What To Do Before, During and After a Power Outage
Whatever the reason for a power outage, such occurrences disrupt the natural flow of work
How To Mitigate This Type Of Unexpected Disturbance
It is always inconvenient when your company in Mentone, CA, experiences a power outage during a storm. Besides lost work and halted productivity, it may be an indication of flood damage, in which case a commercial water restoration professional will be necessary to repair the fallout.
Before an Outage
Prepare your business for a power loss by:
- Acquiring and learning how to operate a portable generator
- Checking your emergency backup system, so that exit signs and smoke alarms continue to work under any scenario
- Installing surge protectors on electronic equipment, especially computers
- Instructing employees to avoid elevators during power losses
Also, recognize the difference between brownouts and blackouts. While a brownout is merely a reduction in power, a blackout is more serious. Knowing which power outage scenario you are suffering from will be helpful when contacting a service technician.
During an Outage
After electricity halts, immediately get in touch with your energy provider. Report anything of note, such as downed power lines or burning smells. Utilities have designated lines for reporting malfunctions. Post these numbers near every landline and into each portable phone.
Unplug all electronic equipment to prevent surges. When they happen, data loss and fires often result, so play it safe. Make it possible to remain on top of time-sensitive issues, even when PCs are unavailable, by establishing a system of wireless hotspots.
Keep your refrigerator door closed until power has returned. This prevents cold air from escaping and spoiling food. Pack a cooler with dry ice to keep consumables safe over longer periods.
After an Outage
Before switching anything on, confirm that power has been restored. Next, check all equipment for breakage and safely shut down your generator. Tally any losses you have incurred and submit them to your insurance.
Whatever the reason for a power outage, such occurrences disrupt the natural flow of work. Follow the above guidelines to mitigate this type of unexpected disturbance.
How To Create an Effective Escape Plan
Rehearsing an evacuation can help minimize confusion during a real fire
How To Create A Fire Escape Plan Before Hand
A fire can come quickly and leave you with little time to prepare. It is essential to create a fire escape plan beforehand because a fire can create chaos and confusion within your workplace. In the event a fire threatens your business in Redlands, CA, make sure your employees know the plan to get out safely.
Delegate Roles and Responsibilities
In a crowded office, it can be easy for things to get chaotic during any type of emergency. Gathering your employees and delegating responsibilities helps ensure that there is order and a chain of command during a fire.
Consider assigning responsibilities such as:
- A chief and assistant fire warden to organize and execute your emergency escape plan
- Route guides to help others get to escape routes safely and ensure paths are clear
- Floor monitors to verify all employees are out of the office before evacuating themselves
Designate someone to keep numbers on hand for important services such as insurance and a fire restoration company to help get your employees back to work as quickly as possible.
Create More Than One Route
Your building should have more than one way to safety in the event that one exit is blocked or otherwise unsafe. Consider having a primary and secondary route out of the building and have them clearly marked to avoid confusion during a fire.
Print out office maps that show escape routes and keep them easily accessible around the office so that employees can familiarize themselves with the routes. Your fire escape plan should also pinpoint a place where employees will gather outside.
Practice Your Plan
When it comes to preparing for an emergency, practice makes perfect. Rehearsing an evacuation can help minimize confusion during a real fire.
Drills should be annual or semi-annual and should go over both primary and secondary routes. You may also want to plan for other unforeseen circumstances to make sure you're as prepared as possible.
Keeping your employees alert and prepared for the possibility of a fire can make all the difference if disaster strikes. Create an effective fire escape plan for your business to make sure everyone stays safe during an emergency.
How To Limit Your Business Interruption Expenses After a Flood
Start by purchasing business interruption insurance for your business
A large water damage to your Yucaipa, CA, property can be expensive. Obviously, severe flooding can harm your assets and destroy valuable documents.
Yet the potential impact does not stop there. Floods may also force you to temporarily shut down your building for repairs. This, in turn, could cost you profits. Following a flood, you may also have trouble with basic operating expenses such as payroll and rent. Luckily, there are ways to limit the business interruption losses that your company sustains.
Get Business Interruption Insurance
Start by purchasing business income insurance. This insurance compensates you for financial losses your company suffers due to various emergencies. You can use this insurance for assistance with:
- Loan payments
- Employee payroll
- Rent, lease and mortgage payments
- Lost net income
If you want even more protection, consider adding an endorsement to your business interruption policy. For instance, a dependent properties endorsement covers damage to buildings you utilize but do not own. Examples include your business' buyers, manufacturers and suppliers.
Flooding may also lead to additional charges that are not covered under typical insurance policies. You may need to rent a temporary office, hire more employees or lease additional equipment. Extra expense insurance covers these and other similar costs. You can include this insurance as part of your business owner's or commercial property policies.
Restore the Property Quickly
The longer your building remains out of service, the greater your business's interruption loss. If you do suffer a broken pipe or similar emergency, you need a water damage restoration company that can dry and repair the property as soon as possible.
Business interruption insurance is an essential purchase for any company owner. This insurance is particularly vital for properties that are at high risk of flooding. You can further mitigate business interruption losses by purchasing endorsements and making sure all post-flood repairs are completed promptly.
5 Storm Preparation Tips for Residential Properties
Put together an emergency response kit for your household
Tips To Protect Your Home And Family From Severe Weather
Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your home in Mentone, CA, from severe weather, floodwater and other types of water damage. Planning ahead and making sure you're prepared before a storm hits is key to reducing flood damage and keeping your family safe. Follow the tips below to help protect your home and family from severe weather.
1. Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Craft a clear emergency response plan for your family that is easy to follow. Make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do in the case of a severe storm. Make time to regularly discuss and practice this plan, especially if your local weather channel predicts an incoming storm.
2. Pay Attention to Local Emergency Alerts.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can provide reliable, real-time updates regarding the storm. Make sure everyone in your household signs up for this system so that you can stay updated on new developments.
3. Waterproof and Relocate Valuable Items.
Any valuable possessions that are unlikely to survive a flooded building need to be sealed in waterproof containers and relocated to high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood water level. This includes important documents, electronic devices and other important possessions that are susceptible to water damage.
4. Trim Back Tree Branches.
Severe winds can quickly turn overgrown tree branches into dangerous projectiles. You can help prevent tree limbs from crashing into your property by trimming back any branches that are growing too close to your home.
5. Build an Emergency Supply Kit.
Put together an emergency response kit for your household containing valuable necessities. Suggested items to stock include, but are not limited to, batteries, bandages, non-perishable foods, blankets, a battery-powered radio and a flashlight.
Rising floodwater, dangerously high winds and heavy rains can all inflict devastating damage on your property if you aren't prepared. Contact flood remediation experts if your home has suffered damage from a recent storm or flood.
How To Make Sure Your Insurance Provider Accepts Your Water Damage Claim
Bursting pipes are a common cause of water damage in homes
Making Sure Your Claim Is Accepted
Bursting pipes are a common cause of water damage in homes. When the weather gets cold, the water inside the pipes expands as it freezes. This added pressure could break the pipes and send water throughout your Yucaipa, CA, house.
Emergency restoration professionals can clean up your home and fix a broken pipe. If you have proper insurance, your provider can help you pay for the repairs. First, however, you need to file a claim. Here are some tips for making sure your claim is accepted.
1. Know What Is Covered
Before your next disaster, read over your insurance policy to see what type of damage is covered. Most insurance covers sudden emergencies such as bursting pipes. However, any harm that occurs due to your negligence will not be covered. Mold and flood losses also are often excluded from regular homeowners' policies.
2. Make Necessary Repairs
The insurer may reject your claim if it determines the water came from insufficient repairs. You should thus perform regular maintenance checks twice a year. If you hire a professional to do any repairs, be sure to keep receipts and records documenting the work.
3. Buy More Coverage If Necessary
To keep your house protected, you should add a mold endorsement to your coverage. You can also seek separate flood insurance from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.
4. Get a Second Opinion
Your insurance representative does not have to have the final say. If your claim is initially denied, get a second opinion from another agent within the company. You can also contact the insurer's ombudsman or a local consumer advocacy group. You can even file a complaint with the state insurance commissioner.
After discovering bursting pipes in your home, the last thing you want is for your insurance company to deny your claim. By following the above tips, you can increase the odds of your provider paying for any necessary house repairs.
Areas Prone to Mold Growth
Mold growth on faucet
While mold spores are technically everywhere, they won’t create mold damage unless they have the right environment to grow. If your Redlands, CA, home experiences water leaks, from flooding to spills and water leaks, it can set in motion colonization. Since these annoying fungi only need nutrients from organic material, moisture and the right temperatures, they can grow in many places.
Common Areas for Growth
Although an obvious leak increases the chances of mold growth, there are other common areas that mold or mildew growth is frequently found.
Showers and bathtubs, including bottles, washcloths, shower curtains, and grout
Sinks and toilets, especially storage underneath the faucet
Refrigerators, pantries, microwave and stoves
Windows and window sills
HVAC ducts and vents
Attics, crawlspaces and basements
Walls and ceiling
Carpeting and rugs
While something like a pipe burst or flooding may cause unexpected mold damage, there are many ways to prevent it from spreading. Controlling the moisture in your home is the main key. Along with cleaning up spills immediately after they happen, keeping the humidity level under 60% can ensure spores don’t get the perfect environment to flourish. If your water bill seems a bit high, that may mean you have a leak. Be sure to stay on top of potential plumbing issues.
Maintenance and ventilation also play a role in reducing moisture levels. Inadequate airflow may mean wet areas will take longer to dry or condensation buildup. If you have roof, gutter or foundation issues, that can quickly lead to a be problem.
Staying focused on the general maintenance of your home, especially leaks, can minimize the chances of pesky fungi spores from making your home their own. If mold damage does occur, trust a professional mold remediation and restoration company to return your home to normal.
Facing the Reality of Commercial Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage
Facing the Reality of Commercial Fire Damage
A fire in the office isn’t just a danger to you and your staff: commercial fire damage can also be devastating to the health of your business in other ways. The most common causes of commercial fire damage are electrical fires and utility room fires, both of which are absolute disasters which often lead to both soot damage and smoke damage.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
Thankfully, most businesses nowadays are equipped with fully-functional fire sprinkler systems which can help with fire suppression by reducing the immediate fire damage done by electrical fires and utility room fires. While office sprinkler systems often aren’t enough to fully douse a raucous flame, they’re usually enough to put a damper on things until the firefighters arrive. Once the flames created by a utility room fire or electrical fire cause the room temperature to rise to a certain level, the fire sprinkler system sounds the alarm and begins sprinkling water.
A fully operational and maintained fire sprinkler system is the first line of defense against commercial fire damage, but typically within minutes, a fire truck will arrive. You can expect the firefighters to do a thorough fire suppression using their tool of choice, the fire hose.
Every firefighter is trained to respect the flames and never act rashly in the face of danger. You can expect the brave firefighters on site to work swiftly to put out the fire and relieve the immediate danger. However, while a few fire hoses will do away with most commercial fires, that much water pounding on your already-weakened building is sure to take its toll.
Once the firefighters have completed the task of fire suppression, it will soon be time to think about fire restoration. While there’s a lot that can be done with a fire hose, pressurized water shot from a fire truck won’t repair the physical damage to your commercial property. Firefighters can only do so much, and when you’re left with the hazardous remains, it’s time to call in the fire restoration experts.
Fire damage caused by electrical fires and utility room fires can be an absolutely devastating event. Fortunately, commercial fire damage experts will soon be there to clean up the mess. Soot damage and smoke damage are part and parcel with fire damage as every fire restoration team knows.
A room with soot damage can quickly wreak havoc on your respiratory system as the tiny particles can get into your lungs, cause inflammation, and damage blood cells.
Smoke damage also makes your business unsafe as the smoke will cling to the walls and emit toxic fumes. In either case, fire damage will weaken the structure of your building, making it a hazard zone. Thankfully, fire restoration teams will come well equipped to tackle the dangers caused by electrical fires and utility room fires.
Thanks to the international fraternity of fire stations everywhere, nearly every community in the developed world is graced with a fleet of rapid response fire trucks equipped with high-pressure fire hoses. But responsible business owners and property managers can’t wait until soot damage and smoke damage have already been incurred.
While the sirens of an approaching fire truck can be comforting in an emergency, no one wants to hear that sound coming in their direction. By taking adequate fire safety measures today, you can insure your business against the disaster that fire inevitably brings once it is set loose in a commercial space. While most data today is backed up in the cloud, your employees need somewhere to work. So, remember to put their needs first when planning for emergency fire safety: data are replaceable, but people aren't.
Can Electronics be Salvaged After a Fire?
Smoke can cause extensive damage to electronics
If your home in Mentone, CA, should become damaged by fire, it's important to know all is not lost. Your insurance company will work with you to make sure your home receives professional fire cleanup, your home is restored and your losses are recovered. There may even be some items, such as electronic, that can be cleaned and brought back to working order.
Smoke Damaged Electronics
During a fire, smoke damage will occur throughout the home. It can seep into the smallest crevices and cover them in residue. Smoke can cause extensive damage to electronics, even when they weren't in the actual fire. You may have electronics in your home that are irreplaceable. For those electronics, your restoration company has the expertise to bring them back to life, if that is a possible option.
Electronic items are valuable to the owner. Items that you can be restored include:
- medical equipment
- antique and collectible electronic equipment
The Fire Cleanup Process for Electronics
The restoration technician who works on your electronics uses special equipment to ensure further damage doesn't occur during the cleaning process. The longer smoke, soot, and residue stay on the components inside your electronics, the more prone they are to further and irreversible damage. The technician can make sure every crevice is reached and cleaned.
Afterward, your device will be deodorized, as the smell of smoke can be powerful and unpleasant. Last, the tech will do any necessary repairs and replace any components that have been lost. Once your item is refurbished, it will be returned to you in its fully functional state.
While experiencing fire damage to your home can be devastating, the cleanup phase can offer some bright moments. Many of your possessions are easily replaced or repaired, and your home can be restored. As you go through the process of recovering, try to focus on these bright spots and the people who are there to see you through.
What Is Category 3 Flood Water?
If your business in Redlands, CA, has recently experienced flooding, you might be wondering whether or not it is safe to stay in the area and try to clean up the water until help arrives. While water that comes from a clean water source such as a leaking faucet or burst pipe is safe to interact with, you have a larger problem on your hands if dealing with Category 3 flood water. Here is some useful information on what Category 3 water is, where it comes from, and how to clean it up.
What Is Category 3 Water?
Also referred to as black water, Category 3 water is considered contaminated water that can cause serious harm or even death to people or pets that ingest it. This type of flood water might contain feces, dangerous chemicals, or other substances that can serious diseases such as hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, tetanus, norovirus, tuberculosis, or West Nile virus.
Where Does It Come From?
The easiest way to determine if you are dealing with Category 3 water is to identify the source of the flood water. Common sources include:
- Overflowing toilet
- Backed-up sewer main
- Broken sewer lines
- Flash flooding
Additionally, standing water that is clean or lightly contaminated can eventually become Category 3 water over time if not quickly dried and cleaned.
How Do You Clean It?
It is important to never try and clean black water on your own. Anyone who tries to clean contaminated water without the right equipment and expertise can become seriously sick or spread the disease. Instead, call a water damage cleaning and restoration company to get rid of the Category 3 water, address any storm damage, and completely sanitize the area.
There is no question that no one wants to have to deal with Category 3 flood water in their commercial building. However, if the situation ever does arise, is important to act quickly and get help from a qualified team of restoration specialists.
Top 5 Mold FAQs
Commercial mold damage in Mentone, CA
Read Up On The Following Frequently Asked Mold Questions
A mold infestation can be overwhelming. If you don't have experience dealing with mold growth, it can be difficult to figure out where to start in order to resolve the issue. Arm yourself with knowledge and read up on the following frequently asked mold questions if you believe that your home in Mentone, CA, may be at risk.
1. What does mold look like?
Mold spreads across a surface like a stain. It's typically black, green or blue and may have a fuzzy or slimy texture. Each species of mold is different and will have a different look as a result.
2. Is mold common?
Yes, mold growth is very common. Buildings that have experienced flooding or some other type of water damage are at a particularly high risk if the water isn't dried up immediately. Mold will also fester in high humidity environments.
3. How can you tell that you have a mold problem?
If you see mold, then you have a mold problem. There's also a good chance that you'll be able to smell it.
4. How can you prevent mold?
There are many methods that can help prevent mold. Many tactics are centered around staying vigilant and keeping moisture to a minimum. Controlling the humidity in your home is key, as is repairing leaks and water damage as soon as possible. Regular mold inspections for problem areas can also help catch mold infestations early.
5. Where does mold usually grow?
A good rule of thumb is to look for mold in places that come into frequent contact with water. This includes the showers and tubs in your bathrooms, the sinks, and dishwashers in your kitchen and the washing machines in your laundry room.
Mold growth education is a good first step when it comes to combating the problem. However, you can still fall victim to a mold problem even if you do manage to stay on top of all the proper preventative measures. If this happens, make sure to contact mold remediation specialists as soon as possible to help resolve the issue.