Recent Commercial Posts
How Do I Protect My Business from Fire Disaster?
Have a fire extinguisher in your office.
Fire is a threat to any business, no matter how small or large. While you can't stop every fire, you can make sure that your business is prepared if one does happen. Here's how…
How to Protect your Business from Fire
Your business is your livelihood, and it's always wise to take action to protect yourself and others in the event of a fire. To do so, you'll need to install various safety features in your building. The following are some of the most important ones:
- Fire extinguishers. Extinguishers discharge foam or powder that smothers flames. They should be installed at key locations throughout your building, including near exits and stairwells, the cafeteria or kitchen area, and the garage if you have one on site.
- Alarms/detectors. Detectors should be installed on each floor of your office building as well as in every room (including bathrooms).
What is the first step?
The first step is to have a fire extinguisher in your office. They are relatively easy to use, and everyone should be familiar with the process of using one.
The second step is to have fire alarms and sprinklers installed in your office. These will help detect any fires as quickly as possible, alerting you and others nearby so they can safely exit the building before any damage occurs.
The third step is to have a plan for when there is a fire in your building or on its way (e.g., calling 911). You'll need an escape route mapped out that takes people away from danger while getting them out of the building safely—and this map needs to be posted somewhere everyone can see it as soon as possible!
What do you need in a commercial fire protection plan?
- Have a plan. It's important to include your business’s emergency contact information, any commercial fire protection equipment you have and where it is located, as well as the evacuation route for employees and customers.
- Practice your plan regularly. A good idea is to do so monthly or even weekly with all employees so that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire or other emergency.
- Make sure everyone knows the plan—including new hires! It's also important that everyone stays informed about changes to the plan over time, such as when new exits open or security cameras are added for extra protection against theft and vandalism during power outages.
- Test your plans regularly with drills that simulate real-life situations so people know what actions they should take in an actual emergency like a house fire or earthquake (or whatever else might happen).
Train your employees
Training your employees is a crucial part of preventing a fire disaster in your business. It's important to train them on how to handle certain situations like a fire or other emergency. You need to tell them what they should do if they see something suspicious, hear an alarm going off, or have any other suspicions that might mean something bad is happening in the building.
You should also provide training on what actions they can take if there's an actual fire or other emergency and all exits are blocked by smoke and flames (e.g., by making sure everyone knows how to break through an unbroken window).
Create an Emergency Action Plan with employees and make sure it is practiced regularly.
To ensure that everyone is prepared and knows what to do, you should create an emergency action plan with employees before a fire strikes. When creating your plan, make sure it includes:
- How and when to evacuate your business
- Who will evacuate first, second and so on (you should designate roles for each employee)
- What items need to be saved before exiting the building
Once you’ve created this crucial document, you need to make sure it is practiced regularly with all employees so they know exactly what steps they need to take in case of a real-life emergency.
With the right planning and preparation, you can be ready for any disaster. We hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to protect your business from fire and put your mind at ease that everything will be okay if something goes wrong.
3 Storm Preparedness Tips for Business Owners
Flooded building due to heavy rains in Bedford, PA.
Are You Prepared For a Storm?
Suddenly, your business is in the path of a natural disaster in Bedford, PA. As the floodwater accumulates, the potential consequences of a flooded building start to sink in. Will your business survive this disaster? Unfortunately, not all businesses do. Prepare ahead of time to recover faster in the aftermath of a storm.
1. Purchase Insurance
Every business owner knows the importance of commercial property insurance. But, do you know the specifics of your plan? Does it cover damage caused by flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and fires? What about business interruption insurance to keep you afloat during the restoration process? If you cannot answer these questions off the top of your head, it is time to meet with your insurance agent and review the policy. Supplemental insurance may be needed. The worst time to find out your policy does not cover damage from floodwater is after a flood.
2. Back up Documents
Do you store important records for your business in spreadsheets, word processing programs, or in file cabinets? Consider what happens to computers or papers in a flooded building. It is possible to lose the data forever. To avoid this scenario, ensure that all-important information is backed up securely in another location. This includes employee data, financial and tax records, and customer information.
3. Put a Plan in Writing
Stressful situations can easily turn into chaos. In a weather emergency, do your employees know how to safely evacuate? Is there a plan for protecting the building and contents from flooding and water damage? To be efficient in an emergency, write down a plan, assign roles and responsibilities and communicate the plan with staff. Keep important numbers handy, including your insurance agent and a storm restoration company.
Increase your business’s chance of survival in Bedford, PA, by preparing for a natural disaster. After the danger has passed, act immediately to have restoration specialists remove the excess flood water and restore your business.
Why IICRC Certifications Are Important
Technicians that have been trained and certified by the IICRC provide high-quality work.
The Value of IICRC Certifications
If you've ever hired a disaster restoration company, you have probably noticed that certain businesses in and around Roaring Spring, PA, list IICRC certified in their credentials. In fact, there are a lot of them that are certified. All of these businesses seem to be boasting that this type of certification means they are more qualified. If you don't work in the restoration industry, you probably don't understand its significance and why it is important to look for a company with this certification. Keep reading for information about this type of certification.
1. This Organization Is a Leader in the Remediation Industry
IICRC translates to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This is a substantial organization dedicated to improving the quality of work performed in the remediation industry by setting high standards. It was originally founded in the United States in 1972. Since these early years, it has grown to have thousands of certified technicians and businesses worldwide. It sets the standards for various areas within the restoration industry so that technicians may have multiple certifications and provide top-quality work for any disaster.
2. A Certification Ensures You Will Get Better Quality Work
To get an IICRC certification, technicians must undergo rigorous training and prove they meet the high-standards by passing an exam. Whether a technician has a cleaning, restoration, inspection, or mitigation certificate, they can be expected to uphold certain principles and standards set forth by this organization. This means that any customers who look for this type of certification ensure they are getting the highest-quality team available.
Technicians that have been trained and certified by this company provide high-quality work. There are many businesses in numerous locations that offer technicians with these certifications. Choosing one of these businesses ensures that you get a better quality of work for your remediation tasks. Therefore, businesses must look for this certification when choosing a restoration company.
3 Methods for Removing Smoke Odor
Ozone machines are often used by professionals for smoke cleaning.
Three Methods of Odor Elimination
If your Claysburg, PA, business suffers a fire, there will also be smoke damage. The associated odor can be very difficult to remove, but a fire restoration service has the necessary tools to do so. The following are three of the most common methods of odor elimination. These techniques can be used together or separately to restore your business to its pre-fire condition.
1. Air Filters
Air filters are an ideal method of smoke cleaning due to their simplicity. The machine draws in air, filters out the smoke particles and expels clean air. HEPA and carbon filters are great for this purpose. The length of time the machine needs to run and the frequency of filter change depending on the machine’s size and the amount of smoke particulates in the area. This method of odor elimination is also called air scrubbing.
2. Ozone Machines
Ozone machines are often used by professionals for smoke cleaning. The air we breathe has two oxygen molecules. Ozone, on the other hand, is composed of three oxygen molecules. The additional molecule bonds with smoke particles. This chemical reaction creates a new gaseous substance that does not have a discernible odor.
3. Thermal Foggers
The thermal fogging method of smoke cleaning works well for stubborn residual odors. During the fire, many surfaces expand due to the increased temperature. When the fire was extinguished, the surfaces cooled and contracted, allowing the smoke odor to become trapped. Thermal foggers reheat the area, allowing the deodorizing molecules to penetrate the trapped particles. The deodorizer is released as a mist so that it works in the air as well as on surfaces.
Eliminating lingering unpleasant odors can be one of the trickiest aspects of any restoration project. Fortunately, there are a variety of approaches that can be taken. A certified restoration service has the knowledge and experience to help you select the right one for your commercial property.
How To Prevent Mold in the Breakroom Fridge
This utility room flooded, introducing the risk of mold. Our air movement technology helps mitigate that risk!
Most people, at one point or another, will experience the horror of opening up the refrigerator only to discover the presence of fridge mold. The unmistakable mold smell along with seeing various items covered in blue or green mold requires immediately disinfecting the fridge. There are plenty of documented cases of this, but in your office in Blair or Bedford County, PA everyone should actively work to prevent mold growth in the first place.
1. Clean the Fridge Weekly
Someone who works at the building should be in charge of inspecting the refrigerator often. It is recommended to clean it at the end of the day on Friday. Mold is most likely to grow when food is left in the fridge over the weekend. Inform employees of the policy not to leave anything in the fridge after lunchtime on Friday or else it will be thrown out.
2. Do Not Store Certain Foods in the Fridge
Many people mistakenly believe they can put certain food items in the fridge to keep them fresh. However, many items are prone to developing fridge mold sooner if placed in such temperatures. Food to keep out of the office fridge include:
Mold develops when there is sufficient bacteria and moisture. When items, such as cereal, grains and breads, are placed in the fridge, they are exposed to more moisture than they should receive.
3. Put Baking Soda in the Fridge
Baking soda will not remove mold entirely, but it does help keep the fridge smelling fresh. You should open a box of baking soda and place it on a shelf where it will not tip over. You need to replace this box once every three months.
With a few easy steps, you will not have to worry about fridge mold in your office. This makes the office more habitable and decreases the chances of someone eating something that has been contaminated.
Why You Should Not Use Bleach for Mold Cleanup
This boiler room took on severe water damage. SERVPRO remediated the damage and stabilized the air moisture levels to prevent mold growth!
Did you just spot mold in your building and are now wondering how to get rid of it? The thought of reaching for bleach to clean up mold has probably already crossed your mind, as this is something a lot of people do. However, here are three reasons why using a bleaching spray is not an effective method for fungus cleanup.
1. It Can Contribute to Mold Growth
While this may sound weird, it is true. Porous surfaces absorb the water that the cleaning agent contains, which in turn, contributes to mold growth. Hence, instead of helping you with the fungus cleanup, it makes your mold problem even worse. It is counterproductive.
2. It Is Simply Not Effective
A bleaching agent is not effective because it can only remove the mold that is sitting on the surface. All it does is remove the color, which leads you to believe that the mold is gone. The real problem here is the root system that the chlorine of the cleaning agent can’t possibly remove. It gives you a false sense of security.
3. It Is Highly Toxic and Harmful
The chlorine in bleach can damage particular materials, such as wood. If used on wood, it breaks down the fibers of the wood and weakens it, which can then lead to structural issues with your building. Even metal doesn’t react friendly to chlorine, as it is known to cause corrosion. It creates even more problems.
As you can see, bleach can only treat the symptoms and is not an effective method to clean up mold. Your problem sits much deeper, and treating the symptoms alone doesn’t solve your issue. You have to treat the cause and the roots to get rid of the mold for good. For fungus cleanup, it is highly recommended to reach out to a mold remediation professional in Blair or Bedford County, PA who knows how to kill the mold and keep it from coming back.
Fix That Leaky Roof and Get Back to Business
A roof leak in Huntingdon, PA.
Get That Leaky Roof Fixed and Get Back to Work
No one wants to be faced with a roof leak that can disrupt business, slow productivity, and, if not handled quickly, cause considerable damage to equipment and property. If you are a business owner in Huntingdon, PA, however, this possibility should be something you are prepared to address. Problems may arise from simple wear and tear or missing shingles, but leaks could also come as a result of excessive storm conditions such as heavy rains or high winds.
Protecting What Matters Most
No matter the cause of the leak, certain safety precautions should be taken in assessing a damaged roof and repairing the problem. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
• Address the leak quickly. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. Your ability to find and quickly but safely repair the site can have a direct impact on eliminating any further harm to the building or those within it.
• Be aware that there could be more damage or danger at the sight of the roof leak than you may be able to tell at first glance. Advise all personnel to move away from where the leak seems to be to ensure their safety.
• It is best not to survey water damage from atop the roof itself. Especially in more extreme situations, there may be damage to the structure that makes it unable to hold the additional weight of any kind. Inspect what you can from below. If there is any question as to the stability of the structure, or even in the case of missing shingles, you may want to contact a water damage repair professional.
• Once you have found the exact location of the damage, cover it to ensure that it stays dry until the repairs can be made. If a repair company has been called in, it should manage this task for you – freeing your mind of any potentially heightened risks.
Whether large or small, a roof leak in Huntingdon, PA, has the potential to throw any operation off course. However, by following these guidelines, you will better ensure that everyone stays safe and that you will be able to return to full production in no time.
Water Leaks Can Cost You Thousands
Most Common Sources of Leakage
Most likely, as a business owner in Martinsburg, PA, you're always looking for ways to save money and increase the bottom line. Sometimes, costs are hidden in ways that you haven't even thought about. For instance, did you know that a water leak or a hidden pipe break could be costing you thousands of dollars a year? Take a look below at the most common sources of leakage or breakage to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
1. Toilet Leaks
One leaking toilet can waste up to 73,000 gallons of water in a year. That translates to a lot of money! If you have several toilets in your office space, you could have an even bigger money drain. This can easily be avoided by replacing worn-out gaskets and flanges.
A small drip from a leaky faucet could cause you to lose up to 20 gallons a day. Multiply this by the number of taps in your building, and you could be looking at a great deal of wasted money. In many cases, just changing out a washer can stop the water leak.
3. Exterior Spigots
A leaking spigot is a potential source of leaks that's easy to forget. A spigot that's leaking can not only waste money but could cause damage to the building's foundation.
4. Leaky Water Heaters
It's possible for a water heater to leak for months without anyone noticing. In addition to simply wasting water, this kind of leak could cause damage to floors and walls, as well as water damage from mold or mildew.
5. Broken Pipes
A broken pipe is a problem that's not always easy to detect. It's a good idea to have a water mitigation professional check your building once a year to look for hidden problems like this.
A water leak can cost you lots of money if left unchecked. But by following the tips outlined above, you can prevent damage and water loss before it happens.
3 Types of Damage Caused by Fire
Commercial fire in Roaring Spring, PA.
Fire Damage Comes in Three Forms
After your commercial building in Roaring Spring, PA, is affected by a fire, you may expect to take on a fire cleanup. What you might not realize is that this process has to tackle other types of damage as well, which could make a smoke and water cleanup necessary too. Your commercial fire restoration team can help you make sense of the three different kinds of damage caused during a fire.
1. Fire: When flames engulf your building, they can cause a charring effect on your walls, ceiling, roof, furnishings, flooring and other belongings. Fire can turn your once well-furnished office space into piles of ashes. Typically, a fire cleanup includes a lot of rebuilding and replacing as well as the initial cleaning.
2. Water: Water is used to put out a fire. Many business owners hope the water can quench the flames before they turn belongings into ash. When water is sprayed on a fire by firefighters and sprinkler systems, it can cause a lot of water damage on almost every surface. Part of water cleanup is drying out the waterlogged belongings to ensure mold doesn't start to grow in the space.
3. Smoke: Smoke is a byproduct of fire. The damage caused by smoke depends on the fuel that fed the fire. Burning synthetic materials may result in smoke with higher acidity, which can create a harder smoke cleanup process. Smoke often stains ceilings, floors, drapes, and windows, but it can also damage electronics and other belongings. Removing the layer of soot and deodorizing the space are often the major components of this type of cleanup.
Some of the damage caused during a fire may not be a direct result of the flames themselves, but they still need to be addressed during the fire cleanup procedure. If smoke or water cleanup is skipped, your building may have hidden problems in the future.
Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?
The quick, and accurate, answer to repeated mold growth is water trouble. Knowing this, however, doesn't always help you prevent further growth and contamination, especially after repeated growth in the area. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself; mold is well-known for cropping up again in the same spot. This is especially true when you've had water damage on your Roaring Spring, PA, property.
The Reasons for the Return
Certain properties of mold can help you understand why it keeps coming back:
• Most molds aren't harmful. These organisms exist everywhere, inside and outside. Most of the time, molds aren't dangerous and are often helpful. However, certain types, such as black mold, can be unsightly and costly.
• Molds are fungi. They reproduce by spreading spores. To facilitate colony growth and the spread of spores, thread-like hyphae (branching filaments of mold) release enzymes and spores. If a hypha is detached from the rest of the colony, it can begin to take root and establish a new colony on a new surface.
• Mold is microscopic. This means it can get into places that you may not think possible. It also makes it very hard for you to clean mold completely with a spray solution and scrubbing. For example, you probably can't access both sides of the drywall, but when there's high humidity, this is an ideal location for mold growth.
• Mold grows quickly. Whether spores are carried into an area through the ductwork or hyphae have broken off and transferred to a new surface, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for a new colony to take hold.
Prevention and Remediation
The best route for water damage restoration is to work with a professional and prevent water damage. Inspect your property for any leaking pipes or faucets, install a dehumidifier, and keep the property well-ventilated. Any fabrics that get wet often, such as towels, washrags, and coats, should be hung where they can dry completely.
When you don't know what else to try, contact a professional. These Roaring Spring, PA, experts can handle problems in inaccessible areas, locate areas of moisture you couldn't find, and provide education for further prevention of mold.