Recent Commercial Posts
Keeping Employees and Customers Safe During a Thunderstorm
Storm in Seattle, WA
As a business owner in the Seattle, WA area, the health and safety of your employees and customers are of paramount importance from both production and ethical standpoints. Ensure their well-being during thunderstorm weather by keeping your commercial buildings up to code and enacting necessary safety procedures.
Remove Employees and Customers From High-Risk Areas
Should a rainstorm ever become serious enough to threaten the safety of the employees or customers of a business, all persons must be immediately relocated from any hazardous areas of the property.
- In commercial buildings, remove any employees stationed near skylights or windows and prevent patrons from accessing these areas.
- For extremely vulnerable areas, such as water parks and open-air stadiums, close the facility until long after any storm has ceased.
- During emergency situations, remove all employees and customers from the premises or provide adequate shelter for them.
Keep Trees Trimmed
In addition to aesthetic benefits, regularly trimming the trees outside commercial buildings makes them less susceptible to falling over in the high winds of a severe rainstorm. Remove any damaged or oversized branches and invest in the long-term health of any landscaping on company property.
Maintain Lightning Rods
Contrary to popular belief, lightning rods do not change the likelihood of a building being struck by lightning. However, should lightning ever try to strike the building, a lightning rod will provide a safe path into the ground, diverting it away from the people inside. Once installed, lightning rods will need to undergo periodic inspections every 3-5 years.
Quickly Restore Damaged Property
Any storm damages that occur on commercial property should be tended to as swiftly as possible. Finding the right storm damage restoration company to clear debris and make repairs can be the difference between satisfied customers and a negligence lawsuit.
As the owner or manager of a company, it is up to you to protect the people who work for or frequent your business. By planning for rain storm emergencies, you can properly maintain the integrity of your business.
4 Ways To Prevent Mold in the Office Fridge
Preventing Fridge Mold
Maybe your breakroom fridge in Greenlake, WA isn't as bad as the one at an office building in San Jose, CA, where, in 2009, 28 people became sick from fumes of spoiled food and disinfectants. Perhaps your office fridge isn't that bad yet, but you can use this as a cautionary tale to coworkers. Here are four tips on preventing fridge mold at your office:
1. Store food the right way. This sounds straightforward, but the USDA recommends repackaging foods into smaller portions for efficient chilling. This is especially important after-work events where large quantities of food were shared. When deep containers of warm food are placed in the fridge, the center may stay warm long enough for bacteria and mold to grow. Be sure to cover food to help keep moisture in and better maintain the humidity of the fridge environment.
2. Maintain the proper temperature and humidity. Mold can live at temps of 40-100° F, but you can reduce the opportunity for fridge mold by keeping the temperature at 40° F or lower. Buy a thermometer to keep inside of the fridge for easy monitoring and don't keep the doors open for long periods of time.
3. Know when to throw away food. Don't rely on mold smell to motivate you. Food should be removed weekly and never left over the weekend. Food that has sat at greater than 40° F for more than 2 hours is not safe to eat, so throw out all food when the power has been out that long.
4. Use proper cleaning methods. For disinfecting fridge interiors, don't use harsh cleaners that may transfer odors to foods. Frequent cleaning with baking soda and dish soap is all you need. Pay attention to high humidity areas that are at higher risk for fridge mold, like crisper drawers and seals.
Hopefully, you won't need a hazmat team to help your office through disinfecting fridge cleaning, but mold remediation specialists are available to help with any mold problem in your building. With their knowledge and special equipment, they make sure to clean up mold while preventing the further spread of spores.
Filing a Mold Claim
Mold was found behind the baseboard.
Filing a Mold Insurance Claim
Savvy business owners in Broadview, WA, know the importance of having commercial insurance. While it is essential, it is also important to thoroughly understand what the policy covers. That is especially vital when faced with a mold problem. Although you can rely on a mold remediation and restoration company to take care of the problem, filing a mold insurance claim may not always go smoothly or be accepted.
Damage from fungi seems to be an ever-changing part of insurance coverage. In most cases, commercial insurance will not accept claims for damage caused by neglect, such as avoiding a lingering water leak or persistent high humidity issues. If a pipe burst or other unexpected water infiltration causes mold growth, coverage for a claim may include:
- Direct loss of covered property due to fungi
- Mold removal
- Replacement of materials to access hidden growth
- Testing after remediation
Although spores are everywhere, they need the right conditions to grow. If they have moisture, warm temperatures and nutrients, which include drywall and wood, they will flourish. Mold damage may not always be something that is completely avoidable but taking a few preventive steps may minimize the chances of that happening.
Immediately address any water issues. Even a slow leak may lead to the right conditions for a colony to grow.
Regularly inspect the roof, vents, seals and drainage to ensure moisture isn’t collecting. If a wet spot is found, make a prompt repair.
If faced with high humidity, boost indoor ventilation and install a dehumidifier.
Schedule an annual HVAC inspection. Air ducts are a prime location for mold to thrive. It is also important to check any condensation pans for excessive buildup.
Maintaining commercial insurance is important, but it does not always equal the acceptance of the claim. Understanding your policy and taking preventive measures are ways to make the process smoother.
How To Prevent an Out-of-Control Mold Infestation
If you think your property might suffer from mold damage, let our SERVPRO team make it "Like it never even happened."
How to Prevent a Mold Infestation From Getting Out of Hand
As a commercial property owner or manager, you have many jobs to juggle. This includes limiting or fixing damage to the premises. Mold is a particularly common cause of harm in commercial buildings.
The invisible spores can spread through the air and grow on organic surfaces. While mold removal services are available, you can save money by stopping the mold infestation before it starts. Here are some ways to prevent a mold problem from getting out of control.
1. Decrease Moisture
Mold grows quickly in dark and wet areas. You should thus limit the amount of moisture in the air. You can do this by installing fans and dehumidifiers throughout the property
2. Keep the HVAC System Clean
Mold often hides in the vents of your building. The spores can then spread into the air whenever you turn on your heater or air conditioner. To prevent this, clean the HVAC system regularly. If you do suspect that the spores have gotten into the vents, call mold removal experts.
3. Know the Signs
To prevent a mold problem from getting out of hand, you need to spot the spores when they first start to grow. Hold regular inspections and focus on wet areas such as crawl spaces and basements. Musty smells and fuzzy stains could be evidence of a mold issue.
Of course, finding the mold is only the first step. Once you suspect that the fungus is starting to grow, contact local commercial mold cleanup professionals. They will be able to remove the mold safely.
Because mold grows quickly, what appears to be a small patch of the fungus can quickly spread throughout your building. To prevent the need for mold removal services, you should keep your Greenlake, WA property dry and clean the vents. If you do find signs of mold on the premises, contact mold remediation specialists who can quickly address the issue.
Tips on Flood Readiness for Your Business
Unpredictable weather conditions can cause rising floodwaters, threatening your business with physical damage and revenue loss.
Flood Preparedness Tips For Your Business
Unpredictable weather conditions can cause rising floodwaters and threaten your business with physical damage and loss of revenue. With preparation, your risk of significant damage lessens. Taking a few precautionary measures can save you from having to clean up major water damage and lose valuable time. Consider implementing the following:
Emergency Preparedness Plan
Whatever your existing risk level, you may experience less damage to your business if you prepare by:
- Compiling an emergency resource box or closet that includes water, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit
- Signing up for emergency notification services in your area
- Finding phone numbers for a local water restoration company
- Keeping up with preventive maintenance practices, such as cleaning gutters and storm drains
- Posting building evacuation routes in a central location
The type of plan you require depends on your level of risk for severe weather and water damage.
Consult with your city planning department, local weather agencies and nearby property owners to determine the history of flooding in your area. Knowing your risk level helps you plan for any vulnerable elements related to your structure or location. Your business insurance agent may also be able to help you determine your risk, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides risk maps and other resources.
If you discover that you bear a flood risk, it is important to involve your workforce in emergency preparedness. From broken pipes to threatening floodwaters, your staff can be helpful in helping prevent serious water damage. A little preparation can teach them what to do and how to work together effectively in an emergency. Your local emergency response personnel or water remediation specialist may generally be willing to help you design a plan for your unique situation.
If your Greenlake ,WA, business endures a flood event, you will likely be glad you spent time preparing. Water cleanup and restoration can be disruptive, but adequate preparation can reduce the impact of severe weather on your property and your bottom line.
Why Floods are the Perfect Breeding Ground for Mold Development
Water damage can lead to microbial growth in as little as 48 hours. Give SERVPRO a call at the first signs of a water leak to prevent mold.
Why Are Floods The Ideal Breeding Ground For Mold Growth?
It’s bad enough that your business flooded. You now have to wade through the lengthy mitigation and restoration process, hoping that your business doesn’t go under in the process. However, while your focus is rightfully on your business, you should refocus your attention to the possibility of mold growth. Flooding creates the perfect breeding ground for mold development for many reasons.
Floodwaters are not the cleanest water. Typically, the water is filled with bacteria. Additionally, it takes time for flooding to recede which means that your business is left with a pool of standing water until city sewers or natural drainage take effect. This is a perfect concoction for mold development because mold loves damp and humid environments.
2. No Electricity
Mold growth also thrives in dark areas, so when flooding also leads to sweeping power outages, mold thrives. Additionally, if the power is out then most ventilation systems are out, meaning that the interior of your facility is remaining damp and humid, potentially accelerating mold infestation.
3. Closed Spaces
Mold takes hold within 24-48 hours, and in closed spaces, it is typically at the lower end of that spectrum. Most business owners lock up their facilities tight, with sandbag barricades, as most cities advise. Unfortunately, a tightly sealed facility also contributes to a lack of ventilation.
4. Cleanup Process
Luckily, a fast cleanup response can mitigate the development of mold. Unfortunately, the cleaning process may contribute to a spreading problem because cleaning out requires ventilating the space, which increases air movement and allows for the spread. A mold remediation specialist in the Shoreline, WA, area will be able to assess your property better and help you reduce your risks.
Mold growth can occur quickly after a flood, and unfortunately, the conditions left behind after the storm has passed only increase the likelihood of an infestation. Thankfully, some specialists can help you reduce your losses and get back to business quicker.
How To Manage Water-Damaged Office Equipment
If you have water damage in your business, you can count on SERVPRO, we offer our cleanup and restoration services around the clock, 7 days a week
What To Do If Your Office Equipment Has Been Flooded
Sustaining water damage and restoring a flooded company can be daunting tasks for any Richmond Beach, WA, business. In addition to soaking walls and flooring, a leak or broken pipe can also saturate essential equipment. While some things, like books and paper, may not be salvageable, you may be able to save many items. Recognizing specific care requirements for a variety of objects may help you complete an efficient cleanup and restoration, allowing you to return to normal business operations as quickly as possible.
Water and electricity can be a dangerous mix. To minimize the risk of electric shock and help avert a short circuit, you should avoid plugging in any electronic device located inside the flood zone:
Because of their intricate components, an electronics specialist should analyze each device to determine its salvageability and complete necessary repairs.
Like all saturated items inside your flooded company, office furniture should be promptly removed and dried. Leather and upholstered couches and chairs may require professional cleaning. Because of the risk of mold contamination, you may need to discard extremely saturated items.
Wooden furnishings may also require special care. To prevent warping and cracks, you should gradually dry these pieces. Employing heaters and leaving wooden desks, bookshelves and chairs in direct sunlight for an extended period may cause additional damage.
Carpets and Cloth Items
Mildew can quickly develop on damp fabric. To minimize this risk, you should quickly address wet cloth, including curtains and small, removable carpets. Dry cleaning may be the most effective way to cleanse and refresh these items.
A Restored Office
A broken pipe can cause significant destruction inside any business. The key to surviving a flooded company is a swift response. Because the task can be extremely challenging, obtaining professional assistance may be the best way to efficiently dry, salvage and restore your water-damaged equipment and office furnishings.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
As soon as a fire starts, get the extinguisher and identify a safe evacuation path.
The Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is a helpful safety tool for suppressing small to medium-sized fires and limiting fire damage. As soon as a fire starts, get the extinguisher and identify a safe evacuation path. You should check to make sure that the extinguisher you have on hand contains a suitable substance for the type of fire you are trying to suppress. It is also a good idea to sound the fire alarm in a commercial property and contact the fire department before attempting to suppress a fire.
Whether you have never used a extinguisher or it has been a long time since you experienced a fire emergency, here are four simple steps you can follow.
- Pull the pin. Pulling the pin on a extinguisher will break the tamper seal.
- Aim the fire extinguisher nozzle, hose, or horn. Point the dispenser at the base of the fire. Avoid making contact with the discharge horn on a CO2 extinguisher, as it may become very cold.
- Squeeze the handle. Squeeze the handle to dispense the substance within the extinguisher in the direction of the fire.
- Spray from side to side. Move the spray horizontally across the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Keep in mind that a fire may seem to be out and then reignite.
Keep watching the affected area to make sure the fire does not restart or have firefighters inspect the area to make sure it is out. Once you use a fire extinguisher you will need to either refill or replace the extinguisher, depending on whether the design is reusable or disposable. Reusable extinguishers cost more up front but less to refill than buying a new disposable extinguisher. If your commercial property in Greenlake , WA sustains fire damage from a kitchen fire or electrical fire, you should contact a commercial restoration company.
How Mold Can Happen Even in Dry Climates
Mold growth on baseboard.
How Mold Can Happen Even in Dry Climates
As a commercial property owner in Wallingford, WA, you are likely keenly aware of fire safety measures, but do you consider the threat of black mold? Many property owners in this area feel that the dry climate protects them against the possibility of mold growth, but that is not true. Ask any mold remediation company, and they will tell you mold spores exist everywhere, meaning there is always a possibility for growth and damage. However, there are three likely causes for concern that you should watch for.
- Weather Damage
- Undetected Leaks
- HVAC or AC Systems
Even in Wallingford, WA, rain and wind damage can be a problem for businesses. While monsoons don't frequently happen, when they do, buildings can suffer a significant amount of damage, especially to the roof. However, because of the lack of frequency of these storms, many property owners don't think to inspect their roofs for damage, which means that attic spaces can have water damage that goes unnoticed. If left unabated, water damage can lead to mold development.
Other common causes of black mold and different fungal varieties are undetected leaks. Now, if you own a warehouse, this may not be as much of a problem for you because most of the facilities plumbing is open, making leak detection a breeze. However, if you own a more conventional or traditional building, the plumbing is typically situated behind walls, making early detection nearly impossible without the help of a plumber. Therefore, as a property owner, make sure to keep an eye on water bills and usage, ensuring that nothing is out of the ordinary.
HVAC or AC Systems
Mold cleanup also occurs quite often in HVAC and AC systems. These units typically have problems with condensation buildup, which can lead to mold. Therefore, check filters routinely and stick to annual inspections.
While not every mold is toxic black mold, all varieties can exist and develop even in dry climates. Therefore, it is necessary to be vigilant about the inspections and maintenance schedules of your commercial property.
How Property Managers Can Prepare for Storm Damage
Taking storm preparedness seriously is vital for anyone who works in property management.
As someone in property management, you know there are various risks that you face each day. One of the costliest dangers that you must prepare for is storm damage. Without proper preparation, a storm can cause severe harm to your property and lead to steep repair and replacement costs. However, equipping yourself for the next storm on your Broadview, WA, property is only a matter of following a few simple steps. Here are some essential storm preparedness guidelines to follow before a natural disaster targets your area.
Gather Relevant Information
Having all of your information in place before a storm will allow you to feel in control once the bad weather hits. Be sure to verify that you have the following key pieces of information well in advance of the storm:
- Updated contact info from renters
- Renters’ emergency contacts
- Contact info for service providers (roofers, general contractors, etc.)
- Current service agreements
Taking inventory of this necessary information ahead of time can prevent you from feeling unprepared in the event of a storm.
Prepare Your Renters
It’s completely natural for your renters to feel nervous or overwhelmed at the thought of an imminent storm. That’s why a crucial storm preparedness guideline is to clearly communicate with residents so that they understand what to do in a severe weather event. The more informed your renters are, the more confident they will feel.
Take Every Detail Into Account
To be as prepared as possible before a storm, you need to create an elaborate plan that takes every potential risk into account. Everything from employee roles to your insurance policy should be included in your emergency plan. For extra safety, be sure to outline what each employee should do before, during and after the storm to ensure that they have adequate guidance every step of the way.
Taking storm preparedness seriously is vital for anyone who works in property management. To keep your building in optimal condition after the weather incident, be sure to contact storm damage restoration professionals immediately.
How Do Partial Losses Differ From Total Losses?
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage.
A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in Wallingford, WA.
The Damage Is Limited
If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:
- Burnt or charred building materials or contents
- Heat-damaged building materials or contents
- Smoke-damaged building materials or contents
Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.
Restoration Is An Option
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.
Contents Can Be Restored or Replaced
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat, and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim.
Basic First Aid Procedures for Burns
Basic burn first aid is a valuable skill for anyone to have.
When a fire breaks out in a commercial building, there is always the possibility of personal injury in addition to fire damage to property. A company should work to educate employees on how to handle burns, minor cases of smoke inhalation and instances of stress. Anything too serious such as severe burns or damaging respiratory injuries should be left to medical professionals. In these cases, the responsibility of employees is to call for emergency personnel and keep the patient comfortable. Basic burn first aid is a valuable skill for anyone to have.
The Treatment of Minor Burns
With burns, it is important to start with the basics. First, the person in the position of administering first aid should make sure the scene is safe. This includes watching out for areas of fire damage. The next step is to remove the injured person from the fire or hot element if possible and then cool down the burn, usually with cold water. Further treatment should proceed as follows:
- Gently remove any rings or jewelry near the burn
- Elevate the burned area if possible
- Do not break any blisters on the skin
- Apply a lotion containing aloe vera or other moisturizer
- Bandage the burn with sterile gauze
Mild pain relievers can be given to reduce pain. The injured person should also be monitored for signs of shock.
The Remediation of Property Damage
Soon after a business fire in Ballard, WA, fire restoration efforts should begin. A quality fire mitigation company has the necessary knowledge and equipment to deal with nearly every aspect of a fire. Trained technicians will start with a rapid inspection and assessment of the property and then proceed with a plan of action. They will work quickly and efficiently to restore the building to its original condition.
Both fire damage and injuries are often the unfortunate consequences of a fire. With proper actions, the scope of these negatives can be reduced.
How To Dry Out a Building After a Pipe Burst
There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business.
When a pipe bursts in your building, you need to think quickly and stay on your toes to avoid more problems like mold growth. The best way to go about restoring the property after water intrusion is to first ensure that your building is as dry as possible. While you are waiting for experts to arrive, there are things you can do that will speed up the drying process. Here are some damage tips to keep in mind when drying out your Seattle, WA building.
1. Assess the Damage
Following a pipe burst, the first thing you’ll want to do is to mindfully walk around your property and document any problems. Although diving into cleanup will increase your chances of salvaging parts of your property, there will likely already be some things that are beyond minor repair. Accurate documentation will aid you when you speak with your insurance company about these damages.
2. Let In the Breeze
Natural air is often the best way to dry out your building. One of the best damage tips you can follow is to immediately open the windows in any of the rooms that have been affected by the water. You can also bring in fans, which will offer additional circulation in places that outside air may not be able to reach.
3. Get Rid Of the Water
You can tackle standing water with a wet/dry vacuum to ensure that some of the moisture is removed from the building right away. Other important cleaning tips are to grab any soaked furniture or rugs and place them outside. They can dry in the fresh air, and the water in your building will evaporate faster without the added moisture of wet fabric.
A burst pipe most definitely warrants a visit from a professional water removal specialist to help with the cleanup. In the meantime, these damage tips can help you jump-start the drying process.
Commercial Building Restoration Services
When a storm hits your Seattle business, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise.
Commercial Building Restoration Services
When fires or water damage happen, they may occur at your office or business. Who do you call? Knowing the right company to help in an emergency is important to get your Seattle business back up and running as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO of Seattle/Northwest is available 24/7 to help you restore your Seattle commercial property and get you back to business. We have the expertise, equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire, or mold damage. We can also access the resources of our national network of 1,650 Franchises to handle large commercial projects and major storm events. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:
- Overview of Commercial Services
- Commercial Restoration
- Commercial Water Restoration
- Commercial Fire Restoration
- Commercial Mold Remediation
- Commercial Storm and Major Events
- Disaster Recovery Team
- Commercial Cleaning
SERVPRO of Seattle/Northwest
Keys to Being a Good Landlord
Being a landlord in Seattle, WA, requires a lot of work
How To Be a Terrific Landlord
Being a landlord in Seattle, WA, requires a lot of work. You need to find good tenants, and make sure that everything is in good working order. It's also important to make sure you are doing what you can to be a good landlord. Things include things like making sure the plumbing is in good working order, as well as taking complaints seriously. Here are some landlord tips for how to be a terrific landlord.
Just about any relationship depends on good communication. This is true for the landlord and tenant relationship. When a tenant contacts you about an issue with their plumbing, be sure to respond in a timely manner. Let them know when it can be fixed, and when they can expect the repair person to be there. You also need to communicate with issues regarding:
- Late rent
- Complaints about neighbors
- Infestation issues
These are all issues that should be addressed and handled as quickly as possible.
As the landlord, it is your job to make sure your tenants are safe. Everything needs to be up to code, from the electricity to your commercial plumbing. After a storm, have professional storm restoration experts come and fix the damage as soon as you can. Ensure that everyone has proper plumbing, such as running water, and that smoke detectors are working properly.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance can prevent big repairs later. Things like replacing HVAC filters, smoke detector batteries, and cleaning fireplaces can ensure safety and keep things in good working order. Be sure to communicate the times when you are having these things worked on so that your tenant isn't inconvenienced. This will also give your tenant the opportunity to make sure their space is clean, and that animals are put away on the day the worker is coming.
These landlord tips can all help ensure that your tenants are happy and that you are doing everything you can as a landlord. This can help keep a positive landlord and tenant relationship.
5 Tips for Maintaining Your Building's Sprinkler System
Inspect once a year your fire sprinkler system
5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Sprinkler System
Your building's fire sprinklers are equipment you hope you never have to use. In the unlikely event that fire breaks out at your commercial property in Seattle, WA, however, you'll be thankful that you performed regular sprinkler maintenance. Here are five tips for getting the most out of your sprinkler system.
1. Get an annual checkup. Once a year, your sprinkler system should be inspected by a qualified technician. In addition to evaluating the system's overall condition and testing the main drain, he or she will look at each of the system's parts individually.
Additionally, you should have the interior of your system evaluated every five years. The technician will look for blockages that could impair function. These may be due to rocks, rust, or other debris.
2. Give it space. Keep at least 18 inches of empty space between your sprinkler system and other objects.
3. When the seasons change, check the fire caps. These are the caps on the fire department connections found on the exterior of your building, so named because they're how the fire department will connect with your property to boost your sprinkler system during a fire. Regular sprinkler maintenance should include ensuring that they are present, aren't broken, haven't fallen off, and aren't full of debris.
4. If you see something, say something. If Josh in HR won't stop hanging his dry cleaning from the sprinkler system and you notice damage, have the unit inspected promptly. Injured sprinkler heads can activate when they're not supposed to or, even worse, they may fail to activate when you need them.
5. Always check the sprinklers before new tenants move in. Different businesses and industries require different sprinkler systems. In order to maximize building safety and maintain your system's integrity, it's important to make sure your system can provide sufficient coverage and suppression in the event of a fire.
At best, malfunctioning fire sprinklers can lead to some soggy paperwork or even a call to your local water mitigation company. At worst, they can endanger the well-being of your building's inhabitants. Regular sprinkler maintenance can significantly increase your odds of keeping everything — and everyone — safe and dry.
Why Your Business Needs Fire Insurance
If you are unsure as to what kind of coverage your business has, contact your insurance company to review your policy
Importance Of Having Fire Insurance For Your Building
No matter how many precautions you take, commercial fires can still happen in Ballard, WA. With so many appliances and wiring, office buildings can be very susceptible to sparks, which can lead to bigger problems. Many business owners don't think about fire insurance when they secure their policy or don't want to pay the extra cost, but there are many reasons why this is so important.
Restoration Can Be Expensive
The clean up process can be extremely pricey. Items that have been damaged need to be replaced or repaired, and smoke cleanup can be difficult to handle. If you have fire sprinklers, you may incur water damage costs as well. Paying out of pocket for this can be detrimental for many companies. It is vital that your policy covers the cost of hiring a professional fire restoration company to come take care of the problem.
Your Business May Have to Close
In the event that the building structure is unstable or the office has suffered extreme damage, you may have to close your business for weeks or even months. This will likely cost your company thousands of dollars and can even lead to bankruptcy. While many policies don't offer this kind of coverage with regular fire insurance, most companies have an option for you to add it on.
You May Not Have Enough Coverage
While keeping your premium down can save you quite a bit of money each month, it can really cost you later on if you have underestimated the value of your business. Before you decide how much your business is worth, take the time to carefully tally all items in the building and have a professional appraise the building itself.
If you are unsure as to what kind of coverage your business has, contact your insurance company to review your policy. Remember that fire insurance may not cover all damages that your business may incur, so ask what kind of add-ons might be right for you.
5 Steps to Conducting an Emergency Drill
Is your workplace in Seattle, WA prepared for an emergency evacuation? It is important for all buildings to have an evacuation plan in place and that all workers are well-versed on its contents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides thorough guidance on how to effectively plan for an evacuation and how to run a successful fire drill. The following are the five major steps in the process.
1. Plan Development and Training
Ensure that a written emergency action plan has been developed and that employees are trained on the plan's contents and procedures. Ensure the plan includes the phone number for commercial building restoration services as well.
2. Scheduling and Notification
With the plan in place and training complete, it is time to plan the drill. Coordinate with local authorities to schedule the date and time of the exercise. Authorities will often help run the drill and provide insights afterward. This notification step is critical in the event that building alarms are wired to automatically alert the local fire department in order to prevent falsely triggering a response.
3. Fire Drill Execution
On the designated date and time, activate your building’s alarm system. Observe employees as they evacuate and take note of whether established procedures are being followed. Also note any issues that may arise.
Shortly after the drill, gather key individuals (management, local authorities and/or employees) together to discuss what was observed during the exercise. What went right? What needs improvement? Take note of any action items that result from the discussion.
5. The Follow-Up
Be sure to follow through on any corrective actions that need to occur based on the debriefing. Revisit the written plan and make any changes that have been identified.
It is crucial to run the occasional fire drill to practice evacuation procedures before a crisis occurs. In the event of an emergency, workers will be better prepared to respond quickly and efficiently. It may even save a life. Visit https://www.SERVPROseattlenorthwest.com/ for more information on commercial disaster restoration.
Insurance Can Protect Your Assets From Fire Damage
It is important to check your coverage with your insurance adjuster.
One of the most important things you can purchase for your business in Seattle, WA is a commercial insurance policy. To ensure you get the right coverage for your needs, know what is valuable to your company and how fire can impact your premiums.
Include All of Your Valuables
Identify all of your corporate assets before sitting down with an agent. Make a list of items that have a high cost to replace or are critical to guaranteeing that your business functions on a daily basis. This list will help you determine what you need to have covered.
Important business assets should consist of those things that can be impacted by natural disasters as well as criminal activities, including ice and hail storms, mold or water contamination, auto theft or vandalism, and major events such as hurricane and fire damage. Make sure to have commercial insurance for big and small assets:
• Manufacturing equipment, delivery trucks, fleet vehicles and other big-ticket items
• Your main corporate office space and exterior buildings, such as warehouses, storage facilities, equipment sheds and security offices
• Inventory and its packaging, including products, boxes, packing materials and shipping containers
• Major office equipment such as phone systems, hard drives, computer systems and copy machines
Understand How the Potential for Fire Damage Can Affect Your Policy
One of the biggest factors that impacts insurance costs is how much fire damage your facility could sustain. Location is a primary concern — being in a city that is easily accessible to firefighters and fire restoration companies is better than being in a remote location. Being close to fire hydrants and a fire station will bring your premiums down. An old, all-wood building is considered less safe, and therefore more expensive, than an office in a newer facility constructed with fire resistant materials. Generally speaking, an office building is cheaper to insure than a building that houses hazardous materials and areas, such as gas stations and commercial kitchens.
When getting a commercial insurance policy in Seattle, WA be sure to count all of your assets against losses including fire damage and other catastrophes. It's also wise to take into consideration how your building's location, construction, and contents may impact your premiums.