Recent Commercial Posts

Are you Prepared?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

How likely is a business to survive a disaster such as a fire, flood or water damage? Well it has been determined that 50% of businesses that close due to this never reopen. How do you prepare yourself or your business to survive something like that? A plan needs to be placed in case of emergency everyone is prepared. Therefore the question that needs to be as is:  

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Being prepared is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  Another key component is timing. Make sure everything is pre figured out before something happens and not during or after. 

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

Luckily SERVPRO of Burbank can help you develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan now! By working with us your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO of Burbank is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and in a timely manner will help you get your property back in working order.

Call our SERVPRO of Burbank office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!

ERP

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

By working with SERVPRO of Burbank to develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO of Burbank is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call our office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!

Mold In Your Business

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your business. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your business.

What to Do:

·         Stay out of affected areas.

·         Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

·         Contact SERVPRO of Burbank for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

·         Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

·         Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

·         Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

·         Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Burbank specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (818) 842-1400 

The SERVPRO ERP

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

By working with SERVPRO of Burbank to develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO of Burbank is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call our office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!

Commercial Water Loss

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

When we talk to local Burbank business owners regarding potential water damage events, they often visualize a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms, although living in sunny Southern California; hurricane-like storms are few and far between. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Commercial water damage in Burbank is surprisingly common year-round, and it can drastically affect the operation of your business. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
  

1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 

Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipmen

This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 

Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. If you question the stoutness of your building's 
pipes, contact SERVPRO for a thorough inspection and assessment. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 

This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. SERVPRO has certified IICRC technicians to deal with this type of water damage.
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Burbank will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at (818) 842-1400 for fast help.

Commercial Restoration

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Burbank commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Burbank

SERVPRO of Burbank specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet our Team: http://www.SERVPROburbank.com/crew-photos

Be Prepared for an Earthquake

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Hey SERVPRO Burbank readers!

An earthquake can happen at any time, so read on for a few quick tips on how to make sure your business is prepared. And remember, when disaster strikes, you can always call your local SERVPRO for timely assistance:

"An earthquake can happen at anytime and anywhere. Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes can strike during any season. It can also occur with little to no warning at all. 

Earthquakes can knock out heat, power, and communications services, sometimes for days at a time, leaving people stuck without utilities or other services. Your goal for protection is to learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during an earthquake.

Most casualties and injuries during an earthquake occur when: people fall while trying to walk or run during the shaking; when they are hit by falling, flying, or sliding items or non-structural debris; and/or when they are struck or trapped by collapsing walls or other parts of the building.

The America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for an Earthquake explains what the public should do before, during and after an earthquake:

  • To prevent potential injuries, take the time to secure your space. Secure items that might fall, fly, or slide in an earthquake. Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.

  • Make sure your business is safer during earthquakes and more resistant to earthquake damage. Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolting and cripple wall bracing.

The America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook  explains how business owners can take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves and their staff for an earthquake.  

The playbook helps to enhance organizational coordination and communication on preparedness and operational continuity by recommending  the following:

  • Hold a preparedness discussion to explain company plans and policies to motivate employees to be better prepared at home and work;

  • Explain and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On;

  • Conduct a tabletop exercise with your staff to ensure that the organization is familiar with and knows how to implement readiness plans;

  • Develop an employee communications plan with all staff contact information, including emergency points of contact;

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings in your community; and

  • Organize and keep handy important documents such as insurance information and rental or mortgage agreements.

It is important that business owners discuss their plans with their employees to ensure they are aware of what to do and where to go during an earthquake threat."

How to Keep A Commercial Property Safe

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Protect your commercial property with these safety tips.

Keeping your commercial property safe can help you protect your employees, patrons, and business equipment. From keeping up on building maintenance to installing a security system, there are plenty of dangers lurking around your property. Check out these ways you can keep your commercial property safe and secure.

Conduct Maintenance Audits.

The more attention you pay to your building maintenance, the less likely you are to face any issues. Keep your property current and routinely check for any slippery surfaces, damaged floors, sharp objects, frayed or damaged wires, or blocked hallways. Staying vigilant helps you avoid problems before they become an issue.

Increase Lighting In & Around the Building.

When it comes to your building, it’s important to keep it well lit. Not only does it help to avoid trips and falls, but it can also help to avoid burglaries. Install extra lighting and make sure your building is well-lit.

Prepare for an Emergency.

Disasters are unpredictable, which means it’s important to be prepared. Take precautions to minimize potential damage from a disaster, and make emergency exits readily available. Check that all your fire alarms are working properly and that all the emergency exits are well marked.

Install Security to Protect the Property.

Businesses require a significant amount of expensive materials to operate, making it a prime target for burglaries. Take measures to increase security on the property. Install security cameras and alarms, and hire a security guard. Additionally, consult with local law enforcement to see what precautions they recommend.

info provided by: http://isuwissink.com/safety-tips-for-commercial-property/

 

Commercial Property Earthquake Preparedness

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

Hello SERVPRO of Burbank readers! We hope you all are enjoying this time of the year. We wanted to share with you all some helpful information on earthquake preparedness for commercial buildings, especially if you are a business owner or facility manager responsible for not just the safety of your family, but your co-workers as well.

In light of all the recent talks surrounding the topic of being overdue for the next “Big One,” we reflect back on our last encounter with a serious earthquake, the 1994 Northridge quake. Our office stayed busy for weeks helping people restore their businesses to pre-quake conditions and the observation we made was the business owners or facility managers who had a plan in place were the ones most likely to re-open their doors. We know it’s never fun to think about the worst-case scenario happening at your business, but in our line of work, it’s never a matter of ‘if’…but ‘when.’ You simply cannot afford to find yourself without a disaster plan!

BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE – Develop an Action Plan

Identify potential hazards: Living and working in Los Angeles, we live our lives along the San Andreas Fault line (aka ‘earthquake country’), so that’s easy to identify; but are there other risks to your business? Identify what may interrupt your business operations temporarily or worse. The priorities you set here will help you in the other Steps. The Risk Level to your Critical Business Assets (CBAs) such as People, Data, Operations, Inventory, Equipment and Building all need to be identified and assessed to which ones pose the most significant threat to the sustainability of your business. If you secure it, it can be saved from earthquake damage or from hurting employees.

Create a disaster plan: After you have identified the potential hazards and impacts to your business, it’s time to create your plan and train employees! Because disasters are highly unpredictable, it is impossible to anticipate every situation and impact. However, a Business Continuity Plan can greatly reduce the risks and losses your business might face by guiding your decisions yet allowing flexibility to adapt to the unexpected.

Prepare disaster supplies kits: After a disaster, businesses will need to be self-sufficient as first responders will be addressing high priorities such as hospitals and schools. Determine what you need in the first days following an earthquake including the basics like food, water and sanitation.

Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them: Most businesses lease their space, so it’s essential to work with your owner and property manager on addressing structural issues. If you own it, strengthen those weaknesses. Either way, measures taken now can help you keep your doors open. No access, no business.

DURING AN EARTHQUAKE – Execute the Plan

Protect yourself and employees during earthquake shaking: DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. The ground is shaking, what do you do? The critical life safety step is Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Stay clear of any objects that may fall and stay put until the shaking stops.

AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE – Assess the Damage

Check for injuries and damage: Life safety is the top priority after an earthquake or any disaster. Use trained personnel to find anyone injured. Next, survey your building for damage or other hazards. Decide if safe to stay.

Continue to follow your disaster plan (when safe): Once life safety has been addressed, it’s time to begin recovery activities to resume business operations. Conduct an assessment for operational issues. Use your plan to guide your actions and restore priority operations first (here’s where you may need to call us at SERVPRO of Burbank =D to help restore your facility to preloss conditions). Communicate often with employees and key contacts. Document your lessons learned to determine priorities before the next event.

We will never know when the next ‘Big One’ will happen, so we all need to be ready for whatever happens.

We couldn’t have done this post without our friends at Earthquakecountry.org. Check out their website for more helpful tidbits of preparedness knowledge:

http://www.earthquakecountry.org/roots/7StepsBusiness2008.pdf

The SERVPRO ERP

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

By working with SERVPRO of Burbank to develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO of Burbank is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call our office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!

Preparing a church for a Disaster

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Places of worship are so important to us. They are often a go to place for shelter in the midst of a disaster. That is why it is so important that all churches are prepared for the worst to come. 

Here are some tips at preparing your place of worship for a disaster:

1. Identify hazards or threats early

2. Take necessary precautions for those hazards or threats.

3. Plan evacuations

4. Train your church staff for emergency readiness and response.

5. Prepare surrounding members of the community. 

6. Be prepared to provide help or aid to your church members after a disaster strikes.

SERVPRO of Burbank is faster to any size disaster. If you or your church finds yourself in need, give us a call at 818-842-1400

Commercial Water Damage

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

When we talk to local Burbank business owners regarding potential water damage events, they often visualize a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms, although living in sunny Southern California; hurricane-like storms are few and far between. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Commercial water damage in Burbank is surprisingly common year-round, and it can drastically affect the operation of your business. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
  

1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 

Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipmen

This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 

Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. If you question the stoutness of your building's 
pipes, contact SERVPRO for a thorough inspection and assessment. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 

This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. SERVPRO has certified IICRC technicians to deal with this type of water damage.
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Burbank will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at (818) 842-1400 for fast help.

Restoring Commercial Properties

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Burbank commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Burbank

SERVPRO of Burbank specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet our Team: http://www.SERVPROburbank.com/crew-photos

Prepare Your Business for an Earthquake

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Hey SERVPRO Burbank readers!

An earthquake can happen at any time, so read on for a few quick tips on how to make sure your business is prepared. And remember, when disaster strikes, you can always call your local SERVPRO for timely assistance:

"An earthquake can happen at anytime and anywhere. Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes can strike during any season. It can also occur with little to no warning at all. 

Earthquakes can knock out heat, power, and communications services, sometimes for days at a time, leaving people stuck without utilities or other services. Your goal for protection is to learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during an earthquake.

Most casualties and injuries during an earthquake occur when: people fall while trying to walk or run during the shaking; when they are hit by falling, flying, or sliding items or non-structural debris; and/or when they are struck or trapped by collapsing walls or other parts of the building.

The America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for an Earthquake explains what the public should do before, during and after an earthquake:

  • To prevent potential injuries, take the time to secure your space. Secure items that might fall, fly, or slide in an earthquake. Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.

  • Make sure your business is safer during earthquakes and more resistant to earthquake damage. Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolting and cripple wall bracing.

The America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook  explains how business owners can take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves and their staff for an earthquake.  

The playbook helps to enhance organizational coordination and communication on preparedness and operational continuity by recommending  the following:

  • Hold a preparedness discussion to explain company plans and policies to motivate employees to be better prepared at home and work;

  • Explain and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On;

  • Conduct a tabletop exercise with your staff to ensure that the organization is familiar with and knows how to implement readiness plans;

  • Develop an employee communications plan with all staff contact information, including emergency points of contact;

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings in your community; and

  • Organize and keep handy important documents such as insurance information and rental or mortgage agreements.

It is important that business owners discuss their plans with their employees to ensure they are aware of what to do and where to go during an earthquake threat."

Keeping Your Commercial Building Safe

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Protect your commercial property with these safety tips.

Keeping your commercial property safe can help you protect your employees, patrons, and business equipment. From keeping up on building maintenance to installing a security system, there are plenty of dangers lurking around your property. Check out these ways you can keep your commercial property safe and secure.

Conduct Maintenance Audits.

The more attention you pay to your building maintenance, the less likely you are to face any issues. Keep your property current and routinely check for any slippery surfaces, damaged floors, sharp objects, frayed or damaged wires, or blocked hallways. Staying vigilant helps you avoid problems before they become an issue.

Increase Lighting In & Around the Building.

When it comes to your building, it’s important to keep it well lit. Not only does it help to avoid trips and falls, but it can also help to avoid burglaries. Install extra lighting and make sure your building is well-lit.

Prepare for an Emergency.

Disasters are unpredictable, which means it’s important to be prepared. Take precautions to minimize potential damage from a disaster, and make emergency exits readily available. Check that all your fire alarms are working properly and that all the emergency exits are well marked.

Install Security to Protect the Property.

Businesses require a significant amount of expensive materials to operate, making it a prime target for burglaries. Take measures to increase security on the property. Install security cameras and alarms, and hire a security guard. Additionally, consult with local law enforcement to see what precautions they recommend.

info provided by: http://isuwissink.com/safety-tips-for-commercial-property/

Common Commercial Water Damage Situations

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

When we talk to local Burbank business owners regarding potential water damage events, they often visualize a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms, although living in sunny Southern California; hurricane-like storms are few and far between.
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Commercial water damage in Burbank is surprisingly common year-round, and it can drastically affect the operation of your business. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
  

1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 

Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipmen

This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 

Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. If you question the stoutness of your building's 
pipes, contact SERVPRO for a thorough inspection and assessment. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 

This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. SERVPRO has certified IICRC technicians to deal with this type of water damage.
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Burbank will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at (818) 842-1400 for fast help.

Remediation in Schools & Commercial Buildings

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions. This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings; these guidelines include measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and remediators. It has been designed primarily for:



  • Building managers

  • Custodians

  • Others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance


It should serve as a reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. Using this document, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation should be able to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the situation can be handled in-house. It will help those in charge of maintenance to evaluate an in-house remediation plan or a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor1. Contractors and other professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations in commercial buildings and schools may also want to refer to these guidelines.


Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.



Photo 2: Extensive mold contamination of ceiling and walls.



Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.


Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.


Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:



  • Roof leaks

  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building

  • Unvented combustion appliances

  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings


Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems. 


When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.


info by: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide

The SERVPRO Ready Plan

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

"It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster...never reopen!" Are you prepared for the next disaster?

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 

By working with SERVPRO of Burbank to develop your personalized Emergency READY Plan your business will receive the benefit of over 30 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO of Burbank is a leader in water and fire damage response for the greater LA area and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call our office at (818) 842-1400 to learn more on how to set up this profile for your facility and get prepared before disaster strikes!

Keeping the workplace clean and safe

12/12/2016 (Permalink)

1

Prevent slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls were the second leading cause of nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses involving days away from work in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Standard (1910.22(a)) states that all workplaces should be “kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.” The rule includes passageways, storerooms and service rooms. Floors should be clean and dry. Drainage should be present where “wet processes are used.”

Employers should select adequate flooring (e.g., cement, ceramic tile or another material), as different types of flooring hold up better under certain conditions, said Fred Norton, technical director of ergonomics and manufacturing technology for Risk Control Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance in Walnut Creek, CA. Then, develop and implement housekeeping procedures using appropriate cleaners.

“Things like oils and grease – if you don’t use the right kind of cleaning protocols, you’ll just spread slipperiness around rather than getting it up and off the floor,” Norton said.

To help prevent slip, trip and fall incidents, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends the following:

  • Report and clean up spills and leaks.
  • Keep aisles and exits clear of items.
  • Consider installing mirrors and warning signs to help with blind spots.
  • Replace worn, ripped or damage flooring.
  • Consider installing anti-slip flooring in areas that can’t always be cleaned.
  • Use drip pans and guards.

In addition, provide mats, platforms, false floors or “other dry standing places” where useful, according to OSHA. Every workplace should be free of projecting nails, splinters, holes and loose boards.

Gray added that employers should audit for trip hazards, and encourage workers to focus on the task at hand.

2

Eliminate fire hazards
Employees are responsible for keeping unnecessary combustible materials from accumulating in the work area. Combustible waste should be “stored in covered metal receptacles and disposed of daily,” according to OSHA’s Hazardous Materials Standard (1910.106).

The National Safety Council “Supervisors’ Safety Manual” includes these precautionary measures for fire safety:

  • Keep combustible materials in the work area only in amounts needed for the job. When they are unneeded, move them to an assigned safe storage area.
  • Store quick-burning, flammable materials in designated locations away from ignition sources.
  • Avoid contaminating clothes with flammable liquids. Change clothes if contamination occurs.
  • Keep passageways and fire doors free of obstructions. Stairwell doors should be kept closed. Do not store items in stairwells.
  • Keep materials at least 18 inches away from automatic sprinklers, fire extinguishers and sprinkler controls. The 18-inch distance is required, but 24 to 36 inches is recommended. Clearance of 3 feet is required between piled material and the ceiling. If stock is piled more than 15 feet high, clearance should be doubled. Check applicable codes, including Life Safety Code, ANSI/NFPA 101-2009.
  • Hazards in electrical areas should be reported, and work orders should be issued to fix them.

3

Control dust
Dust accumulation of more than 1/32 of an inch – or 0.8 millimeters – covering at least 5 percent of a room’s surface poses a significant explosion hazard, according to the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association. This dust accumulation is about as thick as a dime or paper clip.

An industrial hygienist should test the workplace for exposures if air quality and dust are concerns, Gray said.

NFPA 654 – a standard on preventing fire and dust explosions – addresses identifying hazard areas, controlling dust and housekeeping. The standard states that vacuuming is the “preferred” method of cleaning. Sweeping and water wash-down are other options. “Blow-downs” using compressed air or steam is allowed for inaccessible or unsafe surfaces.

Industrial vacuums can clean walls, ceilings, machinery and other places, CCOHS notes.

“You want to use wet methods or have high-efficiency vacuum systems,” said Steve Ahrenholz, senior industrial hygienist at NIOSH’s Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies. “You don’t want to use just a shop vac or dry-sweep it – definitely not using compressed air to blow it. [Then] you’re just re-suspending the dust and distributing it all over.”

Dust also can affect equipment’s length of life and quality of products, Ahrenholz added.

4

Avoid tracking materials
Work-area mats – which can be cloth or sticky-topped – should be kept clean and maintained. This helps prevent the spread of hazardous materials to other work areas or home, Gray said. Check all mats to ensure they are not tripping hazards.

Additionally, separate cleaning protocols may be needed for different areas to prevent cross-contamination, Norton notes. Avoid using the same mop to clean both an oily spill and in another area, for example.

If the materials are toxic, industrial hygiene testing, uniforms and showering facilities might be needed, Gray said. Employees who work with toxic materials should not wear their work clothes home, Ahrenholz added.

5

Prevent falling objects
Gray noted that protections such as a toe board, toe rail or net can help prevent objects from falling and hitting workers or equipment.

Other tips include stacking boxes and materials straight up and down to keep them from falling, said Paul Errico, a Fairfield, CT-based safety consultant. Place heavy objects on lower shelves, and keep equipment away from the edges of desks and tables. Also, refrain from stacking objects in areas where workers walk, including aisles.

Keep layout in mind so workers are not exposed to hazards as they walk through areas, Norton added.

6

Clear clutter
A cluttered workplace can lead to ergonomics issues and possible injuries because workers have less space to move, Gray said.

“When an area is cluttered, you’re going to likely have a cut or laceration injury,” she said. “You’re not going to have as much room to set up your workstation like you should and move around. You’re going to be twisting your body rather than moving your whole body.”

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recommends that workers return tools and other materials to storage after using them, and dispose of materials that are no longer needed.

Keep aisles, stairways, emergency exits, electrical panels and doors clear of clutter, and purge untidy areas. Empty trash receptacles before they overflow.

7

Store materials properly
According to OSHA’s Materials Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal Standard (1926.250), storage areas should not have an accumulation of materials that present hazards for tripping, fire, explosion or pests.

Some workers make the mistake of storing ladders or other items inside electrical closets where they can block an electrical panel, creating a fire hazard and violating OSHA regulations, Errico said.

“I found that in a couple places. That would surprise employers if they’re not looking for it,” Errico said. “It’s important that they stay on top of it; realize it’s not just the manufacturing floor, maintenance area, warehouse or main storage areas, but these little areas in buildings that create a problem with storage.”

Unused materials and equipment should be stored out of the way of workers. Avoid using workspaces for storage, according to CCOHS. And remember to put everything back in its proper place, Ohio BWC adds.

Ahrenholz recommends keeping a storage space nearby so workers are encouraged to use it.

“There’s a responsibility to keep your work area in order and return tools to where they belong,” he said. “The storage space, if readily useable, is designed in such a way where it can be used without stretching too far or lifting heavy loads. They’re more likely to use it than if they have to go quite a ways to place something. Or they’re going to keep something rather than go back because they have to take the extra time to get it.”

8

Use and inspect personal protective equipment and tools
Errico has seen workers’ compensation cases stemming from employees who did not wear PPE when cleaning up spills or other material, such as broken glass or plywood, and then suffered cuts or splinters.

Wear basic PPE – such as closed-toe shoes and safety glasses – while performing housekeeping, Gray said. Determine what type of PPE to don based on the potential risks.

Regularly inspect, clean and fix tools, according to CCOHS. Remove any damaged tools from the work area.

9

Determine frequency
All workers should participate in housekeeping, especially in terms of keeping their own work areas tidy, reporting safety hazards and cleaning up spills, if possible.

“Every worker does have a role in housekeeping,” Ahrenholz said. “If they see something is becoming a problem, they need to report it.”

Before the end of a shift, workers should inspect and clean their workspaces and remove unused materials. This dedication can reduce time spent cleaning later, experts say.

How much debris or contaminants the workplace releases can help determine the frequency of housekeeping. A company should have a mixture of deep cleaning and more frequent, lighter cleaning that involves sweeping and responding to spills, Norton said.

10

Create written rules
Experts agree that housekeeping policies should be put in writing. That way, Norton said, they are formal and defined. Written protocols could specify which cleaners, tools and methods should be used.

“We found there are many gaps in the effectiveness of floor cleaning in the operations we’ve done research on,” Norton said. “It is an area that sometimes gets overlooked. That’s why we think it’s important for the written part of the protocols and defined training so people are aware of and follow the proper procedures.”

11

Think long-term
Housekeeping should be more than a one-time initiative – it should continue through monitoring and auditing. Keep records, maintain a regular walkthrough inspection schedule, report hazards and train employees to help sustain housekeeping. Set goals and expectations, and base auditing on those goals, Gray said.

“Housekeeping issues are very common. They can be easy to fix,” she said. “It’s going to take persistence and dedication."

 

info : http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/12470-tips-for-effective-workplace-housekeeping?page=1

Earthquake planning for commercial facilities

12/7/2016 (Permalink)

Happy Holidays SERVPRO of Burbank readers! We hope you all are enjoying this time of the year. We wanted to share with you all some helpful information on earthquake preparedness for commercial buildings, especially if you are a business owner or facility manager responsible for not just the safety of your family, but your co-workers as well.

In light of all the recent talks surrounding the topic of being overdue for the next “Big One,” we reflect back on our last encounter with a serious earthquake, the 1994 Northridge quake. Our office stayed busy for weeks helping people restore their businesses to pre-quake conditions and the observation we made was the business owners or facility managers who had a plan in place were the ones most likely to re-open their doors. We know it’s never fun to think about the worst-case scenario happening at your business, but in our line of work, it’s never a matter of ‘if’…but ‘when.’ You simply cannot afford to find yourself without a disaster plan!

BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE – Develop an Action Plan

Identify potential hazards: Living and working in Los Angeles, we live our lives along the San Andreas Fault line (aka ‘earthquake country’), so that’s easy to identify; but are there other risks to your business? Identify what may interrupt your business operations temporarily or worse. The priorities you set here will help you in the other Steps. The Risk Level to your Critical Business Assets (CBAs) such as People, Data, Operations, Inventory, Equipment and Building all need to be identified and assessed to which ones pose the most significant threat to the sustainability of your business. If you secure it, it can be saved from earthquake damage or from hurting employees.

Create a disaster plan: After you have identified the potential hazards and impacts to your business, it’s time to create your plan and train employees! Because disasters are highly unpredictable, it is impossible to anticipate every situation and impact. However, a Business Continuity Plan can greatly reduce the risks and losses your business might face by guiding your decisions yet allowing flexibility to adapt to the unexpected.

Prepare disaster supplies kits: After a disaster, businesses will need to be self-sufficient as first responders will be addressing high priorities such as hospitals and schools. Determine what you need in the first days following an earthquake including the basics like food, water and sanitation.

Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them: Most businesses lease their space, so it’s essential to work with your owner and property manager on addressing structural issues. If you own it, strengthen those weaknesses. Either way, measures taken now can help you keep your doors open. No access, no business.

 

DURING AN EARTHQUAKE – Execute the Plan

Protect yourself and employees during earthquake shaking: DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. The ground is shaking, what do you do? The critical life safety step is Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Stay clear of any objects that may fall and stay put until the shaking stops.

 

AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE – Assess the Damage

Check for injuries and damage: Life safety is the top priority after an earthquake or any disaster. Use trained personnel to find anyone injured. Next, survey your building for damage or other hazards. Decide if safe to stay.

Continue to follow your disaster plan (when safe): Once life safety has been addressed, it’s time to begin recovery activities to resume business operations. Conduct an assessment for operational issues. Use your plan to guide your actions and restore priority operations first (here’s where you may need to call us at SERVPRO of Burbank =D to help restore your facility to pre-loss conditions). Communicate often with employees and key contacts. Document your lessons learned to determine priorities before the next event.

 

We will never know when the next ‘Big One’ will happen, so we all need to be ready for whatever happens.

We couldn’t have done this post without our friends at Earthquakecountry.org. Check out their website for more helpful tidbits of preparedness knowledge:

http://www.earthquakecountry.org/roots/7StepsBusiness2008.pdf

Preparing Your Business for an Earthquake

2/15/2016 (Permalink)

Hey SERVPRO Burbank readers!

Happy Monday! We had a great article pop up in our inbox from our friends over at FEMA that we'd share with you! An earthquake can happen at any time, so read on for a few quick tips on how to make sure your business is prepared. And remember, when disaster strikes, you can always call your local SERVPRO for timely assistance:

"An earthquake can happen at anytime and anywhere. Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes can strike during any season. It can also occur with little to no warning at all. 

Earthquakes can knock out heat, power, and communications services, sometimes for days at a time, leaving people stuck without utilities or other services. Your goal for protection is to learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during an earthquake.

Most casualties and injuries during an earthquake occur when: people fall while trying to walk or run during the shaking; when they are hit by falling, flying, or sliding items or non-structural debris; and/or when they are struck or trapped by collapsing walls or other parts of the building.

The America’s PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for an Earthquake explains what the public should do before, during and after an earthquake:

  • To prevent potential injuries, take the time to secure your space. Secure items that might fall, fly, or slide in an earthquake. Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.

  • Make sure your business is safer during earthquakes and more resistant to earthquake damage. Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolting and cripple wall bracing.

The America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook  explains how business owners can take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves and their staff for an earthquake.  

The playbook helps to enhance organizational coordination and communication on preparedness and operational continuity by recommending  the following:

  • Hold a preparedness discussion to explain company plans and policies to motivate employees to be better prepared at home and work;

  • Explain and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On;

  • Conduct a tabletop exercise with your staff to ensure that the organization is familiar with and knows how to implement readiness plans;

  • Develop an employee communications plan with all staff contact information, including emergency points of contact;

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings in your community; and

  • Organize and keep handy important documents such as insurance information and rental or mortgage agreements.

It is important that business owners discuss their plans with their employees to ensure they are aware of what to do and where to go during an earthquake threat."