Do You Need a Security Fence After a Fire?
A security fence will reduce the risks of further damage and theft to your property
After you have sustained fire damage to your commercial property in Mentone, CA, you may not realize that a temporary security fence is important. If you don't secure your building, however, you increase the risk of further damage and liability. Let's look at the reasons why fencing and covering exposed areas can reduce your concerns.
Protect Your Property From Trespassers
Some people get very curious when they see a damaged building. They may just want to explore the property, but it could be unsafe. They might be exposed to a gas leak or slip on a wet floor. The fence will not only discourage the curious person from entering, but it will protect you from liability.
There are some people who's intentions are not as innocent. They may see an abandoned building as an opportunity to vandalize or steal equipment or property.
Animals, who can cause serious damage, may want to scavenge the empty building.
A security fence will reduce the risks of further damage and theft to your property. Some insurance companies state that any damages that occur after the firefighters leave may not be covered. You could be financially responsible for the aftermath. Contact a fire damage assessment professional as soon as the fire department leaves your property. The technical expert can not only help with the entire restoration process but will give you advice on the type of fencing and other materials that will be best to secure your property.
Protect Your Building From Weather Conditions
In addition to protecting your building from trespassers, you need to keep out rain and snow. It's important to board up the exposed areas as soon as possible and cover the roof with plastic sheeting or a tarp.
Your property has likely sustained significant damage after a fire. Installing a security fence will reduce or prevent any further damage, as well as theft and liability.
Items To Throw out After a Fire
You shouldn't keep any cosmetics that may have been close to the fire or in contact with smoke
What Contents Should You Throw Away After A Fire?
The nightmare of suffering a fire in your home can be devastating. There's a high risk that you could lose your home and everything inside. The good news is that you can salvage many belongings, especially when you hire a reputable professional fire cleanup company. Keep in mind, however, that some damaged items in your home will suffer too much smoke damage and pose dangers to your health if you save them. Others will be far too ruined. It's important to know what contents in your home you must throw away after a fire.
The flames and high heat of a fire can devastate your Redlands, CA, home. The building materials will often bear the burn of this disaster. Fire crews and cleanup teams will assess the damage of the following items, though it is likely that professionals will have to replace and rebuild them:
- Roofing material
After a fire, it's best to not hang onto any food you have in your kitchen. This includes the refrigerator. If it's safe to go into your home, evaluate what items you can salvage. In the meantime, throw away food in your pantries and fridge. The intense heat will make your food unsanitary, so it's not worth the chance of eating them. Play it safe and toss even those items you think may have not been affected such as canned goods.
Cosmetics and Medicine
If you have makeup in your home, there's a good chance they suffered too much fire damage after the incident. The cleanup professionals can advise you on what to do, but in most cases, you shouldn't keep any cosmetics that may have been close to the fire or in contact with smoke. You should also dispose of any medication after a fire. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter items.
It may be difficult to throw away these items. However, your safety and well-being are critical.
Choose a Professional With IICRC Training
Call a professional with IICRC training to get the job done right
Recovering from water or fire damage to your commercial property in Yucaipa, CA, can be a traumatic experience. You want to get your business back up and running quickly, but you also want to make sure the restoration process is handled by a trained technician. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a third-party certification program for inspection, cleaning, and restoration standards. Choosing a company with this certification will give you the confidence in knowing that your building's restoration will be handled with proper care and service.
SERVPRO leads the industry in restoration services. Because of this, it is the preferred vendor for many insurance companies. SERVPRO offers a number of training programs for its employees in accordance with the restoration standards, including:
- Fire restoration
- Water restoration
- Applied structural drying
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
What Restoration Certificate Courses Are Available?
The IICRC offers a wide variety of mitigation certificate courses for restoration professionals. A few courses are listed below.
Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician - This course covers the proper steps in restoring a fire-damaged or smoke-damaged building.
Commercial Drying Specialist - Professionals who take this course will be able to evaluate commercial structures that have sustained water damage so that safe and effective remediation can take place. You must have already completed the Water Damage Restoration Technician (WDRT) course.
Applied Microbial Remediation Technician - Participants must have passed the WDRT course to attend. This course will prepare individuals to handle mold and sewage remediation to safely restore property.
Health and Safety Technician - Individuals who take this course can increase safety and reduce non-compliance fines in the workplace. The course covers OSHA standards, as well as the proper use of safety equipment. Dealing with hazardous chemicals and bloodborne pathogens are also discussed.
Whether you need help with water or fire damage restoration, call a professional with IICRC training to get the job done right.
What To Do When Water Damage Occurs at Home
Water damage in Mentone, CA
What To Do When Water Damage Occurs at Home
After a storm or pipe break in Mentone, CA, the resulting flooding can cause water damage in your home. The thought of dealing with this can seem overwhelming, but taking the following steps may help.
1. Contact a Professional
One of the first steps after water causes damage should be to contact a local restoration service. These professionals will have the tools and training needed to inspect the damage and restore the affected space. In many cases they can also work with your insurance agent to document the damage severity and repair progress.
2. Contact Your Insurance
It’s also important to contact your insurance agent to report any damage and begin a claim. It’s your responsibility to know what your policy covers but in many cases some water damage coverage may be included under the homeowner’s policy. Your insurance agent may also recommend a preferred service provider for the restoration as in many cases these professionals can help document damages for the claim, as well as mage progress updates.
3. Take Safety Precautions
Before entering the area to begin the water cleanup it’s important to take safety precautions. Any electricity should be turned off to the affected area until a professional has a chance to determine if it’s safe. It’s also a good idea to wear protective gear such as boots, gloves, clothing covers, and masks. This will help protect you against any potential bacteria that could be in the stormwater.
Whether the water damage, in your home, was caused by broken pipes or flooding, it’s important to contact a restoration service for help with cleanup and repairs. It’s also a good idea to talk to your insurance agent as well since many times the two can work together. Before the cleanup begins you will also need to take safety measures such as turning the power off to the affected area.
Avoid Future Plumbing Problems by Being Proactive
Schedule routine inspections with your plumber
If you are like most business owners in Yucaipa, CA, you probably don't give much thought to your building's plumbing unless a problem arises. Running water and working toilets are taken for granted until they don't work. There are some smart proactive suggestions you can follow to reduce the risk of plumbing problems.
What is Proactive Plumbing?
Being proactive means planning ahead to anticipate any possible problems. Since plumbing problems are almost always an emergency, proactive plumbing will decrease the risk of making that frantic call to a plumber about flooding from a clogged drain or broken pipe.
What Steps Should You Take Ahead of Time?
Keep an eye on your water bill. Any huge spikes not attributed to increased usage, such as lawn sprinkling, are a red flag for problems.
Find a good plumber before you need one so that you can call the minute a problem occurs. The last thing you want to do when the water main breaks is to search the internet for a top-rated plumber. Talk with friends and other business owners in the area to see who they would recommend. Make contact with potential plumbers and have them look at your facility. It's a great idea to find an experienced person who is familiar with the type of business you run.
Schedule routine inspections with your plumber to inspect the pipes and clean out drains that could get plugged. He or she can tell you the type and age of the pipes. This information will help to determine the estimated longevity of your current plumbing. Your plumber will also look for any potential problems, such as pipes that look damaged or fittings that aren't secure, and replace any suspect plumbing.
It is also helpful to train your employees to be conscientious about what they dump down the drain and what they flush in the toilet.
Prevent potential plumbing problems by starting a proactive maintenance program. It may save you an emergency call in the middle of the night.
Find, Remove and Prevent Black Mold Growth Inside Your Air Ducts
Mold growth in air duct
Identify, Remove and Prevent Mold Growth
Black mold can grow anywhere in your Yucaipa, CA, business if the right conditions are met, mainly a nutrient source and high humidity. While your air ducts may seem initially safe, all it takes is an untreated leak or mold spores traveling via dust for mold to grow. Your air conditioner system also spreads these spores throughout your business, so it is important to immediately identify, remove, and prevent mold growth.
Mold growing within your ducts is trickier to spot compared to other locations since it is hidden. After a leak or flood, it never hurts to run an inspection to ensure mold is not present in the area. One physical sign of this mold is black dust gathering around the air vents. Other red flags include a musty smell when the unit is active and potential health issues with you or others, mainly frequent sneezing, and watery eyes.
If you find the signs of black mold, remove it immediately. This multi-step process should be handled by mold remediation specialists, as they have the proper expertise and equipment. This process should include:
- Confirmation of mold
- Inspection of system and nearby insulation
- Elimination of mold with appropriate equipment and products
- Detection of mold situation's root problem
This last step is important, as neglecting it would allow the damage to continue, creating more unnecessary expenses. Remediation specialists may work with AC professionals to keep the system clear.
The best way to keep clean ducts is to conduct proper prevention measures. Hire a professional to clean the unit at least twice a year. Track and control humidity throughout your business by boosting ventilation, maintaining the building's drains, and drying any wet areas quickly. Have any plumbing situation repaired as soon as possible.
The development of black mold inside your air ducts is especially troublesome, as it is difficult to find and can spread throughout your establishment fast. Maintain your system, control humidity, and look for any sign to stop this infestation from compromising your business.
We have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.
It is important to us that our customers know the steps SERVPRO of South Redlands/Yucaipa is taking to reduce the risk of team member exposure to the virus. These precautionary steps we have taken as a company include:
- All tools and equipment coming into your property have been cleaned and disinfected.
- All workers wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves while performing work.
- We’ve all been provided with training to safely work in contaminated environments.
- We’ve all been provided with training to identify coronavirus symptoms and carefully monitor ourselves and our co-workers.
- We have stringent safety and health policies and procedures; and we continually strive to follow and improve our safe work practices.
Overall, we are taking the appropriate measures to ensure we don’t cross contaminate our customers, our co-workers, or our families. We cannot make any guarantees that the virus could not enter your property, but we can tell you that we have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.
Whether it is a water loss, fire damage, or a cleaning request, please know that SERVPRO of South Redlands/Yucaipa is still here for the entire Redlands, CA community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Flooding Risks Rise after Wildfires
Wildfire in Redlands, CA
After experiencing a wildfire near your Redlands, CA, home, it’s likely that one of the last things on your mind is flooding. Surprisingly, the devastating effects fire has on nature makes it the prime time to check with FEMA NFIP and add flood insurance or ensure insurance is up to date.
Fire Changes the Terrain
Wildfire damage not only changes the landscape where the fires occur, but it also can spread miles away. If the fires raged on steep terrain, it leaves areas downhill and downstream more susceptible to issues from rain, creating flooding damage.
Damaged or burned trees lose their integrity, creating a higher risk of falling.
The loss of vegetation and changes in soil can impact rainwater runoff, increasing the chances of a flash flood during heavy rainfall.
If flooding occurs, the flowing water can quickly fill with rocks, branches, and trees that have been loosened from a fire.
Loosened rocks and soil can turn into a landslide.
Tips to Be Prepared
While the severity of a fire and potential for flooding varies, according to FEMA NFIP, it may take up to two years before the risk of a flood after a wildfire returns to normal. While hopefully, a flood doesn’t occur, being prepared for one can help keep everyone safe. Things to consider include:
Create an evacuation plan. Ensure the exit route is not part of an area highly prone to a flash flood.
Ensure everyone in the household knows and understands the plan.
Keep emergency supplies on hand, including food, water, a first aid kit, blankets, and flashlights.
Stay up-to-date on the weather.
Once a storm rolls in, consider leaving the area for a safer location.
Although FEMA NFIP works closely with communities to develop floodplain mitigation strategies, nature often has its own ideas. If a flood happens, ensure everyone’s safety and leave any damage repairs to flood and storm damage experts.
Salvaging Electronics After a Fire
Unplug appliances and electronics
In this day and age, technology and electronic equipment are a vital component of any successful business. It also means that most businesses in Mentone, CA, have significantly invested in their equipment. If an electrical fire happens, after everyone is safe and the damage can be accessed, the smoke damage and fire damage can compromise the integrity of your equipment.
Before rushing to see what still works, precautions should be taken and experts should be called. Even if the equipment was not in the affected area, hidden smoke damage can perpetuate the problem. After the fire is out, take these steps to reduce further damage:
Be Patient: Once the fire is out, it may be hard to not rush in and inspect the damage. Wait until the property has been cleared to be re-entered. Even a small fire can cause residual damage that can affect the building’s structure.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics: Along with smoke damage, there could be possible water exposure from extinguishing the fire. All equipment should be unplugged to avoid creating a situation for another electrical fire to break off.
Keep Them Turned Off: While some equipment may be fine, it is best to wait for assurance from a fire cleanup and restoration service before turning devices back on. Smoke and soot can leave residues that create a short or affect how the equipment operates, such as the computer fan.
While equipment directly affected by the fire may not be salvageable, not all of it may be a loss. Along with computer cleanup, electronics professionals have the knowledge and tools to clean televisions, servers, printers, copiers and more. A qualified technician will remove the damaged equipment and transport it to a safe, clean location for assessment. Equipment determined to be salvageable will be cleaned and restored, helping you save some of your investment
Although an electrical fire can seem overwhelming and a costly incident, getting the right help can get your business back to “Like it never even happened.”
The Nuts and Bolts of a Continuity Plan
Business impact analysis
Life is full of surprises for just about everyone, and running a business in Yucaipa, CA, is no exception to this truth. Powerful storms occur with varying levels of frequency across the nation. They have the ability to inflict serious storm damage and can even close down a business for anywhere from a few days to a few months. Insurance and planning are two tools at your disposal to protect your company. A continuity plan is one aspect of planning that puts your company in better shape to withstand a disaster. Understanding what should be in a plan and how to put it together can limit the vulnerability of your company.
The Main Components
Your continuity plan can be broken down into a few main elements. The following categories form the overall structure of the plan:
- Business impact analysis
- Recovery strategies
- Plan development
- Testing and exercises
The business impact analysis looks at critical business functions and what resources support these. Recovery strategies include such things as working with a storm mitigation team to oversee the cleanup and restoration of the property from events such as flooding. The development of the plan would look at relocation options and manual workarounds in the case of computer or electrical failure. Finally, the plan should be tested and strengthened through drills and orientation exercises.
The Fine Tuning
The more detail in the continuity plan, the more vital it will become. Using outside resources such as emergency agencies, experts, health departments and trainers will only make the plan stronger. A good plan will develop and evolve over time, and it should be updated on a regular basis. While this seems like a lot of work, the future of your business could depend on how your company reacts in an emergency. The scope of your plan will hinge in part on the resources your company has available. A robust recovery strategy could get you back on your feet in a short time.