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3 Tips for Conducting Workplace Emergency Drills

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

The International Fire Code recommends having a fire drill every 90 days

3 Tips for Conducting Workplace Emergency Drills

You probably participated in a fire drill when you were in school. Well, disaster drills are just as important for businesses in Vermilion County. An unexpected event, such as a fire, severe storm or flood can stir up a lot of fear, panic, and chaos. Conducting drills conditions your workers to react properly under these stressful conditions. Below are a few tips to keep your plan running smoothly.

1. Implement a Schedule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends regular drill sessions because it's the best way to prepare employees for an unexpected event. The number of drills your company needs to conduct can vary based on the following factors:

  • Employee turnover rates
  • Employee schedules
  • Workplace risk factors
  • State laws
  • Local municipality laws or codes
  • Industry-specific guidelines

For example, there are recommendations for fire drills. The International Fire Code recommends having a fire drill every 90 days. 

2. Keep the Drill Unpredictable

There are two types of crisis drills: planned and unplanned. The former is less disruptive to employee workflow and productivity. While it's more convenient, it's not the most effective approach. Often employees don't take planned drills seriously. On the other hand, an unannounced drill keeps staff on its toes. With this approach, employees are more likely to find the best and safest building exits during a real-life catastrophe.

3. Evaluate Each Drill

You can learn a lot from conducting post-drill evaluations. You can see what worked. You can identify problem areas. From there, you can devise an effective solution. Ongoing testing provides valuable feedback that helps employees remain safe during and after a crisis. 

Stay Prepared

A workplace fire drill (or another disaster drill) enhances employee safety. Practicing evacuations on a regular basis helps them remain calm when seeking safety in the midst of an unexpected disaster. Whether it’s a crisis ranging from a fire to a flood, you want to restore daily business operations as quickly as possible. You can do that with emergency restoration services in Vermilion County.

SERVPRO of Vermilion County - (217)443-0077

Don't Delay Get OUT of Fire's Way!

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to commercial buildings mistakes are never an option. Commercial building owners should go the extra mile to protect their properties from any sort of damage that could occur. Here are a few tips to protect your building and the people in them.

Alarms

Fire and smoke alarms are the first defense for commercial buildings when a fire occurs.

Dos include:

  • Ensuring the alarm system is regularly inspected in line with regulation
  • Maintaining documentation surrounding alarm activity and maintenance
  • Testing your alarm system regularly to ensure proper function
  • Creating an action plan for building residents for when the alarm is set off

Don’ts:

  • Downplaying or brushing off the need to have regular maintenance and testing for your fire alarm system

Extinguishers and Suppression Systems

Extinguishers can be used by individuals to manage small fires while suppression systems can help prevent serious damage on a larger scale.

Dos:

  • Conducting regular tests to ensure proper function and pressure
  • Scheduling routine maintenance through contractors
  • Storing extinguishers in a clear and open space that makes them easily accessible
  • Providing proper training for occupants

Don’ts:

  • Putting off regularly scheduled inspections and tests to ensure function
  • Neglecting to train occupants on proper extinguisher use and handling
  • Keeping extinguishers in an area that is cluttered, difficult to get to, or where heat is constantly present

 Lighting

In the case of emergencies like a fire, emergency lighting sources should be available in order to provide occupants with a safe pathway from the building.

Dos:

  • Installing lighting throughout the building to provide effective light in all occupied areas
  • Scheduling regular maintenance and inspection

Don’ts :

  • Failing to install proper lighting
  • Neglecting to have regular maintenance and inspection

SERVPRO of Vermilion County is always here to help you in your time of need. Reach out to us 24/7 at (217)443-0077, we can make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Ceiling Tile Discoloration: Culprits and Causes

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on ceiling tile can indicate a bigger problem.

Imagine it, you’ve found the perfect home for your business, with just one or two pesky discolored ceiling tiles. It’s not a big deal, right? Not quite. Beyond being unsightly, ceiling tile discoloration can have serious causes, from water damage to tile mold. Before you overlook a stain or two, learn some of their top causes in Minot ND.

About Ceiling Tiles

Dropped tile ceilings are a common go-to for many commercial buildings across the country. Reasons include:

  • Affordability
  • Easy removal for access to HVAC and electrical system
  • Clean, simple appearance

Drop tiles can create a pleasant, conservative look but can quickly take on a downright ugly appearance when they become stained. Here are some of the reasons that happen.

Age
Dropped tile ceilings have been popular for decades and in some buildings, have been in place for that long. The older the tiles the more likely they’ve been exposed to cigarette smoke and other pollutants. The result can be a darker color that may be impossible to get rid of.

Water Damage
Brown spots are often the biggest giveaway to a leak somewhere above the tile. They often start small and radiate outward over time. Beyond being an eyesore, these spots often signal bigger problems like tile mold, and should never be ignored.

Lighting
The ultraviolet light so common in offices is not great for ceiling tiles. Over time, tiles exposed to UV rays can take on a sickly hue that isn’t very attractive. 

From water leaks and tile mold to harsh light, there are lots of things that can trigger tile discoloration. When you see tile discoloration, it’s worth the time and money to replace the tile. Because tile mold can spread, if you suspect water damage is the culprit, make sure you consult a mold remediation company like SERVPRO. It could save you expense and headaches in the long run. 

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County for all your emergency service needs 24/7 at (217)443-0077. We are always here to help make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

What Does a Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial storm damage in Vermilion County

What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?

Whether your business is big or small, new or old, property insurance is something you need. Despite how far reaching these policies are, there are important things that they don’t cover. Do you know the difference? Learn more about what commercial insurance can cover and how it benefits your Vermilion County, business.

Commercial policies are known for covering your building and all its contents, as well as things immediately outside of it. That list is long and can include:

  • Computers
  • Inventory
  • Furniture
  • Signs

But for all the things they do cover, these policies have many things they don’t cover. Knowing what those are can be important to avoiding complications following a disaster.

Weather Damage

Some commercial insurance policies limit coverage of damage caused by things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Policies that do provide such coverage may have limitations, such as not covering outdoor property such as company vehicles or fences. It’s generally worthwhile to check your policy if you’re in a weather disaster-prone area.

Disaster Cleanup

Commercial property insurance typically is meant to float a company through a great loss, natural or manmade. But that doesn’t always mean it will cover the costs of cleaning, rebuilding, repairing, and such following the loss. Discuss what is covered and isn’t with regards to mitigation and remediation well in advance of a disaster so you don’t get a rude awakening. 

Outdoor Property

Most policies limit their coverage to items inside the building, but some will cover property up to a certain distance away. This can be critical when it comes to damage to satellite dishes, fences, signs and other outdoor property.

Bills from fire damage or another business catastrophe can be enough to send a commercial property under. But the story doesn’t have to end that way. Learn the ins and outs of commercial insurance policies, and you’ll know what to look for to protect your business. 

SERVPRO of Vermilion County - (217)443-0077

The Stress-Free Guide to Flushing a Water Heater

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flushing a water heater in Vermilion County

When is the last time you flushed your water heater? It’s nice to think of it minding its own business and working perfectly with no assistance. However, as the unit operates, it will likely become clogged with debris and minerals that can shorten its lifespan. The best maintenance practice for this household staple is to perform a water heater flush every few years, especially if you have hard water in Vermilion County.

No Rush, Just Flush

Here is a cheat sheet to keep handy as you flush your water heater.

1) Establish whether you have a gas or electric unit. If it’s gas, turn off the thermostat, then the gas valve. If it’s electric, switch off the heater’s power breaker. 
2) Find the cold water supply valve; switch it off. 
3) Run a hot water tap in a sink to keep water flowing through the pipes.
4) Find the pressure relief valve. Place a basin underneath and carefully open the valve, avoiding the hot water discharge. 
5) While the water in the tank cools, set up a garden hose with one end in a large bucket.
6) Once the water is cool, connect the hose to the tank’s drainage spigot. Turn on the spigot and watch the water that emerges in the bucket until it is sediment-free and clean. 
7) Flush! Turn on the cold water supply valve into the tank. Let the water run until the hose water runs clean again. 
8) When you are satisfied with the water quality, start reassembling everything. Turn off the drainage, remove the hose, and close the pressure relief valve again. Wait until the tank is full again from the cold water supply; once it is, open the pressure relief valve. Check another sink in the house to let out any air. Either turn the gas back on and light the pilot light or flip the breaker switch back on. In half an hour, check your sinks for hot water. 

Congratulations! You have successfully flushed your water heater. Clean up, cross the task off your to-do list and relax this weekend. Don't feel like taking these steps yourself? You can always enlist the help of professional water restoration services.

SERVPRO of Vermilion County - (217)443-0077

Fire Damage Specialists

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

No one ever expects horrible things to happen inside their beautiful home.  House fires are something that most people think will never happen to them.  However, mishaps do take place, and one day it is possible that you have a fire inside your home.

Accidents happen, and many people find themselves in a situation where a minor fire starts in their home. If this ever happens to you, it's a good idea to call SERVPRO of Vermilion County's fire damage experts.  Some people have small fires start inside their home, and they can quickly put it out. 

However, even though you may not see an excessive amount of burn damage where the fire started it is still wise to call in SERVPRO of Vermilion County to inspect the damage.  Many times a fire causes damage that is not in the exact area of the source of the blaze.  When a fire burns, it creates an excessive amount of smoke that spreads to all areas of your home.

The smoke a fire produces can cause a surprising amount of damage.  It can cause soot residue to build up on surfaces not close to where the fire started.  A fire started in one room could possibly create odors that are present in other areas of your home.  A fire sometimes embeds an unpleasant burn smell into contents inside your home.

Any of these issues, if not treated correctly, might result in permanent damage to your home.  When you call in the professionals, it is now up to them to figure out every area of fire or smoke damage may have affected.  Our staff is highly skilled at diagnosing in every unique situation.  Our experienced team knows how to find things that get ruined in the most unexpected places.  Our team also knows the best procedures and practices we can use to mitigate the problem.

We are IICRC certified and skilled in all areas of fire damage restoration.  Our team uses the best equipment available in the industry to remove damage caused by the fire. 

3 Items To Toss Away After a House Fire

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Items inside your Vermilion County, home can be affected by fire in different ways.

When a fire affects your Vermilion County, home, you may be left wondering how to restore your valued belongings and what to throw away. While circumstances vary, there are a few possessions that may need to be tossed to ensure the safety of your family. As you work to return your home to normal, there are several common household items you should consider replacing once they have endured a fire. 

1. Medicine

The effectiveness of some medicines may be impacted once they have been exposed to high heat. When you can re-enter your home safely, check your medicine cabinet or other areas where you store prescription medications. If the plastic bottles appear warped or have been exposed to fire extinguisher dust, they should be thrown away. Ask your pharmacy about replacement options and whether you can be compensated for lost meds. 

2. Cosmetics

When some cosmetics suffer fire damage, they may no longer be safe to apply to your skin. Any cosmetics left out on vanities or dressers in rooms affected by the fire should be disposed of, as they might be coated with soot or ash that is difficult to see. It’s better to err on the side of caution, even if you take a loss on what you spent for your makeup. 

3. Canned Foods 

While you may be able to sanitize canned foods after a flood, fire and extreme temperatures can change the contents in ways that water cannot. Inspect your pantry’s contents carefully and throw away cans, dried goods and packages that have been visibly burned, appear warped or are coated with dried extinguisher foam. 

Items inside your Vermilion County, home can be affected by fire in different ways. Knowing what to throw away after a blaze can protect your family from the possible contaminants that may be lurking in everyday items. For more information, visit https://www.SERVPROvermilioncounty.com/

Do You Have a Water Loss Emergency Plan For Your Vermilion County Retail Store?

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO to develop a comprehensive Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP) for a water disaster.

Ensure a Fast Professional Response to Commercial Water Damage in Vermilion County with a SERVPRO Emergency Response Plan

Risk anticipation and a plan to minimize harm are smart moves for retail shop owners in Manhattan. Businesses work hard to attract and retain loyal customers. Disastrous circumstances such as flooding or other water loss can drive loyal clients of your goods and services to another source if you are unprepared. The results our trained and well-equipped work crews achieve when we are familiar with your business layout and operations can have you back on track quickly. 

Water damage in your Vermilion County shop can trace to many different causes. Plumbing lines can break, appliance hoses or connections can crack or dislodge, and neighboring business or residential tenants in the same or adjoining building can create water emergencies that affect your space. Your sales floor, storerooms, offices, and other areas all can suffer damage. Inventory, equipment, and documents risk ruin. 

You have backup strategies for other aspects of your business. SERVPRO can help you develop a comprehensive Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP) for a water disaster. The more we know about the physical layout of your store, the location of utility lines, and how you conduct your operations, the better we can serve your needs if a water crisis exposes you to loss. 

An experienced SERVPRO Marketer assesses your space. We create a digital “footprint” of all the space you occupy, evaluate the water loss vulnerabilities of equipment and goods in all areas, and discuss your operations to gain a firm grasp of how your business works. We make suggestions to limit the impact of an unexpected water event, including effective ways to shield inventory, documents, and the tools of your trade before water intrudes. 

You personalize the ERP by using our mobile app to add essential details to the overall plan. Identify and provide contact information for vendors and contractors who sold or leased equipment or developing systems for your shop. Designate trusted employees to act in your stead if water damage occurs when you are unavailable. Make it clear you choose SERVPRO to provide emergency water damage mitigation so we can respond immediately. 

SERVPRO of Vermilion County protects your business best if we arrive at your water loss scenario with an easily accessible digital plan. Call us at (217) 443-0077 to prepare jointly to be Faster to any size disaster.   

How To Handle Water Dripping From Your Light Fixture

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water in light fixtures can be a scary sight

How To Handle Water Dripping From Your Light Fixture

If you’ve ever seen water in light fixtures on your ceiling, you know it can set off a panic. Everyone knows electricity and water do not mix, so it requires immediate action. The following steps can guide you through the process and keep everyone safe in your Vermilion County, home.

1. Turn Off the Electricity and Water

Do not touch the light fixture; instead, the first step is to turn off your electricity. Water conducts electricity, and there is a real risk of shock or even a fire when water surrounds electric wiring. Assuming water is coming from an unknown or external source (such as rain from a leaky roof), turn off your home’s water supply. This will help you contain the leak and prevent further ceiling damage.

2. Call the Professionals

It can be tempting to try a do-it-yourself approach when you notice water in light fixtures, but it’s really a job for professional water and restoration specialists. You, of course, will need someone to address the plumbing issue or leaking roof; however, you also must make sure to fully dry the area to prevent mold damage. A ceiling is a difficult place to dry out yourself, and it can appear dry while still hiding moisture.

3. Prevent Future Problems

If you’ve had ceiling damage from a burst pipe, your focus after cleanup should be on how to prevent it from happening in the future. If the leak was caused by pipes freezing and bursting, you can avoid this by keeping one or two faucets slowly dripping in extremely cold temperatures. Try to keep the home the same temperature at night as it is during the day, and open kitchen or bathroom cabinets to allow warm air in. Professionals can also help reduce water pressure and soften water, which both help relieve stress on pipes.

Water in light fixtures can be a scary sight. Make sure to shut off electricity and water and call professionals to help clean it up. You also can take several steps to prevent future problems to help make the situation more manageable.

Call SERVPRO of Vermilion County for all your emergency service needs. Reach out to us 24/7 at 443-0077. We are always here to help you in your time of need to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

How Professionals Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue From Your Manhattan Apartment

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire suppression systems requires special cleanup.

Restoring Fire Suppression Damages in Your Vermilion County Apartment

Over range, fire suppression systems are becoming more and more common throughout Vermilion County homes and properties to reduce the fast spreading nature of kitchen flare-ups. While these might quickly put out a potential fire, it does not happen without damages and a mess of its own to face. Powder suppression can spread the extinguishing material throughout the affected area, and when coupled with smoke and soot damage from the small fire, can become problematic to overcome without the right training and equipment.

After a small kitchen flare-up that engaged the suppression system, you get your first look at the fire damage in your Vermilion County property. Residues from powder, smoke, and soot affect many of the surfaces in the immediate area and cleaning these as promptly as possible can reduce the possibility of staining. If the damage stays primarily contained within the kitchen, our SERVPRO team can isolate this area with the use of thick plastic sheeting and other containment strategies.

The wipe down process can reduce and eliminate a large portion of this residue from surfaces within the affected areas. Quickly cleaning these damaged surfaces can help to reduce the possibility of requiring replacement of certain materials by protecting and preserving cabinets, appliances, flooring, ceilings, and even the HVAC system if soot, smoke, and residual powder get pulled into the ductwork.

Lingering odors are another problem that property owners face after a kitchen fire. Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced equipment like our hydroxyl generators that can help to significantly reduce or permanently eliminate noxious odors throughout this kitchen area. The containment that isolated this affected region of your home can help to ensure the effectiveness of the deodorizing equipment.

Powder suppression systems can sometimes cause more of a mess than smaller fires that they work to prevent. Whether you need cleanup or a full restoration to your fire-damaged structure, our SERVPRO of Vermilion County restoration technicians can help.

Our rapid response team is available 24/7 by calling (217) 443-0077. We always help you in your time of need, "Like it never even happened."