Are You Prepared for the Storm?
Keep fire extinguishers accessible throughout a property
Property managers in Oxford, OH have a lot on their plates. While the day-to-day bustle may seem nonstop, time needs to be set aside to ensure your properties and the people in them are ready for anything. Although no building is safe from Mother Nature’s wrath, developing a storm preparedness plan can ensure confident handling of emergency situations.
Develop and Communicate the Plan
Property management often means juggling numerous unique properties. Although each may have its own special requirements, it’s important to develop a general emergency plan. Once that is in place, special needs for each property can be incorporated. This plan needs to be clearly communicated to all tenants and anyone associated with a property.
What Should a Plan Include?
Storm preparedness requires considering all possibilities. A bad storm could result in fires, evacuations, property damage and much more. They key elements of a plan should address the who, what and where of facing whatever may come.
Ensure diagrams are in all buildings that include emergency exits, fir-safe stairwells and other safe spots.
Keep fire extinguishers accessible throughout a property. Include instructions on their proper use.
If a building has an emergency detection system, ensure it is working. If it doesn’t, assign a person and backups to be responsible for calling 911.
Have an established way to contact tenants. This could be through automated voice messages, texts or emails.
Plan for backup communications in case the power goes out.
Plan for Damage
Even with a storm preparedness plan in place, damage can happen. To reduce the risk, keep buildings up to code. Regular maintenance can ensure codes are continually met. In addition to insuring the properties, encourage tenants to obtain renter’s insurance for their own protection.
Once the storm subsides and everyone is safe, that is the time to access the damage. Whether it’s a little or a lot, count on trusted professionals to get your property ready to weather the next one.
Ways to Prevent a Fire From Happening in Your Commercial Building
Electrical fires can be prevented
Fire Prevention In Your Commercial Building
No business owner wants to hear that they've had a fire. It can have serious financial consequences and can even lead to a company going bankrupt. Taking the proper precautions is one of the best ways to help with fire prevention in your commercial building in Hamilton, OH. While a fire is never completely avoidable, here are a few things you can do to protect your business.
Have the Right Equipment
Placing fire extinguishers throughout the office is a great way to help stop the flames from spreading further and can help protect your office equipment from excessive damage. Many companies have installed an automatic sprinkler system in the building, which turns on in the event that a fire occurs. If your equipment does suffer fire or water damage, you may need to a hire a fire restoration company to come in and help.
Check Your Wiring
Oftentimes, a business fire is caused by faulty wiring. Many older buildings are not up to code and are therefore more susceptible to electrical fires. Having your wires checked and replaced regularly can go a long way in fire prevention. It is also important to keep appliances at least a few inches away from the wall and to turn off all appliances and electronics each evening before leaving work.
Employees sometimes do not realize the potential fire hazards around them. Keeping them informed may not only prevent fire damage from happening, but it can also keep them safe in the event that one occurs. Hold meetings regularly to inform employees about ways they can help with fire prevention and to go over what to do if there is a fire in the building.
Having a safety plan is place is one of the best ways to protect your employees and your business. Fire prevention is not something that should be done once and checked off of your list. Make sure to keep your plan up-to-date and talk to your employees regularly about fire safety and what to do in the event that one occurs.
Flooding in West Hamilton, OH
When flooding damages your Hamilton, OH, home, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with cleanup efforts. One of the first steps you can take is to prepare for the insurance adjuster’s visit once you have filed the claim. Knowing what you will need to make visit simple for the home adjuster can result in a faster payout and less stress for you as the homeowner.
3 Ways To Prepare for an Insurance Adjuster.
- Know What Paperwork You Will Need
Before you call a flood damage and water cleanup service to help with mitigation, call your insurance agent and ask him or her what kind of paperwork you will need to prepare for the adjuster’s visit. You may be able to download and print some forms from the provider’s website. Being well prepared can make the job simpler for your home adjuster and expedite the filing of your claim.
- Make a List of Losses
Before the adjuster arrives, you may want to make a list of all the items that were damaged or destroyed in the flood. Remember to include when you bought them, a copy of the receipt if available and whether any of them have been previously repaired. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for your adjuster to help you file your insurance claim.
- Make a Video Record
Thanks to smartphone technology, it is simpler than ever to take photos and recordings of any flood damage to your home. Document stains, cracks and new mold growth that might have resulted from standing water. Make copies of photos and ask where you can send your videos so your adjuster can review them if necessary. Remember to back up your videos in case you need them later.
Being prepared to talk to your insurance home adjuster after a flood damages your Hamilton, OH, residence can give you peace of mind. Working efficiently with this knowledgeable individual might result in a quicker insurance payout so you can get started on repairs right away.
The 4 Main Steps of the Mold Remediation Process
Mold test may be necessary
Step by Step Mold Cleanup Process
When people in Ross, OH, hear the term mold remediation for the first time, they often believe it is synonymous with mold removal. Unfortunately, it’s not. Mold and its spores are almost everywhere, which is natural. Special factors make them latch on to problem areas and grow in concentrated form. Because of this, remediation focuses on remedying the problem spots as opposed to claiming to remove spores for good. Here is the step-by-step mold cleanup process.
1. Check for Mold
When you call mold remediation specialists, the first thing they will do is check for mold. If you can already see black mold, then mold is definitely present. However, the specialist may need to identify the type of mold, as well as seek out other affected areas. If there is a moldy smell but you have not identified where it is, then a mold test may be necessary.
2. Seal the Area
Black mold spores can spread and lead to cross contamination, so once the problem areas are discovered, professionals may seal this off. It is best to schedule cleaning when the business is closed so as not to disrupt operations.
3. Clean Up the Mold
How professionals clean the area will depend on how bad the mold is and the type of mold. The type of surface will also need to be taken into consideration. For example, tiles can be wiped down with a biocide. However, drywall or wallpaper may need to be removed and replaced.
4. Use a HEPA Vacuum
HEPA vacuums help to clean up any additional spores that professionals may have missed. Remember that not all mold is visible, as these are microscopic organisms. Thus, the vacuum helps to ensure even the mold that cannot be seen with the naked eye is cleaned up from that area.
If the area is routinely damp and dark, then you may also want to consider using a dehumidifier and HEPA filter. These help to make the area less favorable for the growth of black mold.
How To Deal With Mold Damage After Flooding
Mold thrive in damp environments and is common in flood-damaged buildings
When your home in Trenton, OH, is affected by a flood, the excess moisture left behind can quickly lead to mold growth. The presence of mold can have a big impact on the health and safety of your household. Here are some steps you can take to address mold in your home after a flood.
What Should I Do First?
After the flood water has subsided, there is a handful of steps you should take immediately to minimize damage:
- Bring your items out to dry. You can do this by removing items from your house and moving them to an open area unaffected by the flood to give them the opportunity to dry.
- Air out your house. Opening doors and windows as well as strategically placing fans will increase air circulation and speed up the drying process.
- Remove moisture from your home. This will require using specialized equipment such as wet vacs and dehumidifiers to suck the moisture out of carpets and other surfaces to mitigate the growth of mold. Any standing water must be addressed immediately.
How Do I Identify Mold?
Mold thrives in damp environments and is common in flood-damaged buildings. If there is enough moisture present in the area, mold and bacteria are likely to flourish and multiply. Mold is commonly located in walls, carpets, and wood with high moisture levels.
Mold growth can be identified by a discoloration that can encompass a wide variety of colors. It may be orange, white, or greenish brown or black. There is also a characteristic odor that can be described as stale or earthy.
Should I DIY or Hire a Professional?
Acquiring the services of a professional flood restoration company is a good investment, especially considering the specialized equipment and level of expertise needed to address such a scenario. No matter what, whether you decide to DIY or hire a service, addressing mold in your home is a crucial step in ensuring your safety and comfort for years to come.
Mold growth waits for no one. By acting quickly and enlisting the help of qualified, experienced professionals, you can minimize the effect of unwanted water on your home.
4 Guidelines for Safe Fire Alarm Usage
Test your smoke alarm monthly
Fire safety is something children learn from a young age. Don't play with fire, stop drop and roll, and other common slogans may ring a bell. But for many homeowners, home fire safety comes with some glaring question marks. Do you know how to protect your Ross, OH, residence using best fire alarm practices? Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, proper installation, maintenance and use of your fire alert system can make a life-saving difference. The following four guidelines should be followed to keep your home and family safe from fire danger.
1. Install the Correct Number of Alarms
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a large estate, the National Fire Protection Association provides guidelines for installing smoke detectors in any sized dwelling. No matter the square footage, it is recommended that homes should have smoke alarms in each of the following places:
- Inside each bedroom
- Directly outside of sleeping areas
- Minimum of one on each level, including upstairs and downstairs
If your home is lacking the proper amount of detectors, look for easy-to-install models that can be adhered directly to the ceiling.
2. Replace the Batteries Regularly
Aside from avoiding those ear-piercing chips that come in the middle of the night, regular battery replacement is essential for safe operation of your fire alarm system. Battery replacement should be done one to two times each year to ensure your system is prepared for an incident involving smoke damage.
3. Replace Home Fire Alarms According to Manufacturer Directions
On average, your home fire detector has a life span of 8-10 years. Residents living in older structures should not overlook the fact that their alarms may be past the manufacturer guidelines for safety. If it's time to replace your alarms, don't fear. Most models can be found in the $10-$20 range making them very affordable.
4. Test Alarm Monthly
Finally, monthly testing of your fire alarm will help ensure that you have done your part to prepare for a possible house fire. Don't be caught unaware when your home and family are left with the aftermath of fire damage in Ross, OH.
How Do I Prevent Water Damage?
Experiencing a water loss can be an extremely traumatic experience for you and your family. That is why it is so important to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few things to think about, to be better prepared from a water loss.
Preparing for Water Damage
- Make sure that you are aware of where all of your shut off valves are located. These can be critical in minimizing damages if you have a pipe break in your home.
- Be sure to have all of your emergency contacts in your cell phone. This can include local city utilities, plumbers, electricians and any other service company. SERVPRO of West Hamilton/ Oxford is a 24/7 company so you are welcome to call us at anytime.
Although there are times where we can't prevent the worst in happening to our homes, the more we are prepared the better chance we have of minimizing the damages.
Water Damage From Extinguishing a Fire
Call professionals for assistance with water removal as soon as possible after the fire has been extinguished.
Water damage is not the first thing that comes to mind when a fire occurs, but if a fire is extinguished, there is a very high chance that your business could sustain substantial damage from water during the extinguishing process. After the fire hose is rolled up, and the firefighters leave, the effort to save your building’s structure from fire damage may leave your business flooded. For perspective, water usage for fire control is measured in gallons per minute, and it may take around 400gpm to control a fire in a small business. At this rate, water from a fire hose could fill an Olympic sized swimming pool in just over a day, which may seem like a long time, but this same task with a garden hose would take over 110 hours.
A Plan of Action
- The first thing to do when planning for fire damage restoration is to form a plan of action. This includes taking damage from water into account.
- Formulate a plan that details which items were too saturated with water to be restored and areas where water extraction may be required.
- Before reconstruction, find local Hamilton, OH, professionals who can use pumps and vacuuming equipment to evacuate excess water in your building.
- It is also necessary to dry, dehumidify, and sanitize the property after the majority of water has been removed. After this has been done, restoration of the areas affected by the fire can begin.
Restoring Your Business
Being prepared for the abundance of water that accompanies fire extinguishing can help your business get back on its feet sooner. Call professionals for assistance with water removal as soon as possible after the fire has been extinguished to prevent excessive damage from standing water. Proper attention to water removal after suffering fire damage is vital, and forming a plan of action can speed the process of restoring your business to pre-fire condition.
Having a Plan Can Save Your Life
Being prepared can make all the difference in the world in the event of a fire.
You might think that the fresh batteries in your smoke detectors are enough to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire. While working smoke detectors and batteries certainly are a must, without a fire escape plan, how will you and your loved ones know what to do when the smoke detectors go off? If disaster strikes, you need a plan you can set in motion immediately. There’s an old saying that schoolteachers like to use: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to have to think on your feet; instead, you want to be able to take action – and fast.
According to the American Red Cross, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to create your very own emergency escape plan, and to practice it regularly. Here are the key elements of this kind of plan:
- If your home includes bedrooms above ground level, think about purchasing escape ladders for these rooms. Ladders can be kept close to the window.
- Make sure everyone in your home knows more than one escape route from each room in the house.
- Teach your littlest family members to dial 9-1-1 in case of smoke or fire.
- Choose a meetup spot outside, and let everyone know where it’s located.
- Fire drills are not just for schools – practice your own fire escape plan until you complete the drill in two minutes or less.
- Rehearse your plan using realistic conditions, like practicing in the middle of the night and using a low crawl to help minimize possible smoke.
Comfort in Planning
Being prepared can make all the difference in the world in the event of a fire. However, having a plan won’t stop a fire from starting. If fire does strike your Hamilton, OH, home, you can rely on fire restoration professionals to help you clean up. In the meantime, you can feel confident that the creation and practice of your family’s fire escape plan will reduce the risk of harm to you and your family if you’re the victims of a house fire.
Workplace Escape Plans
The best time to plan your evacuation route is now
A fire drill is only one of the many types of workplace escape training procedure. Any number of disasters can necessitate the evacuation of a building, such as a severe thunderstorm or flood damage. Practice the correct methods so that you can maintain your calm in a serious situation.
1. Employer Responsibilities
OSHA and other agencies have guidelines for which businesses in Hanover Township, OH, much have an emergency action plan (EAP). If your workplace is large enough to require portable fire extinguishers or a fire suppression system, then you are probably responsible for devising an evacuation strategy. However, having marked exits and holding the occasional fire drill is only one element of an EAP. Other components include containing hazardous waste, alerting local authorities, and first aid availability.
2. Employee Knowledge
You can't assume that just because your EAP exists on company records that your employees will reliably be able to actualize it. Be sure to review individual response roles with the relevant staff, such as those who are trained in CPR. Make sure that all medical equipment is readily accessible. If any sensitive equipment needs to be shut down in an emergency, have those responsibilities clearly delegated. Should any flood cleanup be necessary, wait for qualified industry professionals and do not attempt to enter the building.
The panic of a crowd can sometimes be more dangerous than the fire or storm damage that lead to the evacuation. The most critical component of any EAP is the process that moves employees from danger to safety. Hold a flood, storm, or fire drill routinely. Ask your local fire department or police station to review your process and make recommendations. Record evacuation times and set targets for improvement.
Remember, a fire drill is only one part of a holistic action plan comprising all elements of your business. Stay prepared by making sure that the right people have the best available information.