Smart Ways To Prepare Your Workplace for a Fire
Firefighting crews and emergency cleanup companies will help salvage your building in the event of a business fire.
Even if you think one could never affect you, disasters in the workplace can happen. It's much better to be ready for one than to scramble when an emergency occurs. Give yourself and your co-workers some peace of mind by preparing your office for the possibility of a business fire. There are some simple steps you can take today to spare you a lot of stress and panic in the future.
Develop an Evacuation Plan
You might not be able to prevent a fire from occurring in your office in every instance, but you can learn how to get to safety quickly. A big component of fire preparation is to come up with a fire escape plan. This should include the following elements:
Identifying all safe exists from all parts of the building
Assigning roles to members of your team
Designating a meeting place outside of your building
Practicing the evacuation once a year
Check the Fire extinguishers
You can spare your building a lot of fire damage and perhaps even stop a fire before it gets too large by using an extinguisher. If your Aurora, IL, building doesn't have one, now is the time to make this important purchase. Place at least one on every floor. Make sure you train people on how to use one.
Check and Update the Smoke Alarm System
A business fire could start during the day when your building is filled with workers. To alert people to get to safety, you need a fully functioning smoke alarm system. You should test it regularly and make the necessary repairs and adjustments as needed.
Check for Hazards
Periodically, walk through your office and identify any fire hazards. Store flammable liquids and chemicals properly. Fix electrical issues. You should also remove any evacuation obstacles.
Firefighting crews and emergency cleanup companies will help salvage your building in the event of a business fire. You need to do your part to stay safe and minimize the damage.
3 Storm Preparation Tips You Should Know
One way to avoid water damage on the roof is to ensure that gutters are clear of debris
Storm Preparation Tips
When your Sugar Grove, IL, business experiences a storm, there’s a chance that flood water can cause some problems. Fortunately, a local water damage restoration service can help with clean up and repairs. However, you may want to do what you can to mitigate possible damages beforehand. Here are three tips you may want to know.
1. Clear Gutters
One way to avoid water damage on the roof is to ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris. A clogged gutter can overflow and cause water to backup onto the roof where it runs the risk of causing a leak. Removing any loose twigs, dead leaves, dirt, and other materials before the storm arrives can help prevent this from happening.
2. Backup Data
It’s important to back up all computer data just in case your electronics are damaged by flood water. You may choose to have an external server available, or have a cloud setup where data can be saved. There are also many IT services available for companies where professionals can backup your data for you. If a computer does experience water damage, a restoration professional may be able to repair the device.
3. Create Flood Barriers
Another way to help avoid a flooded building is to use or create flood barriers. There are many collapsible barriers already available which can be set up at-need and then deflated or refolded for storage. Alternatively, you may choose to use sandbags. These should be set up in a way to prevent water from reaching areas like doors and window wells while encouraging the flow toward a drainage safe location such as a drainage ditch or empty lot.
Mitigating damage from floodwater beforehand can help save your business time on repairs. Remember to clear any debris from drainage gutters, back up computer data, and create flood barriers around doors and any window wells. If damage does occur a restoration service can help.
How To Identify Black Mold
Mold infestation in an Aurora, IL home
If you suspect mold in your home, you may need to perform a mold inspection. There are many types of mold. Some are harmless, while others can be toxic and lead to health problems for people and pets. Mold needs to be cleaned and removed as quickly as possible to avoid it spreading. When you find mold in your home in Aurora, IL, there are a few things you can do to determine what type it is.
Ways To Identify Black Mold
Stachybotrys Atra, also known as black mold, feeds off of moisture. It generally has certain characteristics that can help you identify it:
- It gives off a musky odor
- It may look slimy
- It is dark greenish-black or grey
This type of house mold releases mycotoxins that can cause health effects. A mold inspection will help identify the type of mold you have and find any that may be hidden in unseen places.
Where You Might Find It
Black mold spores are dampened downward, so they do not travel through the air as easily as other varieties. Since they are less airborne, they are unlikely to spread from room to room. However, they can multiply and grow rapidly on porous surfaces. Mold can be found anywhere there is moisture. Some of the most common areas are bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It may take up residence on the drywall in your bathroom and then spread quickly. Ceiling tiles, carpet and wood paneling or furniture are also prone to mold growth. Mold can invade ventilation systems. If you smell a musky odor when the system is running, you should mention this to your mold inspector.
If a mold inspection verifies that you have a mold problem, you will need to hire a professional mold remediation company to clear your house of the infestation. Professionals may use specialized equipment to rid your home of the problem and return it to its previous condition.
What to Do After A Fire
Fire can occur in your home or business at any time.
What You Can Do Until Help Arrives
Should a fire occur in your home or business, here are some helpful tips you can use to help limit the damage until SERVPRO of Aurora arrives:
- Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Place dry, colorfast towels on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
- Wipe soot from chrome trim, then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Aurora.
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting with a SERVPRO of Aurora professional.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical equipment or appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.
How To Respond to Black Water Contamination
Flooded building entrance in Rock, IL
When flood and water damage affects your Big Rock, IL, property, the damages could pose significant health hazards, specifically when black water enters your buildings. Professionals have the right equipment and training to address the serious risks related to flood water that contains contaminants, including bacteria and pathogens.
The Three Types of Water Affecting Your Property
There are three types of water damage, and it's important to understand the differences. The main reasons to distinguish between the three include preventing the spread of diseases and obtaining the appropriate types of cleanup and remediation.
White water is clean and safe for consumption. If water drips from the kitchen faucet into the sink, it is generally safe to assume this water is clean. You can clean this up without worrying about contamination.
Gray water may contain household chemicals, soap residue, or bits of human skin. Some people reuse this water by pouring it in their gardens. Unfortunately, many soaps contain ingredients such as boron and chorine or high levels of phosphate. These materials are not good for plants.
Black water has been in contact with fecal matter. Raw sewage, animal feces, and other forms of waste carry bacteria and diseases. When this type of water gets into your property, avoid the risk of becoming contaminated.
Your primary focus after flooding should be maintaining the safety of everyone who enters your property. This begins by creating a safety plan before disaster strikes; be sure to include contact information for professionals with the training and equipment to handle the cleanup appropriately.
Responding to Black, or Dangerously Contaminated, Water
The risks of becoming contaminated by infectious bacteria, parasites, and viruses are high. Protect yourself and any employees or customers away from the affected areas. After contacting contaminated water damage cleanup and mitigation professionals, turn off the electricity to the building and keep people away. Unless you're sure that rising water is clean, it's best to leave the entire cleanup process to professionals.
Children as Young as Three Should Be Taught How To Escape a Home Fire
Young woman doing low crawl
If only life had a pause button. When the smoke detectors go off in Montgomery, IL, there’s no time to review safety procedures. If you’re blocked from reaching your children, their response will be largely decided by the training and preparedness you’ve practiced as part of your kid's safety.
Three Baby Steps To Escaping a Fire
The three most successful basic actions you can teach your kids to know in a home fire are
- The bed roll
- The fire crawl
- The door check
Put simply, stay low and think slow for the sake of kid's safety. Everyone should act expeditiously, but without plenty of practice, most people – and especially children – are likely to panic if they don’t calm their thinking down first.
Roll Out of Bed
Since heat rises during a fire, you need to stay low. When the smoke detectors go off, children should know not to stand up. Instead, they should turn over until they are at the edge of the bed and facing the floor. Then they can slide off the bed and begin crawling towards the nearest designated fire escape.
Understand the Fire Crawl
The crawl of first choice is the dog walk. Get down on elbows and knees, keeping your face as close to the floor as is reasonably possible. This gets you low enough to avoid the worst heat and smoke but allows most people to move relatively quickly toward an exit.
The second choice is the low crawl. This is what soldiers use when under fire. Your body is almost entirely on the floor with your head raised only as much as necessary to see where you’re going.
Check Those Doors!
If an escape route goes through a door, teach your kids to always check it with the back of their hand before opening. If it’s hot, find another exit!
When you practice the fire drill with children during warm weather in Montgomery, IL, it can be like a game for them. If you have any questions about kid's safety, ask a professional fire restoration company for tips and advice.
5 Tips to Handle Broken Pipes
Bursting pipes can cause extensive damage in a commercial property.
Bursting pipes can cause extensive damage in a commercial property. There are several steps you can take to limit the extent of the damage.
1. Call a Plumber
Contact a plumber with an emergency work order to fix a broken pipe. If more than one person is on site, one person should make the call while the other shuts off or collects water.
2. Shut Off the Water
Shutting off the flow of water to your building can limit the amount of water that can cause damage. Notify all occupants that the water is turned off.
3. Collect Water in Containers
Collect as much water from bursting pipes as possible in any containers you have on hand. Once again, if more than one person is present, you should cycle out containers as each becomes full. These containers will be heavy, and a sturdy cart may help prevent strain or injury.
4. Fix Broken Pipes
A plumber should resolve the source of the leak before you can start removing water and restoring the area. Continue to try to mitigate the damage until help arrives.
5. Eliminate All Standing Water
Use any method available such as buckets, mops, towels, or a wet vacuum to start getting rid of standing water. You may want to call commercial damage restoration professionals with specialized equipment to pump out water. Water from a burst pipe is clean Category One water. If water leaks through building materials to another floor, it becomes contaminated Category Two water.
6. Dry the Affected Area
Prevent mold or other secondary damage by completely drying the area affected by the leak. Use a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of porous or semi-porous building materials and contents. Follow these steps to deal with bursting pipes and water damage. A plumber can help stop the leak, and restoration experts can help prevent further damage.
Fires are Preventable
When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires.
When it comes to your property, certain safety precautions can be taken to help prevent fires. below are some tips that can help you to prevent a fire.
Electrical and Appliances Safety
- Replace frayed and old worn electrical cords on appliances. Also make sure all extension cords are in good working condition and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it into a two slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker and have replaced by a trained professional.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check for damage or obstructions monthly.
- Always use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop a burning log from rolling out and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying embers.
- Make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.
For more fire safety tips, visit ready.org and if a fire should occur call SERVPRO of Aurora, Illinois at 630-862-3930 and our trained professionals will make it "Like it never even happened."
Faster to Any Size Disaster
If the unthinkable happens and a natural disaster strikes your area, you can be sure SERVPRO of Aurora will be there.
Being an industry leader with more than 1,400 franchises strong in cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO is equipped to handle any cleanup or restoration job no matter how large or small. With SERVPRO's Storm Response Team, SERVPRO of Aurora, Illinois has access to vast resources at its disposal to help with any situation.
When a natural disaster sweeps through a region, whether it's a wildfire, blizzard, flood, tornado or hurricane; SERVPRO of Aurora, Illinois Franchise Professionals knows your family can't afford to wait for your home to be restored to preloss condition. Every hour of unmitigated damage can cause more damage to your home or business and more stress and trauma to you or your family.
When disaster strikes, you need help, and you need it now. If the unthinkable happens and a natural disaster strikes your area, you can be sure SERVPRO of Aurora, Illinois will be there, working to make it "Like it never even happened." Call 630-862-3930.
Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Your homeowner’s policy will generally cover damage from internal sources
Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Water damage is one of the top three contributors to residential insurance filings. Water can damage property through flooding or other external sources or from internal sources, such as a bathtub overflow or a pipe burst. If you have experienced water damage in your Kaneville, IL, home, you may be wondering what your homeowner’s insurance will cover. The short answer is: It depends.
Water-related damage is defined under two areas of insurance. Your homeowner’s policy will generally cover damage from internal sources, but if severe weather caused your basement to flood, you would not file an insurance claim with your conventional provider. This overview of water-related insurance coverage will clarify the two primary categories.
Damage From Interior Sources
If your property was damaged because of a loose appliance fitting, your homeowner’s policy would generally cover the cleanup and restoration services. These additional examples of interior sources would also be covered:
- Leaking tube from an ice maker or other appliance
- Overflowing toilet or bathtub
- Broken water pipe
- Leaking fish tank
- Leaking water heater
Filing an insurance claim is fairly straightforward. Your agent can assess the damage and initiate a claim. If you’re shopping for homeowner’s insurance, be aware that limits and deductibles can vary, and a little research can save you some money.
Damage From External Sources
If your damage resulted from floodwater entering your home, you would be covered only if you had a separate flood insurance policy at the time of the damage. The federal government issues these policies, but your insurance agent can help you file an insurance claim.
Your risk level determines your need for the specialized policy. You may be required to purchase one when you buy a property with a high risk for flooding. A land survey can help assess your risk and inform whether a policy is indicated.
If you have water damage, you'll benefit from understanding insurance coverage for water-related property damage. You will need to distinguish between internal water damage and flood damage to know which insurance entity to approach. Then, you can start down the road to restoring your home and your peace of mind.