Creating a Dynamic and Useful Business Continuity Plan
Follow the Steps Below to Mitigate Losses and Keep Employees Safe
When asking business owners in Dallas, TX, whether they have a business continuity plan in place, many don’t have confident answers. They have fire drills or loose procedures for emergency situations, but they often fail to see the need to have it clearly written down. Any number of situations can cause catastrophic damage to a building. Although it takes an investment in time, it’s essential to follow the steps below to mitigate losses and keep employees safe.
1. Conducting a Business Impact Analysis
The first step is to conduct a Business Impact Analysis, or BIA, in order to identify the critical functions within your company and how those operations could continue offsite. The point of the BIA is to survey employees to assess risks posed if a disruption occurs, as well as to prioritize which items need to be restored first. Once the analysis is completed, a report should be compiled and agreed upon by business leaders.
2. Creating a Business Continuity Plan
The next step is to specify detailed steps to keep the most critical aspects of the business functioning. For factories with multiple locations, this might mean moving essential processes to another facility. For office roles, it could be having a temporary workspace to access company servers. The plan should also include a list of companies that specialize in dealing with restoration and damage to begin the repairs.
3. Communicating the Plan to Employees
Communication is key in any emergency. Once a business continuity plan is established, employees should be trained on proper procedures. There should be a phone chain, as well as emailed instructions as soon as a problem is identified or predicted. A coordinator should be appointed to regularly confirm employee contact information and update it with any new or terminated workers. This coordinator should also conduct annual and new hire training.
A good emergency response plan is necessary for every company. It will minimize risks and give you peace of mind. It also serves to help keep employees informed and safe, as well as keep your business operating in unforeseen situations.
What You Should Do When a Leak Under Your Kitchen Sink Creates a Flood?
That nagging leak under your sink may start out as just a small annoyance. Indeed, the water damage may be minimal or even invisible when these problems begin. However, if you neglect this issue, flooding can occur, which would introduce a whole new set of concerns in your Far North Dallas, TX, home. The moment you detect leaks in the plumbing, take swift action.
What's the Rush?
You may pass off the leaky sink as something you can fix later or a consequence of having an older home. Over time, though, you may discover water in home in various places such as the floor, walls, furniture or even electronics. Floods can have the following effects:
- Introduce mold into you home
- Damage or destroy drywall
- Warp flooring
- Ruin electrical systems
Shut Off Your Water
Your first step once you notice leaks underneath your sink should be to turn off the water coming to that area. This will stop additional flooding from occurring from that portion of the home and will allow you to make further assessments to the extent of the pipe damage.
Contact Your Insurance Company
When the damage is bad enough that you'll have to start kitchen repair, it's vital that you get in touch with your insurance company and report the incident. This will start the claims and coverage process so you aren't left with a big bill. Get familiar with your policy.
Hire a Specialist to Clean Things Up
Your final step should be to let the professionals take over. Water removal specialists have the skill, experience, equipment and techniques to not only put an end to the leaking water but to clean up the damage left behind. The professionals will extract all water, dry and sanitize the area, and repair or replace pipes, drywall, flooring, and other damaged materials.
Do your part to reduce the risk of flooding at home. If you discover damage, the professionals are just a call away.
Simple Steps to Follow for Candle Safety
Candles can be dangerous if not used properly and following simple safety steps.
Candles caused up to two percent of reported home fires and four percent of direct property damage between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Approximately one-third of these candle fires originated in bedrooms, where the person who lights the candle may fall asleep and leave the flame burning unattended. A candle fire can imperil the lives of the person who lit the candle, all of the residents – including pets – in a home, and surrounding residences. Here are four simple steps that you can follow to use candles more safely.
4 Simple Steps to Use Candles Safely
- Place candles at least one foot away from any items that could catch fire. The most common cause of candle fires is when combustible materials kept too close to candles ignite and the fire spreads.
- Never leave children or pets unattended with burning candles. The appearance or odor of candles can attract young children or animals who may sustain injuries or start a candle fire.
- Avoid using candles in the bedroom. If there is a risk that you may fall asleep while a candle is still burning, you should not light a candle. Most fires are started in bedrooms by lit candles and cigarettes that become unattended when the person who started the fire falls asleep.
- Try fire-safe alternatives to candles. Choose from a variety of flameless designs that provide an illuminated look or release scents.
As many as 24 candle fires are reported every day. The number of candle fires spikes during the holiday season when this style of lightning is used for decoration or to achieve a special mood. The most candle fires are reported in December and January, with a spike as early as Halloween. If you have experienced a candle fire at your residence in Dallas, TX, and are interested in fire or smoke cleanup, contact a certified fire damage restoration expert.
What To Do To Reduce Flood Damage When a Big Storm Hits
Flooding Damage after a Storm in Dallas, TX.
Knowing that a powerful storm is on the way tends to set pulses racing. No one wants to think about their home being damaged by high winds, heavy rains and flooding. Taking some key steps to prepare for the event, however, can help ease the minds of those in the path of severe weather.
3 Ways To Reduce Flood Damage
1. Preparing the Outside of a House
Modern technology usually gives homeowners advanced warning of any big rain storm heading toward Dallas, TX. Generally, residents will have enough time to unclog gutters and storm drains and remove debris. Clearing out these essential defenses allows water to run off so it doesn’t pool and eventually seep inside.
Many people who are expecting flood damage use sand bags, which can redirect water flow and possibly lessen the amount that seeps under doors or windows. Those in the path of a major tropical storm or hurricane may want to board up windows with plywood to help prevent the glass from being broken by flying debris, which creates more places for water to enter.
2. Preparing the Inside of a House
If flooding seems likely, it’s a good idea for residents to turn off their water, electricity and gas. Moving appliances, furniture, rugs, valuables and key personal items such as photos and important documents to locations well above the expected water level should keep these items dry. Additionally, anchoring fuel tanks to the floor could potentially prevent a dangerous oil spill.
3. Finding Help After a Flood
In the wake of major storm damage, residents of Dallas, TX, can gather helpful information through contacting their insurance companies. Additionally, a professional restoration service can quickly dispatch professionals to remove water, dry and clean interiors and prep their houses for repairs.
A rapid response to flooding by experts can reduce damage and potentially save homeowners a great deal of money. That just may bring peace of mind to residents who weathered a big storm.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Mold Home Testing Kits
Do not try mold testing by yourself
Why Call a Mold Remediation Expert Instead of Trying to Do it On Your Own
If you’ve noticed spores in your home in Dallas, TX, it can be tempting to buy a mold testing kit to do yourself. The price tag may look quite a bit more appealing than hiring a professional, but you will most likely end up paying more in the long run if you go this route. Here are reasons why you should call a mold remediation expert instead of trying to do it on your own.
1. It Can Be Dangerous
While toxic mold is not very common, it can grow in your home. There is a proper way that it should be dealt with, and most people do not have the right safety equipment. Your safest option is to call an environmental hygienist to come do the mold testing for you instead of buying your own mold kit and doing it yourself.
2. There is a High Chance of Contamination
These kits have been in places other than your home and may possibly be contaminated by the time they get to you. The fact of the matter is though that these tests will likely always be positive. Due to moisture in the air, there are usually trace amount of fungi in your home. These DIY mold kits cannot tell you if you have an actual infestation in your home.
3. They Don’t Give You a Plan
A major reason to have an inspector come to your home to look at the problem is that they can give you a plan. If you do have mold, they are qualified to know how it should be handled. This completely defeats the purpose of doing a kit at home yourself. A remediation expert will work with you to lay out the steps to get rid of the mold and can help you find the source of the problem.
If you think there might be fungus in your home, do not try mold testing by yourself. Always call an experienced inspector to come out and help you through the process.
Handling the Aftermath of a House Fire
Hallway fire damage in a Far North Dallas, TX home
Fire Restoration Process
Standing in front of the scorched structure that used to be your home can be a difficult picture for anyone to envision. However, for those homeowners that are forced to live through this situation, they will likely struggle with how to handle the aftermath of such a disaster. A fire restoration should be a straightforward process, especially for the insured. However, it is a bureaucratic process that likely requires adherence to a few basic protocols.
1. Call Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies include fire insurance, but while the bluntness of the name is helpful, the actual coverage is listed under the peril portion of many plans. Despite the name discrepancy, it is crucial to call your insurance provider before taking any restorative steps. By calling, homeowners can clarify their rights and obligations as well as get the claims process moving.
2. Don’t Touch Anything
Before hiring any fire restoration company or inspecting your belongings, it is necessary for an assessor to walk the property and record any visible damage. You should not complicate this process by removing items from the property. If you want, you can photograph any damaged items and pull together any relevant receipts to show the insurance assessor when they arrive.
3. Hire Mitigation Specialists
If your insurance company recommends or requires mitigation, then you should hire a mitigation specialist to help protect your property. While these professionals may remove debris and water, they likely won’t perform any deep cleaning tasks, like smoke cleaning. These professionals primarily offer board-up, tarping and fencing services to ensure that your property does not sustain any further losses.
4. Discuss Restoration Options
After your property has been assessed, your insurer may suggest a restoration specialist in the Far North Dallas, TX, area. However, you can look for another company, or if the mitigation professional you used belongs to a larger restoration establishment, you may choose them. Discuss your options and try to secure at least a few bids before selecting a service.
While a fire restoration can be straightforward, it does involve paperwork and adherence to protocols. Therefore, you can follow the suggestions above to ensure a smooth recovery and claims process.
Keep Your Backup Generator Ready To Go
An emergency generator is a vital piece of equipment for many businesses.
Keep Your Backup Generator Ready To Go
If your business has ever been affected by a power outage, you know the value of having an electrical generator on the premises. This standalone equipment can keep your business in operation when there's no power available from local power grids. During an outage, the machine may be used to keep your computer running or to ensure that life-support systems don't glitch. Once in a while, however, that backup machinery may need some care of its own.
Protect your machinery from common generator problems by scheduling regular inspections from experienced storm damage remediation professionals. Some of the areas that require ongoing maintenance include
- Battery charger
- Control panel
- Cooling and exhaust systems
- Fuel system
- Lubrication system
- Main assembly and frame
- Voltage regulator
These machines don't actually create electricity; instead, they convert one type of energy into electricity. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, but most often involving the principle of electromagnetic induction. You might think of this process as a reverse-engineered electrical motor or as an electromagnet. Either way, there are many moving parts that require consistent attention to function dependably.
One of the first things you can do to keep your generator running properly is to make sure you're using the right type of fuel. There are several options for modern machines, from natural gas and propane to diesel fuel. Some equipment can make use of two types of fuel, both gasoline and diesel. If you plan to store fuel on your property, make sure you have experts inspect the storage systems when they inspect the machine itself.
When you contact Far North Dallas, TX, emergency remediation experts to inspect your backup equipment, there are several things the professional will look for:
- Worn parts
- High or low fluid levels
- Dirty battery connections
- Load irregularities
- Control panel problems
- Dirty air and fuel filters
- Lack of lubrication
An emergency generator is a vital piece of equipment for many businesses. Keep yours safe with the proper maintenance and expert attention.
How to Deal with Weather-Related Flight Cancelations
Three Simple Tips For Dealing With Canceled Flight Due To Bad Weather
With the modern convenience of around-the-globe travel, people young and old enjoy flights year-round to some of the world’s most exciting destinations. But one thing all air-travel customers have in common is the fear of a canceled flight due to bad weather. While it can happen to anyone, a flight cancelation can be both inconvenient and stressful to the average airplane passenger. If you find yourself in this common travel predicament, consider these three tips for dealing with your weather delay.
1. Contact the Airline
Once you receive word that your flight has been cancelled, you will likely be instructed to get in a line to reserve further travel arrangements. As the masses throng to the airline service desk, take out your cell phone and contact the airline directly. A customer service rep should be able to look-up the current cancelation status of your trip and assist you in rebooking immediately. When calling a commercial airline, have the following information readily available to speed up the process:
• Your personal information
• Flight itinerary including flight number
• Credit card number used to book the flight
2. Make Hotel Reservations
Now that you are sure you have a canceled flight on your hands, assess how long you are willing to sit at the airport. If you have to wait over 12 hours for weather conditions to improve or for alternate travel arrangements to take place, you may want to consider booking a hotel room. Adding exhaustion to an already stressful travel day is a recipe for disaster. Instead, stay the night in a local Dallas, TX, hotel to feel refreshed when flights do become available again.
3. Be Polite
Finally, in all of the chaos of traveling and gathering storm tips don’t forget that at the end of the day there is only so much people can do in the case of inclement weather. It is likely the airlines are just as frazzled by the delays as the many stranded passengers. Good manners may go a long way in getting what you want in all of the disorder.
When facing a weather-related canceled flight stay calm. Follow these three simple tips to get you back on your way as soon as possible.
The Fundamentals of Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
A fire sprinkler system is a critical safety feature in any building
Fire sprinkler maintenance is important for several reasons. A commercial property will need a functional sprinkler system in the event of a fire, and accidental activations can cause water damage at a structure in Far North Dallas, TX. Learn more about the basics of maintaining a sprinkler system to ensure that fire sprinklers will be ready to suppress a fire and will not cause unnecessary damage.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Fire suppression systems should be inspected at least once a year. These inspections should account for every aspect of the system and identify defects and damage. Here are a few of the most important components to check:
• Flow switch or detector
• Tamper switches
• Water volume
It is advisable to have an inspection performed by the company that installed the system or another certified service. Sprinkler maintenance specialists will be able to ensure that a fire suppression system will function as intended and prevent accidental activations.
Evaluate System Design
Commercial sprinkler systems are set up to correspond to the use patterns and fire risks of a structure. It may be necessary to update the sprinkler system if a new tenant moves in or the purpose of a space changes. Property owners and managers should be sure to factor in flammable components and occupancy.
Investigate Accidental Activation
Building owners and managers should not disregard an accidental activation. There are several common reasons that this malfunction may occur:
Sprinkler specialists can resolve the issue and ensure that fire sprinklers will work when needed and not activate unnecessarily. Whenever sprinklers activate accidentally or intentionally, mitigation and restoration specialists can restore any water damage or combined water and fire damage that results.
A fire sprinkler system is a critical safety feature in any building. Property owners and managers should schedule regular sprinkler maintenance to ensure that fire suppression equipment is functional.
How To Avoid Mold After a Roof Leak
A leak that goes unnoticed initially is enough to cause this problem, call SERVPRO for specialized help.
Four Steps To Prevent Mold After A Roof Leak
It may take some time for a roof leak to become apparent, but mold growth may begin in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Many types of fungi, including black mold, can thrive in a leaky building. Owners or managers should take these four steps to try to prevent mold from forming.
1. Mitigate Damage
It is important to limit damage until a leak can be fixed. A building owner or manager can have a roofing company or damage mitigation service tarp over a leaky roof.
2. Fix the Leak
Mitigation is an effective short-term fix, but it is crucial to repair a leak as soon as possible to limit the amount of damage. Damage restoration or mold remediation can only take place after the leak has stopped, as the problem will otherwise worsen or reoccur.
3. Tear Out Materials
As soon as a leak is fixed, water damage mitigation and restoration professionals can determine which building materials need to be torn out and replaced. Drywall or insulation saturated with contaminated water can pose a heightened mold risk and must be removed. The damaged area may also require cleaning and disinfection to prevent the growth of black mold.
4. Promote Drying
Mitigation and restoration experts will recommend ways to promote drying. Increasing ventilation and running a dehumidifier can speed up drying times and maintain low moisture levels. Restoration can proceed as soon as the area is completely dry.
A building owner or manager may detect a roof leak sooner if he or she inspects the condition of roofing after a major storm or high winds in Dallas, TX. A ceiling leak, signs of black mold or other fungus growth might otherwise be the first indications of roof damage. Owners and managers should rely on commercial roofers and water damage mitigation and restoration professionals who also specialize in mold remediation.