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Workplace Emergency Preparedness

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Workplace Emergency Preparedness Get Ready for Any Emergency!

Workplace Emergency Preparedness

The time to prepare for a workplace emergency is before it occurs. We never expect an emergency or disaster to happen in our home, workplace or community. The truth is an emergency or disaster could happen anywhere at any time. Having a well thought out emergency action plan is the best way you can protect your yourself, your family, your business and your employees. These unforeseen emergency situations can be natural or man-made and they threaten us by causing physical harm or environment damages.

Unexpected emergencies can include the following categories.

Weather emergencies:

Floods

Earthquakes

Hurricanes

Tornadoes

Environmental emergencies:

Fires

Toxic Gas releases

Explosion

Accidental or deliberate release of hazardous biological agents, or toxic chemicals

Pandemic disease

Man-made emergencies:

Civil Disturbances

Workplace violence

Deliberate release of hazardous biological agents, or toxic chemicals

Active shooter

Most people cannot think clearly and logically in a crisis. The first step in being prepared is to brainstorm all the potential emergencies that could disrupt your workplace. Once you establish your vulnerability you will want to address these objectives.

Steps to create an Emergency Preparedness Plan:

  • The most important objective will be to prevent injuries or fatalities.
  1. Who is responsibly to alert employees?
  2. How will they be alerted?
  3. Is evacuation required? What is the evacuation plan?
  4. How to determine a safe meeting space?
  • Call for help, fire department, police, medics etc.
  1. What emergency phone numbers do we need?
  2. Who will have access to this list?
  3. Who is responsible to make the phone calls?
  • When possible act to reduce the damage to your building and contents.
  1. Where are the main shut off valves?
  2. SERVPRO offers a ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) at no cost. We will send a SERVPRO representative to help you assess your facility.

After all emergency situations are analysis create your Emergency Preparedness Plan and put it in writing. It will then be important to set-up training for all employees. It is also a good idea to have practice drills to prepare employee and this also helps to evaluate your Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Business Suffers From Water Damage

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Immediate Steps to Take if Your Business Suffers From Water Damage Call SERVPRO of NE Columbus at 614-888-5700

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Business Suffers From Water Damage

Let’s face it, water damage is threatening to your property’s value and can cause some serious, well damage. Whether you’re facing a storm; a flood; leaks from a weakened roof, HVAC or busted pipes; or experience overflowing appliances, water damage can wreak havoc in an array of emergency situations. To prevent further damage and to increase chances of salvation, it is critical to act quickly within the first 24 hours. Considering you have safely evacuated the premises and safety officials have declared it safe, follow these steps to immediately rectify your business from water damage.

Avoid Additional Risks

Upon returning to your property, survey the premises and document any visible structural damage that may further endanger you and your property. Look for signs of warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, and holes. If safety officials haven’t done so already, contact utility companies to cease all water and electrical sources. Even if the power is still out upon your return, physically turn off the main power line and individual fuses to avoid risk of electrocution should the power be reactivated.

Document Everything

While surveying your property, take photos and document all damages. Digital photos will allow you to properly store, back-up and transfer files quickly and conveniently. Be sure to document all damages prior to removing any water or starting on any repairs; otherwise, you risk decreasing the extent of your insurance coverage.

Contact your Insurance Provider

Contacting your insurance provider is critical immediately following water damage and your return to the property. Your insurance provider will be able to assess the situation, file a claim, determine whether or not the damage is severe enough to send an adjuster, and provide invaluable next steps. They will also ask for the documentation you’ve collected so it’s important to have that readily available. Pro Tip: if government authorities have declared your region a ‘disaster area’, property owners may have access to increased resources, services and financial assistance.

Secure the Property

Place board over broken windows, fasten tarps, and carryout other measures to avoid further leaks and water damage.  Be sure to document all of your efforts to secure your property from further damage.  If these precautionary steps are not taken and something else happens, additional damages may not be covered by your insurance provider.

Mitigate Mold Damage

It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop following a flood or water damage. If items have been wet for less than 48 hours, they may be salvageable. Remove wet contents such as carpeting and furniture as soon as possible. If an item has been exposed longer than 48 hours, it may be harder and more expensive to salvage. If possible, you can start the drying out process within 24 hours and eliminate mold and mildew growth by: 

  • Removing wet furniture or lifting it off of carpet
  • Place aluminum foil or other carpet separators on furniture to prevent carpet stains
  • Remove and hang area rugs to dry
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out wet areas
  • Turn air conditioning on to help remove humidity and speed the drying process

Contact A Professional Restoration Service

If any amounts of water need more than a mop and you’ve followed the immediate steps to secure your business, water removal may require professional attention. Professional Restoration Services have the expertise, training and equipment to quickly remedy water damages and help your business get back to working order faster.

National Burn Awareness Week: Children and Fire

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage National Burn Awareness Week: Children and Fire Let's Keep Our Children Safe from All Burns!

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 24% of all burn injuries happen to children under the age of 15. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

SERVPRO OF NE Columbus is here for you should you experience a fire in your home. Please call 614-888-5700 for help.

2017 SERVPRO Awards

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 2017 SERVPRO Awards 2017 Customer Services Awards

2017 was a great year for SERVPRO of NE Columbus! Our SERVPRO team is proud of the recognition we received last year. We were honored to receive three distinguished awards for outstanding services in both our mitigation and repair divisions.

Our first award is the esteemed Nationwide Blue Hammer award. This award is given for being the top contractor in a five-state territory. The factors for consideration of this award are customer service, time in progress, performance objective monitoring and the number of jobs assigned. 

The second award was presented by Contractor Connection for being the top mitigation company in the Eastern Great Lakes division.

Lastly, we received The SERVPRO Heritage Gold Award from SERVPRO® Restoration Services. This award was given as recognition for being one of the top 25 franchises out of over 1700 franchises in the country.  The Heritage Gold Award is based on sales volume and excellence in service.

SERVPRO of NE Columbus strives to provide a superior level of service for our customers, offering emergency response 24 hours a days 7 day a week. We use technology developed over the years to provide electronic job files. We are a proud to be a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. We handle any size job and offer services for both residential and commercial work.   

We are grateful for our exceptional SERVPRO team and believe that these awards show our commitment to providing our customers in Central Ohio extraordinary service.

 We will continue to strive to provide exceptional service and commitment to our clients / customers.

National Burn Awareness Week; February 4th - 10th

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage National Burn Awareness Week; February 4th - 10th Beware!

The first full week in February of every year is dedicated to Burn Awareness. According to the American Burn Association, National Burn Awareness Week gives burn, fire, and safety educators an opportunity to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and preventative message to the community.

Facts About Burn Injuries According To The American Burn Association:

  • Burn injuries are continuing to be the top leading cause of accidental death and injury in the United States.
  • Between the years 2011 and 2015, roughly 486,000 fire and burn injuries were examined at Emergency Departments across the US.
  • Just in 2016, there were 3,390 civilian casualties from fires. Residential fires account for 2,800 deaths, non- residential fires account for 150 deaths, vehicle fires account for 355 deaths, and the remaining 85 deaths were due to outside and unrelated fires.
  • One civilian death from a fire occurs every 2 hours and 35 minutes.
  • 1 in 1,498 are the odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames or smoke.
  • Fire flames, scalds, contact with hot objects, electrical and chemicals are all leading causes of burn injuries.
  • In 2011 through 2015, nine out of ten people with fire and burn injuries were treated and released by emergency departments.
  • Men are more likely to be burned and injured than women.
  • Most of the burn injuries happen in the house (73%).
  • Children and the disabled are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 24% of all burn injuries happen to children under the age of 15.
  • In 2015, for children age 1 through 4, fire or burn injuries was the 5th leading cause of death; 3rd leading cause for children ages 5 through 9; and 8th leading cause of death for those over age 65.
  • In 2011 through 2015, children under the age of 5 are 2.4 times as likely to experience burn injuries; for young adults between the ages of 20 to 29 it is 1.5 times.
  • Luckily with today’s advanced treatment, 96.7% of those treated will survive, but many unfortunately will have serious scarring, life long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties.

After looking at all these facts and statistics, it is clear to see why it is so important for the community to understand the dangers that come from fires and burns. When it comes to fire prevention, it is important to take the necessary steps in order to prevent possible disasters and injuries.

If you experience a fire in your home or business, please don’t hesitate to call us at 614-888-5700.

What is That Strange Odor?

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What is That Strange Odor? Call SERVPRO with Your Odor Problem!

SERVPRO is best known for fire, water and mold remediation, but did you know SERVPRO also specializes in odor removal? Our professionally trained team are experts at deodorization. The source of the odor is varied and the difficulty in eradicating the problem is unique.

Here are the top four phone calls SERVPRO of NE Columbus receives regarding odor issues:

  • Pet Odor
  • Wild Animal
  • Smoke
  • Mildew

Pet Odor – This is probably the most common phone call we receive regarding odor. New puppies, elderly dog, cats and sick animals can create many odors SERVPRO can handle.

Wild Animals – Each spring we receive several calls from fanatic customers who left their dog out early in the morning only to be sprayed by a skunk. Their dog runs into their home and rolls over the sofa and carpet trying to rid themselves of the odor. Raccoons and bats have a tendency of seeking shelter in attics, which often results in a vile and poor smelling environment.

Smoke –  Realtors frequently advise smokers selling their homes to have the cigarette odor eliminated before the homes goes on the market. Cooking mishaps can also cause a lingering smell which SERVPRO can get rid of.

Mildew – There can be many causes of a mildew odors, all start with moisture.

Along with eliminating the source of the odor SERVPRO successfully uses a green technology unit call a Hydroxyl. This is a safe and highly effective compound that cleans, sanitizes and freshens the air.

SERVPRO is here to help! Call SERVPRO of NE Columbus at 614-888-5700 for an estimate to eliminate that strange odor.

Mold Could be Lurking in Your Home from Your Recent Frozen Pipe Break

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Could be Lurking in Your Home from Your Recent Frozen Pipe Break Beware of Mold Lurking in Your Home

Central Ohio has experienced two weeks of frigid temperatures and SERVPRO has received countless water damage claims resulting from frozen pipes. If you have experience a broken pipe and did not get a professional company to remediate your water loss, please consider the dangers of mold. Mold spores thrive on moisture and can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water.

Here are some signs of mold to look for:

  • Mildew smell
  • Visual mold on walls or ceilings
  • High humidity
  • Wood warping
  • Paint Peeling
  • Respiratory heath issues

Remediation includes both the identification and correction of the conditions that permit mold growth, as well as the steps to safely and effectively remove mold damaged materials. Discovering the moisture source and resolving the issue will always be the first step in determining a plan of action. If the mold is excessive, the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional can evaluate the quality of the air inside your home.

Although mold is a part of our outdoor and indoor atmosphere, high levels or certain types of mold are harmful to humans.

There are groups of people who are most at risk when exposed to mold:

  • Infants and children
  • Pregnant woman
  • The elderly
  • People with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies
  • People with weakened immune systems

Don’t let it grow! If you are experiencing any signs of mold, please contact SERVPRO of NE Columbus at 614-888-5700 and we will send one of our experienced estimators to help!

Beware of Fire Damage from Your Clogged Dryer Exhaust Duct

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Beware of Fire Damage from Your Clogged Dryer Exhaust Duct Remember to Have Your Dryer Check to Prevent a Fire

Most of us don’t think about maintenance on our clothes dryers, but we should! The U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year there are thousands of home fires started by clothes dryers. Lint and debris can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, backing up dryer exhaust gases, which can result in a fire hazard. It is recommended you have your dryer exhaust system cleaned at least twice a year.

How to tell if you dryer vent is clogged

  • Normal drying cycle is not drying clothes
  • If it takes more than 40 minutes to dry a load of clothes
  • Clothes smell musty after normal cycle
  • Clothes are hotter at the end of the cycle
  • Large amount of lint accumulates in the lint trap
  • Your laundry area is more humid
  • Burnt smell in your laundry room
  • Outside dryer vent cover is not lifting

What you can do to reduce the risk

  • Clean your lint filter after each load of clothes
  • Use dryer sheet and fabric softener sparingly
  • Remove the back of the dryer to vacuum out lint that is trapped
  • Keep area around dryer free of dust and debris
  • The duct line that vents outside should be as short as possible

There are tips online on how to clean you dryer vent system, but it is recommended you hire a professional. The cost is $100 - $150 depending on the length and location of the vent. In addition to the reduced threat of fire, a cleaning can pay for itself in less than a year through the improved efficiency with less drying time required.

SERVPRO of NE Columbus is here for you should you do have a loss from a dryer vent fire. Please call 614-888-5700 for help.

Steps to Take if You and Your Business are Victims of a Fire

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Steps to Take if You and Your Business are Victims of a Fire Fire Damaged Studs

No matter the severity of damages, a fire is a chaotic occurrence for any business owner. In addition to loss, every hour spent restoring your business is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. Once the fire has ceased and the site has been cleared, follow these steps to promptly restore order, productivity and profitability of your business.

Account for Everyone Affected

The safety of your employees and patrons is of the most importance. Be sure all of your employees and guests are accounted for proceeding the incident. Check guest sign-in sheets or logs if you use them or surveillance cameras to ensure that everyone is accounted for. Once accounted for, retrieve contact information so that you are able to get in touch with anyone affected by the fire. This may also include board members, external partners and customers. Don’t leave your staff and business partners in the dark regarding the future of your company. Any activities or services that need to be postponed or suspended should be clearly communicated and announced. Communication is key to help keep your staff calm and alerted.

Contact your Insurance Company

Promptly contact your insurance agent to report the incident, damages and loss. The quicker you report the incident the quicker the rebuilding and reimbursement processes may begin. If you happen to rent or lease your space, don’t forget to contact your property owner or manager.

Document Everything.

Once the fire has ceased and you’ve accounted for everyone who may have been affected, survey your property for damages and take photos. Avoid costly mistakes and easily fetch important facts and numbers by documenting and organizing all records. Maintain phone call logs to include times and reasons for each contact. Keep all receipts to document any expenses paid for during your business’s recovery period. Insurance companies will require proof of claimed losses, so have pertinent documentation (receipts, user manuals, credit card statements, photos, etc.) easily accessible.

Recover Critical Data Servers: hard drives and computers that hold data critical to the day-to-day operations of your business. If damaged, you run the risk of losing data as well as exposing employee and customer information. Depending on your exact case, take the necessary steps needed to recover any sensitive data.

Safeguard Your Property

Once the property has been cleared by professionals, collect and remove salvageable valuables, paperwork and data devices. As a business owner, you are responsible for mitigating damages. If the fire has caused significant damage to the structure of the building (exterior walls, doors, windows or the roof) safeguard the premises. Temporarily patch any holes, pitch tarps or make arrangements to have the building boarded up to prevent further damage, vandalism and leaks. Remember to keep all receipts of expenses for reimbursement.

Proceed With Caution

It will be tempting get your business up and running as quickly as possible following the incident, but it is important to be patient and not to rush into any repairs. Contact experienced professionals to assist in the assessment of damages as they will have the knowledge, technology and resources needed to restore your space promptly and properly.

While any disaster to your business, big or small, can be worrisome - know that you have access to the resources to restore your business. Of US based businesses, about 60% have been able to reopen their doors after a disastrous fire and many have gone on to achieve great success and profitability. Above all, it is important to be smart and remain hopeful.

Falling Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Falling Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes Ohio’s Deep Freeze Caused this Frozen Pipe Break

As the new year begins with a blast of extreme cold we want to protect our homes from damage caused by frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands and can break your pipes causing flooding throughout your home. The structure damage from this type of loss can be extensive. The cause of most frozen pipe issues falls into one of three categories: Low temperatures, insufficient insulation or lack of heat.

Low Temperatures – As we welcome in 2018 many states are experiencing temperatures below 0 degrees. The low temperatures along with windy conditions are always a concern for frozen pipes. Check your home for any area that could be an issue. Unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces, attics and garages are prime areas of concern. There are products on the market to wrap exposed pipes to help eliminate the issue. Follow all manufactures instructions for safe use of these products. 

Insufficient Insulation – Even a small space can let cold air into your home. Examine all areas and seal any space where cold air could enter your home. Adding additional insulation where necessary.

Lack of Heat – Make sure you keep your heat on and raise the temperatures during these times of extreme cold. It is also important to protect your home if you are leaving for a weekend or longer. Have a friend or relative check on your home daily to make sure your heat is on and there are no issues with frozen pipes.  It can also be effective to open cabinets to allow warmer air to reach the pipes.

What you can do if you do have a frozen pipe

  1. Shut off the water main supply line
  2. Apply heat to the frozen pipe in attempt to thaw the frozen pipe. You could use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water.
  3. Once the pipe has thawed, slowly turn on the water supply. Check the area of the frozen pipe to make sure there are no leaks.
  4. If you do see any leaking, turn the water supply off and call your local plumber.

Should you experience a water damage caused by frozen pipes call SERVPRO of NE Columbus at 614-888-5700 and we will make it “Like it never even happened."