Recent Commercial Posts

Why Business Owners Should Prioritize the Creation of a Disaster Recovery Plan for Their Facility

2/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak warns businesses of the risks of not having a plan for disaster recovery.

SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is an excellent choice for business owners and property managers when commercial water damage repair is needed. When water is the culprit in a property damage disaster, a rapid response can avoid secondary damage, which can be more costly to repair than the original water damage disaster. Delays in normal business operations can be financially devastating for a business. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and arrives at the facility in about an hour to begin assessing the situation and mitigating the water intrusion.

One of the most important strategies a business can have in place is a disaster readiness plan. A Ready Plan, as it is referred to by SERVPRO, is crucial for a safe, swift, and successful return to normal business operations in the wake of a property damage disaster.

A property damage disaster resulting from a fire, tornado, or hurricane can wreck a small business. Closures may last for months. Most small businesses are without a disaster recovery plan, and insurance coverage protecting against a financial catastrophe from a natural disaster is not in place.

Insureon, in partnership with Manta, an online small business directory, conducted a poll. The poll revealed that “31% of small business owners don’t know if their business would survive if it was forced to close for more than a month. An additional 13% say they are confident it wouldn’t. Despite that uncertainty of survival, 61% of small business owners say they don’t have a formal disaster recovery plan.”

How to plan for a disaster

The poll mentioned above found that one in ten surveyed business owners experienced a closure after a natural disaster. One in five of these closures were unable to reopen. A disaster recovery plan improves a business’ ability to successfully recover from a natural disaster. A disaster recovery plan should include the following components:

1. A list of critical employees

This list should include essential information about key employees and details about their functions during the disaster response and recovery process. Contact information for the landlord, utility companies, and key vendors should be an element of this part of the plan.

2. A pre-qualified property damage restoration company

In the event of property damage, a rapid response by a reputable damage restoration company that has a proven track record of dealing with commercial venues can expedite the recovery process while reducing unnecessary restoration costs from secondary damage such as mold and wood rot.

3. A risk hazard analysis

Identify and assess any risks. Each risk analysis should be accompanied by response strategies and recovery solutions.

4. Documentation of business continuity protocols

This component is an outline of critical business operations, including documents, procedures, programs, and resources. An example would be processing payroll, payables, and receivables. During the pandemic, many of these activities were outsourced to third parties or fulfilled by employees working remotely.

5. Data preservation strategies

Ensure that all information essential for operational continuity is backed up on a daily basis. The backup location should be off-site or in the cloud.

How to respond to a natural disaster

  1. Ensure all onsite employees, vendors, and contractors are safe and accounted for. If a natural disaster impacts physical operations, the top priority is to ensure everyone is safe.
  2. Make the facility safe and secure. Cordon off unsafe areas, and contain employee movement to safe areas. Shut off the power, water, and gas utilities where needed. Execute other safety measures as laid out in the disaster recovery plan.
  3. Activate the recovery and restoration action plan by notifying the pre-qualified damage restoration company. A crew from SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak will arrive on the scene typically within an hour. A specially trained technician will inspect and assess the situation. A detailed industry-standard estimate with documentation, including photos and video, will be provided. SERVPRO can handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end.

The crews will mitigate the water intrusion, including emergency tarping. They can also secure the facility with board-ups of windows and doors and the installation of emergency fencing. Water removal can begin immediately using high-powered commercial-grade equipment. Employees are freed up to address operational and administrative issues. Also, the risks and liabilities of enlisting untrained and ill-equipped employees to handle property damage restoration are very high. A slip-and-fall injury can be terminal for a business already struggling to survive a natural disaster or other property damage disaster.

To learn more about commercial water damage cleanup and restoration services in Ennis, TX, contact SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak office by calling (972) 937-1494 or emailing acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Property Damage at a Place of Business

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak explains the importance of understanding damage intersection and the hazard matrix of commercial property damage.

SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak understands the complexity of commercial property damage in Corsicana, TX. An awareness of the multi-faceted dimension of the disaster means the professionals at SERVPRO will address the totality of the situation in order to implement a restoration project that results in a safe, functional working environment for employees, vendors, and customers. The certified, experienced technicians identify the full scope of the damage and work to mitigate the effects of the disaster. Businesses, institutions, distribution centers, and manufacturing units can trust SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak to restore the damaged area.

When a disaster strikes

OSHA highlights the complicated nature of a property damage disaster in an agency publication on natural disasters. “Natural disasters can cause widespread flooding and damage to property and infrastructure. Cleanup and recovery activities involve hazards that can cause serious injuries or death. OSHA urges employers and workers engaged in cleanup and recovery to be aware of these hazards and how to protect workers.”

The information circular continues with the following directives to employers and employees: “If you are an employer, worker, homeowner, or member of the public involved in cleanup and recovery activities, it is important that you assess the potential for hazardous conditions and/or exposures before you engage in these activities. Based on an initial assessment of hazards, employers need to provide workers with the appropriate personal protective equipment, training, and information to safely perform the work.”

OSHA stresses the importance that employees involved in the cleanup process carefully assess the potential for hazardous conditions and/or exposures prior to engaging in cleanup and restoration activities.

Employers are advised to pay special attention to the outline of the hazard matrix described below. It is unreasonable to expect employees untrained and inexperienced in dealing with a property damage disaster to accurately assess the scope of the disaster, as well as the obvious and hidden health dangers encompassed in the unique hazard matrix of the disaster. Workplace liabilities and likelihood of litigation can have a long-term effect on the profitability and viability of the company. These unforeseen future costs can be devastating.

The accurate assessment of the complex and multi-faceted hazard matrix of a commercial property damage disaster requires the expertise of a trained professional. In a commercial environment, even a simple sprinkler malfunction can spiral into a complex toxic waste cleanup. Certain types of dangerous chemicals can be activated by water, and cleanup will involve more than just water removal. Full personal protective gear (PPG), safe ventilation, and proper disposal of the toxic water may be required.

Damage intersection

A hazard matrix takes stock of damage intersections. A fire damage disaster involves the intersection of damage from the fire, smoke damage, water damage, and toxic substances. Damage cleanup and restoration requires commercial-grade equipment, highly trained technicians, and PPG that ensures personal safety. In some cases, deconstruction or demolition by fire personnel may create physical hazards for employees and cleanup crews.

Other components of damage intersection that complicate the hazard matrix and create potentially deadly cleanup and restoration situations include the following:

  • Dust and ash
  • Foam or other chemicals utilized in the extinguishing of the blaze
  • Sewage spills from damaged pipes
  • Toxic spills from containment vessels damaged by flooding, storms, or fire
  • Chemicals/toxins/gas/particulate debris from raw materials used in the manufacturing process
  • Asbestos release in older buildings that may be out of compliance
  • Mercury from lights
  • Lead in old paint
  • Dioxin
  • Outdated chemicals stored on-site
  • Combustibles, explosives, etc.

Even though OSHA lays out principles to guide employers and employees when engaging in a property damage cleanup and restoration project, extreme care should be exercised. Violation of a corporate policy addressing the involvement of untrained employees could result in litigation. Union employees may be limited to the scope of work in their labor contract. Breaches of protocol could also jeopardize commercial insurance coverage for the property damage.

Overcoming the challenges of a complicated hazard matrix

The best, safest, and most efficient property damage restoration solution is to outsource the project to a licensed, bonded, insured, and certified property damage restoration company. Damage restoration technicians have the experience, training, equipment, and skills to accurately assess the complexities of a multi-faceted property damage disaster. A commercial environment involves staff, employees, vendors, and customers, and the safety of these parties must not be compromised.

The goal is to achieve a return to normal business operations as quickly and as safely as possible. The professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak can assess the damage, taking into consideration the hazard matrix and the intersection of the various aspects of property damage, whether fire, smoke, water, or flood damage. The business owner can trust SERVPRO to maintain the highest safety and health standards for the technicians.

The best time to choose a commercial damage restoration company is before a disaster strikes. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak offers commercial customers an industry-standard Ready Plan that facilitates a fast response, inspection and assessment, and staging activities. A pre-planned staging protocol can shave hours or days off the overall cleanup and restoration project.

For more information about commercial damage restoration services in Corsicana, TX, contact the SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak office by phone at (972) 937-1494 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

Commercial Fire Damage Safety Tips for Residents of Apartment Complexes

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: If a fire breaks out in an apartment, it is essential that residents of the apartment building are familiar with fire safety practices.

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is available 24/7 to provide fire, smoke, or water damage restoration services in an apartment complex. Property managers across the US rely on SERVPRO’s rapid response to fire damage. In a situation involving an entire apartment complex and many units, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak can swiftly scale its workforce, equipment, and other resources to meet any challenge. Whether the damage is to just one unit or involves the entire complex, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is the property damage restoration solution.

The importance of apartment fire safety

Life in an apartment complex comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. Only the residents on the ground floor can walk out their front door to the lawn or parking lot if evacuation of the building is ever needed. Other residents must navigate steps or find their way to an elevator. Darkness, thick smoke, flames, and the loud, chaotic bustle of dozens of people scrambling to the exits make the evacuation process very challenging.

Apartment and condominium dwellers must proactively think through disaster scenarios such as a fire, tornado, violent thunderstorm, flash flood, or power outage. Preparedness in the event of a fire is crucial because of the large number of residents living so close together in an apartment complex. All occupants should be familiar with the fire safety features in the building.

Neighbors need to be vigilant and work together to ensure the building is as fire-safe as possible at all times. The top priority for every resident in an apartment complex is to know how to safely and quickly evacuate the facility in case of a fire or other emergency. Should a fire emergency arise, basic fire safety tips can save lives.

Facts about apartment fires

Fire protection and prevention experts reported the following statistics about apartment fires: “Between 2010-2014, there were 107,800 apartment fires, causing 410 deaths, 4,280 injuries and $1.2 million in property damage. January was the top month for apartment fires with 10,200. It was also the top month for deaths caused by these fires with 60. Apartment fires tend to happen in the evening hours between 3:00 -10:00 pm (45%).”

How to stay fire-safe in an apartment complex

The fire safety tips listed below are easy to follow and save lives.

  1. Do not prop open exit or stairway doors.

These doors are designed to stop the movement of smoke through the stairwells to other floors of the apartment complex. The thick, steel doors can hold back flames for hours. If people are trapped on upper floors, this effective fire delay gives emergency personnel time to extinguish the flames and rescue trapped residents.

  1. Report to the property manager damaged fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and sprinkler heads.

Residents are the eyes and ears of the property manager and maintenance supervisors who oversee the function and safety of the complex. Fire safety and detection equipment need to be operational at all times because a fire can erupt at any time, day or night.

  1. Alert service personnel to emergency lights that are broken or malfunctioning. 

These lights play a crucial role in helping residents make their way through hallways and down steps when the power is out or smoke is thick.

  1. Prepare and practice.
  • Count and recount the number of doors to the nearest fire exit.
  • Know the location of the exit doors and stairs on every floor.
  • Become familiar with the official building evacuation plan.
  • Prepare and practice an individualized escape plan for the specific apartment.
  1. What to do in case of a fire: Stay calm!

Check the temperature of the door. If the door is warm to the touch, do not open it. Call 9-1-1. The dispatcher will want the apartment number. Be sure to inform the dispatcher that the door is warm from the nearby fire and that it is unsafe to exit the apartment.

  • Seal the cracks around the door with wet towels, moist rags, or bedding. Put tape over cracks that cannot be sealed with the other materials.
  • Wait by a window. Get the attention of bystanders and emergency personnel by signaling for help with a flashlight. If a flashlight is not available, wave a white cloth, pillowcase, or piece of bright clothing.
  • If the door is cool to the touch, open it very cautiously. Staying low, check the hallway for smoke and fire. If a safe escape is possible, follow the building’s evacuation plan.
  • Using an elevator to escape a fire is very risky. Always use the stairs. Never rely on an elevator to escape a fire.
  1. Wait outside and away from the building for the fire department and other first responders.
  • Do not re-enter the burning building for any reason, even if flames and smoke are not evident.
  • If it is suspected that someone is still inside the complex, alert the firefighters of the potential victim and explain where the occupant might be located.
  • Do not go back into the apartment structure until firefighters indicate that it is safe to do so.

The SERVPRO team is available 24/7 to respond to a fire, smoke, or water damage disaster in an apartment complex in Ellis County and surrounding cities such as Corsicana, TX . To learn more about the fire and water damage restoration company, call SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak at (972) 937-1494 or email the office at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How Building and Reconstruction Services Complement Property Damage Restoration Services

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak explains how commercial building and reconstruction services benefit the business owner needing property damage restoration services.

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak offers a wide array of commercial reconstruction services for businesses that have suffered a property damage disaster. Companies faced with disruptions to manufacturing, production, sales, distribution, or customer service need fast, efficient, and economical solutions. Extended business interruptions may have a significantly greater negative impact on the bottom line than the actual property damage disaster.

The Critical Need for Swift Site Restoration to Resume Normal Business Operations

A protracted recovery from a property damage disaster in a critical business or service facility can send shock waves cascading throughout the supply chain or distribution network that not only affect product manufacturing and delivery but also result in the loss of customers.

The customer acquisition expense for small businesses, light industry, and service providers constitutes a significant overhead expense. Resuming business operations as soon as possible reactivates the flow of products and services, protects the customer base, and restores the vital revenue cycle.

Benefits of Reconstruction Services for Local Businesses

Providing building and reconstruction services enhances the overall commercial damage restoration service menu offered by SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak. Here are some benefits businesses experience when they entrust their restoration needs to the SERVPRO team.

Benefit #1: Seamless transition from one phase of the restoration process to another

Initial restoration services for a fire, water, storm, or flood disaster flow smoothly from cleanup to repair to reconstruction. This movement and ease of transition through the project also involves SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak managing the insurance claims and payment process. Needless interruptions of progress due to payment disruptions are completely avoided. Efficiencies soar. Crews smash deadlines. Business returns to normal.

Benefit #2: Exceptional proficiencies

The technicians at SERVPRO undergo rigorous training and certification that enable them to attain exceptional proficiencies as property damage restoration experts. Even though each property damage disaster is unique, the principles and practices applied in a water damage disaster or a fire damage disaster are similar for every customer. Advanced training and constant practice make SERVPRO technicians the most proficient restoration professionals in the industry. Commercial customers receive the best quality service delivered in a timely and highly efficient manner.

Benefit #3: A thorough and complete restoration

SERVPRO technicians understand the complex challenges of uncovering hidden property damage, including advanced secondary water damage, which may involve mold and mildew infestation or concealed wood rot. Knowing how to spot hidden damage means the restoration process is thorough in its scope. Damaged areas needing repair or reconstruction are fully restored while the larger project is in process, thus avoiding future disruptions to repair or reconstruct overlooked damage.

Benefit #4: A stress-free and economical experience

The reconstruction expertise of the SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak team allows the commercial property owner to secure a turnkey solution to a property damage disaster. This streamlined, cost-effective restoration and reconstruction package eliminates stress for the business owner.

The SERVPRO Building and Reconstruction Services

When fire, water, storms, or flooding damage a home or business, the immediate concern is to respond with temporary protective measures such as positioning emergency roof tarps to prevent additional damage, boarding up to secure the building, and removing water and debris.

After protecting and securing the structure, professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak can begin the restoration process. If the damage to the home or business is severe, the building may require reconstruction work to restore the property to its preloss condition.

The professionals at SERVPRO simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak can provide this continuity of service by supervising a full range of restoration services that will return a building to full functionality.

  • Board up of windows, doors, and roofing
  • Carpet repair and installation
  • Drywall installation
  • Drywall removal
  • Furniture restoration
  • Move out and secure storage
  • Portable power supply
  • Scalable resources from other SERVPRO franchise outlets
  • Temporary fencing
  • Temporary warehouse space

For more information about commercial reconstruction in Red Oak, TX, contact the SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak office by phone at (972) 937-1494 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.