Creating an Emergency Action Plan for Your Business Can Be a Lifesaver
Create an emergency action plan for your business
Unexpected events are a frequent occurrence in life, but businesses seem to get more than their share. They are so common that, in a given year, emergency expenses usually average out and can be considered a normal cost of doing business. However, some emergencies are more extreme, and having a contingency plan can help mitigate the severity of the damages to both your bottom line and the health and welfare of your employees.
Planning Always Pays Off
Regardless of the size of your business, you should have an evacuation plan in place for common hazards. The plans for Tice, FL, should be specific enough to address events such as:
- Severe weather
- An active shooter
However, an effective plan should also have built-in flexibility to handle circumstances beyond the foreseeable. Planning not only pays off directly in these situations; it keeps employees and management aware that your operation is well-organized and cares about the people there.
Emergency Action Plans
Many businesses covered by OSHA regulations require an emergency action plan (EAP), particularly if the organization has more than 10 employees. This is a well-developed, written contingency plan that employees can use to respond effectively during emergencies. The plan should include:
- How and when to report emergencies
- Evacuation procedures and escape routes
- Fight, flee or shelter in place policies
- Training procedures, especially for employees who run critical operations or who stay to respond to emergencies
- Names or job titles of specific employees who perform rescue or fire-fighting duties
Creating an EAP contingency plan in Tice, FL, isn’t just for large employers; it’s beneficial for everyone and can even help reduce liability by showing a good-faith effort to do everything possible in an emergency. With adequate training and a solid EAP, you can help avoid injuries and reduce clean-up and restoration costs from fire and water damage. Small and medium-sized businesses can usually come up with a successful plan in as little as 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s well worth your time to address this in advance.
The Importance of Containment During Mold Remediation
The air scrubber is a large HEPA filter used to clean the air in the room as work is being completed
Protect Your Building, Workers and Customers
Mold cleanup in a commercial building is a potentially massive undertaking that depends heavily on proper containment to prevent further mold contamination. Failure to adequately contain the affected area risks exposing the entire facility to the infestation. However, if further contamination occurs, the fault and liability likely rest with the contractors trusted for the cleanup. While that might be a relief, as your concern is on the welfare of your establishment, it still pays to understand containment procedures, so you know if your facility is being put at higher risk. Containment consists of three essential components that if followed, protect your building, workers and customers.
1. Plastic Sheeting
The first thing every containment process likely begins with is plastic sheeting. A remediation team will come in, likely in protective suits, and put up sheeting all around the room, paying particular attention to doorways and windows and attempting to get a tight seal around the space. This seal prevents the spread of mold spores as the surface areas are disturbed.
Also, during the sheeting phase of the mold cleanup, the workers will tape off areas like vents, holes, ducts and seams. Taping off these areas ensures that any spores will not find a new home somewhere else in your building. Particular attention will probably be paid to ductwork because the air currents moving through an HVAC system can lead to a widespread disaster.
3. Monometer and Air Scrubbers
Last, you may notice a couple of unique devices being installed in the affected area: a monometer and an air scrubber. A monometer is used by many mold remediation services in the Buckingham,FL, area, and it is used to prevent the buildup of negative pressure in a space, which can lead to a failed containment area. The air scrubber is a large HEPA filter used to clean the air in the room as work is being completed.
Mold cleanup in commercial facilities can be a significant undertaking, but the success of that endeavor rests in the proper containment of the affected area. Don't put your building at risk. Contain and remediate any mold problem quickly and thoroughly.
2 Causes of Fire That Are Not Covered by Insurance
Fire damage in a Charleston Park, FL home
If you've checked your home insurance policy recently, you likely learned that the cost of fire cleanup services after a home fire is most often covered by insurance. Coverage even applies to secondary damage caused by smoke or soot. This can certainly take a lot of stress off your shoulders if you ever do have to recover from a house fire in Charleston Park,FL. Continue reading to learn a few ways your homeowners insurance can help after a fire and discover the two causes that are not covered.
How Insurance Can Help
After a house fire, there are many costs you will be faced with that you might have never considered. Fortunately, insurance can pick up many of these costs including:
- Repairing your home and detached structures
- Replacing or restoring personal belongings
- Addressing damage to landscaping
- Costs associated with having to live away from home during the rebuilding process
Situations Not Covered
In most situations, coverage is available whether a fire starts due to a preventable cause, such as leaving the stove on, or something completely out of your control, such as a lightning strike. However, a fire caused by the homeowner on purpose, or due to arson, is not covered. Whether started in an attempt to harm someone or to try and collect money from insurance, no coverage will be provided if an investigator is able to determine you caused the fire. Additionally, coverage will not be provided for a vacant home fire. This does not mean your insurance will not cover you if you are not at the house that day or on a short vacation. Rather, a home left unoccupied for thirty days or more is generally considered vacant.
Apart from arson or vacancy, insurance can be very helpful in helping you cover the cost of a home fire. You should always check with your insurance company to find out the exact details of your policy.
4 Ways to Prevent Mold After a Storm
Storm damage caused mold in a Lehigh Acres, FL home
Ways to Prevent Mold from Developing
After a storm in Lehigh Acres,FL, you can sometimes end up with quite a bit of damage to your home. In some cases, this can lead to mold growth. This fungus can be difficult to remove, so you should do what you can to prevent it from developing. The following are a few ways to do that.
1. Remove Excess Water From the Home
If the storm was particularly severe and lead to flooding in the building, the first thing that you should do is remove all of the excess water. Along with contributing to the growth of mold, flood waters can carry contaminants that may cause additional problems.
2. Allow Everything to Dry Thoroughly
Once the water has been removed, you should make sure that everything in your home is completely dried. Because mold spores grow quickly in moist environments, allowing everything to dry will help reduce the chances of developing mold growth.
3. Clean Affected Areas and Items
Mold is present in a wide variety of environments, so when water enters your home, it can sometimes carry spores with it. It can also contribute to the spread of any mold already within the building. Scrub and disinfect hard surfaces and large items to remove any spores. You should also wash smaller materials, like clothing or stuffed toys, in a washing machine.
4. Hire a Professional
If you have already noticed mold beginning to grow or don’t believe that you can perform all of the necessary preventative measures on your own, then you may want to hire a mold removal specialist. Along with having the training required to spot any growth that you may have missed, they also have high-quality equipment that will ensure the job is done right.
Mold growth is a common issue, so if you are dealing with it in your home, rest assured that you are not alone. Following these steps will help you remove the problem and return your home to its previous mold-free state.
Understanding Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial fire cleanup in Whiskey Creek, FL
As a business owner, protecting your commercial operation means everything. Not only does your livelihood depend on your work, but so does the livelihood of your employees. To protect your business from unforeseeable circumstances like a commercial fire in Whiskey Creek,FL, commercial insurance should be set in place before you begin operations.
What Is Commercial Property Insurance?
Just as homeowners may obtain property insurance to protect their personal belongings, a business should acquire commercial insurance to protect commercial property. Commercial property can include a vast number of items, but the following are some of the most common:
Whenever you invest in new equipment for the workplace, be sure to update your insurance coverage. Let your policy provider know the cost of the equipment and the state that it is in when you purchased it. If a commercial fire were to take place, your policy should have detailed information to help with the cost of replacement.
What Is the Cost of Insuring a Commercial Operation?
The cost of insurance varies greatly by policy and insurance provider. Work with your provider to prioritize your coverage and get a competitive quote. When building your policy, your insurance adjuster will likely look at several key factors.
What are your daily operations?
Because day-to-day operations vary depending on industry, an office building may have a lower premium than a building using industrial machinery. Insurance companies evaluate the likelihood of a workplace fire and predict your costs from there.
Is your building structurally sound?
If your commercial building was constructed using fire-retardant materials, you may get a better rate than a business in an older building. If the chance of combustion is higher, your premium is also likely to rise.
Coverage for a Commercial Fire
Protecting your investments with a good insurance policy is the best way to approach reparations after fire damage. In the event your commercial property undergoes a fire, work closely with your commercial insurance company and a commercial fire restoration team to access losses and repair damage.
Clean Water Causes Category 1 Water Damage
Category 3 or black water
Sewage can back up and fill your company’s basement. Rivers can overflow their banks and shut down your operation. Of all possible sources of water damage, that from clean water is the least catastrophic. When it is the culprit, Category 1 water damage is the result.
The Level of Contamination Determines the Category
The clean water supply line to your business is the water main. When it fails due to a broken pipe, the result is most often Category 1 damage. Of the three water damage categories, this is the simplest to remediate. There are, however, circumstances when fresh water causes more serious damage. Some examples of this are:
Freshwater may interact with chemicals stored in your business or used in the manufacturing process. These chemicals contaminate the water and can raise the level to Category 2 or grey water. In extreme cases, toxicity can raise the damage to
Category 3 or black water
Freshwater may mix with and spread sewage from an in-house sewage treatment system. Raw sewage will automatically change the designation to
Category 3, the black water level
Freshwater flooding, without the addition of chemicals or sewage, temporarily causes Category 1 damage. However, a delay in the cleanup may allow the water to spread and absorb toxic elements from your workplace. The water is no longer fresh and the diagnosis changes to Category 2 damage.
It Is Important To Remediate Water Damage Quickly
All forms of water damage have something in common. They set the stage for mold growth. It is important to remove this moisture as quickly as possible. Moisture removal will prevent mold from establishing a foothold. Out-of-control mold is one of the worst problems that a business can experience.
When a clean water or other of flood moves in on your Tice,FL, area business, help is close at hand. There are water damage remediation experts in the area who are ready to use their equipment and experience to get your business up and running again.
How To Ensure That Your Water Damage Claim Gets Approved
Water pipe break in a Buckingham, FL home
Dealing with water damage in your Buckingham,FL, home is frustrating enough without having to stress about filing an insurance claim. However, making a good claim is necessary in order to be compensated for all of your trouble, whether you are facing bursting pipes or flooding. Follow these tips to ensure that you make a strong insurance claim that gets approved.
Determine the Type of Damage
First, you must categorize the type of loss that you are dealing with. There are a number of damage types that can target the home, including:
- Sewer backups
- Pipe bursts
- Natural causes (hurricanes, storms, etc.)
- Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines
Being able to identify the cause of your loss is vital if you’re looking to file an insurance claim. Not every type of damage will be covered by your insurance company, which is why knowing exactly what to expect is crucial.
Understand the Coverage
Once you’ve identified the specific type of water damage, make sure that you know whether your insurance policy will cover it. Gradual types of damage are not typically covered by insurance companies, while sudden or accidental causes like bursting pipes are more likely to be approved. Gradual damage may include water slowly seeping from cracks or a toilet leaking over time, while damage that is sudden or accidental might come in the form of a flood or overflowing toilet. Make sure you know which category your loss falls under before you make your claim.
Having concrete evidence of your loss helps to reinforce your insurance claim, so make sure that you’re holding onto records of repairs and maintenance work that has been done, such as having someone fix broken pipe. These records can be particularly helpful when you are facing damage of any kind, whether it is caused by a sewer backup or bursting pipes. Anything that you can use to support your claim is worth saving.
Regardless of the reason for your water damage, don’t hesitate to contact a water restoration specialist to have excess water removed. A simple call can give you peace of mind while you’re working on your claim.
Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage
Preparing your business for Storm and Flood Damage can minimize the cost of restoration and repair.
Flooding in Fort Myers, FL can lead to a lot of flood damage. Sewage buildup, leakage, and storm damage can ruin buildings and destroy businesses. It’s important to be ready in the event of a flood so that your business can minimize the cost of restoration and repair. If you are preparing for a storm, here are four things you can do.
4 Ways To Prepare for Flood Damage
- Move Furniture and Electronics
You can reduce the risk of damage to your building by moving any furniture and utilities to a higher level. Items such as computers, important documents, and machinery should be moved up to a floor that is less likely to receive damage. If you are concerned about your electronics, try to back up all important data needed for the business so that you don’t lose anything that is vital to your company’s success.
- Manage Your Insurance Policy
It’s nearly impossible to completely protect your commercial building from a severe storm, so it’s important to have insurance that covers the damage. Flood insurance can provide the financial means to handle the cost of repairs. Standard insurance policies don’t normally cover flooding, so consider this type of insurance if the risk of water damage is high.
- Evacuate Before the Rain Starts
When flooding occurs, your employees and customers come first. Evacuate the building before there is any sign of floodwater. Train your workers beforehand so that they know how to escape the building and where to find higher ground. Keeping people safe is a top priority in the event of a flood, and by having an evacuation plan, you can prevent chaos and confusion from erupting.
- Keep Your Gutters and Storm Drains Clear
You can keep the storm damage to a minimum by cleaning your gutters and drains. These structures are made to direct water away from the weakest parts of your building. If gutters get clogged, the water can overflow and lead to more destruction.
There are many things you can do to prevent flooding and minimize water damage. By taking these precautions, you can ensure the safety of your employees as well as the preservation of your property and data.
A Homeowner’s Guide to Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments
No home in Charleston Park,FL, is immune from potential mold and mildew growth. Discovering either substance can be alarming. Understanding how to distinguish the two organisms and prevent proliferation can help every homeowner safeguard their residence from extensive mildew contamination and mold damage and reduce the need for professional remediation services.
Mold and mildew share several features:
- Are a fungus
- Thrive in moist environments
- Feed on organic materials
- Can produce an unpleasant, musty scent
Because the nature of both organisms is similar, it’s easy to confuse them.
The biggest difference between mold and mildew is often their appearance. Mildew can be either powdery or fuzzy and often appears white or gray in color. Examples of common places to find it include on houseplants and shower curtains.
Mold, on the other hand, is usually black, yellow or green. It looks very fuzzy and can be highly invasive. Under the right conditions, this organism can proliferate in hidden moisture zones, such as under damp carpets and behind walls.
Because the fungus feeds on organic substances, such as wood, extensive mold damage can compromise the integrity of your home. To alleviate this risk and minimize the need for professional mold remediation, controlling indoor moisture is crucial. Thankfully, there are numerous strategies you can employ to accomplish this goal:
- Utilize an air purifier with a HEPA filter
- Routinely inspect for leaks under sinks and kitchen appliances
- Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen while bathing and cooking
- Ensure windows are properly sealed from drafts
- Dry showers after every use
Eliminating pooled water and reducing indoor humidity levels are key ways to prevent significant mold growth. If you experience a flood or a pipe burst, quickly drying the affected area is imperative. During the cleanup project, you should also remove saturated carpets, drywall and insulation.
Protecting your home from mildew growth and mold damage may seem daunting. However, taking proactive steps can help eliminate potential breeding grounds, reducing the risk of a serious and potentially costly infestation.
The Top 4 Kitchen Fire Risks
Grease fire in a Lehigh Acres, FL property
Safety Tips to Avoid Fire Damage at Home
The kitchen is the most likely location for home fires. Find out more about the top four kitchen fire risks, along with helpful safety tips to avoid fire damage at home in Lehigh Acres,FL.
1. Unattended Food
Most fires start when someone who is cooking leaves food unattended. It may take longer to get back to the kitchen than you anticipate, or you could forget about the food until it becomes burnt or starts a fire. Stay with food, leave someone in charge or set a timer to remind you to check on its progress.
2. Grease Fires
Grease reaches its smoke point shortly before a fire ignites. The smoke point for most fats is about 375 degrees Fahrenheit, while most vegetable oils start to smoke at 450 degrees. Any kind of grease fire should be extinguished by smothering the flames or dousing the fire in baking soda and salt or suppressant from a Class B or K extinguisher. One of the most important tips is to spray an extinguisher from a distance to avoid spreading grease and fire.
3. Combustible or Flammable Materials
Keep paper or plastic food packaging and other flammable materials away from open flames and hot burners. Do not store oven mitts or towels above the stove where these items may fall on the surface.
4. Microwave-Safe and Oven-Safe Materials
Another common risk is associated with materials heated in microwaves or ovens. Some packaging is not intended for heating, and doing so may increase the risk of fire. Make sure cookware and dishes are rated for the preparation methods you plan to use.
Although awareness of fire risks can increase the safety of any residence, kitchen fires can still break out even if you follow these tips. Should a fire occur, depend on a certified fire damage restoration service to clean and rebuild your home in accordance with the highest standards.