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What to Do When an Employee Is Burned in a Fire

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. Burn first aid in Whittier, CA

Steps To Take To Care For The Victim

Fire damage at your business can extend to more than just the property; it can result in injury to your employees. No matter how careful everyone is, an accident will happen at some point. So, make sure your first aid kit is well-stocked for such a situation. The type of burn first aid that’s required depends on the seriousness of the injury. Take these steps to care for the victim of a major burn until emergency personnel arrive:

1. Protect the Victim
Until an ambulance arrives, it’s important to protect the injured person and make sure that they’re away from the source of the burn. If it’s an electrical burn, turn off the power source before going near the victim.

2. Check Victim’s Respiration
The injured person needs to be checked for signs of breathing. Begin CPR if you don’t detect breathing. It would be helpful if all employees take a CPR class.

3. Remove Restrictive Items
Burned areas will swell quickly. So, if there are any type of restrictive clothing or jewelry in the proximity of the burned areas, remove them.

4. Cover the Area
A very critical part of burn first aid is covering the injured area. A clean, cool, damp bandage or cloth will help to protect the injury from bacteria and debris from the fire damage until professional help arrives.

5. Don’t Immerse Wound
Never immerse severely burned areas in water. This could cause more damage and even hypothermia. Body heat needs to be saved; a blanket should help if there’s a clean one available. A burn this severe shouldn’t be treated with ice, as you might with a minor burn.

6. Elevate Affected Area
The burned area should be raised. It should be elevated above heart level until the professionals arrive, if possible.

7. Watch for Symptoms of Shock
Beware of the warning signs of shock. Paleness, shallow breathing, and fainting are a few symptoms. A blanket will help to avoid shock.
If your Whittier, CA, building goes up in flames, fire damage experts are Here to Help. They’ll return your building to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

How To Prevent Mold Growth

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall with the word MOLD Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment

Mold growth can cause serious damage to your West Whittier, CA, home. Understanding how and why mold grows can help you protect your home.

How To Prevent a Mold Infestation

Mold can grow in a wide variety of locations. However, all mold needs the following three things in order to survive:

  • A water source
  • A food source
  • Adequate warmth

Homes are generally warm enough to support mold, and they usually have a variety of food sources available, including fabrics and pulpy materials. Therefore, the best way to prevent an infestation is to keep your home dry. Keep the humidity below 60 percent. It may be necessary to run a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity such as bathrooms and basements. Dry up spills and repair leaks as soon as possible. In addition to keeping a dry home, it can be helpful to decrease the number of mold spores circulating throughout. Air purifiers, HVAC systems, and vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters can all trap mold spores before they have a chance to colonize. Regular carpet cleaning can also help minimize the number of mold spores present in the home.

Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage
If your home experiences water damage such as a flood or a leak, it is important to address the situation as quickly as possible. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours. First, extract all standing water using pumps or a specialized vacuum cleaner. If necessary, you can also use buckets to scoop out the water. When the standing water has been removed, dry out the remaining moisture using dehumidifiers and fans. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can open the windows and doors to increase airflow.
It may not be possible to prevent all mold growth, especially if you live in a particularly humid area or experience flooding. Fortunately, an experienced restoration service can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

When Lightning Strikes - Keeping Your Business Safe in a Thunderstorm

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that a thunderstorm can be more deadly than a hurricane or a tornado? Aside from the direct risk of lightning, a heavy rain storm can produce significant water and wind damage that can affect the productivity and safety of your business. Even before a watch notifies you of a potential storm or a warning alerts you of immediate danger, ensure that you have prepared your company with these seven steps.

7 Steps to Prepare Your Business For Storms

  1. Have a system for alerts. Find out how you can best receive notifications in Whittier, CA. Often there are email alerts to which you can subscribe so that you can easily communicate with your employees.
  2. Plan for a safe room. Ideally, identify an interior room without windows within your place of business. Clearly mark this room with a sign, and train all staff members for emergency preparedness. 
  3. Assign a staff member. This person can be responsible for gathering any items that are outside in preparation for a storm. Having a list of items to collect is ideal to ensure timely preparation.
  4. Regularly inspect trees and shrubbery. Limbs surrounding your building pose a risk during a storm. Removing dead limbs can reduce the risk of damage caused by high winds.
  5. Implement a schedule for inspecting the roof. This will help to ensure that it is structurally sound. After a rain storm, be sure to check that rain spouts and drainage systems are working properly.
  6. Consider the need for lightning rods. These can be vital to further protect your place of business. Lightning rods redirect the electricity and can be helpful even in a steel building. Consult your local fire company for advice on placement.
  7. Be prepared to respond to flood damage. Have a reputable company in mind to call immediately in case of water damage sustained in a heavy storm.

Thunderstorms can be an underestimated source of property damage as well as a tremendous safety risk for your business. Even a substantial rain storm can cause lasting damage. With the proper preparations, your company can be ready.

Creating an Emergency Action Plan for Your Company

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

Six Major Things That a Company's Emergency Action Plan Must Accomplish

It is smart for corporations in West Whittier, CA, to have a contingency plan in place in the event that a disaster occurs. Typically, it is a written document that keeps employees organized during an emergency. There are six major things that a company’s emergency action plan must accomplish.

1. Establish Reporting Procedures

There are procedures that are standard, such as dialing 911 or pulling a manual fire alarm, but a company may wish to establish a system that is unique. For example, a bank may incorporate a secret button that is pushed during an armed robbery and silently notifies the authorities so that employees can safely surrender.

2. Decide Upon Exit Routes

The evacuation plan is put into place so that employees know when, where, and how to evacuate. The plan authorizes who can order an evacuation and explains the conditions in which he or she would. It also features exit diagrams so that employees can follow escape routes easily.

3. Explain Emergency Operating Procedures

In critical emergencies where equipment must be utilized before moving forward with the contingency plan, all hazards must be explained. These hazards may include the breaking of glass or the usage of fire extinguishers.

4. Ensure Employee Safety

A procedure to ensure that employees evacuate safely is necessary. Someone may be assigned the duty of checking offices and restrooms. This step could also be completed by implementing an old-fashioned roll call.

5. Maintain Contact Information for Employees

Keeping a record of names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers is helpful when someone has questions during an emergency. Assembling this info ahead of time will make it easier to locate during, or immediately after, an emergency.

6. Know Whom To Call for Cleanup

It's also wise to have the contact information for commercial building restoration services on hand. Enlisting the help of professionals can help get your business back on its feet in a timely manner.

Creating a contingency plan for your company in West Whittier, CA, is the responsible thing to do. It allows for a safe transition when disaster unfolds, and employees are more likely to feel calm at work when there is one in place.

The Importance of Speed in an Emergency Response

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Three SERVPRO vehicles The concept of Faster to Any Size Disaster permeates the entire SERVPRO brand

The Importance of Speed in an Emergency Response

The SERVPRO saying, Faster to Any Size Disaster, has many important ramifications. For one, when a company experiences the need for an emergency response, the presence of trained workers can be very reassuring. A long wait for a response can induce a high level of anxiety and worry. A local emergency response team in South Whittier, CA, should be on site in less than four hours. Another important aspect of a quick response is safety. An inspection and assessment of the property can identify hazards that an untrained eye might not recognize. For example, standing water in a building could pose the risk of electrical shock. Dirty water from a sewage backup or broken pipe could expose company employees to germs and pathogens.

Insurance Issues
Faster to Any Size Disaster does not only pertain to the remediation process. Speed is also an important consideration for the processing of an insurance claim. SERVPRO has developed a claims inventory system that speeds up the settling of claims through the following innovations:

  • The use of complete files and photos of costs and damages
  • The availability of electronic and hard copy files
  • The creation of an itemized loss inventory
  • The presence of a call service center
  • The option of training classes for insurance agents

The focus of the claims inventory system is to expedite the prompt handling of any claim. It is also to take a look at the entire process and improve performance from start to finish.

Quality Matters
The concept of Faster to Any Size Disaster permeates the entire SERVPRO brand. A delayed response and delayed action only results in additional damage and additional expenses. Over time, standing water begins to tarnish metal, soften wood and corrode electronics. Extra humidity in a building creates conditions where mold can flourish and spread, thus causing a more complicated cleanup. A fast response in all areas simplifies the restoration of property.

Understanding Secondary Water Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall and studs affected by water loss creating mold growth Water and mold damage

At the first signs of unwanted water in your West Whittier, CA, finding and repairing the cause needs to be done swiftly, as well as proper cleanup. While a small leak may not seem like a major problem, if the water isn’t properly cleaned and mitigated, it can lead to long-term effects known as secondary damage. Unlike the obvious effects of standing water on your belongings, this time of damage can remain hidden until it becomes a serious problem.

Types of Secondary Damage

Hidden moisture can do significant damage to many components in your home. If moisture is left behind after a water issue arises, the following long-term damage can begin to fester.

Mold: This quick-growing microorganism only needs 24 hours to start growing, which can lead to its spores spreading within days. Even a small patch of wet carpet left unchecked can create the right conditions for black mold to grow.
Electrical: Water that has seeped into the wall can affect the outlets. If water gets trapped, it may increase the potential for electrical shock.
Corrosion: Hidden pipes and fixtures in the home made of metal can begin to rust and corrode in wet conditions, eventually leading to potential bigger water issues like a pipe burst.
Wood Rot: As well as being an inviting place for black mold to grow, the wood elements of your home will begin to rot if not properly dried. This may lead to a loss in the home’s structural integrity.

Mitigate the Risk
Timely and professional assessment and cleanup are necessary to avoid hidden damage from becoming a big problem. When there is high humidity, it is even more important to ensure that dehumidification is done by a water and mold remediation professional to stop any damage from spreading. While waiting for help to arrive, sop up any standing water, remove saturated items from the affected areas, and use fans or open windows, depending on the humidity levels, to begin the drying process.
While a small water issue may not seem like anything to worry about, hidden damage, such as black mold, may be lurking. Immediately addressing the issue and getting professional assistance can help keep it a small problem.

How Restoration Experts Will Address Smoke and Fire Damage to Your Home

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Severe smoke and soot damage in a kitchen Smoke and soot damage in Friendly Hills, CA

Smoke and Fire Restoration Process

A home fire does not just burn parts of your house. It can also cause smoke damage to your property. Smoke cleaning is thus an important part of the fire repair process.
Ideally, the emergency restoration experts you contact after the fire will remove soot and smoke as they clean up your home. Below are the typical steps that these professionals will follow:
1. Assessment
Once the experts arrive at the scene, they will survey the property for fire, smoke, and soot damage. This will help them determine the proper course of action.

2. Board-Up
Fires often damage roofs, walls, and windows. This could leave your Friendly Hills, CA, home susceptible to water damage from an impending storm. Looters could target your house, as well. By boarding up the walls and windows and by placing tarps on roofs, experts can prevent further harm to your property.

3. Water Removal
Firefighter hoses can leave behind lots of excess water in your home. The professionals should eliminate this water and use air movers and dehumidifiers to dry off everything.

4. Smoke and Soot Removal
The experts will then address the smoke damage to your home. Choose a restoration company that relies on specialized techniques to clean the soot from walls and ceilings.

5. Sanitization
You do not have to throw away everything that was damaged by the fire. Many items can be cleaned and restored to how they were prior to the blaze. Professionals can also utilize fogging equipment and air scrubbers to eliminate odors from those belongings.

6. Restoration
Restoration is the final phase of the fire repair process. This step can include repainting the walls and installing new flooring. If the fire was severe, restoration may also involve rebuilding entire rooms of your house.
Fire cleanup does not just involve the removal of burnt items. To ensure your home is truly restored following a blaze, you should hire specialists who also eliminate soot, water, and smoke damage.

How Fire Damage Can Lead to Water Damage

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

There’s no question that fires can cause devastating damage to a home. In a matter of minutes, you could watch in horror as your property and possession go up in flames. Fire damage isn’t the only concern you’ll have in this type of disaster. You also need to be aware of potential flooding on your West Whittier, CA, property as a result of firefighters’ efforts to put out the fire.

Response Following a Fire

Your first responsibility after alerting the authorities about a fire in your home is to get to safety. Then, you should let firefighting crews take over. The team will use a lot of water to ensure it puts out all the flames. This can result in water damage inside the structure. Here’s what will happen next:

  • You should take photos and contact your insurance company.
  • Avoid touching anything in the area of the fire.
  • Contact a fire restoration and water cleanup professional.

Water Cleanup Issues

A fire crew’s primary concern is to get the fire under control, stop it from spreading and ultimately completely extinguish it. The responders will spray as much water out of a fire hose as possible to achieve these goals. While this may effectively put an end to the flames, it will likely cause other problems with water on the floor, ceiling, walls, furniture and electronics.

The Next Group Comes In

In order to salvage as much of your home as possible, a restoration company will remove water left behind from the fire department. Specialists will use high-powered extractors to remove any water from the area. The team will determine what items can be saved and what it must replace.

Clean and Sanitize

Fire damage can destroy the structure or your possessions, but water has its own ill effects. The restoration technicians will thoroughly sanitize the wet areas to keep mold from growing and to help eliminate other substances.

In addition to fire damage, an emergency such as this at your home can introduce a lot of water. In order to remove it and begin rebuilding your house, make sure you call the experts.

How an Emergency Profile Works

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO emergency ready profile Spending a few hours putting together an emergency plan will allow everyone to act with confidence

When it comes to surviving a disaster with speed and grace, solid preparation can be a difference-maker. An emergency profile on file presents a decided advantage when a significant water leak or flooding hits your company in South Whittier, CA. The program works by providing tools and resources that enable you to ramp up your disaster response before it strikes. It not only makes it more likely your company will reopen after a business interruption, but it also helps pave the way for a fast recovery. It can limit your company's exposure to expenses while making sure the company will be there for future customers. The program is a specialty of SERVPRO, the company that is Here to Help during a disaster.

The Features of an Emergency Profile

The profile helps your company before, during, and after water damage happens. The highlights of the program strengthen your response in the following ways:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility identifies strengths and weaknesses
  • A concise profile document gathers critical information in one place for easy access in an emergency
  • A guide provides the basics of reentering your building in a safe manner
  • A contact number allows you to call your SERVPRO water mitigation franchise for an emergency response
  • A reference guide for shutoff valves and power sources provides directions for emergency personnel

An emergency is often chaotic time. Having all your information compiled ahead of time reduces stress and makes for a better response.

The Benefits of an Emergency Profile
A smart plan increases the safety of employees and customers. It establishes a line of command within the company and identifies who to call first. An ERP app further simplifies the process by having all the pertinent information on your phone. In some emergencies, your phone might be your only reliable communication source in the initial hours. Spending a few hours putting together an emergency plan will allow everyone to act with confidence.

Mold Claims and General Liability Issues

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

After drywall removal mold growth was found Mold found after performing drywall removal

Mold Claims and General Liability Issues

When it comes to mold insurance claims against your business, straight answers can be hard to find. That's because the coverage for mold has changed over the years and still depends upon a variety of factors. In short, a landlord or property owner can be sued for failure to protect tenants of employees from the damages and health effects associated with a mold infestation. That does not mean a suit will always be successful. The following factors could influence the judgment on a liability claim for mold damage:

  • The jurisdiction of the lawsuit
  • The source of the mold problem
  • The acceptable upkeep of the building
  • The actions of the tenants or the renter of the building

Landlords, property managers, and business owners have a responsibility to keep a building in decent shape. Failure to do so makes it more likely that a mold claim against a company will be successful. By the same token, renters have a responsibility to maintain a unit or building to acceptable standards and to notify the property owner of water damage and other issues.

Speak With Your Insurance Agent
For questions on mold insurance claims in Whittier, CA, it is always best to consult with your insurance agent or to seek legal counsel. The complexities of coverage for mold issues involve such factors as the mold rules and regulations of the state, as well as applicable building statutes and codes. At present, there are no federal standards for mold limits in buildings, but it may be helpful to consult with state and local authorities on the status of mold standards.

Consult With Professionals
An experienced mold mitigation franchise is likely to be familiar with mold insurance claims in your area. They are also your best source for mold remediation services. A fast, professional response to mold growth will limit damage, reduce expenses, and halt the negative effects of mold. Professional technicians are trained to remove mold infestations and prevent mold from returning to an apartment complex or commercial building.