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Residential Fire - Stay Safe by Regularly Testing Fire Alarms

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm Test your smoke alarm monthly

Inspecting and Checking Your Fire Alarm

A smoke alarm is the first line of defense against a fire in your Moreno Valley, CA. They are designed to alert everyone in the home of fire and smoke to help them get out safely, but they can only do their job if they are properly maintained. In everyday life, it can be easy to forget about the vital device installed in various parts of your home. Instead of risking the safety of everyone and needing fire damage and restoration specialist to salvage your home, make inspecting them and checking them a priority.

Fire Alarm Maintenance
Most people have either an ionization and photoelectric smoke alarm, or a dual one that provides both functions. Unless they are hardwired, these kinds require a 9V battery to operate. Below are recommendations to help maintain their upkeep.

Test all kinds of alarms monthly.
Replace alkaline batteries twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change them on daylight saving time days.
Lithium-powered alarms should not be replaced. Instead, replace the smoke alarm every 10 years.
Replace backup batteries in hardwired systems once a year.
Replace hardwired alarms every 10 years.

Which Is Better, Alkaline, or Lithium?
Since a smoke detector is vital for safety, you want to ensure you are adhering to manufacture guidelines. If going with a lithium 9V system, they do provide a longer-lasting battery life, but they require an alarm designed to handle that type of battery. They maintain their high voltage for longer, so they may have a shorter low-battery warning timeframe. Alkaline batteries have been the staple for years, but they do require regular replacement and monitoring. As long as regular tests are done and guidelines are followed, both are designed to help keep you and your family safe.
Although it might be easy to assume the smoke alarm will work, taking preventive measures can ensure they do. Make regular testing a priority to be ready if a fire breaks out.

5 Common Hiding Places for Mold

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold spots around air duct Mold spores around air duct

Checking These Five Key Hiding Places

Mold is a tenacious fungus to get rid of once it takes up residence in your building. The best way to handle it is to prevent mold growth in the first place. Make the correct preventative measures and protect your building in Banning, CA, by routinely checking these five key hiding places.

1. The underside of the ceiling tiles: Ceiling tiles are porous and absorb moisture quite well. Unfortunately, this makes for an ideal breeding ground for mold spores. A leaky roof can also result in water damage that eventually leads to mold.

2. Any electrical sockets or equipment: Electrical equipment, such as sockets, circuit breakers, light fixtures and other devices generate heat. In a high humidity environment, that heat creates condensation that attracts mold.

3. Paper products: If there's one thing that offices have a lot of, it's paper. Paper products that have been exposed to moisture are at risk for mold. Always store paper products in humidity-controlled environments.

4. Carpeting: Carpet readily traps dirt and other deposits floating in the air. This includes both moisture and, you guessed it, mold spores. Mold in carpet isn't always visible, either. You might have to lift up the upholstery to check underneath the carpet for mold growth.

5. Air ducts: In the hotter months, a building's air ducts can generate a lot of moisture as cool air is pumped in to regulate the building's temperature. If the moisture condenses, or there's a leak in the ductwork, moisture can accumulate on the insulation and attract mold spores.
While it's important to thoroughly check these five places, it's still possible for mold growth to occur anywhere conditions are favorable. Regular mold inspections can definitely help prevent the issue, but you might still end up coming across a mold problem one day or another. If this is the case, make sure to contact mold remediation experts to help resolve the problem.

4 Steps To Creating a Business Continuity Plan

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept A business continuity plan enables business owners to continue to operate a business during or after a disaster

Create a Continuity Plan By Following These Four Steps

A business continuity plan enables business owners to continue to operate a business during or after a disaster. Although flooding can happen with little to no warning, having a solid plan in place can offer some protection. Even if a business is operating at 50-percent capacity during a flood or pipe burst, that is much better than not operating at all. Any business owner can create a plan by following this four-step process.

1. Performing a Business Impact Analysis
Develop questionnaires to identify individual business processes and functions. Have each manager fill out the questionnaire. Review the forms and then meet with each manager to make sure each process is covered.

2. Conducting a Gap Analysis
Use the information obtained in your business impact analysis to identify and document resource requirements. Performing a gap analysis based on this information will help identify any gaps between recovery requirements and current capabilities. Explore what measures need to be taken to fill the identified gaps between recovery requirements and current capabilities.

3. Developing a Continuity Plan
Identify which business processes and functions are critical to the operation of your business and develop workarounds to keep these functions going in case of a disaster. Common safeguards include a relocation plan, an IT disaster recovery procedure, and an emergency response plan. Once the list has been validated, compile it into a comprehensive business continuity plan.

4. Training and Testing
Conduct training for employees and then walk through the exercises in a mock drill. Much like a fire drill, a walkthrough is the best way to identify any gaps or problems before an actual disaster occurs. If any problems are found, add the solutions to your documentation and try again.
Keeping an updated business continuity plan provides added protection for your business in Yucaipa, CA. However, structural damage to your building can still occur. If you have experienced damage to your business, a professional remediation company can help get your business back to its previous condition.

How To Clean Up Mold After a Storm

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

two workers using prrotective gear while putting trash on bag If you are attempting the remediation yourself, you should wear the right gear

Know How To Safely Clean Mold

As hurricane season approaches, your commercial building is in danger of heavy rains and flooding. Along with this comes the potential for mold growth. To keep mold in check, you need to act within two days after a storm hits. While minor outbreaks can be tackled with a good scrub brush, buildings that have been soaked with dirty water may need the help of remediation professionals. However, if you plan to tackle a large outbreak on your own, you must know how to safely clean mold.

Cleaning Mold
Dealing with mold growth is not for those who have respiratory issues. If you lack these issues, here are some tips on how you can clean large outbreaks of mold:

  • Dry out the building as soon as possible.
  • Remove all porous items that have gotten wet and cannot be salvaged.
  • Clean all wet items with detergent and water.
  • Store your damaged items outside until they have been documented by the insurance company.
  • For stubborn mold, use a mixture of bleach and water.

If the water infiltrated your HVAC system, do not turn it on. All surfaces of your system that were submerged are potential reservoirs for dirt, debris, bacteria, and mold. Moisture can also collect in areas of your system that were not submerged, causing mold to grow there as well. Therefore, you should have your HVAC system cleaned and disinfected by a professional as soon as possible.

Using PPE
If you are attempting the remediation yourself, you should wear the right gear. You may not need a complete hazmat suit, but you do need to cover your eyes, nose, and hands during cleanup. You should also wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and waterproof boots. These will protect you from exposure to mold growth.
When a flood impacts your building in Riverside, CA, you must act quickly. You will want to dry out the standing water as soon as possible and clean all areas to prevent mold from growing.

Four Safety Tips To Follow After a Flood

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! It is a good idea to turn off the power completely

Proper Flood Safety

A turbulent storm season in North Riverside, CA, can result in flooding in your home. Here are some tips to follow to practice proper flood safety.

1. Call the Professionals
A small spill in the kitchen can be cleaned up easily, but for large-scale damage, you need the expertise of certified professionals. Flood restoration specialists survey the damage, assess the extent of the problem, outline safety tips, and propose the appropriate actions for getting your house back to normal. They know what can be salvaged and what must be torn out and thrown away to prevent secondary damage.

2. Stay Out of Floodwater
Water from a storm is not clean water. It is likely contaminated with bacteria. Therefore, you should avoid contact with it as much as possible. Wear personal protective gear whenever you're around floodwater. If you cannot extract items out of standing water safely, it is best to wait for the cleanup technicians to arrive.

3. Turn Off Electricity
Water and electricity do not mix. A vital aspect of flood safety is making sure that you do not use any electrical device near water damage. In fact, it is a good idea to turn off the power completely, especially if the damage covers a large portion of the house.

4. Throw Away Items
Technicians may be able to save quite a few things that were affected by the flood, but some things need to be thrown away. Toss any cosmetics that came into contact with the water. Do not consume any food exposed to your flooded kitchen. You may be able to wash off canned goods, but all products or items in cardboard boxes should be discarded.
When your home is flooded, it is important to know the next steps to take. Until your home is restored, you should approach it as if it is a safety hazard and exercise caution. Follow flood safety guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe.

Deciphering If Its Mold or Mildew?

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing at a white wall that has black mold growth Deciding if you have mold damage or a mildew problem is often easy

Difference Between Mold or Mildew

When faced with an unknown substance in your Old Town Riverside, CA, it can be easy to assume that you may have mold damage. In some cases, it might be a mildew problem and not a mold one. Regardless of which it is, it is important to get the issue immediately taken care of. How you approach the cleaning process requires understanding the difference between the two.

Mildew Growth
Often considered a plant disease, mildew is a form of mold that typically has two classifications:

Powdery – Typically white or gray splotches found on flowering plants. Over time, it can turn to a brown or black color.
Downy – This type often affects foods, such as potatoes. It usually begins as yellow spots that turn brown.

Mildew grows on a surface and easily be removed. Although it normally only affects plants and food, it is important to get rid of it.

Mold Growth
There are many types of mold that can grow indoors. While some are more harmful than others, any mold damage should be taken care of by mold remediation and restoration expert to ensure it is properly cleaned and the area it was growing no longer provides mold spores a welcoming environment.
The appearance of the fungus is the easiest way to identify if it is mold or mildew. Mold forms as green or black patches that appear either slimy or fuzzy. It also can have irregular spots with other colors, such as brown, gray, yellow, and blue. Unlike the surface-loving mildew, mold penetrates below the surface. Along with growing on food, it can easily spread in organic materials in the home, including drywall, fabrics, furniture, bathrooms, and clothes. If left unchecked, it can begin to rot areas of the home and quickly spread to unaffected areas.
Deciding if you have mold damage or a mildew problem is often easy. Regardless of which it is, consider having it inspected by a professional to help determine the underlying causes.

5 Office Items That Can Be Restored After a Flood

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Office Supplies You may find it comforting to know that the same professionals who can handle water in home damage can also take care of your business.

When a broken pipe occurs in your Calimesa, CA business you may be wondering what to do next. Fortunately, many of the water in home cleanup tips can apply to company property as well. For example, many water damage restoration services like SERVPRO of North Riverside city offers item cleaning options as well. Here are five common office items that they may be able to help restore.

1. Floor Coverings


In many cases the floor coverings such as welcome mats, chair mats, anti slip rugs, or cushions for those who stand long periods of time, may be affected by flooding. Fortunately, these items can all be washed with special cleaners.


2. Electronics


You may be worried out office electronics such as phones, computers, copiers, and manufacturing machinery. In many cases a restoration professional can save these items as well with carefully designed cleaning practices.


3. Furniture


Just like if their area issues with water in home areas, furniture may be affected at an office as well. In many cases these can be cleaned with a special solution and a scrub brush or rag.


4. Paperwork



Damaged paperwork may need to go through special dry cleaning processes. Your restoration service may have the ability to freeze-dry these items and have them carefully cleaned so that they are still usable. The team may also be able to scan these documents into an electronic database for you.


5. Office Supplies


In many cases office supplies can be affected. Fortunately, many of these items and small and solid enough that they can be dipped or soaked in a cleaning solution.



You may find it comforting to know that the same professionals who can handle water in home damage can also take care of your business. With a little time and the right equipment they may even be able to salvage your floor coverings, electronics, office furniture, paperwork, and office supplies.

 

FEMA’s Help After a Storm

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

House with roof damage in the woods. You can receive crisis counseling and legal assistance through FEMA's program.

After a storm hits your house in Old Town Riverside, CA you may face extensive home damage. If your insurance policy does not cover the damage to your house, you can be stuck paying a lot of money for repairs. Fortunately, FEMA stands by individuals after a natural disaster and can offer assistance to those who need it.


FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program
The Individuals and Households Program provides both financial assistance and services for damage and losses caused by a natural disaster, such as flooding. Through this program, FEMA can offer financial assistance for:

-Home repair or replacement
-Personal property damage
-Medical or dental injuries
-Funerals
-Child care
-Vehicular damage


The program can also cover other miscellaneous yet necessary expenses for individuals who face various types of storm damage. For instance, someone who has extensive flood damage can receive compensation for hiring storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

Additionally, individuals who qualify for this program may receive direct services to try to remedy the damage done by a natural disaster. If your house has been destroyed, you may be put into a temporary housing unit. Furthermore, you can receive crisis counseling and legal assistance through this program.


To be eligible for the Individuals and Household Program, you must live in a presidentially declared disaster zone, be a citizen of the United States, and have necessary expenses or needs that are not covered by your insurance benefits. It is also important to keep in mind that there is a limit on how much financial assistance individuals can receive for certain things. This amount can be adjusted based on the severity of the storm and the consumer price index.


The Individuals and Households Program provides helps provide services and financial assistance to people after natural disasters. If you face serious damage due to a storm or other disaster, you may be eligible for the assistance FEMA provides through this program.

How To Keep Your Business Prepared in Case of a Fire

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

Smoking building with a fireman. Have inspections done regularly to catch potential hazards before they become a problem.

It may not be second nature to think about a fire happening in your business, but fire preparation is necessary to keep you and your employees safe and to protect your Banning, CA building. Be sure to take the following steps before you find yourself in an emergency situation.


1. Make Sure You Have Insurance


Paying for fire damage repairs out of pocket can be pricey and can potentially have a negative impact on your business. If you don’t already have insurance that covers this type of damage, consider adding it. Ensure that it covers the following:

-Business building
-Office equipment
-Attached/detached structures
-Inventory


2. Maintain Your Fire Alarms


Making sure your fire alarms are working properly is an essential part of fire preparation and should never be overlooked. You should have at least one alarm on each floor, and they should be tested at least once a month.


3. Reduce Fire Hazards


There are many things that can create an increased risk of fire in your building. They can range from overloaded outlets and blocked windows and doors to faulty wiring in the electrical system. Have inspections done regularly to catch potential hazards before they become a problem.


4. Create an Escape Plan


Another important part of disaster preparation is creating an escape plan. Locate all potential exits, including windows on lower floors, and determine multiple exit paths from each area of the building. You should practice the plan at least twice a year. Posting maps in each room of the building can be helpful as well.


5. Make Copies of Important Documents


You probably have many documents, both physical and digital, that are important to your business. Making sure that you have copies of paperwork can help limit the damage if a fire does occur. Make physical copies of paper items, and back up files to external or cloud storage.


Taking the right steps toward fire preparation can help minimize its effects on your business. However, you may still end up dealing with fire or smoke damage. A cleanup and restoration company can perform mitigation and repairs so you can get back to work more quickly.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. There are many incidents that could lead to business interruption

A fire in your commercial building in Beaumont, CA, can cause extensive damage. You may not even be able to continue business as usual until the damage is repaired. When this happens, it's useful to have business interruption insurance to cover the costs to keep you on your feet.

Operating Expenses

Entrepreneurs know how to be flexible and adapt to new circumstances. No matter how seamlessly you change your business model to accommodate for the temporary loss of your facilities after a business fire, however, it is likely that you won't see as much cash flow as you're used to. Unfortunately, the costs associated with operation don't go away:

  • Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments
  • Monthly bills
  • Temporary location

Your interruption policy can help cover these costs. Talk to your provider about the specific exemptions for your particular policy.

Lost Income
Business interruption insurance may also cover the income you lose while fire cleaning experts are working on your building. The amount your policy covers depends on a combination of previous and projected earnings. Using recent profit and loss statements, your provider estimates how much you would have earned if you were able to operate your business as usual during the down time. The policy is designed to protect that income so that you don't get behind or have to shut down completely.

Government Shutdown
If a pandemic or some other widespread disaster happens, the government may decide that all non-essential businesses must close for a certain period of time. During these events, your interruption policy should cover the same things it would cover if your building was damaged or destroyed. A shutdown that is out of your control doesn't have to put your business in jeopardy if you have the right insurance coverage.
There are many incidents that could lead to business interruption. It just makes sense to have a policy in place to cover the money you lose because of it.