Stage - One Man Performance of A Christmas Carol by Jason Woods

Sunday, December 10, 10am-7pm
10-11:30am, Stage - James and Sylvia Kalal
10am-2pm, Welcome Center - Historic Walking Tours, free
10am-6pm, Welcome Center - Holiday Gift Wrapping
12-12:30pm, Stage - Holiday Bells by Pam Bell
12-4pm, Centre Street - Caricature Artist
12-4pm, Centre Street - Holiday Carolers
1-2pm, Stage - Dueling Pianos w/ Michael Murphy
1-3pm, Kid Zone - Children’s Story Telling
2:30-3:30pm, Stage - Nassau Community Band
3:30pm-3:45pm, Stage - Reading of The Night Before Christmas
4-5pm, Stage - Gabriel Arnold
5:30-7pm, Stage - ReVoiced

Kid Zone - All weekend
Letter Writing to St. Nick
Ornament Toss and Holiday Corn Hole
Giant Chess, Checkers and Jenga
Ring Toss and Tic-Tac-Toe
Holiday Craft
Rocking Horses

Call Outs
Photos with St. Nick
with Boston Photograph
Friday, 7-9pm
Saturday & Sunday, 11am-1p & 3pm-6pm

We at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee wish you and your family a very, Merry Christmas.

Using Candles Safely Over the Holidays

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Using Candles Safely Over the Holidays We at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee wish you a safe and Merry Christmas!

The National Candle Association and the National Association of State Fire Marshals are urging consumers to take special care when using candles this holiday season, and to follow these important fire-safety rules:

  •  Always keep a burning candle within your sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  •  Keep burning candles away from combustible items. Be especially careful not to place candles near flammable decorations or Christmas greenery.
  •  Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be sturdy, heat resistant and big enough to collect dripping wax.
  •  Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  •  Trim candlewicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting or re-lighting. Keep the wax-pool free of wick trimmings, dust, matches and debris at all times.
  •  Never move a candle when it is burning.

We at SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee wish you and your family a safe and Merry Christmas!

What You Need To Know About Christmas Lights

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What You Need To Know About Christmas Lights Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.

Fernandina Beach/North Jax houses all lit up with Christmas lights are beautiful sights to behold. But whether stringing lights across your roof and around your home or using them indoors, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.

  • Before you string up a single strand of lights, carefully check them for cracked cords frayed ends or loose connections.
  • The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.
  • Modern lights have fused plugs, preventing sparks in case of a short circuit. Ditch old strands of lights that don’t have fuses and get a set of newer, safer lights.  
  • Don't connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. 
  • If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs. 
  • Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks. Hire a licensed electrician if you need to install GFCI outlets.
  • Keep an eye on extension cords, as they can occasionally overheat. Just touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it.
  • Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead. 
  • When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
  • Tape down any ground-level extensions cords to prevent people from tripping over them. 
  • Check to make sure lights have been rated by a testing laboratory. You can see a list of federally recognized labs on the OSHA website.
  • Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there. 
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
  • When you put your lights back into storage after the holidays, make sure to place them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block hungry rodents looking to turn the cords into lunch.

 These tips will help you stay safe and prevent fires. Of course, if you do have a fire, call 9-1-1. Follow these fire safety tips and call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee at 904-729-2401 if you need help with professional clean-up.

Tips to Keep Kids Safe Over the Holidays

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Community Tips to Keep Kids Safe Over the Holidays Natural Christmas trees can pose fire hazards. Make sure your tree has plenty of water by checking it regularly.

As you get ready for the holidays, here are some tips to keep in mind, from Safe Kids Worldwide.

Decorate Your Tree With Your Kids in Mind 

Kids are curious and will want to play with the ornaments on the tree, so you might as well prepare. Move the ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks towards the top of the tree. That makes room at the bottom for the ones that are safer for young kids.

Water the Tree Regularly

Natural trees look beautiful and smell great, but if they’re not watered regularly, needles can dry out and pose a potential fire hazard. Make sure your tree has plenty of water by checking it regularly.

Check the Lights

Lights are one of the best parts of holiday decorating. Take a look at the ones on your tree and in and around your home for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.

Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of Reach

Keep holiday candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.

Make a habit of placing matches and lighters in a safe place, out of children's reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

Keep Harmful Plants Out of Reach

Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous out of reach of children or pets. This includes mistletoe berries, holly berry, and Jerusalem cherry.

SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax wishes you a safe and joyous Holiday Season.

Don't Let A Cooking Fire Ruin Your Thanksgiving

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't Let A Cooking Fire Ruin Your Thanksgiving We at SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it's a wonderful time to enjoy the company of others. Most of us will be sitting around dining room tables and feasting with family and loved ones. Some of us will spend time in the emergency room after a grease fire or some other cooking accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more cooking fires occur in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year

Here are some stats and some tips.

Cooking fires by the numbers

Based on 2010-2014 annual averages:

  • Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 46% of home fires that resulted in 19% of the home fire deaths and 44% of the injuries.**
  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 18% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths.
  • Ranges or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Unattended equipment was a factor in one-third (33%) of reported home cooking fires and half (49%) of the associated deaths..
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem. (See how to put out grease fires and things you should know about frying turkeys below.)
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Steps to put out a grease fire:

  1. Turn off source of heat (burner / element).
  2. Do NOT pour water on it.
  3. Attempt to remove all oxygen from the flame. You can cover with another pot, or baking pan.
  4. If you can't cover it, dump baking soda (lots of it) on it.

If you suffer a fire damage event, please call SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jacksonville at 904-729-2401—even over the holiday. Refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Avoiding Turkey Fryer Fires

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Avoiding Turkey Fryer Fires Putting too much oil in the fryer or dropping in a frozen or partially thawed turkey lead to most turkey fryer fires.

Thanksgiving brings up warm memories of gathering with family and the delicious aroma of cooking turkeys and other goodies. In North Florida, a lot of us like to deep-fry our holiday birds—frying is fast and keeps the moisture in. As good as fried turkeys are, we need to keep our wits about us when using this preparation method.

Many of the more serious cooking fire incidents occur due to the increasing popularity of fryers used for deep-frying turkeys. According to last year's report, fire departments across the country respond to 1,000 fires a year in which a deep fryer is involved. The NFPA says that deep fryers cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more that $15 million in property damage each year.

Two primary oversights that lead to danger: too much oil in the fryer and dropping in a frozen or partially thawed turkey.

It is important to keep the fryer a far enough distance from any structures to prevent them from catching fire. If a turkey fryer does catch fire, the most important thing to remember is NOT to use water to put out the fire. Like with any other grease fire, water will just cause the oil to splash and spread the fire further. Fire extinguishers (preferably Class K) are the most reliable means of containing the flames. Even if you have one on hand, still call 911 immediately and have the professionals take care of it.

In the meantime, make sure that everyone has been moved a safe distance from the fryer while you wait for the fire department

If you suffer a fire damage event, please call SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jacksonville at 904-729-2401—even over the holiday. Refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax is Grateful for Nassau County Council on Aging

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Community SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax is Grateful for Nassau County Council on Aging SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax applauds The Nassau County Council of Aging for their outstanding work for the seniors in our community.

We at SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax would like to express our appreciation to the Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA) for the outstanding work that they do to better the lives of older adults in our community. We would also like to thank this organization for calling on SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax for help when storms like Hurricane Irma damage their facilities and threaten their ability to perform their much-needed services. We were honored to help them out.

So the purpose of this blog is to thank this outstanding organization and spread the word about the good work they do in our community. Here is some background information on the Council.

About the Nassau County Council on Aging

Mission

To enhance the lives of older adults through services and compassionate care designed to improve the health, independence and economic security of Nassau County seniors and their families.

Purpose

To provide targeted services of comprehensive, compassionate care that not only foster independence, but also help our clients remain active, valued members of their community.

Founded in 1974 by local citizens, the Nassau County Council on Aging is a non-profit organization whose goal is to maintain and enrich the lives of older citizens throughout Nassau County. NCCOA’s programs enable those age 60 and older to live independently at home while also providing opportunities for companionship, and activities geared toward the needs of seniors. NCCOA is a resource for education, information, referral, counseling and general assistance.

Senior Life Centers in Fernandina Beach and Hilliard offer those 60 and older assistance, information and support, as well as a variety of fun and engaging activities, plus opportunities to socialize.

NCCOA delivers critical services to Nassau County seniors in five major categories: Meals on Wheels, Home Health Services, NassauTRANSIT, Adult Day HealthCare and the two Senior Life Centers we operate: the East Nassau Center in Fernandina Beach and the West Nassau Center in Hilliard.

Service offerings include:

  • Educational programs and classes about health, nutrition, home safety, low vision support and much more.
  • Presentations and seminars on topics of interest to senior citizens – Social Security and Medicare, senior fraud and advanced directives – just to name a few.
  • Structured exercise with trainers from the YMCA; musical presentations by the M&M Singers, Song Spinners, and other musicians; arts and crafts with local artists; card games; Bingo three times a week, and computer classes.
  • Medical screenings as well as health and wellness programs on diabetes, blood pressure and dental health.
  • A chance to socialize and share companionship each day at the Senior Life Center and during picnics, planned outings, holiday parties and field trips.
  • A hot noon-time meal and snacks.
  • A Geriatric Care Manager available to provide support to ALL Nassau County senior citizens, regardless of income, as they navigate the maze of healthcare, insurance and social services

NCCOA’s Circle of Friends program offers many flexible opportunities for volunteering, from donations, to visits or weekly phone calls made to homebound seniors, to minor home repairs or yard clean-up, to delivery of meals, and assistance with use of emergency call pendants. To volunteer, call 904.261.0701.

Again, we at SERVPRO Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax applaud the efforts of the Nassau County Council of Aging facilities and encourage local residents to visit their facilities and lend a helping hand with their good work. At this Thanksgiving season, they are a group we can all be thankful for.

Indoor Air Quality in Your Office Space  

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Indoor Air Quality in Your Office Space    Diligent maintenance of HVAC equipment is essential for the adequate delivery and quality of building air.

The following tips, provided in the EPA’s “Office Building Occupants Guide to Indoor Air Quality,” offer good advice to office and facility managers.

What You Can Do to Improve the Indoor Air in Your Office:

  • Do not block air vents or grilles.
  • Comply with the office and building smoking policy.
  • Water and maintain office plants properly.
  • Dispose of garbage promptly and properly.
  • Store food properly.
  • Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants.
  • Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem.

If You Manage an Office:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with building management on indoor environmental issues.
  • Place office furniture and equipment with air circulation, temperature control, and pollutant removal functions of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system in mind.
  • Coordinate with building management in instances when responsibility for design, operation and maintenance of the ventilation system is shared.
  • Establish an effective smoking policy that protects nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid procedures and products that can cause indoor air quality problems.
  • Integrate indoor air quality concerns into your purchasing decisions.
  • Work with the building manager to ensure use of only necessary and appropriate pest control practices, and nonchemical methods where possible.
  • Work with building management and the contractor before you remodel or renovate to identify ways of keeping building occupant exposure to pollutants to a minimum and to ensure that the air distribution system is not disrupted.
  • Encourage building management to develop a preventive indoor air quality management program following guidance issued by EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

The EPA states that, “Diligent maintenance of HVAC equipment is essential for the adequate delivery and quality of building air. All well-run buildings have preventive maintenance programs that help ensure the proper functioning of HVAC systems.”

This is where SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax comes in. We offer professional HVAC/Duct Cleaning services. Call us at 904.729.2401 to learn more and see our other commercial cleaning services as well.



Keeping Your Little Monsters Safe: Halloween Fire Safety Tips

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Community Keeping Your Little Monsters Safe: Halloween Fire Safety Tips SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jax wants to help keep your little trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween.

Halloween is a fun, and spooky time of year for kids. Make trick-or-treating safe for your little monsters with a few easy safety tips. 

  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or- treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
  • Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs, and heaters.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames.
  • Be sure your kids know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)

Did you know?

Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year. Two of every five of these fires were started by a candle.