Whether it’s managing multiple properties, or taking care of everyone at home, we could all use a little help sometimes; that’s why we LOVE these apps that were designed to make life just a little bit easier. The best part about all of these apps? They’re all available to download for FREE!
- Evernote: Dubbing itself “your second brain,”, Evernote is an app that will collect, organize, and share notes from anywhere. You can collect all of your notes in one place and easily search for them in the app. You can also use Evernote’s various features to enhance your notes with tables, links, checklists, etc. It’s a perfect app for de-cluttering. It’s even available on your computer with a Google login.
- Habitica: It’s a task manager that turns your tasks into games! Habitica lets you input your habits, daily goals, and your to-do list. You even get to create a custom avatar! You earn points and “level-up” as you check off tasks and eventually earn in game or custom made rewards (like watching an episode of your favorite show) as you complete more tasks.
- Venmo: Don’t have cash? That’s ok! Venmo lets you share money instantly and securely with friends via the app. You can also request money from a friend as a way to remind them about any money they owe you. You can connect your contacts and Facebook account to find friends more easily. All you have to do is connect your bank account so that you can send and receive money. An money you are sent in the app is saved in your Venmo account, and you can cash it out to your regular bank any time (if you have money in your Venmo account, then it will pull from that first when you pay someone).
- Square Cash: It’s basically the same as Venmo but a different app. Some people prefer Square Cash to Venmo, so it’s good to have both apps so you can connect with all of your friends.
- Keelo: We’re all busy, which means it can be difficult to find time to work out. Keelo creates completely custom workouts that are perfect you (no matter what the skilltype), and they’re all under 20 minutes!
- Cozi Family Organizer: This app will let you store everyone’s activities and appointments in one place, create and share shopping lists and chores in real time, store recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list, and more! It’s the perfect app for busy families – keeping everyone on the same page.
- SERVPRO Ready Plan: Whether you’re an owner or a property manager (commercial or residential), the SERVPRO Ready Plan app allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your home or business. The ERP helps you to prepare for the worst and compiles a list of all your emergency contacts for your home or business. You can also add your favorite local SERVPRO Franchise (SERVPRO of Tustin) so that you can call us with just the push of a button.
It’s hard getting through these Southern California Summers without any air conditioning. Luckily for us, generations before us had to suffer through the heat before air conditioning was even invented and left us with some tried and true methods for staying cool all summer long!
- Turn off electronics when not in use. When electronics are turned on, they are producing heat. If you have electronics that you don’t use very often plugged in or turned on, keep them unplugged and/or turned off to keep them producing even more heat in your home. You can save some money on your electricity bill too!
- Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. While it’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good to have a fan blowing cool air on you. If you’re really desperate to cool down, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to make the air even cooler.
- Switch to sheets that’ll keep you cool. Lightweight cotton and linen sheets are perfect for hot summers. They’re breathable fabrics, perfect for promoting ventilation and airflow in your bedroom.
- Freeze your sheets. If that’s still not enough to keep you cool during those hot summer nights, try sticking your sheets in the freezer. A few minutes before you get ready for bed, put your sheets in a plastic bag and put them in the fridge or freezer. This obviously won’t last all night, but it could be enough to keep you cool while you fall asleep.
- Avoid the stove and the oven. Summer is the perfect time to explore more room temperature meals (like a salad). Cooking with heat when it’s already hot out and there’a no AC Unit to cool you down can turn your home into a life-size oven! If you get the itch to bake, try some no-bake cookies and ice box cake recipes!
- Hang a wet sheet in front of the window. Grab an extra bed sheet and mist it. Then hang it in front of an open window. When a breeze or gust of wind comes through, it will create a cooling effect on your home.
- You can also cover your windows to keep the hot sun out. California sun is strong, so sometimes it’s best to keep the blinds or curtains drawn in the afternoons when the sun is strongest. If you still want to take advantage of natural lighting, try shutters or blinds that can block some of the light while still letting some through.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs. Not only are they costing you more on your energy bill, they’re making your home hotter. Make the switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs.
- Spend time outside. Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. Even if it’s hot out, it may feel nicer to be outside than in a stuffy home that has no AC. Outdoor activities on or near the beach can be a good way to cool down a bit and enjoy the ocean breeze!
Enjoying the great outdoors during the summertime can be fun. Nothing says summer quite like sitting around the campfire sharing stories and making s’mores. But that campfire is also a huge responsibility. Everyone in California knows the damage a wildfire can bring, so before you go out and make a campfire, it’s important you learn how to be safe when building your campfire or bonfire, whether in the woods or in your backyard.
Pick the Right Campfire Location
- If the campground or area where you are prohibits campfires, then DO NOT build one. Digging pits can be prohibited due to any number of various concerns. Whatever the reason, there is a reason – so be sure to follow the rules.
- DO NOT build a campfire under hazardous or dry conditions. Dry air increases the risk of wildfires.
- If there is an existing fire ring or pit, then use that. If not, choose a site that is at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees, shrubs, or other flammable objects. Be mindful of low hanging branches.
- When building a campfire or bonfire, choose a location that is open and away from heavy fuels such as logs, brush, or decaying leaves.
- Always be aware of wind strength and direction. If the wind picks up and direction changes, there could suddenly be embers and ashes flying into easily flammable areas. Choose a spot that is protected from gusts of wind.
How to Prepare a Campfire Pit
There may not always be a campfire pit already prepared when you arrive on a campsite. If that’s the case, don’t panic! Follow these simple steps to preparing your own fire pit.
- Start off by clearing an area that is 10 feet in diameter around the campsite. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves, or firewood while you do so.
- Dig a pit about one foot deep in the dirt or sand.
- Circle the pit with rocks and you’re ready to go!
Building Your Campfire
Your pit is ready, now it’s time to build your fire!
- Before you do anything, make sure you have a source of water, a bucket, and a shovel nearby at all times.
- You’ll have to gather three types of wood from the ground. Tinder can be small twigs and dry leaves, grass, and needles. For kindling you should look for sticks smaller than 1″ around. Your fuel will be larger pieces of wood. Keep these stacked upwind and away from the fire.
NEVER cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials won’t burn, and you’ll also be damaging the forest. Dead standing trees can often be homes for birds or other wildlife.
- Loosely pile a few handfuls of your tinder in the center of the fire pit.
- Add the kindling in one of four methods: Teepee, Lean-to, Cross, or Log Cabin.
- Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter. (If you use a match, wait until it is cold to discard it onto the fire)
- As the fire grows, continue to add more tinder.
- Blow lightly at the base of the fire.
- Add kindling and fuel (the larger firewood) to the keep the fire going.
- Now that you have built your fire, keep it small and under control.
Extinguishing Your Campfire
- If possible, allow the wood to burn completely to ash.
- Pour A LOT of water onto the fire. Drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Keep pouring until the hissing sound stops.
- If you do not have water, stir dirt and sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.
- Using your shovel, scrape any remaining sticks and logs to remove any embers. Make sure there aren’t any embers are exposed or still smoldering.
- Continue to add water, dirt or, sand, and stir with a shovel until all material is cool.
- If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
There you have it! Have fun but most importantly, be safe when building a campfire!!
Contact SERVPRO of Tustin for any fire damage cleanup needs (714)480-1340