Why Set Up an ERP? (Part 1 of 2)
How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope, and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.
Review Insurance Coverage
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed, or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage, and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.
Why Set Up an ERP? (Part 2 of 2)
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Your employees and co-workers are your businesses' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during, and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.
Practice the Emergency Plan
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, consumers, and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant, or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.
Improve Cyber Security
Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.
What is the Most Common Damage After A Fire? (Part 1 of 2)
It’s usually not the actual fire that does the most damage to a home from a house fire. What causes the most damage to homes that suffered a fire is the smoke from the fire and the water from the firefighters. Below we will cover common damages that occur in a home after a fire.
Where You’ll Find Most Damage from a Fire
Obviously, you’ll find the most damage to a home at the source of the fire. In the case of a stovetop fire, this would be around the range hood, back wall, and ceiling above. In the case of a space heater igniting a curtain, the damage would be around the curtain and on the ceiling above the curtain.
While there will be flame damage right near the source, the majority of the damage will be from the smoke of the fire. If you’ve ever blown out a candle or roasted marshmallows over an open fire, you’ll know that smoke rises. When a fire occurs in your home, the smoke will also rise up and to the ceiling. If the fire is near a wall you might see discoloration up the wall with most of the discoloration right above the source of the fire on the ceiling.
As the fire continues to create more smoke, the smoke will spread across the ceiling and look for a place to escape and go higher. This could be up a stairwell or through ceiling vents. If the smoke has no place to go any higher, it will start to build up and start to come down closer to the floor like a fog. With smoke having the tendency to go up, this is why they say to get nearest to the ground when escaping a fire since there is usually less smoke.
The last area where you’ll most of the smoke damage from a fire is around windows and doors. As the smoke builds up in a house, it looks for the easiest place to escape outside. While this could be a chimney, smoke will also slip out through any cracks or drafts in windows and doors. In homes that suffer a lot of damage, you’ll usually find heavy discolorations around drafty doors and windows.
The Two Variables That Can Spread the Smoke Even Further
While we’ve discussed the typical behavior of smoke from a fire and where you’ll typically find the most damage, there are two variables that can change the behavior of the smoke and help carry it and the damage it causes even further throughout your home. The two things that can help spread the smoke even further are your ceiling fans and your central HVAC system. If your ceiling fans are on or your HVAC blower is on, then the smoke can be blown and carried throughout the house.
If your HVAC system is running then the smoke will most likely enter through the return vents and be spread throughout the duct system. This will not only carry the smoke and the smoke damage throughout the house, it will also cause smoke damage to your ducts. Your ducts might have dust throughout the system which can absorb the smoke meaning every time your air conditioner or heater turns on, you’ll smell the residual smoke for weeks and months after the fire. To remove the smoke from your ducts and HVAC system, you’ll need to have them professionally cleaned.
What is the Most Common Damage After A Fire? (Part 2 of 2)
Battling Discoloration and Odor from Smoke
As you’ve read above, the most damaging part of a fire is usually the smoke. Smoke can discolor any surfaces it comes into contact with. This can include ceilings, walls, and floors but also furniture, clothes, toys, and other household objects. The smoke can seep through every little tiny crack and space discoloring everything in its path.
The second thing that smoke can do to many surfaces of your home is leave an odor. While surfaces that are smooth and not porous can be cleaned easily, the smoke odor can easily embed into porous surfaces like fabric furniture, clothes, curtains, carpets, sheets, electronics and non-sealed wood.
How to Clean Up Fire and Smoke Damage
Cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, isn’t as easy as cleaning up a spilled glass of liquid off the floor. Due to the chemical properties of fire and smoke, removing the discoloration can be difficult if not impossible in some situations. Removing the smoke odor can be even more difficult especially when dealing with electronics, fabric furniture, carpeting, and clothes.
The best step to take if you should regrettably experience a fire in your Indianapolis-area home is to call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO have the knowledge and equipment to remove all the fire and smoke damage and restore your home to how it was prior to the fire. They are a trusted leader in the restoration industry that business owners and homeowners have turned to for years restore and repair their property.
Worried About Odor In Your Home From Water Damage?
Flood damage hits homes hard in various ways. Through flash floods, microburst storms, and hydrostatic pressure all bring water into the house. When storm damage happens, it must be removed as fast as possible to avoid permanent damage, mold and foul odors.
Groundwater may contain contaminants, and before coming into contact with it during flood damage cleanup in Calumet City- Lansing properties, SERVPRO technicians test the water to determine what they are dealing with so they choose the best methods for mitigation.
When a severe water loss occurs in your home, it is crucial to utilize a professional restoration service with local, certified technicians. SERVPRO team members are residents of the local community, and they work hard using their extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment to assist our friends and neighbors in limiting loss from floodwater.
Complete Drying Limits Odor
Controlled demolition is a standard action during cleanup of flood damage. This type of building materials removal is exacting and only takes out the damage and leaves sheetrock and flooring unaffected by water loss. The removal of buckled and warped sheetrock allows for more airflow during drying, which not only inhibits mold growth but also diminishes odors in the home.
Musty Odors May Indicate Mold
Because it requires warmth over 70F-degrees and high humidity levels to flourish, mold also has a tell-tale musty odor that gives away its presence. Technicians monitor water loss areas during and after the drying process to ensure that the air quality is well below sustainable levels for mold. Areas where they find mold growing are abated and treated with antimicrobial sealants to inhibit any return.
Removal of Residual Water Odors
After flooding in a home and complete drying, sometimes there are residual odors left behind. When antibacterial solutions do not eliminate it, SERVPRO technicians have a diverse array of odor neutralizing applications to use until they eradicate the scent from the property.
You do not have to live with continual reminders of the flood damage to your home. Contact SERVPRO of Calumet City- Lansing at 708-627-0077 and our team of certified professionals can make the water loss and odor in your home "Like it never even happened."
Environmentally Friendly Products Used By SERVPRO
SERVPRO wants you to know that we are doing our part to help our Planet. That is why we want you to know about our Green Cleaning Products.
SERVPRO® Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, SERVPRO® can access the listing known formally as Clean Gredients. The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. With the assistance of larger chemical companies the EPA/DFE has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations. From the listing a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green” chemistry. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials.
So, next time you see our Green Vehicles, you'll know we are doing our part to sustain our Environment
Emergency Preparedness Is For Everyone! Don't Wait!
Emergency preparedness is for everyone. The more basic preparedness needs that each family or individual can prepare for themselves, the less stress there will be placed on emergency management services. Summer storms, tornadoes and hurricanes often come with damaging winds and rain, and have similar preps even though they occur in different areas of the country. (Side note – the United States has more tornadoes each year than any other country, averaging over 1000 per year, but the United Kingdom has the highest number of tornadoes per unit of land area, per foreignpolicy.com). Everyone should take the time to make these basic emergency preparedness preps, no matter what region you live in. They may just save your life and the lives of those you care about.
Step One: Have An Emergency Preparedness Plan
Step Two: Prep Your Emergency Preparedness Essentials
Step Three: Prepare Your Home for Summer Storms and High Winds
What Happens When Your Power Goes Out? Do You Have A Plan?
Do You Have A Plan In Place If Your Power Goes Out? Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
You can call us to help if disaster strikes! We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."
When Is The Last Time You've Cleaned Your Dryer Vent?
Dryer vent cleaning prevents fires. If you live in SERVPRO of Calumet City- Lansing, you will want to make sure that your home or commercial property is completely safe. Whether by flooding, fire or some other mishap, there are plenty of ways that your property can be threatened. One of the best ways to ensure that you are prepared for a catastrophic emergency is always to have a local residential and commercial property cleanup and restoration service.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Prevents Fires
Keep your property from sustaining irreversible fire damage. Making sure your dryer vents are clean and free from obstruction will help keep your property safe from the possibility of a fire. It's also an excellent precaution to take to keep the air in the building from getting choked up with dust, lint and other health hazards that can accumulate in a dryer vent.
Get Help from a Local Cleanup and Restoration Service
It's up to you to contact an expert local cleaning and fire restoration service to ensure that your vents get cleaned in a correct and timely fashion. When you are in doubt as to whether the vents or other areas in your home are functioning correctly, a good, thorough cleaning is never a bad idea.
Even if it turns out that your property is not quite yet due for a full cleaning, a reputable local cleanup service can help such as removing any excess pollen or debris that has accumulated in the vents. This way, you can save a great deal of time, money and worry by taking timely preventative measures. Keeping the proper level of air quality in your home or commercial building will go a long way toward keeping the structure safe for your family or employees to inhabit. An expert local service will ultimately save you a great deal of time and stress.
Expert Help for Dryer Vent Cleaning Is Available
At SERVPRO of Calumet City- Lansing we know that dryer vent cleaning prevents fires. This is only one of the many services that we can provide for you to make sure that your home or commercial property will be safe against the event of an unforeseen mishap or emergency. If an emergency should befall your property, you'll want to call a service that can get to you in a prompt and timely manner.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
If you are in need of quick and efficient dryer vent cleaning, we're here to assist you. Call SERVPRO of Calumet City/Lansing today at 708-627-0077
Do You Know How To Properly Use A Fire Extinguisher?
All of us at SERVPRO hope you never have a fire. If the worst happens, we are experts in cleaning the damage left by smoke and fire in your home or office.
Fire extinguishers may help prevent fire damage or smoke damage, but only if you know how to use them.
SERVPRO wants to share these tips from FEMA. You can try to fight a small fire only if:
- You have alerted others in the building that there is a fire
- Someone has called the fire department
- You are physically able to use a fire extinguisher
- The fire is small and contained (like a wastebasket)
- You are safe from the fire’s smoke
- You have a clear escape route
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: SERVPRO suggests you remember PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle side to side.
If you see a small fire at your place of business or home, and you think you can take care of it yourself, use these tips above. If you have any worries, you and everyone should leave the building and call 9-1-1 when you are safe, outside.