Posts Tagged ‘emergency restoration’

6 Reasons Why Immediate Disaster Response Is Key

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

business emergency response planWhen damage from disaster strikes your business, it can take many forms: Fire (and the water damage that results from fighting it), smoke damage, flooding from nature, accidental discharge of a sprinkler system, chemical spills, tornadoes and other severe winds, storm surge, burst pipes, roof leaks, sewage backup, vandalism—even an overflowing toilet. As the old business mantra goes, “time is money.” Every hour your business is closed because of an emergency is lost revenue. In fact, 25% of businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen. And 80% of businesses that do not recover within one month after a disaster close their doors for good. If you have not considered an emergency response plan for your business, you're rolling the dice. But no matter what the damage or its source, speed is your friend to getting back up and open for business. Here are 6 reasons why:
  1. Your insurance policy probably requires that you take as much action as possible as early as possible to secure your property from further damage. If you fail to do so, they may not cover some claims.
  2. Water itself is an emergency. It can compromise structural components such as drywall, insulation, flooring and even ceilings to the point that it might be necessary to remove them, especially if it's left more than 24 hours.
  3. If water is addressed within 8-16 hours it can be dried with very minimal structural damage. This will save you repair costs and time as well as reducing the inconvenience for your employees or tenants.
  4. Dealing with the water in 12 hours or less can reduce your drying time by a whole day and reduce structural damage further.
  5. Significant mold growth can occur in any water-damaged area not dried and repaired within 72 hours, adding time and cost to your total cleanup.
  6. As previously mentioned, the longer your location is closed, the greater the chance it will be closed permanently.
You can't predict when disaster will strike your commercial property, but you can make sure you're ready for it when does. Lost time reduces your bottom line and can end your business. Getting your business back to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible can make all the difference. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net download the free Emergency Response Plan guide.  


 

10 Things to do Before, During and After a Power Failure

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

power outagePower outages are hazards of home dwellers everywhere. An outage can result from a variety of causes, including storm damage and construction activity, especially where electrical wires are exposed above ground. Most outages are short-lived, and a power loss of two hours or less won’t ruin perishable foods. However, in the event of an extended outage, as with most things, the better you prepare, the easier you’ll get through it. Consult the following checklist to know what to do before, during and after the electricity goes out.

Before power goes out

First and foremost, prepare an emergency kit. Every home should have an emergency preparedness kit to meet the needs of family members for at least three days. Items to have for an outage include:
  • Flashlights and batteries for every family member
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio and clock
  • Bottled water
  • Canned food
  • Manual can opener
  • First-aid kit
  • Sternos or similar heat source for cooking
Backup candles and matches should also be on your list of emergency items to keep on hand, but use caution with the open candle flame to avoid starting a fire. Get a landline and at least one traditional wall phone. Even when power fails, phone service usually continues. Make sure you have at least one traditional, corded wall phone, without a powered base, that will work even when the rest of your electronics are down. Have the number to your power company’s emergency line written on it or near it. Get to know your circuit box. If you’re not familiar with your home’s circuit box and its location already, there’s no time like the present. Practice re-setting switches, and know what they look like when tripped. If there’s not a listing already, complete a full listing of which circuit breaker powers which room. Depending upon its age, the box may use fuses, which you’ll need to learn how to change, and make sure you keep extras on hand. It’s also a good idea to know the location of your main water shutoff [link to flood prevention blog], in the event of bursting pipes. A roll of duct can prove handy in the event of leaks. If you rely on electrical life-support or other medical equipment, be sure to check with your doctor or equipment supplier about emergency power sources and battery packs. In remote areas that may suffer outages of a week or more, you may consider investing in a gas-powered generator. See below for safe generator usage. In advance of an oncoming storm, or scheduled construction outage, you may consider turning your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Just put a sticky note on the door to remind you to return them to normal.

When the power goes

When the house goes dark, your preparation will prove invaluable in helping everyone remain calm. Your first job is identifying the source of the outage. If streetlights and neighbors’ lights are out as well, it’s not rocket science to figure out your neighborhood, at least, is experiencing a blackout. Call your power company’s dedicated number to report outages. You may get an automated response listing areas with reported outages and estimated time of restoration. If power has not been cut due to lack of payment, it’s off to check the circuit box. Reset any tripped switches or replace any blown fuses. Otherwise, check outside to see if there’s construction work or some other digging that may be the cause. Next unplug refrigerators and other appliances and electronic gear such as computers and televisions to prevent damage from an electrical overload when power is restored. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food in the freezer can stay frozen for two to four days. During an extended power outage, you can use blocks of dry ice, if available. Use dairy and cooked items first, and discard after them after couple of days. For more information, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Use extreme caution when using alternative heating or cooking sources. Never use camp stoves, charcoal-burning grills or propane/kerosene heaters indoors. And do not use gas stovetops or ovens as heat sources. They all pose risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a generator, plug appliances directly into it. Connecting the generator directly to your home’s electrical system can send power up the line and kill a utility repairman working to restore power. Make sure to place the generator outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. More than 400 people die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be on the lookout for symptoms including headache, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, and confusion. Never refuel a generator while it’s running.

After power is restored

When the lights come back on, the first thing to do is inspect your freezer and especially refrigerator. If you detect any malodor or mold, it’s time for a good cleaning with a mold and mildew remover. In the event of leaking, be sure clean the gaskets. If you lowered the settings prior to a storm, be sure to reset them to normal. If outage was caused by storm, it’s wise to check your home exterior and yard for any damage. Make sure there are no hanging branches or uprooted trees that may pose danger. Your final duty is replenishing your emergency kit including food items and batteries. Make sure to store it in an easily accessible area that will remain dry. Note to get an extra amount of any items that ran short. Then pat yourself on the back for making sure you and your loved ones are ready in the event of another power outage. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net Free Disaster Planning Checklist  


 

Disaster Recovery: A Vital Part of Your Business Plan

Friday, March 1st, 2013

disaster restorationAs a business owner or manager, planning ahead for the future is part of your job. Most often, you find yourself contemplating the positive: What advantages set us apart from the competition? How can we grow our business? What staff and initiatives to do we need to put into place today to get where we want to be tomorrow? It’s all good. But smart business people also keep in mind that somewhere down the road, the inevitable may occur: a natural or man-made disaster that’s out of our control. That’s why you have insurance, right? Along with a business emergency preparedness plan? If you have a disaster plan, pat yourself on the back because you’re among the proactive minority: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents to a recent Ad Council survey did not have an emergency plan in place for their business. However, having a workplace disaster strategy is only half the job. You also need to have a good handle on the disaster recovery process—what it involves and whom to call should things take a sudden turn for the worse. We've put together a free "Disaster Planning Checklist," to help you get started.

“Disaster” defined

Generally speaking, disaster can be divided into two categories. Natural disaster is the first and includes floods, tornadoes, forest fires, epic snowstorms, and the like. The second category, man-made disaster, is more ambiguous and can encompass arson, hazardous material spills, power failure, terrorism, and more. While each category of disaster presents its own unique challenges, they do have something in common: a significantly reduced recovery time thanks to planning ahead and pre-selecting a professional cleaning and restoration company to assist you in the process. Professionals? That’s correct; simply search “disaster restoration companies” and you’ll find a myriad of businesses promoting their “expertise” at getting your business back on its feet after any emergency. A word to the wise, though: Not every company has the experience, training and technology it takes to do the job right. And because every minute counts immediately following a flood or fire, this is not the time to spend precious hours researching disaster restoration specialists…or picking a random agency under pressure. Rather, do your homework BEFORE disaster strikes to have full confidence in your disaster team’s capabilities—and eliminate at least one stressful aspect of the disaster recovery process. Let’s take a look at the most common disasters to befall a business, and how qualified recovery specialists work to reverse the aftermath…

After the fire

When you think of a fire in the workplace, visions come to mind of charred electronics, scorched office furnishings and years of important documents up in flames. But often, possessions are just coated by layers of smoke and soot and can be salvaged by a professional fire damage restoration company. Disaster recovery experts will first secure the building for safety reasons and to prevent further damage. Working alongside your insurance company, they will assess the situation and separate items that can be salvaged from those that need to be inventoried for replacement. They will then get to work using the latest technology to meticulously clean the items and pack them away into a secure storage facility until your workspace is habitable. The top disaster recovery experts will also have skilled carpenters in house to rebuild your structure, all the while working closely with local building departments to ensure that codes and requirements are met or exceeded.

After the flood

A pipe breaks or a roof leaks in your office space, and whoosh—years of hard work can be washed away in minutes. Or, a fire breaks out and gallons of water are sprayed by brave firefighters (not to mention, the ceiling sprinkler system) in their efforts to extinguish the blaze. What seems an insurmountable, soggy mess to you is just another day in the lives of disaster recovery experts. Quick action is the key: State-of-the art water extraction equipment is used on furniture, carpets and even walls to begin the drying-out process right away. Salvageable items are separated from those that need to be replaced; in some cases, saturated carpets are removed and discarded to prevent further damage to floors below. With any extent of water damage, mold is always a concern, so make sure that the cleaning company you select has extensive knowledge of mold prevention and removal techniques.

A final thought

No one ever kicks off their workday expecting a fire, flood or other disaster (natural or man-made) to wreak havoc upon their life, much less their business. But with a business emergency plan in place—one that addresses the disaster recovery process—you’ll increase your company’s chances to rebound from the brink and rapidly rebuild your empire. LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete repair of fire, smoke, wind, water and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net How to make a business disaster plan. Free eBook.  


 

After the Fire: Smart Steps Toward Fire Damage Restoration

Friday, January 11th, 2013

fire damageThe hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out—thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation—everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better. From the get-go, it’s imperative to stay organized amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings. A three-ring binder with pockets is your new best friend. Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request. Binder in hand, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. At this time, you’ll be asked to submit a proof of loss claim. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage. A reputable local cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list. If you can find one that also specializes in professional construction services, you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property will first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you. On a side note, be sure to remain vigilant in the days ahead, because a fire-damaged residence or business is an easy target for theft and vandalism. Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, heated facility. Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:
  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked
With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete repair of fire, smoke, wind, water and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net download the free Emergency Response Plan guide.  


 

Home, alone: 10 Tips for Winterizing an Unoccupied Residence

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

winterizing your homeThere are many reasons a home might stand empty for weeks, even months, during the winter season. Perhaps its owners are snowbirds who are fortunate enough to jet off to a sunny locale at the first hint of frost. Then, there are those who must relocate before selling their current home, leaving it unoccupied and on the market. Whatever the scenario, all homes can benefit from a quick “winterize” before the brutal cold settles in. Unoccupied homes, however, are particularly prone to damage during extended periods of freezing temperatures. To help protect your investment, consider these suggestions for winterizing your property before you winter elsewhere…
  1. Step one: Take a good, long look around. Carefully tour the interior and exterior of your home and decide what needs to be done, creating a checklist along the way. You’ll find this list especially handy when, upon your return, you’ll need to “un-do” the winterization process.
  2. Block any holes—even small cracks—you may spot in the eaves or outside walls. Remember, just as you are looking to escape the cold, so are furry critters like squirrels, bats, raccoons and more. No need to provide them with a flashing “vacancy” sign!
  3. Have your gutters cleaned prior to leaving town. This will reduce the risk of ice buildup and allow melting snow to drain. (Gutters clogged with fall leaves and twigs can form ice dams that cause water to seep into your house.) While cleaning, inspect gutters for leaks and ensure that downspouts are properly aligned to carry water away from your home’s foundation.
  4. Turn off the water at the main supply point. Should your furnace fail while you’re away, pipes filled with water could freeze and burst.
  5. Open all faucets and drain all water lines; don’t forget about outdoor faucets. Also drain toilets and the water heater (turning off the gas or electric supply first) and, if on a well-and-pump system, the expansion tank too. You’ll need to dilute or completely eliminate the water in drain traps by pouring in an RV-type antifreeze solution as directed.
  6. Turn down the heat, but don’t turn it off. About 58 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended setting to avoid problems with freezing pipes and plaster.
  7. Remove and properly dispose of all fire hazards, such as flammable oil rags and stacked newspapers.
  8. Unplug all electrical appliances. This will prevent any potential damage from a power surge during an electrical storm.
  9. If your chimney hasn’t been inspected or cleaned in a year, it’s a good idea to do so. Make sure your chimney also has a protective cap with vents small enough to prevent foreign objects as well as birds and bats from squeezing through.
  10. Last but not least, make sure that your insurance coverage is adequate for being absent in the winter. Due to the increased potential for something to go wrong, insurance companies can be extra tough on requirements this time of year.
By taking the steps to prepare your home for the forces of winter, you’ll be able to truly enjoy your time away knowing that things are running smoothly back home. And if, despite your best efforts, you discover a situation that requires professional clean-up services upon your return…well, LDR to the rescue! Wait—did someone lock the back door? LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in complete fire restoration, smoke remediation, storm damage repair, water damage repair and vandalism damage repair to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net Save $25 on Air Duct Cleaning - Free Coupon  


 

Finding Gratitude in the Aftermath of a Disaster

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

happy thanksgivingA Thanksgiving salute to the survivors of flooded homes, fire damage and more

“Thank goodness no one was hurt!” “It could have been much worse.” “It’s just stuff—it can be replaced.” In our work as professional disaster restoration specialists, we hear comments like these all the time. Understandably, it’s pretty tough to look at the bright side in the wake of a catastrophe such as a flood damage or fire in your home or place of business. That’s why we’re constantly surprised (and impressed) when so many of our clients do, indeed, summon a positive attitude amidst the chaos and confusion of the disaster recovery process. Our customers in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and elsewhere will be the first to tell you that there’s nothing like losing almost everything to make you realize how truly lucky you are—rich in family and friendships, precious memories, and the priceless potential to bounce back from the brink of whatever fate throws your way. Consider these facts:
  • From 2008-2010, there was an estimated average of 50,100 heating fires in residential buildings, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • During this same timeframe, there were an additional 900 portable heater fires.
  • Floods are the number one most common natural disaster in the U.S.
  • Flash flooding is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., averaging 200 per year.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program paid over $2 billion in flood insurance claims to policyholders in 2011 alone.
These numbers represent people whose lives were changed forever by the forces of nature, malfunctioning or misused equipment, and other means. But this information isn’t meant to scare you or put a damper on your holiday spirit! It’s simply to remind you that on the road of life, none of us know what’s around the next bend. To those who have experienced unexpected tough times, and made it through a little stronger… a bit wiser…and a good deal more grateful than before…we dedicate this special Thanksgiving message! Take one family from Rockford, IL, for example, who responded to our recent customer satisfaction survey: “What started out a bad situation ended up a very good experience. You have a great group of people working at LDR, from the receptionist to the project manager. Thank you very much.” Another grateful customer from Rockton, IL, told us, “I would like to thank everyone that had a hand in putting our home and our lives back together. You are truly people sent from God! Our home is so beautiful and I am so happy that you were a part of that. Thank you LDR!” “We want to express our sincere thanks to you and all of the employees who helped to restore our water damaged home,” writes another couple from Rockton. “Special thanks for keeping us informed the entire time you were working here; you all were truly our saving grace.” “Special thanks to everyone. I didn’t know where to start; now my home is home again!” adds a Rockford client. Even our customers’ pets get in on the gratitude: “Everyone was very friendly and professional. My dog ‘Gunner’ misses the company that your staff provided. Thanks!” concludes a South Beloit, IL, customer. We hope this doesn’t come across as “tooting our own horn.” Rather, we wish to showcase the resilience of the human spirit…the fact that these good folks not only recovered from disaster, but discovered things for which to be thankful in the process. That they even found the time to jot down their kind comments to us is amazing in itself! What makes you feel grateful as we enter the holiday season? We at LDR give thanks for our dedicated, knowledgeable staff members who approach every assignment with professionalism and compassion. We are always grateful for our community’s emergency response professionals and volunteers who put themselves at risk. And of course, we are thankful for our customers themselves, who entrust us with the critical job of helping them restore their lives. It’s an honor. Please, use extra caution to prevent fire when preparing your holiday feasts and decorating your home or business this season. From all of us at LDR Cleaning & Restoration, have a very happy Thanksgiving! LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete repair of fire, smoke, wind, water and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net Save $25 on Air Duct Cleaning - Free Coupon  


 

Water Damage Restoration in the Workplace

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

water damage restorationWhy some businesses sink, others swim after a flood

A pipe bursts. The roof leaks. A storm unleashes its fury. Or a fire strikes, and—whoosh!—you have water damage in the workplace. Few things can pull a thriving business under the riptide as quickly as the aftermath of flooding. There’s the loss of office equipment, furnishings and inventory, of course…and the more daunting devastation of computer files, client histories and corporate records (made less stressful because you’ve backed everything up per your business emergency preparedness plan—right?) Then there’s loss of productivity as you scramble to relocate, regroup and rebuild while trying to maintain service to your customers...the list goes on. Whatever the origin of your water damage, the prospects for restoration depend largely upon the speed with which your workspace and its contents can be dried. A quick decision needs to be made: Hire a professional restoration and cleaning company or try it yourself? When you opt to hire a restoration company—a wise choice, by the way—a team of professionals will be dispatched to your place of business immediately to begin the process. Certified professionals will also be able to deal directly with your insurance company and claims adjuster, freeing you to focus on other matters at hand. So, what advantages do restoration professionals have that you don’t, besides down n’ dirty experience? Equipment. Expensive, high-tech equipment, like industrial strength dehumidifiers…state-of-the-art air moving machines…ozone generators…and powerful chemical cleansers, to name just a few tools. There are, however, some things you can do to help in the short time before the experts arrive:
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting
  • Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk
  • Transport computers to a dry environment, remove cases and blow dry with low pressure air
  • Remove lamps, phones and decorative items from wet furniture tops
  • Open drawers and cabinet doors for interior drying, but do not force open if stuck
  • Freeze valuable books and documents to reduce mildew growth until drying can be performed
Do NOT operate any electrical appliance—including computers, wet/dry vacuums, televisions, etc.—while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially wet concrete floors! Serious injury or death may result. Besides wanting to get back into business, why such a need for speed? Where there is excessive moisture, there is mold. Picture one tiny mold spore dropping onto a soaked ceiling tile, perhaps, or a soggy section of carpet. In no time at all, that mold spore will multiply—and suddenly you’ll have employee and client health concerns on your hands. According to the National Center for Environmental Health, exposure to molds can cause hay fever-like symptoms and compromise the breathing of individuals with chronic respiratory disease like COPD and asthma. Those with immune suppression may be at increased risk for infection from molds. Bottom line: If the job is too big to do on your own with bleach and elbow grease, it is important to contact a professional who has experience in properly cleaning mold to prevent contamination and recurrence. To recap, taking fast action and working with experts can mean the difference between sinking—or swimming—should your business unfortunately experience flooding. While it’s fresh on your mind, why not save precious time now by pre-selecting a local water damage restoration team you can reply upon? To learn more about developing your own workplace disaster plan, download our free e-book, Emergency Preparedness: It’s Your Business—Five Tips to Kick-Start Your Company’s Disaster Plan. LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in complete fire restorationwater damage restoration, and repairs from smoke, wind, and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net How to make a business disaster plan. Free eBook.  


 

Firearmed: How to Practice Fire Safety in the Workplace

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Fire Safety at workPutting out fires. It’s an idiom used to describe a frustrating day at work…productivity lost addressing random problems that pop up. But what if you literally had a fire at your workplace? Would you know what to do? Where to go? How to keep your staff, co-workers and critical documents safe? On an average day, it’s estimated that over 200 fires occur in U.S. businesses. Annually, those blazes kill about 200 workers, injure thousands more and cost American companies over $2 billion. In mere minutes, lives can change forever—and everything you’ve worked for can go up in smoke. What’s the best advice for fighting a fire at work? Squelch the sparks before they ignite by making fire prevention part of your business emergency preparedness plan. Begin with a risk assessment that includes identifying potential hot spots in your place of business:
  • Are power cords and outlets in good working condition?
  • Are electrical circuits overloaded?
  • Kitchen appliances like coffee makers left on for long periods?
  • Are any chemicals or combustible materials stored properly?
  • Space heaters used to warm cubicles during chilly months?
  • What about holiday decorations like trees, lights and candles?
  • Is smoking on the premises entirely prohibited?
  • And more
While you’re taking note of the potential fire hazards in your workplace, also take inventory of the resources you might rely upon should a blaze break out. These may include but are not limited to:
  • Smoke detectors with fresh batteries
  • Pull alarms
  • Sprinkler system
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency lighting
  • Method of alerting employees, such as a public address system
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Evacuation routes/map posted
  • Emergency exits suitable for all, including wheelchair users
  • Clearly marked exits
  • Safe shutdown procedures for equipment (if need be and time allows)
  • A meeting point to account for all staff members
Of course, no resource is as useful as a calm, informed and well-prepared staff. This is where your business emergency preparedness plan really comes into play. Make your employees an important part of the planning process from day one. Ensure that every staff member has a copy of the plan and familiarizes himself with it. Determine who will lead your staff in evacuation efforts and confirm that each team member understands her role. Review, update and practice your plan regularly. When putting your plan in place, enlist the help of professionals to make sure you’ve covered all the bases. Your insurance agent will be able to advise you on securing adequate disaster coverage. Local firefighters often visit businesses to conduct inspections and give safety presentations. And don’t forget to pre-select a reputable disaster cleaning and restoration specialist that provides such services as water extraction, structural and contents drying, and soot and odor removal, as well as pre-loss inventory of your salvageable and non-salvageable items. A final thought: With any workplace or residential fire, the top priority is ensuring that everyone can reach a safe place quickly. Putting out the fire is always secondary because the greatest danger is not the blaze itself, but being rapidly overcome by the heat and smoke caused by it. By taking these tips to heart…and planning ahead…hopefully the only workplace fires you’ll encounter are the ones you can put out with a quick email and another jolt of coffee. Want to learn more about developing a workplace disaster plan? Download our free e-book, Emergency Preparedness: It’s Your Business—Five Tips to Kick-Start Your Company’s Disaster Plan. LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in complete fire restorationwater damage restoration, and repairs from smoke, wind, and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net Download your free home disaster planning eBook  


 

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Emergency Restoration Company

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

fire damage restorationWhen you have a flooded basement or need fire damage restoration in your home or business, there are many things that need to done simultaneously.  Due to the fact that the clean up process needs to begin as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage and expense, a decision needs to be made:  Hire a professional restoration company or do it yourself? When you choose to hire the restoration company, a team of professionals will be sent to your home to deal with the cleanup, repair and restoration process immediately.  They are also able to deal directly with your insurance company.  LDR has years of experience and employs a highly trained and certified staff. Another benefit of hiring a professional company is the expediency with which they can get your home or business back to normal.  By acting quickly, you can prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause serious health risks.  LDR employs very knowledgeable project managers that work directly with the homeowners and insurance companies to run a smooth project from start to finish. Restoration companies also have access to specialized equipment that is either expensive to rent, expensive to own, or useless outside of a restoration atmosphere.  Industrial strength dehumidifiers, specialized air-moving machines, ozone generators, and powerful chemical cleansers are some of these items.  LDR fully uses this state of the art technology and equipment. By working directly with your insurance company this helps to ease some of the stress that your disaster has caused.  This also includes working closely with the adjuster to determine which of your contents can be cleaned and which ones need to be replaced. A disaster of any kind in your home or business can be a devastating and stressful experience.  We at LDR take great pride in helping to minimize the stress and getting your life back to normal as quickly and professionally as possible by taking great care in restoring your property and your most valued possessions.  This will help restore your sense of security and safety as well. download the free Emergency Response Plan guide.


 

Illinois:

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