How To Run Emergency Drills in the Office
An emergency action plan should include a map showing the evacuations routes and exits
If you own commercial property or manage a business in Chagrin Falls, OH, the safety of your employees should be top priority. That means putting together a comprehensive set of protocols for a wide variety of emergency situations, like a fire drill. What might such a plan include?
Developing the Plan
First of all, you need to know what you'll be doing during the drill. That means creating an emergency action plan. This plan should be easy to read and distributed throughout the office. It should include:
- A map showing the established evacuation routes and exits.
- Designated section coordinators and evacuation wardens.
- The assigned roles of employees and their contact information.
- A preferred method for reporting the emergency.
A location for regrouping after evacuation.
Putting It Into Action
In addition to a plan, you may need equipment for handling an emergency like a tornado or fire drill. Medical kits and emergency supplies, like blankets and flashlights, should be stored in a secure location and replaced as necessary. In order to increase the likelihood of a smooth execution, be sure to provide regular training to your employees in your emergency action plan and run drills. This will also get them familiar with your emergency alert system, which may consist of alarms and radio communication.
Once your evacuation is complete, you will need a plan for accounting for employees. You may also need to know how to administer basic medical care. Rescue operations could be necessary if not everyone is accounted for. A copy of your insurance policy and their contact information will be necessary once all immediate needs are taken care of, you should also designate someone to be in charge of this. It is recommended to research and choose a damage remediation service.
Emergency preparation involves a lot more than just the occasional fire drill, although that is an important element. If you are prepared for the worst, you are likely to only experience the best!
How Fire Can Lead to Water Damage in Your Business
Another way fire damage may occur is from the overflow emitted by firefighters' use of a hose
3 Ways a Commercial Fire Can Lead To Water Damage Issues
If your business in Chardon, OH, has experienced fire damage, then you may be looking at damage from water as well. In addition to excess moisture left behind by sprinkler systems and hoses, fire-damaged buildings are often left exposed to the elements. Here are three ways that a commercial fire can lead to issues with water damage.
1. Sprinkler Systems
Your fire suppression system, or sprinklers, can also lead to water damage. This is often less damage than would have occurred if the system had not been in place, but the leftover water puddles may cause some problems. Fortunately, many restoration services can take care of these additional damages in addition to any problems caused by fire or smoke.
2. Fire Hoses
Another way fire damage may occur is from the overflow emitted by firefighters' use of a hose. The output of the water hose used to fight the fire can also often leave flooded areas. If left to stand, this water can soak in and cause further damage to the property. As soon as the fire is safely out, you may want to begin getting as much water out of the property as possible. A restoration service may have a pump and dehumidifier that can help ease this process.
3. Exterior Damage
A fire may also leave damage to the exterior of your business structure. This may include holes in the walls or roof where wet weather such as rain or snow can leak in. This can lead to flooding and additional water damage. If you find these areas, it's best to tarp or board over the damaged space until repairs can occur.
When repairing your business, know that you may find water damage as well as smoke and fire damage. Whether it was from sprinkler system flooding, the powerful flow from a fire hose, or wet weather that occurred after the fire had damaged the exterior of the property, fire-related flooding should be addressed as soon as possible. Fortunately, your local fire restoration service should be able to get you back up and running.
3 Tips for Preventing Flood Damage
Your sump pump can be your biggest ally when flooding occurs
Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. Even if your home in Highland Heights, OH, is covered by FEMA NFIP, you need to be prepared.
Here Are Three Ways To Prevent Flooding Damage
1. Take care of your sump pump. Your sump pump can be your biggest ally when flooding occurs, so it's important to keep it in good working order by performing regular maintenance:
- Your pump may vibrate during use, so confirm that it's upright and hasn't tipped over or started leaning.
- Clean both the sump pump and the pit regularly.
- Test that the pump is working properly by dumping water into the pit. The pump should start up on its own and drain the water promptly.
- Check that the discharge hose is carrying water sufficiently far away from the house.
- Make sure the ground fault circuit interrupter is plugged in and that the cord is dry and in good shape.
- Rid the check valve of debris. (Be sure to disconnect it first.)
If you live in a rural area, whether it's at high risk according to FEMA NFIP or not, you should also make sure that the pump isn't delivering water to your septic field. If it is, it could flood the drainage field.
2. Keep your most valuable items off the ground. Photo albums, home movies, yearbooks, personal records, and other important items should be stored on high shelves. Better still, make digital copies or hard copies of anything you'd have trouble replacing.
3. Avoid sewer backup. When flooding occurs, that water can overburden the sewer system, causing it to flow into your basement via your home's water line. Capping your basement's sewer openings — thinks toilets, showers, sinks, and floor drains — can stop this from happening.
If you're familiar with FEMA NFIP and know your home's flood risk, a few preventative measures can go a long way toward lessening flood damage to your home. For those messes that you can't avoid or that require a little extra manpower and expertise, it may be wise to enlist the help of water damage repair specialists.
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Rental Property
Turn off the water
Three Simple Mold Prevention Tips
The presence of indoor mold within a rental property can create a hassle for property owners and tenants as well as cause significant structural damage to the building. Here are three simple mold prevention tips to help keep your rental home safely mold-free.
1. Turn Off the Water
Water damage is one of the leading causes of mold growth. Sometimes leaks can be difficult to detect, especially if the leaking pipes are concealed behind walls or ceilings. Look for unexpected increases in the water bill. Also check for stains or signs of warping on walls, floors and ceilings, and watch for corrosion on the pipes themselves. If you or your tenants find any evidence of leaking pipes or interior flooding, turn off the water supply immediately. Call a plumber and a water remediation expert to properly address the situation.
2. Keep the Heat On
If you are looking to save money on winter heating costs, consider lowering your heat rather than turning it off completely. Cold temperatures increase the risk of frozen pipes and ice dams. Freezing pipes can crack or burst, leading to leaks that foster the development of mold. Similarly, ice dams that do not properly drain when melting may back up into the ceiling, walls and insulation.
3. Maintain Low Humidity
Although mold prevention must still be taken into consideration during winter, summertime humidity is often a larger concern when it comes to mold growth. Consistent humidity and dampness in the air may provide enough moisture to cause mold. For the best air quality, indoor relative humidity should be kept below 50%. Consider using a dehumidifier to provide additional climate control within your rental home, as air conditioning units alone typically do not lower humidity enough to prevent mold.
Mold prevention is an important part of maintaining a rental property in Burton, OH. Whether you are seeking restoration in the aftermath of water damage or are in need of cleanup services for a current mold problem, mold remediation and water damage restoration specialists are available to provide round-the-clock assistance.
3 Things to know About Fire and Your Insurance
Fire loss in a Mayfield, OH home
3 Things to know About Fire and Your Insurance
When you live in Mayfield, OH, having renters insurance can be an important factor in maintaining your apartment. Renters coverage can be helpful in a number of ways, but one of the most common people think of is fire coverage. Here are a few things you may want to know about your policy and how it can help in the event a fire starts.
1. What Your Insurance Usually Covers
Most renters policies consider fire damage to property within the apartment as a covered peril. This means that cost of any personal items you bring into the residence damaged by a fire should be under your renters policy. Damage to the structure of the apartment may be considered the landlord’s property, and thus may be covered by their policy. Your coverage may include loss of use instead.
2. What Types of Coverage May Be Available
There are many policy types under renters insurance, and each is designed differently. For example, the term actual cost is used when referring to the value of an item while replacement cost is the cost it would take to replace that item. Most policies cover replacing damaged property. Liability coverage would apply if you were accidentally responsible for causing the fire, and loss of use may be there in the event a fire renders the apartment inhabitable.
3. What To Do if a Fire Occurs
In the event a fire does occur it’s important to contact your agent as soon as you can. This way they can begin the assessment quickly and you can contact a fire restoration service to begin any repairs. In many cases your insurance agent may even have a company they recommend to do the job.
In many cases your renters insurance can include coverage depending on where and how the fire starts. In some cases the fire may fall under the responsibility of your landlord so it’s important to know exactly what your policy contains. If a fire does occur it’s important to contact your agent, and then a restoration service in order to begin repairs as soon as you can.
Your Responsibilities as a Landlord After a Fire
Encourage renter´s insurance
Landlords are responsible for providing a safe, livable space for their tenants. There are several things you need to do to facilitate the restoration of your property in Gates Mills, OH if it is damaged in an apartment fire.
Open Lines of Communication
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure that the damage done to the structure is fixed so that it is habitable again. It is also important to stay committed to and informed about the process so that you can pass pertinent information on to your tenants. Make sure to establish and maintain contact with the following immediately after fire damage:
- Fire officers
- A fire remediation company
- Your insurance agent
The fire officer can let you know when the building is safe to enter to start repairs and may give you an idea of what repairs are needed. Restoration specialists can give you a more detailed, itemized list of tasks they must complete to mitigate the fire damage in your building and how much the full process is likely to cost. Your insurance agent can send an adjuster to document the scene and get work on your claim started so that you are able to cover the cost of repairs.
Encourage Renters' Insurance
If you have good insurance, the damage the apartment fire causes to the structure and the plumbing and electrical systems within it are likely to be covered by your policy. Your tenants' belongings, however, are not. Once disaster strikes, it's too late for them to think about protecting their personal property. When tenants sign their leases, encourage them to obtain renters' insurance. This type of policy can cover not only items damaged in a fire but also may provide the money they need to secure temporary housing while repairs are being made.
No matter how well you maintain your property, an apartment fire may still occur. By keeping up with your responsibilities and keeping tenants informed about theirs, however, you may be able to get the property restored more quickly.
Creating a Business Continuity Plan
Create a business continuity plan for a hurricane
Should flooding ever occur at your business in the Gates Mills, OH, area, you will need to protect your employees and property with a business continuity plan. The safety of your employees and patrons should be of the highest priority, and protecting assets from water damage can make recovery efforts go more smoothly.
Scenarios To Prepare For
All sorts of disasters can cause flooding. To best prepare for an emergency and any ensuing water damage, create a business continuity plan for each of the following possible scenarios.
- Excessive rainfall from storms
- Overflowing or leaking appliances
- Broken pipes
- Tropical storms
Before the Disaster
An emergency response plan should be drawn up well in advance of any disaster. These plans signal what employees should do to in the face of an emergency. Once completed, these plans should be shared in detail with employees, with every step explained thoroughly to prevent any confusion in an actual emergency.
During the Disaster
At the very minimum, these plans should protect the people at your business during an emergency, which can include employees, patrons, and contractors. Once everyone is safe, management or trained employees can worry about containing the incident and protecting company property.
After the Disaster
Once the disaster has passed, allow any remaining patrons to leave and instruct employees to clean the site, if safe and necessary. Should the disaster incur any damages to commercial property, consult with the insurers of your business to see what is covered under any policies. After the paperwork is settled, a water damage restoration service may be contacted to inspect and repair any damages.
As the owner or a manager of a company, it is up to you to protect the people involved in your business, as well as any commercial assets of the company. By planning for the worst of flooding through a business continuity plan, you can properly maintain and protect the long-term health of your business.
4 Steps To Complete Before the Insurance Adjuster Arrives
If your home has suffered from water damage, prepare for the home adjuster
How to Prepare for the Adjuster if Your Home Has Suffered from Water Damage
If your home has suffered from water damage, take the following steps to prepare for the home adjuster. When you complete these steps before the insurance adjuster arrives, the damage on your property can be repaired or corrected as soon as possible. Speed up the process by getting as much paperwork out of the way as possible:
- Proof of loss forms
- Insurance policy reports
- Estimates from authorized professionals
In addition to tackling paperwork, be sure to complete the next steps as quickly as possible.
One: Contact Your Insurance Provider
It's vital that your insurance company can contact you, especially if you have had to evacuate your home. Have your policy number, phone number, property address, and alternate phone numbers handy. If it's possible to meet the adjuster at your home, you may find it easier to communicate clearly.
Two: Secure Your Property
Before the adjuster arrives, and before you evacuate if it is possible to do so safely, protect your property. Be aware that water damage can affect the construction of your home, leaving it unsafe to re-enter the building. When this is the case, contact a water damage repair and remediation professional to provide these services.
Three: Take Pictures of Damages
You will be completing a lot of paperwork regarding the damages throughout your home but taking photographs or a video is a good way to provide proof of your claims. Remember not to remove any items until the home adjuster has provided an okay.
Four: Keep Information Organized
Put together a safe place to store contact information, insurance claim reference numbers, receipts, photographs, and every other document regarding the damaged property and repairs. This will also include checks from the insurance company. You may expect up to three separate checks: structure damage payment, personal belongings loss reimbursement, and money for additional living expenses.
When water damages have affected your Mayfield, OH, home, work closely with the home adjuster to resolve the issue. Work through these four steps and maintain open communication for the best results.
Fire Damage Restoration
SERVPRO of Geauga County is prepared and has a 24 Hour Emergency Service.
Fire damage is a devastating experience for any business owner. Immediately the flames are out, a lot of things need to be done so that you can minimize the smoke damage and soot damage to your belongings. This is known as fire damage restoration. Below are some tips that can help you get the fire cleanup underway.
Tips on Fire Damage Restoration
Before fire cleanup
As an owner, you are not supposed to enter the property until you get permission from the fire department. They will confirm if the property that has undergone smoke damage and soot damage is safe. When it's safe, you can grab any essential documents you find.
It's really impossible for you to do the cleanup including board up, all by yourself. For excellent services, you need to contact a restoration company in your area. Fire in a home or fire in business (commercial fire damage) is not something you can handle by yourself. The experts should be able to deal with the smoke damage, smoke smell, and soot damage effectively.
Getting professional fire damage restoration help
Once the team has arrived, they will first check the conditions of the property. This is important as it helps them develop an action plan for the fire cleanup. Proper safety gear must be worn by the team for protection. This includes heavy duty gloves, safety goggles, and face mask to protect the eyes and respiratory system. If you must go in, make sure you wear old clothes you will not mind throwing away since they'll be covered with soot.
The next thing fire damage professionals will do is to open the windows for ventilation. They may also bring in fans to increase ventilation throughout the building. Increased airflow helps in clearing out any residual smoke and reduces the smoke smell. If the area you reside in a humid, the fire damage restoration experts will run a dehumidifier with the windows closed. They may also use power fans because water damage occurs too. They have to dry off the wet items before they can start cleaning any smoke damage after fire in a home or fire in a business.
Handling damage after fire in business and fire in a home
Now that the restoration company team handling the fire in a business or fire in a home has assessed the damage, they will start the process of board up servicing. In the case of commercial fire damage, many equipment pieces tend to be costly. Inspecting and restoring the quickly makes a big difference in them working or being destroyed. Poor air quality, soot damage, and smoke damage significantly diminish the working environment for employees, so commercial fire damage experts need to work thoroughly and efficiently. The commercial fire damage teams know that time equals to money.
The fire cleanup experts will also focus on water, soot, and smoke smell removal. Sometimes, you may not see the water, but it soaks in the insulation behind walls as well as the other areas where smoke damage existed. The fire damage team works on the water removal process to get rid of the water that was used by the fire department. The fire cleanup team uses high-powered air movers or dehumidifiers to eliminate the water hence completely drying the place. The fire damage cleanup process must be conducted efficiently to get the best results. A customized plan always works best since it factors in the state of the property and whether board up services are required.
Hiring a restoration company is the best decision you will have made during this trying time if you want to get the best results. It may be a bit costly when compared to DIY but it's sometimes the only option you have. Restoration company experts will board up your property, clean it up, get rid of the smoke smell, among other necessary services. Opt for professionals for the best fire damage restoration services.
3 Steps To Take if You Suspect Mold Damage in Your Home
Call mold remediation experts to come and do an assessment for you
Steps to Take if You Need Mold Assessment
Finding mold in your home in Gates Mills, OH, can be frightening. It’s probably not a situation that you’ve prepared for, so you may not know what to do next. Here are the steps you should take if you believe you need a mold assessment done.
1. Call a Professional
Never try to fix the problem yourself. Call mold remediation experts to come and do an assessment for you. They should be able to tell you if it’s mildew or mold. If it’s the latter, they can analyze it so that you know the type of spore it is. These specialists can guide you through the next steps, which may include the cleanup process and repairs.
2. Remove the Mold
You will most likely not be able to stay in your home during this time, especially if you have black mold. An infestation will have to be removed from all infected surfaces. If the spores are in the drywall, this can be a difficult process. You may find that some of your belongings have fungus growth as well. The professionals can take care of cleaning these up too.
3. Stop the Source
After the initial mold assessment, the remediation experts will determine what is causing the problem. If the source of the mold is not fixed, the issue will most likely return. If possible, the professionals might repair the cause during the remediation process. Spores grow due to moisture, so you may discover that you have a leaking pipe in the wall that needs fixing. Always make sure you have proper ventilation in your home, and never leave damp clothes sitting out for long periods of time. Both of these can lead to mold growth.
If you believe there is fungus in your home, it is important to call for help right away. Never try to perform a mold assessment yourself; leave it to the remediation experts.