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Fire Safety for Kids

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Fire safety

A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible cautions in your home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.            

Prevent Your Child from Starting Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year as the result of children playing with fire.

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of your child’s reach. Only use lighters with child-resistant features.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your child knocking over a candle.
Help Your Child Survive a Fire
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. 
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button. 
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
  • Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside..
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Emphasize “get out, stay out.” Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
  • Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
  • Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows. 
  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Pet Fire Safety

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pet Fire Safety Protect your pets

Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable.

  • The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
  • When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
  • In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.

Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Help Firefighters Help Your Pets

  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

5 Tips to Prevent Mold & Mildew in your Commercial Business

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Why should you worry about mold or mildew in your building? Over time some mold may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold or mildew growth in your business.

#1: Clean Out the Refrigerator

It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Over time, it can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.

#2: Look for and Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.

#3: Keep It Clean

It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold and mildew growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.

#4: Clean out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent growth.

#5: Take Care of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

Beating COVID-19 One Step At A Time

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning for your business "Like it never even happened."

COVID-19 has hit multiple businesses in many different ways. Some are slowly beginning to re-open, while others have closed their doors for good. Here at SERVPRO of West Concord, we are committed to getting your business as clean as possible. The first step to keeping you safe, is to keep our workers safe as well. Before we clean your infected or possibly infected area, we ensure that each of workers are wearing the following:

-Facial protection (at minimum a N-95 respirator)

-Nitrile gloves

-Protective eye wear

After we are properly equipped with the required gear, we move on to the next step, the cleaning process. When dealing with a virus like COVID-19, it is crucial to pay extra attention and be thorough with our procedures. 

Some materials cannot be cleaned with detergent and water without being damaged. Cleaning methods typically used on water sensitive materials such as vacuuming or dry sponging would not be capable of removing enough soil and residue to be effective. Carpets can be sanitized with SERVPROXIDE, and other porous materials like rugs, upholstered items, and draperies can be wet cleaned using a Hot Water Extraction and rinse method. 

ServpOXIDE is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against similar viruses like SARS-CoV-2. It is EPA-approved, and proper PPE use is of the utmost importance. 

All tools and supplies are properly cleaned and disinfected to ensure there is no potential contamination to other parts of the structure. 

We want your business to be back on its feet in no time, trust us with your cleaning precaution needs. Please call us at (925) 681-9093 to answer any of your COVID-19 cleaning related questions. 

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Business

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Every business owner knows about risk; after all, starting a business is a risk in and of itself. Yet many business owners fail to consider the real possibility that they could be affected by disaster at any time, often when they least expect it. In fact, many commercial properties in the area have had water damages, which have negatively impacted businesses in several ways.

  1. Electronics can be destroyed. It’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that any affected electronics will likely be either faulty or unusable. Depending on your company’s reliance on technology, this can be an expensive blow to your operations. If you have important files, be sure to regularly back them up.
  1. Important documents can be ruined. Although most businesses have switched to digital records, we’ve found that many still have paper documents lying around the office. Unless you’ve already scanned these documents, water can cause documents to deteriorate and become effectively useless. Fortunately, our team has the ability to preserve wet documents, depending on the amount of damage.
  1. Mold can begin growing. Mold can be a major problem for any business. It can cause health issues, structural damage, and damage to your furniture and belongings. If water damage isn’t addressed quickly and thoroughly, it can encourage mold growth, which can occur in as quickly as 24-48 hours.

Water damage can do a number on your business, which is why it’s important you’re prepared if and when it occurs. If you do have water damage, you need to call professionals immediately. Our team at SERVPRO of West Concord is always available at 925-681-9093.

Tips to Prevent Mold in Your Commercial Business

10/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.

Take Care of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

Clean out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.

Turn on the AC/Dehumidifier

Leaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.

Look for and Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to o unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak. 

Disaster Recovery: Need to Know Facts for Small Business Owners

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Natural disasters have an enormous impact on small businesses, especially start-ups and cash-only businesses. The livelihood of both the owner and employees are jeopardized, an a plan must be in place to protect all parties involved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% of small businesses fail to re-open after a natural disaster. With preparation, you can greatly increase the chance of your business recovering.

An emergency plan should be formed when the business is formed. Insurance becomes a key component of this plan, requiring careful consideration of all assets and deciding on the best insurance policy. For example, will natural disaster or looting insurance be included or added on later? Use the following steps as a guide to develop a post-disaster plan to keep your business running after an emergency.

  • Follow up with employees: Address their concerns, and note if they are able to find temporary work or aid in the recovery process.
  • Develop a communication strategy: Delegate someone trusted to communicate with disaster relief services, suppliers, and financial institutions
  • Keep your data safe: Have a back-up of your business' files in multiple locations. Consider cloud based services since the data is stored remotely and can be accessed from multiple devices.
  • Seek a restoration expert: Restoration companies such as ours will come to your aid to listen to your concerns, minimize loss, fix damages, and find the best value out of your insurance coverage.
  • File an insurance claim: Examine policy and make sure there are no gaps. Also ask the questions, "Are additional damages covered? What are my deductibles?"
  • Disaster loan assistance: There are various government agencies and organizations that can help your business recover. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn about their Disaster Loan Program to help fix property and restock supplies.

Preparation is vital to recovering from any disaster; no one is immune. With the right plan, your chance of re-opening will increase significantly. SERVPRO of West Concord is ready to answer your call and restore your small business back to new.

Getting Prepared for Bad Weather

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners control many things, but weather isn’t one of them. Be it a snow storm, heavy rain or flooding, sooner or later, bad weather is bound to cause an inevitable hiccup in your business. Are you ready? The time to prepare is not when the forecast predicts a hurricane. Check out these ways to prepare your business for bad weather in West Concord long before it shows up.

Create a Bad Weather Plan

Surprisingly, while business owners make a written plan for many things, weather isn’t always one of them. But bad weather can create a perfect storm of issues, from pipe burst issues to logistical problems. Before those worst cases scenarios become realities, come up with a plan for how to operate in bad weather. It should cover

  • Who will communicate with employees in a weather crisis
  • Evacuation or shelter
  • What the overall business weather policy is

There are times when weather poses immediate danger. One example is if a snow storm leads to a fallen tree or debris that damages part of your facility. Having a plan for leaving the building is ideal for such scenarios. Outline the route employees should take to safety and have appropriate maps to ensure everyone knows how to get out. After your employees, protecting your building is the next priority. Invest in backup generators to keep critical devices running and safe while you’re out of the office for bad weather. If flooding is expected, gather sandbags for doors and windows and consider moving furniture and electrical equipment to higher levels to prevent water damage. Whether your business is devastated or merely derailed by a snow storm or other bad weather depends a lot on how well you prepare. Use these tips as a starting point for facing bad weather and storm damage with ease.

What is a Small Business Fire Safety Plan?

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

If a fire breaks out in your office, responding promptly and effectively can keep your employees safe and prevent damage to the premises and valuable equipment. As a business owner responsible for the safety of your employees, drawing up and sharing a fire safety pan with your team and your city fire protective service is essential.

As a general rule, a fire safety plan provides relevant information about a building’s layout, its fire protection systems and equipment, and its emergency evacuation procedures. If you don’t own the building, the owner should hopefully have a fire plan that you can review and adapt for your business. However, to ensure you’re following best practice, contact your local fire prevention department for a template or guidelines.

The plan should include floor plans that show evacuation routes from each floor, along with fire exits, places of refuge and external meeting points. An additional floor plan designed to aid the fire department should show fire protection systems, and include a description of the building, along with potential access issues for fire fighters. The plan should also specify how the fire alarm system operates and whether it communicates directly with your local fire service as well as the nature of fire protection equipment, such as extinguishers and sprinklers, and the location of standpipe and hose systems. There are normally additional requirements for tall buildings and industrial units.

An important element of your plan is an up-to-date list of your staff, contractors and visitors on site, enabling an audit in the event of a fire. This list can also indicate team members with specified fire safety responsibilities. To ensure all employees are aware of your fire safety plan and what to do if they discover a fire, make this part of on boarding, and carry out regular drills help ensure all your employees become familiar with evacuation routes.

Putting together a fire safety plan might feel like a chore, but there are no short cuts when it comes to safeguarding your people and your livelihood. A well- thought-out plan gives everyone peace of mind and helps the fire service do its job effectively.

What are Common Pieces of Equipment Used During Mold Remediation

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

There are a variety of tools and equipment that are often needed during mold removal and remediation. Common protective gear used during remediation can include:

  • Goggles that protect the eyes
  • Hair masks
  • Disposable gloves and disposable shoe coverings
  • Coveralls
  • Masks that filter out most mold spores

Why Does the Equipment Matter?

Mold spores aren’t visible to the naked eye, but they can still be hazardous. Protective gear helps to ensure the person involved in the mold remediation process remains safe. Wearing improper equipment and then moving the equipment to an area in your home that isn’t affected by mold can actually increase the spread of the spores. For this reason, disposable equipment is often used.

If you’re dealing with mold growth in your home or business call SERVPRO of West Concord! We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (925) 681-9093.