3 Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business
Keep your commercial property safe by having a fire extinguisher.
Knowledge is power when it comes to fire prevention. While it’s impossible to completely eradicate the potential for a business fire, there are several steps you can take to keep your commercial property in West Valley City, UT, safe.
Three Steps You Can Take To Keep Your Commercial Property Safe
- Schedule a Building Assessment
Fire assessments aren’t reserved solely for your local fire damage restoration company, and they don’t always have to take place after a fire. Contact the fire marshal and inquire about a fire hazard assessment for your building. Identifying and resolving risks up front is your first line of defense.
- Equip Your Building With Fire Suppression and Prevention Tools
It’s standard procedure to have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors on every floor of your commercial property. Test smoke detectors monthly to ensure that they’re working properly and be sure to change their batteries promptly when needed.
Depending on the size of your business, you may also want to invest in a sprinkler system as part of your fire prevention plan.
- Draft and Distribute a Fire Safety Plan
Your employees need to know what to do if there’s a fire during business hours. Those fire extinguishers mentioned above? Your staff needs to know how to operate them. They should also be aware of multiple evacuation routes in the event of a business fire. Run regularly scheduled practice evacuations and post the routes at various intervals through the building.
For larger companies, instituting a chain of command for fires and other emergencies is an easy way to streamline the process. By appointing fire safety officers and assigning responsibilities, you can lessen confusion in the unlikely event of a fire. All of your employees should know where to locate a first-aid kit as well.
Carve a few hours out of next week’s schedule to make sure your fire prevention procedures are up to snuff. It only takes a few hours of planning to significantly decrease the odds of a dangerous fire erupting at your commercial property.
6 Helpful Hints About Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim
Water damage in a residential home in West Valley City, UT.
Insurance claims for water damage are on the rise. In fact, water damage claims are purportedly the second most reported petitions in West Valley City, UT. However, questions often arise when homeowners try to decipher the legal jargon of insurance policy, and many frequently become frustrated over exemptions and exclusions. Here are six hints to help you decode the steps you to take when making a water damage insurance claim.
6 Steps to Make a Water Damage Claim.
- Take pictures of the damaged area immediately after finding the water. Also, continue taking pictures during all stages of cleanup and restoration. If the damage is due to a pipe burst, take pictures of the pipe as well. Offer a copy of all photos to the insurance adjuster.
- Contact your insurance agent regarding the loss. Ask the agent questions about your coverage, the time limit to file a claim, and deductibles. Request information on repairs, restoration, and how long a claim takes to process.
- Establish your claim by filling out the claim forms as soon as you receive the papers. Return the completed documents to the insurance company right after you finish the paperwork.
- Keep a list of damaged and lost items. Include all steps taken to clean or discard major items, if possible. Also, take pictures and keep the photos with the records to substantiate the loss. If receipts are available for destroyed or damaged items, provide copies with your insurance claim.
- Request receipts and a detailed list of all work done by your water repair and restoration company. Also, ask the team to include a list of all supplies used to clean and sanitize the area.
- If your family needs to relocate during cleanup and restoration, keep receipts. Extensive records required may include living expenses, replacement clothing, and meal expenditures.
Once your insurance claim has been settled, and the insurance company accepts your submission, payment is typically sent to cover the terms of the settlement. If the claim is refused, you have the right to contest the refusal and the right to hire an attorney.
5 Signs You Have a Hidden Shower Leak
Presence of mold can be a sign of a shower leak in West Valley City, UT.
Residential plumbing is essential for the functionality of a house, but it is not uncommon for these systems to require maintenance. Unfortunately, it is not always apparent when corrective action needs to happen, like with a shower or bathtub leak. A water mitigation expert in West Valley City, UT, can provide some pointers on preventative steps to take, but you can never really know when a sudden leak will occur. To ensure that you find hidden leaks before they cause too much damage, consider the following five signs of a shower leak.
5 Signs Of A Shower Leak
- Presence of Mold or Mildew
Mold and mildew are indeed common in moisture-rich environments. However, if you are consistently finding mold or mildew around the shower faucet or head, then you may have a leak. To inspect, you will need to shut off the water supply and assess the faucets.
- Peeling or Flaking Paint
Another common sign of water damage from a bathtub leak is peeling or flaking paint. The peeling can suggest a leak behind the wall. The drywall is becoming damp, which is causing the adhesive of the paint to fail.
- Water Stains
If you have a shower on the second level of your home, then look for water stains on the ceiling of the lower level. The stains may appear grey or brown, depending on the damage.
When you turn your shower off, do you hear dripping? Continued water noises after the shower is turned off could indicate a leak in the line behind the wall.
- Loose Tiles
It is not uncommon for a shower pan leak to cause loose tiles around the tub. Water seeps around the drain, causing the subfloor to dampen and swell, which results in the tile breaking away from the floor.
A bathtub leak or shower leak is relatively common, but you do not want to let it fester. If you believe you have a leak, then contact a plumbing or water mitigation expert for help.
The Flood Water Cleanup Process
Flooding can cause severe damage.
Excess water can cause a lot of damage to your commercial building in West Valley City, UT, and these issues can only be properly mitigated by certified water restoration experts. When the flood water in question is contaminated, this adds extra steps to the cleanup process. It's important to understand the measures necessary to ensure that your building is free of both moisture and bacteria.
Steps for Cleanup After Flooding or Toilet Overflow
A simple pipe break can be a big problem, but at least the water it releases is clean. By contrast, Category 3 water is contaminated. It can come from a variety of sources:
- Overflowing toilet
- Groundwater seepage
- Storm damage
- Municipal sewer backup
Any time your building is flooded with Category 3 water, mitigation automatically includes measures to ensure that no contamination gets left behind.
1. Extract Excess Water
Removing water is a crucial step that prevents it from causing further damage. Technicians pump it out of the building. Then they use special equipment to get rid of whatever the pump couldn't extract. They must assess which items and parts of the structure are salvageable before they can continue with remediation.
2. Remove Debris
Any debris that enters your building along with the flood water must also be removed. Additionally, all porous materials that are saturated with contaminated water need to be torn out. This inevitably includes carpet and insulation, but it may also mean that drywall, floor pads and ceiling tiles have to go. Technicians have to clear the area of all ruined items.
3. Rinse Area
No matter how meticulous the mitigation team is, some debris will not be able to be removed manually. The only way to get it off the remaining surfaces in your building is to rinse it. The purpose of the initial rinse is to remove all remaining particles that don't belong in the space.
4. Sanitize Surfaces
Once all the dirt and particles that you can see have been washed away, it's time to disinfect the remaining surfaces. Technicians use industrial-strength cleaners to ensure that all bacteria and microbes are killed in the cleaning process. For spaces that are hard to reach, they may need to use equipment that helps them get the detergent into nooks and crannies.
5. Dry Thoroughly
There is often residual moisture left by the cleaning process. To prevent secondary damage such as mold, your building needs to be dry. Fans are useful not only for drying surfaces but also for bringing the humidity level back under control.
6. Conduct Tests
The final step before the restoration phase begins is confirmation that the space has been sanitized. Technicians may perform a variety of tests, including surface swabs and air quality measures, to make sure that their efforts to disinfect the building were successful. If the results are not satisfactory, they know they have more cleaning to do before moving on to rebuilding.
Cleaning up after flood water is always a multi-step process. When the damage is caused by Category 3 water, however, even more tasks must be added to mitigate it completely.
The Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher and Other Critical Tools
A fire extinguisher is a critical tool.
If your company in West Valley City, UT, is serious about fire protection, it needs to have the most important fire tools on the premises. It is just as important that these critical items are maintained and that key personnel know exactly how to use them to the best effect. These items include but are not limited to the fire alarm system, the fire extinguisher and the sprinkler system. A fourth category, the services of fire professionals such as a fire restoration team, will also be addressed here.
The Fire Extinguisher and Other Fire Protection Tools
The Fire Alarm System
The type of alarm you need depends upon your facility and how large it is. Professional installation is important as the contractor will understand the requirements for building codes and local fire regulations. The system should be professionally maintained to the highest standards.
The alarm should be set up so that it covers all relevant areas of your building as this will provide the greatest protection against fire damage. Finally, the alarms should have both auditory and visual alerts so that it reaches all individuals in the building should a fire break out.
The Fire Extinguisher
This essential tool can stop an incipient fire before it gets out of control and causes thousands of dollars in damages. Your company should have enough units on hand so that one is close by should a fire begin. The whereabouts of each unit should be identified with bright markings, and all units need to be inspected regularly. Your company should have the right extinguisher on hand for the type of fire that is possible in your facility, whether it be a kitchen fire, an electrical fire or a wood fire.
Fire extinguishers are not overly difficult to operate, but key personnel should undergo training on how to use them. The steps for operating a unit can be summed up by the acronym PASS:
- Pull out the pin to engage the unit
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the handle to discharge the contents
- Sweep the nozzle back and forth until the fire is out
The Sprinkler System
A modern fire sprinkler system has many advantages for the ultimate in fire protection. It works automatically, even when your building isn't occupied. It responds quickly to a small fire and targets the area so that any water damage is limited. It does require professional installation and should be maintained by a licensed contractor.
The Fire Recovery Process
Fire cleanup and restoration is a highly technical process that requires the work of a professional team of technicians. They use advanced techniques and sophisticated equipment to remove smoke, soot and fire damage. The process typically involves the removal of smoke odors and deep cleaning of soot from walls, furniture and fabrics. With a commercial fire, professionals work quickly to get your business going again as soon as possible.
A fire extinguisher is one critical tool to fight a commercial fire. The right tools and resources can prevent a small fire from becoming a big one and limit damages
4 Things a First Responder Should Know When Working With a Flood
Severe flooding can cause serious damage.
When your home in West Valley City, UT, gets hit with a flood, you need to take action quickly. However, even a first responder cannot run directly into an impacted space. Water and moisture can create an unsafe zone. Appropriate precautions should be taken by anyone entering the premises.
Top Tips for How a First Responder Should Approach a Flood Zone
Floodwater, also known as blackwater, plays host to high levels of pathogens and spores. The onslaught of water takes over an area, drenching it. External bodies of water overflow, or the sewage line backs up. Either way, homes become inhabitants of many organisms and potential hazards. Responders should remain vigilant and aware of the contamination, and understand the toll water takes on buildings. Be sure to follow these four essential tips.
1. Be Sure Your Immunization Records Are Current
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone working with flood response be current in several immunizations. After all, a flooded environment proves challenging, uncertain and cumbersome. Severe flooding weakens structures and displaces items, creating physical obstacles. In addition, dampness encourages rust on metal objects.
These conditions establish a problematic setting where cuts and wounds could quickly and easily occur. Exposure to rusted materials and bacteria complicates injuries further. Therefore, responders should have tetanus and diphtheria shot, called the Tdap for short. In addition, the CDC suggests responders have the Hepatitis B vaccine as well.
2. Use Safety Gear
Minimize injuries and exposure by wearing appropriate safety gear and guarding yourself. Use durable rubber gloves and avoid touching your face and eyes with gloved or bare hands. At the end of the shift, discard gloves appropriately, using a new pair the time you enter. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before moving to other activities.
In addition, the skin remains vulnerable, so cover up as much as possible. Have full-body clothes for the worksite, and keep goggles with you at all times. Don't forget a sturdy pair of boots. When you leave, change immediately. Take clothes off before you enter your home, and wash them.
3. Survey Your Surroundings
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration emphasizes that floods create multiple hazards for first responders. While water damage proves the most obvious concern, people must also remain aware of other conditions. Responders should consistently keep on their toes, understanding they could encounter the following situations:
- Carbon monoxide buildup
- Extreme heat
- Chemical and biological exposure
- Animal encounters
- Electrical issues
4. Recognize Mold Growth
Note that mold is likely to grow quickly in damp areas, demanding swift cleanup and precautions. Mold spores activate when water and organic matter meet, reproducing within one to two days. Floods establish the perfect conditions.
Use an N-95 mask, and wash everything thoroughly. Furthermore, discard porous, saturated items. Collaborate with an emergency water remediation team to assess the status and use high-quality gear and sanitizing methods.
As a first responder in West Valley City, UT, you face an incredible challenge to help homes and people. Remain cautious, constantly surveying your surroundings and adopting protective measures, to keep yourself and others safe during a flood disaster.
5 Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Preparation
Fire damage in West Valley City, UT. Fire preparation and prevention it's important.
Witnessing your West Valley City, UT, home ablaze is one one the most devastating things you and your family could endure. Nothing is guaranteed. However, there are fire safety measures that can help you prevent a home fire. There are also fire preparation tips you can practice just in case.
5 Fire Preparation Tips
- Inspect Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms must be maintained to keep them operating properly. Dust or vacuum each unit at least once a year when you replace the batteries. Smoke alarm units themselves should be replaced every 10 years.
- Use Electricity Safely
Avoid overloading electrical circuits. Make sure that your light bulbs don't go above the suggested wattage on each light fixture. If plugs don’t fit the outlets snugly, you may need to replace the outlets. If you frequently have tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your home, have a licensed electrician examine your electrical system.
- Cook Safely
Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove or broiling. Keeping a pot lid or baking sheet within reach in the kitchen is an excellent fire preparation plan. If a pan fire begins, cover it and turn off the burner. Always keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove to avoid them being knocked off.
- Monitor Open Flames
When burning candles, make sure that they’re in sturdy, non-flammable candle holders away from flammable materials (e.g., curtains, magazines). Also, place them out of the reach of children and pets. Never keep candles burning unattended. Never present an open flame in an area where medical oxygen is used, even if the machine is turned off.
- Use Heaters Safely
Keep flammable materials at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, radiators and furnaces. Turn off and unplug heaters when you’re leaving home or going to bed. Only use space heaters with overheat or tip over automatic shutoff features.
Fire preparation and prevention are essential fire safety tools that you must practice. If a fire occurs at your home, fire restoration professionals can return it to its pre loss condition.
Storm Damage Prevention Tips
You can prevent a lot of damage to your property with regular inspections.
Taking care of your commercial property starts with prevention. A severe winter storm in West Valley City, UT, can result in a lot of expensive damage to your commercial building. However, there are several things you can do to prevent or at least minimize the damage the storm causes.
3 Tips For Storm Damage Prevention
- Inspect Building
Regular building inspections are a great way to identify potential problems and take care of them before they get out of hand. At the start of winter, you need a professional inspection of the parts of your building that are particularly vulnerable to storm damage during colder seasons:
Look for existing damage as well as ways to fortify the structure. You can prevent a pipe break by making sure your plumbing has adequate insulation. Don't wait until after the storm hits to find out if your building is in good shape.
- Control Water Flow
A winter storm often brings a lot of precipitation with it. If that water has no clear path away from your building to follow, it can pool and freeze on your roof or near the foundation. This can cause cracks that let water seep in as the ice melts, causing interior damage that you may not notice for months. Storm damage restoration specialists recommend regular cleaning of your gutters and downspouts as well as the use of sandbags or other barriers to protect the places that are most vulnerable to leaks.
- Plan Ahead
Some prevention measures require prior notice to use effectively. Have a plan for protecting your building, and make sure everyone knows the part they are expected to play. Pay close attention to the weather reports in your area so that you have plenty of time to get your building ready for an approaching storm.
A winter storm can be dangerous to your building, but there's no reason you can't be ready for it. With regular inspections and a solid emergency plan, you can prevent a lot of damage to your property.
3 Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home
Hail damage can be a leading cause of water damage in West Valley City, UT.
When Mother Nature has a bad day in West Valley City, Utah, sometimes you do too. Many different natural disasters can lead to flooding inside of your home. Unfortunately, even on a sunny day you can experience a pipe burst or water line break that causes the same result.
3 Leading Causes of Residential Water Damage
- Natural Disasters
Torrential downpours are not the only event in nature that can cause flooding in your house. Hurricanes, snowstorms, ice or hailstorms can be sources of water damage, and even fires can be a potential threat due to firefighting efforts. In any of these emergency situations, consider your safety first. After you and your family are out of danger, contact a storm damage and water restoration company that specializes in emergency services. From tarping a roof to prevent further damage to removing the excess flood waters, professionals can walk you through the steps needed to return your home to preloss condition.
- Broken Pipe or Line Break
When a pipe burst or water line break occurs, your house can become flooded with clean, uncontaminated water. In this situation, take action immediately to reduce the risk of secondary water damage. A water restoration specialist can inspect the damage and remove the standing water, and they can also dry, dehumidify and restore your home and its contents.
- Sewage Backup
A sewer backup is an emergency situation due to the level of contamination in sewage. Immediately leave your home and do not touch the contaminated water. Specialists typically arrive within a few hours with the appropriate equipment to safely remove the water and debris. Your home and possessions will be dried, sanitized and restored.
Whether the cause is from nature or a man-made source, flooding at your home in West Valley City, Utah, should be addressed promptly. When a rainstorm or pipe burst ruins your day, take action by calling in professional water restoration experts. Also, check with your homeowners insurance agent to see if water damage is covered under your policy.
Fire Preparation Tips for Homeowners
Follow these steps and be ready to avoid Fire Damage in your Property.
No homeowner in West Valley City, UT, wants to face the danger and damage of a house fire. Keeping your family safe during such an event should be a top priority. With a few fire preparation strategies, you can make sure that everyone knows what they need to do if the unthinkable happens.
Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Response
Of course, the best option is to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place. There are several things you can do to make a fire in your home less likely. Even if you employ all these prevention strategies, though, the whole family still needs to understand some fire safety basics.
Maintain Your Home and Habits
Safety starts by preventing potential hazards. Fire restoration experts recommend several tasks that you should turn into regular habits if you own a home:
- Store flammable liquids away from heat sources.
- Have your wiring inspected by an electrician once a year.
- Take preventative measures to keep pests that chew through cords or wires out of your home.
- Use space heaters and candles responsibly.
- Restrict smoking to outside areas and make sure that used cigarettes are disposed of properly.
Arm Your Home for Alert and Response
Smoke detectors are crucial for alerting your family when a fire begins. One detector won't cut it, though. The number you need depends on the size and layout of your home. Place one in a central location on every level.
You also need a detector for every sleeping area. Test them at least once a month to ensure they're working and to remind everyone what they sound like when they go into alarm. Replace the batteries at least once a year.
It's also a good fire preparation practice to have fire extinguishers stashed in various areas of your home. At a minimum, you should have one near the kitchen and others in easily accessible common areas on every floor. Everyone in the family should know not only how to use them but also when to stop using them and call 911.
Create an Emergency Fire Escape Plan
Despite all your best efforts, you may experience a home fire at some point in your life. Having a clear emergency plan that involves everyone in the family is your best chance of keeping them safe. Start by walking through your home. Find two ways to escape from every room. Plot escape routes and make sure children know what they are supposed to do.
Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. This gives all the people in your home a chance to actually go through the steps they need to take in an emergency. Agree on a meeting place that is away from the house and set up a communication plan just in case you get separated. The more you prepare, the easier it will be to remember it if necessary.
Most people will never have to endure a house fire. Every homeowner, however, needs to have a fire preparation plan just in case his or her prevention strategies fail.