Storm Preparedness-Protect Your Family
Protecting your family
- Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.
- Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded in cold weather.
- Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.
- Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
- Keep in your vehicle: - A windshield scraper and small broom - A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats - Matches in a waterproof container - A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna - An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.
- Service snow removal equipment before the winter storm season and maintain it in good working order.
- Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.
How Storm Damage Affects Your Business
What sort of damage can a storm do to my business?
Storm damage to property is common and can happen for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Buildings or goods damaged or destroyed by falling trees
- Roof tiles displaced by high winds
- Roofs or walls damaged by build-up of snow
- Walls being blown over
- Leaks caused by heavy rain
- Windows being broken by flying debris
- In extreme cases, roofs being blown off or whole buildings falling down in high winds
There are also many ways that storms can harm your profits or result in additional running costs, including:
- Storm-related power or communication cuts
- Access issues resulting from storm damage. For example, if weather conditions or a clean-up operation prevents customers or staff getting to or entering your premises
- Late or missed deliveries as a result of weather conditions
How do I know if I'm insured against storm damage?
How do I know if I'm insured against storm damage?
Each of the negative impacts listed below is covered by a different type of insurance – so it’s important to check whether your policy or policies include the right elements.
If your business premises are damaged, this will be covered by your buildings insurance policy.
If you rent the property your business operates in, this is your landlord’s responsibility.But, if you own the premises, you’ll need to take out a buildings insurance policy to be covered against storm damage.
Damage to equipment or stock
Anything contained in your business premises, but which are not part of the structure or permanent fixtures of the building, are covered separately by your contents insurance policy.
This covers your stock and any equipment you might have on the premises, including things like fridges, washing machines computers or IT servers.
As a general rule, any fixtures that you have fitted and paid for are your responsibility to insure or replace, whether you own or rent the premises.
Both buildings and contents insurance fall under the area of Commercial Property Insurance.
Stopping your business from operating
This is one of the main ways in which storms can impact your business. You can cover yourself against this risk by taking out business interruption insurance.It is often offered as an extra when you buy buildings or contents insurance and it covers lost earnings and increased running costs suffered as a result of the event
Water Pipe Leaked Flooding 4 Commercial Units
Who Opened The Flood Gates
We received a call from a commercial property Manager regarding 4 of his units that had been flooded, reason unknown.
SERVPRO arrived on the scene within an hour to find a few employees from the Salon emptying buckets of water and pushing water outside of the building using push brooms.
SERVPRO doing what we do best, sprung into action and started to mitigate the damage immediately.
At the end of the day we removed all the water, removed the base boards/flooring and set up equipment to start the drying process. Due to our quick response and hard work the Salon was able to take clients in less than 24hrs!
SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin has been serving its community since 2008 and looks forward to many more years to come!
How To Protect Your Commercial Property From Fire
Protecting your business from a fire hazard is crucial, because all of the money, time, and effort that you poured into the business has the potential of disappearing in one blaze. Even if fire safety is not one of the top priorities of your business, the law still expects you to meet minimum standards in this regard. Protecting against fire is more than the existence of a fire extinguisher and automatic water sprinkler. The overall design of your building will determine how resistant it is against a fire hazard. This design must be in accordance with the principles of Passive Fire Protection (PFP).
Building InfrastructureEnsure that your commercial building is made with fireproofing material, such as spray-on thin-film instumescents, endothermic materials, or concrete. There should also be fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, as well as smoke barriers. Walls should extend from a fire rated floor to a fire rated ceiling above and also reach into hidden spaces for complete protection. These barriers are designed to contain the spread of a fire. Fire doors and windows should be placed at the opening of a fire barrier to add to the resistance. You should also have the basic fire safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher.
Although this is also part of the infrastructure, it is worth exploring in greater detail as it is considered to be the first line of defence against a fire hazard. The fire alarm is what alerts everyone to the possible presence of a fire, and facilitates a timely evacuation. Your fire alarm should be maintained and inspected on at least an annual basis. There should also be regular fire drills to reinforce whatever fire drill protocols are in place.
Emergency Light and GeneratorsYou should have emergency generators that will kick in to supply power for lighting. These lights should clearly mark all emergency exits and make exit signs visible. These generators should be tested regularly as well.
Fire Safety ProtocolsThere should be a culture of fire safety among employees and all personnel should be familiar with safety policy and procedures with regards to fire. For example, all staff should be aware that fire exits should be kept clear at all times.
Fire ExtinguishersThe fire extinguisher is perhaps the most visible mark of fire safety, and the location and accessibility of the fire extinguisher will have a large impact on how effective it proves to be. Generally, a person should not have to travel more than 75 feet to reach a fire extinguisher.
Maintain ULC-listed Fire Alarm MonitoringThe fire alarm system is designed to notify occupants to get out of the building. On its own, it does not let the fire department know that an alarm has sounded. Maintaining fire alarm or sprinkler monitoring in conformance with CAN/ULC-S561 will ensure that you meet all applicable codes and the fire department is notified of any alarms that sound.
It is best to employ the services of an inspector to ensure that your equipment is in proper condition. If there are any defects you will be informed about it before it’s too late
The 7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire
The 7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire
Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
Teach 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 know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
If you do nothing else:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home
What to do
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
- Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
When in doubt it is better to be safe than sorry.Call your local SERVPRO office for free advice and/or help. Mold can cause serious illness!A simple phone call could be the difference between life or death.
- Reduce the humidity (see preceeding page)
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
- Increase air temperature.
Suspicion of Hidden Mold
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating hidden mold problems
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional.
Water Loss Classification
Class 1This is the easiest and usually least expensive to clean and repair. Only a section of a room is affected with very little wet carpeting. A typical Class 1 would be a small leak in a faucet. Class 1/Category 1 damage can often be repaired by a competent homeowner or a professional with very little expense.
Class 2Class 2 has affected an entire room, including the walls up to at least 12 inches. Moisture remains in the structure and will need cleanup as well as some repairs.
Class 3Class 3 has saturated the ceilings, walls, floors, and even subflooring and insulation. Usually, the moisture has come from above ? like a burst pipe.
Class 4Damage from long standing water falls in this class, like river flooding or storm surges from a hurricane. It has saturated materials such as stone, brick, and hardwood. These materials have low permeance ? meaning they do not soak up liquids quickly. Time is the primary factor in this category. With a higher cost of cleanup and repair, it is important to get problems diagnosed and solved as quickly as possible.
Preventing Water Loss/Damage
Preventing Water DamageThere are just as many preventions as there are causes. Being proactive in preventing water damage is usually less expensive than repairing damage after it happens.Keep the basement dry as it?s the most common place to find damage. Flooding, burst pipes, and even clogged gutters can cause leaks. Pitching the landscape, cleaning the gutters, and installing downspout extensions are simple outdoor fixes. From the inside, install a sump pump and water alarm. Have the basement inspected for waterproofing ? or have some installed.Cleaning a gutter and sloping the landscape can be a free, DIY activity if the necessary tools are available. Downspout extensions can cost as little as $50, depending on how many are needed. The savings are incredible considering basement cleanup and repairs can run upwards of $10,000. One of the simplest proactive steps is getting an annual plumbing inspection. These are often free or free with other services. The plumber will inspect all visible plumbing including fixtures, pipes, appliances, and drains. They diagnose and fix small problems before they become big ones. They can also tell you the best time to replace worn fixtures and appliances.