Can Your Employees Evacuate In Under 2 Minutes?
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing a plan.
Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your com[any's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and will lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
*Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Emergency Preparedness for your Business
How quickly you company can get back to business after a fire, flood, or storm often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.
Be Informed: Do you know what types of emergencies might affect your company?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan: Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Are you ready for utility disruptions? Do you have a plan if your building is not accessible? What will you do if your suppliers are impacted?
Prepare Your Emergency Plan: Do you have an plans for evacuation and shelter? Do you have plans for communications with employees before and during? Do you have copies of buildings and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are any employees trained for medical emergencies?
Practice the Emergency Plan: If you have a plan, have your practiced it recently? How often do you review the plan? Do you have to coordinate the plan with other businesses?
Review Insurance coverage: Have you review your insurance coverage recently to see if you're covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment: Have you conducted a room to room survey to determine what can be strapped down and secured?
Improve Cyber security: Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you update your antivirus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness: Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?
If you answered "NO" to any of these questions, visit https://www.ready.gov/ and learn how to better prepare your business, employees, and family.
If a disaster strikes, will you be ready?
It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- Develop and test emergency communication plans.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies.
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
- Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.
The Science Behind Drying
Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? SERVPRO has both the training and equipment essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition.
SERVPRO is trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage form happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional dying equipment.
What does it mean to help speed up mother nature? A building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material, but this only happens if the air is indeed drier. Often secondary mold damage occurs because the material does not dry fast enough.
SERVPRO has specialized equipment to help dry hardwood floors, inside walls, and much more.
The bottom line? SERVPRO has the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."
Avoid Frozen Pipes with these Tips
With temps getting colder, here are some quick tips to avoid frozen pipes.
On the inside:
- If you will be away from home for days at a time, make sure that all of your pipes are kept warm, especially in spaces that receive little or no heat. Leave cabinet doors open to keep the pipes warm.
- If any pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, open up one faucet with a very small drip to keep water moving through the pipes.
On The Outside:
- Protect your pipes as you would protect your plants. Cover up your outside faucets with foam or towels to insulate them.
- If you plan to be away from home this winter, remember to leave your contact information with a neighbor. You might consider giving them a key to your home, too, and leaving your preferred plumber's contact information behind should an emergency occur.
If your pipes burst and your home has water damage call SERVPRO.
Featured Member of the Chamber of Commerce
For over 20 years, Charlie and Donna Vingoe have owned the SERVPRO franchises of Northwest Bergen and Southern & Eastern Rockland County, located on Crescent Ave. in Waldwick. SERVPRO, a residential and commercial cleanup and restoration firm, provides 24/7 emergency water and fire/smoke/soot damage cleanups, sewage cleanups, mold remediation, bio-hazardous cleanings such as crime scene and hoarder situations, and carpet and upholstery cleanings.
Since 1995, the Vingoe’s SERVPRO have earned the trust of 100’s of national insurance carriers, as well as home and business owners alike, by making water and fire damage cleanups “Like it never even happened.” Their local SERVPRO team of industry certified and experienced production managers, technicians and office staff are experts in helping you with your cleanup and throughout the mitigation process. SERVPRO’s reputation is based on “Readiness”, being ready to help when disaster strikes, “Faster”, being faster to any sized disaster and committed to being “Here to Help”, with the philosophy of understanding the customer’s wants and needs. SERVPRO’s goal is to make a difficult time less challenging.
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen and Southern & Eastern Rockland County has been recognized as one of the top 100 SERVPRO’s in the country, out of over 1800, for the past ten years and are members of SERVPRO’s National Franchise Advisory Board and the Northern New Jersey Sub-Regional Advertising Committee.
Charlie, Donna and the entire SERVPRO team take great pride in giving back to the community and believe their business has a responsibility to “pay it forward”. SERVPRO actively participates with The Waldwick Chamber of Commerce and is part of their Executive Board. SERVPRO works together on Chamber events that support local charities, community volunteer organizations, the town’s beautification, and the promotion of business Chamber members. SERVPRO sponsors the Chamber’s 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk, networking events, Small Business Saturday, and Disco Nights for The Center for Hope and Safety. SERVPRO also sponsors Waldwick Day, several town recreational sports teams and sports banners, local educational fundraising events by donating tricky tray raffle items and monetary donations to various town volunteer organizations. SERVPRO has established a scholarship for a graduating senior from Waldwick High School and is the Emergency Evacuation Shelter and Meeting Point for the Crescent Elementary School. SERVPRO has initiated and sponsored the following charity events for local community members, Bridges for Katie, Kisses for Kelly Comedy Night & Subs for Super Bowl, A Night at the Hermitage for Laura A., a Variety Night for Hope with Heart and a Bruce Springsteen Cover Band Concert for Kerry.
Waldwick Chamber of Commerce Featured Member
To contact Charlie and Donna’s SERVPRO, call 1-800-497-7179 or 201-236-2400
The Behavior of Smoke
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke.
There are two different types of smoke--wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.
SERVPRO technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration, and know the different types of smoke and its behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, the technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on your precious items.
Smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us to investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Types of Smoke:
Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke dries.
Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO technicians can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.
Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.
Our technicians are trained to handle even the toughest losses. And make any smoke disaster "Like it never even happened."
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather and temperatures falling below freezing can bring about home water damage issues such as frozen pipes and ice dams. These damages are costly to repair and in most instances can be prevented.
Frozen pipes are not only those exposed to the cold weather, such as outdoor pipes, but also pipes in cold areas like basements, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your home if not properly and quickly fixed.
According to The American Red Cross here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Drain water completely from swimming pool, sprinkler system and outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
- In extreme cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set at the same temperature day and night. The temperature should not be set below 55°f
Ice dams can cause major damage during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, (source Travelers.com) check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along ceiling of exterior walls in your home. These are indicators that ice dams have occurred and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Remove the ice dam quickly to prevent major water damage to your homes exterior and interior. Using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt can be used to alleviate the ice dam problem.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO has trained professional technicians ready to restore your property.
Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season
DID YOU KNOW?The Top Three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year's Day and Christmas EvePretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season, however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly. American Red Cross offers thefollowing safety tips:
- Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters radiators heat vents and candles.
- Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas Trees.
- Keep anything that can catch fire-pot holders/mitts, wooden utensils, paper bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and fire places are properly extinguished after the guests leave.
Are You Winter Weather Ready?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. from heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your foundation. Clear gutters of debris, leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water damage problems.
- Inspect handrails and stairwells as well as entryways to address and correct potential slippery surfaces.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside the cabinet. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucets to ensure it drains.
- Call SERVPRO about completing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or downloading the READY Plan APP.