WHAT IS BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING?
Fire and water can create commercial damage that impacts your local Long Beach business in several ways. This might include infrastructure damage, employee injuries, and loss of revenue. It is important to ensure that your business continues running smoothly, even after a natural disaster, by creating a business continuity plan.
Business continuity planning is the creation of an emergency plan by recognizing threats facing the company and ensuring that assets are protected and remain functioning. For example, a finance corporation might back-up its computer and client files offsite, providing satellite offices access to important information in the event of an emergency. Once critical business functions are identified and a plan is in place, it’s advantageous to delegate business disruption duties to specific employees.
An area that is often overlooked is damage within the supply chain. If your business relies on a sole supplier for goods or services, a fire within their building is likely to have an adverse effect on your business. As a supplier, dividing operations will lead to partial damage instead of total loss.
With a well-designed plan, we hope to see your Long Beach commercial business running smoothly. Even with preparation, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach / Signal Hill recognizes that emergencies happen routinely, and we are here to help restore your commercial building and minimize disruption.
PREVENTING AN EXTERNAL BUSINESS FIRE
External fire damage prevention remains a top priority for many businesses. While it is important to focus on preventing fires from igniting within the facility, external preventative measures should be considered as well. Since nearly every state has laws prohibiting smoking in public places, smoking occurs outside, often around the business by shrubbery and mulch. These fires can slow-burn for hours due to smoldering tunnels under the surface that later break out into open flame. Be mindful of the following tips to prevent fires from starting outside your business.
- Keep the mulch at least 18 inches away from combustible building materials, such as wood and decks.
- Provide proper receptacles for smoking materials at all entrances and in designated smoking at least 18 inches from the building and empty receptacles regularly.
- Keep mulch beds moist when possible.
If you need to create a controlled fire outside, remember the following:
- Don’t start open fires when the ground and surrounding vegetation are dry.
- Don’t burn when winds are stronger than a gentle breeze.
- Always have a strong water source ready in case a fire begins to get out of control.
- Stay with the fire at all times.
- When finished, rake through the ashes to ensure that all coals are cooled.
With these helpful tips, SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach / Signal Hill hopes your business remains free of fire damage. If you find yourself in an emergency, we're available to help reverse fire damage thoroughly and professionally.
FIXING WATER DAMAGED CARPETING IN YOUR BUSINESS
When you’re dealing with commercial water damage, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and decisions must be made quickly. For instance, many business owners need help deciding if wet carpet should be repaired or replaced. Rest assured, we at SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach / Signal Hill will help you assess the situation and create a plan to fix or replace water-damaged materials, including your water-damaged carpeting.
Assess the Situation
During your evaluation, ask yourself the following questions.
- Has the source of the water been identified?
- Is it safe to fix the water-damaged carpeting, or are there hazardous materials involved?
- Has the water been stopped?
If the carpet is to be dried instead of replaced, the water responsible for damaging the carpet must be from a clean source such as broken pipes, supply lines, and rain. Flood-damaged carpet can be especially toxic and include mold spores or life-threatening bacteria. Do not attempt to salvage the carpet that was damaged by flooding.
What To Expect After a Commercial Roof Fire?
Roof damage can be tricky to recognize immediately after a fire, especially if your attention has been drawn toward the damage inside your commercial property and the people who were on your property during the fire.
3 Steps Professionals Take Right Away
However, when fire cleanup and repair professionals show up to assess your property, there are some steps they'll take right away:
- Secure your property
- The tarp over any holes on the roof
- Provide their initial assessment
It's best to assume that you'll need roof repair. If the heat and flames of the fire didn't directly damage the roofing materials, firefighters may have broken holes in the roof as part of their efforts to save the rest of the building.
Why Does Tarping Matter?
Some of the most important tasks involved in fire cleanup are included in tarp services. When technicians cover the holes in the roof, they protect the inside of your property from rain or snow, windblown debris, animals, and insects. This work may also involve preventing others from entering your building without permission. This is a good way to avoid vandalism and other secondary damages.
What Should You Do After the Fire?
There are several other dos and don'ts you should also understand when your building has been damaged by fire:
- Do contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide these professionals with your insurance policy and account information.
- Do keep records of all conversations, receipts, and documents related to the fire, the resulting damage, and your insurance claim.
- Don't try to complete roof repair on your own. There are many safety hazards, and you could cause further damage, as well as making it more difficult for the insurance adjuster to establish the amount of damage.
- Don't enter the building until the fire department has completed all necessary safety inspections.
The property has been damaged by a fire, you'll need to rely on experienced fire cleanup professionals to help you get your building back into its pre-fire condition. Make sure you're prepared before a fire breaks out, so you can react confidently during an emergency.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Fire?
Because the property owner's insurance does not cover the personal property of tenants, it is important for renters to purchase their own coverage. The short answer to the question of whether renter’s insurance covers fire is that it does. However, different types of coverage apply to fire damage in different ways.
Different Types of Renter Insurance Coverage for Fire Damage
The primary reason for renters to purchase fire coverage is to replace personal property damaged or destroyed in a fire. Examples of personal property include:
- Home decor
Some types of property may be specifically excluded or have different limits, such as jewelry, cash, guns, and musical instruments. Most policies cover personal property at replacement value, but some may cover it at actual cash value, which is the replacement value less depreciation. If you need a fire restoration service, to clean your smoke-damaged property, this may be covered by your policy.
Another coverage provided by most renters insurance policies is a liability. This means that if you accidentally cause a fire in your rental unit, your liability coverage may pay for any damages to the building or injuries to other tenants or guests that you are legally liable for.
Medical Payments to Others
Most renters’ policies provide a small amount of coverage for medical payments to others. This is no-fault coverage, so it applies, even if you didn't cause the fire. This coverage might apply if you had a guest in your apartment and that person needed medical attention due to smoke inhalation from a fire in your kitchen.
Loss of Use
If a fire makes your apartment uninhabitable, loss of use coverage may apply. This coverage may reimburse you for additional living expenses, such as paying for a hotel room.
Renters insurance provides a variety of coverages for various types of fire damage. If you are unsure what your policy covers, your insurance professional can review your policy with you and make adjustments as needed.
What to Do After a Fire
Immediately after a fire is a very stressful time. With all of the fire damage and loss, it can difficult to see what to do next. The first thought on most people's minds is to repair the damage, but there are a few things that you should consider doing even before that. The very first thing you should do is call your insurance company. The second is to secure your home.
3 Steps to Follow After a Fire
Secure Your Home
Securing your home does not mean lock your doors. Remember that there could be hundreds of access points after a fire. Between the flames, smoke and the fire department, the damage can be extensive. When you secure your home, you will need to board up holes, windows, and doors.
Here's why you need to tarp or board your home:
- Vacant homes are catnip to vandals and thieves
- Your insurance may require it
- Rain, wind, and sun can make the damage worse
- Someone could go in and hurt themselves
You must cover all the exposed areas of your home as soon as possible.
Take an Inventory
When you are allowed back into your home, you will need to take an inventory. Take a look at what you need to throw out and what can be salvaged. Make sure you board up or tarp anything exposed to the elements while you are doing this. It is far easier to assess the damage and cover things that need to be covered simultaneously.
Fires are devastating. Just remember to board up, take inventory and find a remediation company that can help you. These steps can help you avoid any additional damage.
Frequently Lost Items During a Fire
A fire in your home, may not result in a total loss. Fire restoration specialists may be able to save a lot of the items in your home, but there are some things you will have to throw away. Having a prepared list of items that are frequently lost in a fire can serve as a starting checklist for belongings that need to be replaced.
List Of Items That Are Frequently Lost During a Fire
The good thing about replacing important documents is that you can find almost all of them online. You likely have digital copies of your income tax records, insurance information, and legal documents. However, you need to have hard copies of certain documents:
- Driver’s license
- Titles and deeds
- Social security cards
- Health insurance cards
If these items are listed as part of the fire damage to your home, start the process of replacing them right away.
You will likely need to throw away all food if the fire was anywhere near your kitchen. The refrigerator and freezer may keep food fresh under normal circumstances, but it is unlikely that they were able to withstand the fire's blaze well enough to protect the food inside during a fire. Non-perishable items must be tossed as well. Plastic and cardboard are no match for smoke and soot. Even the food in glass jars and aluminum cans can be spoiled by the high heat of a house fire. It is better to get rid of food altogether than take chances that it has gone bad.
Just as you would not want to consume anything that the fire or extinguishing agents have touched, you also don't want to put anything from the fire on your body. This includes cosmetics, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and hair styling products. It's also necessary to throw away any medication that could have been subject to high temperatures or toxic fumes.
Many items in your home can be salvaged after a fire, but some must be replaced. Mitigation professionals can help you determine what to throw away and what to keep.
Businesses In Downtown Long Beach With Mold Can Count on SERVPRO
Mold Damage Can Close a Business but SERVPRO Can Provide Mold Removal Services
When a business ends up with a mold problem, especially an eatery, it can meet downtown. This means a loss of revenue for the business in the short term and potential loss of customers in the long run. SERVPRO can provide mold removal to businesses that is efficient and fast. We do everything we can, including working with your insurance and schedule, to prevent your company from staying closed longer than necessary. Our technicians are experts at:
- Mold containment
- Mold removal
- Addressing the source of the moisture
- Restoring impacted structural elements
- Cleaning content
- Proper disposal of material not salvageable
- Sanitizing and the use of antimicrobials
- Following federal and local protocols
- Deodorizing if needed
We can trace the source of the problem, locate hidden mold or moisture, and clean your facility. Our training includes:
- Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician
If your business needs commercial mold damage assistance, contact us
Can a Firm's HR Records Be Protected From Mold Damage?
Local Business Owners Concerned About Mold Damage To Documents.
Keeping records is part of daily life for entrepreneurs. Human Resources (HR) are essential to any firm, and each department must keep comprehensive records. HR records include:
- Employee information such as date of employment and contact details
- Formal contracts and job descriptions
- Records of pay and bonuses
- Sickness and absence records
Many companies avoid mold damage by using electronic files. However, some businesses also have physical documents, especially for older files. Those physical papers need protection.
Can mold damage HR papers?
Yes, mold can undoubtedly damage HR papers. Mold is a naturally-growing fungus that can propagate anywhere that is dark and warm enough and provides moisture and a food source. Paper is one of the food sources that mold loves to munch on. As firms often keep older records in the dark cupboards or basements, they might be ripe for mold damage.
How can I protect my firm’s HR records?
The most important thing you can do is make the switch to electronic records if you have not already. Make sure you have backups of electronic documents, too – Cloud storage is helpful.
For remaining paper records, you might:
- Install dehumidifiers in storage areas to cut down moisture
- Store documents in watertight boxes so water cannot enter
- Keep files away from potentially moldy areas such as dark corners
What can SERVPRO do to help?
SERVPRO teams include trained mold remediation experts, who can remediate mold and reduce the risk of it coming back.
We will assess the situation in your office building, and let you know the steps we plan to take to fix the mold problem. In many cases, we start by setting up containment around the affected area. We use plastic sheeting to seal the spot off, cover all vents, and switch off the HVAC to stop the spores from escaping.
For very mild cases, gentle brushing and decontamination are enough to save records. In more advanced cases, we can consider vacuum freeze-drying to halt the damage and restore the documents.
Our teams also monitor moisture levels and dry the storage area to make it harder for mold to regrow.
For help protecting your business documents from mold damage, call SERVPRO DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH
SERVPRO Technicians Routinely Remove Smoke and Fire Damage from Furnishings
What qualifications should I look at for content restoration?
Restoring the contents of your home requires careful planning and expert attention to detail. Our roster of technicians hold qualifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certifications- a nationally recognized, independent awarding body. We act responsibly to identify different types of smoke and odor issues in furnishings before performing the necessary steps to return them to a prelist condition. Soft furnishings can be tricky to restore due to their diverse material composition. Using pH tests and pre-testing, we can ensure that your contents do not suffer from dye bleeding, shrinkage, or fiber wear during the restorative process.
How do I remove smoky odors from soft furnishings?
Soft furnishings tend to be porous in nature, which can lead them to absorb fire damage in your home Soot’s and soils may affect the surface level of materials, while high-pressure fires can lead to odor penetration beneath the surface of the fabric. SERVPRO can deploy air-filtration devices to remove potentially odor-causing soot particles from the area and apply liquid deodorants directly onto furnishings. Standard timings for odor dispersal can vary, but usually, we expect odors to depart at the two-week mark. Using a masking agent, SERVPRO technicians can reduce the impact of unpleasant odors until they disperse naturally and become no longer noticeable.
What equipment do I need to remove fire odors?
- Misters and ultra-low volume thermal foggers can help to penetrate fabrics or crevices with an odor-neutralizing solvent
- Odor pellets in problem locations can mask odors temporarily until they dissipate
- Air filtration using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can restore indoor air quality and remove the odor-causing particles
If you need content restoration after a recent fire, contact SERVPRO of Downtown Long Beach