Are Your Employees Ready For A Disaster?
When you started your business did you imagine yourself being present 24/7? Most business owners do not have the ability nor is it practical to think you can be completely involved in your business every minute of every day. We hire employees we hope to trust and try to make sure they represent the ultimate goal of what your business is trying to achieve. However is it possible we might overlook the basic things employees should know? Do your workers know how to shut off the water or the electric? Would they know who to call in case you were out of town or unavailable during a disaster? It is important to discuss a plan with your employees in the case of a water or fire event. These events could be anything from something breaking within your building or an outside force such as a storm or heavy winds. When I was a a high school student working in a local restaurant our owner was out of town. There was a storm in which the roof had blown off causing it to look like it was raining in our restaurant!If we had an ERP, an Emergency Ready Profile from our local SERVPRO we would have been prepared for the situation. In an ERP you will learn all the shut off valves within your building as well as having a compiled list of emergency contacts.
You Can Be Ruined Or You Can Be Ready!
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare your business.
Store Information Online:
- There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.
- Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and email for communication with family, friends business contacts, and others whom you may need to contact with before , during or after a disaster.
You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO to make your work space look its very best. SERVPRO will get the job done right and get it done quickly!
SERVPRO of Lincoln and Warren Counties offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing bio-hazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Their cleaning services include the following: Commercial Cleaning, Air Ducts and HVAC, Biohazard, Carpet and Upholstery, Ceilings, Floors, and Walls, Drapes and Blinds, Odor Removal, Sewage, Trauma and Crime Scene, Vandalism
Is There Such Thing As Good Mold?
There will always be somedegree of airborne mold spores through the air in your home.It comes through gaps in doors, open windows, even on our clothes from us being outside. There is also normal mold in a home that can be taken care of with general cleaning such as mildew in the shower and that weird black stuff that stains the insides of our window tracks. These are "normal" because they are growing on non-porous surfaces and do not have a sustainable food source.
Now for the bad mold. Food sources within a home are pretty numerous. It can be anything from drywall to wood frames, debris and storage boxes. With a porous surface mold has something to eat. The removal of bad mold becomes hard for a homeowner to do on their own because not only does the source of the mold need to be treated, the mold itself removed properly, but the air needs to be treated for purity and a potential water source needs to be found. SERVPRO highly recommends using a professional such as ourselves for mold cleanup.
How Can You Prepare For MO Storms?
Living in Missouri makes it hard to prepare your home, your vehicles and your clothing choices. For example, today it is currently 2 degrees. Schools were cancelled by 6:00 a.m. this morning due to the harsh temperatures and buses not being able to keep batteries alive during the cold winter. However, by Sunday it will be back up to 60 degrees. The ground around our home is constantly freezing then thawing. It puts pressures on our foundations and our sump pumps. It makes us think about how insulated our homes are. It makes us worry if we will come home to a frozen or busted pipe. We have seen quite a few homeowners come home from winter vacations to a home filled with water. Luckily for everyone in Missouri, There is SERVPRO! For more general winter precautions check out our previous blog posts and our newslines!
Space Heaters & Heated Blankets
During the winter months its hard to stay warm. We bundle ourselves up in coats and heat up our cars a good while before we get in them. However once we get home we tend to use blankets, fires and space heaters. All of these items can allow us some level of comfort when the weather is chilly. However, do you really know the safety precautions to take for these items? Heated blankets are great for snuggling on the couch but once it is bedtime make sure they are unplugged and away from children. Ditch the old heated blankets! Newer heated blankets have timers and heat settings on them. Space heaters should not be left on during sleep either. It is important to keep running space heaters away from comforters, curtains and any object within its reach that could potentially catch fire.
Are You Winter Ready?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits. n Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. n Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems. n Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. n Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. n Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes. Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA). If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross. Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.
Your Business vs. Ice Dams
It is often hard to know what kind of weather Missouri will bring during the winter months. Our winter of 2017-18 has brought us more snow already than in the entire winter of 2016-17. Having these previous "off-years" can make business owners unprepared and forgetful of how harsh mid-western winters can become. We remember to start our company vehicles a little earlier and salt our sidewalks. We prepare for employees to have to stay home more during snow days with their children. But what are the things we can't see that could put your business in jeopardy? Things such as Ice Dams can be a little known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can back flow under the roof's shingles and into the business's interior areas, as well as causing gutter and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside "check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your building. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.
Learn About Fires!
Learn About Fires
- Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
- Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
- Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
- Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio
Develop Fire-Safe HabitsIf you do nothing else:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
For more information visit: http://www.redcross.org