It’s Fire Prevention Week! This year the National Fire Protection Association is reiterating the importance of planning at least two ways out when creating your fire escape plan.
About only half of Americans have developed a home fire escape plan – a quarter of those have never even practiced it. Planning (and practicing!) an escape route from your home can be the difference between life and death if there is ever a fire in your home. A regularly practiced fire escape plan can ensure that everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go when there’s a fire.
Home fires can spread very quickly, and that is why it is so important to plan at least two ways out of every room. If the fire spreads and blocks your first path out, you need to be able to react quickly and move on to plan B.
Your home fire escape plan should include working smoke alarms on every level of the home, as well as in every bedroom. There should be two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window. The escape plan should also include a clear path to an outdoor meeting place (like a tree or mailbox) that is a safe distance from the home. Once you’ve created your home escape plan, be sure to practice it at least twice a year with all members of the household, including pets!
Unlike other parts of the country, rain isn’t the main cause of water damage in homes and other buildings in Orange County. Get to know some of the common causes of water damage so that you can do what you can to prevent it from happening on your property.
- Broken Pipes – A broken pipe can do a lot of damage to your home in just a short amount of time. Before you know it, gallons short amount of time. Before you know of water could be spewing through your home. Pay close attention to any leaks, drips, and signs of deterioration. Have a plumber come out to your house for regular maintenance, and if there ever is a broken pipe, you can always turn the water off before the plumber arrives in order to avoid further damage.
- Pinhole Leaks – common if a home has copper plumbing, a pinhole leak is a puncture of a copper pipe due to corrosion. If your home has a copper water system, check your pipes for signs of corrosion often.
- Old/Faulty Appliances – If you’re fridge or washing machines aren’t maintained well, or have gotten too old, they could start to leak and create a significant amount of water damage in your home. It’s especially important to keep an eye on the appliances in your kitchen, as water damage caused by your fridge or dish washer can affect not just your floor, but your cabinets as well. Often times, leaks that go undetected for some time will cause significant water damage behind cabinets, which in turn can lead to mold if the problem goes unnoticed for an extended period.
- Roof Leaks – We don’t typically see much rain here in Southern California, but when we do, a lot of homeowners tend to suffer water damage due to roof leaks. Check your roofs frequently and take care of any maintenance or repairs while the weather is still sunny. That way you won’t have to worry about your home flooding next time a storm hits.
- Accidents – Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and one tiny mistake can lead to a big problem. A clogged toilet or too much soap in the dishwasher or washing machine can have water coming across your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. These parts of the home are generally better equipped than the rest of the house to handle a larger spill, but water moves fast and could potentially cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or other rooms in the home. If an accident ever does occur that you think calls for a professional, call SERVPRO of Tustin and we’ll make it like it never even happened!
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!
With so many shared walls and spaces, water damage in an apartment community can get messy pretty quickly. Of course you can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be ahead of the game. Take these measures today to prevent water damage tomorrow.
- Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
- Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rain storm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
- Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
- Clear Downspouts Consistently – This is especially important if there are a lot of large trees throughout your apartment community. When leaves, branches, and other debris clog the gutters, the risk of flooding is increased. Clear all debris from the gutters frequently. If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure everything is clear and that water is being effectively carried away from the building.
- Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealings. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
- Check For HVAC System Blockages – If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.
Of course, in the unfortunate event that water damage does affect your community, call SERVPRO of Tustin for fast response and services.
Summer is finally here and there are a bunch of fun events happening in Tustin and around Orange County that are sure to keep you busy this summer. We’ve done the hard work for you and gone ahead and picked out some of the events that we’re most looking forward to!
- Sunset Cinema: Free movie screenings at various OC Parks every weekend. We’re especially excited for those Disney water films Moana and Finding Dory! The best part of these events is that they’re all FREE!!Runs every Friday or Saturday through August
- Pageant of the Masters: Laguna Beach’s one of a kind event that happens every summer at the Festival of Arts. If you haven’t been before, it’s certainly worth checking off your OC Bucket List! And if you have been before, they change the theme every year, so you can look forward to seeing something new! This year’s theme is “The Grand Tour”. Tickets can get pricey if you want to sit close, but you can find cheaper seats in the back and bring your binoculars to see every detail up close!
The show runs nightly from July 7 – August 31
- Sawdust Art & Craft Festival: If you’re headed to Laguna to see the Pageant of the Masters, you might as well stop by the Sawdust Festival while you’re at it. This is another fun event that happens every summer. Check out a variety of art and crafts, and maybe even bring some home with you! This is a fun event for the whole family and tickets are all under $10!
Friday, June 30 – Sunday, September 3
- Orange County Fair:
It wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the fair! Win prizes at the different games and indulge in the most sinful treats in Orange County! It’s also a great place to run into friends, and maybe even make some new ones! Take advantage of daily specials for free entry when you come with a donation.
July 14 – August 13
- OC Night Market: If the food is your favorite part of the OC Fair, you may want to check out the OC Night Market! Inspired by the night markets in Asia, OC Night Market hosts a plethora of exciting food vendors. It’s a great place to try something new!
The third and final OC Night Market of Summer 2017 runs August 25-27 from 4pm-Midnight (11pm on Sunday)
- National Night Out: Join the Tustin Police Department and your fellow Tustin residents in standing up to crime. A fun event for the whole family; it’s located at The District at Tustin Legacy of which many of the businesses and restaurants will be participating.
August 1. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
- Tustin Concerts in the Park: Pack a picnic and bring the whole family to enjoy FREE concerts in Peppertree Park in Tustin all summer long! Enjoy the “hits” from your favorite tribute bands!
Every Wednesday Night, 6-8 PM from June through August
- Open House at The Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin: Museum founder Dick Marconi will be in attendance at the Open House, telling stories about cars and signing Ferrari posters. Sounds like Sunday Funday to us!
August 6, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Orange International Street Fair: It wouldn’t be Labor Day Weekend without Street Fair! Explore cuisine from over fifteen streets representing various cultures and countries across the globe. Most of the businesses around the Orange Circle stay open during Street Fair so you can escape the heat by doing some antique shopping or grabbing a drink at one of the many restaurants.
Labor Day Weekend, September 1-3, 5:00 PM – 10:00 Friday and 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM Saturday/Sunday
- Totally Tustin Food and Wine Festival: Hosted by the Tustin Chamber of Commerce, this food and wine festival brings together many of Tustin’s best restaurants to celebrate the community and to raise funds for the Tustin Chamber.
Sunday, September 24 from 4:30 PM – 9 PM at 300 Centennial Way 92780