Fire prevention in the workplace is a serious matter, and not just because your livelihood is on the line. A fire can put your business at risk, but it can also do the same for the lives of you and your coworkers. Luckily, there are some basic steps you can take to ensure workplace fire safety for everyone who helps keep your business running. Check out the following seven expert tips to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your business and coworkers safe.
1. Create a fire prevention plan. Take the time to create a plan for workplace fire safety. Create guidelines for employees, make a calendar with inspection dates and important maintenance, and share it with everyone at your business.
2. Clean house. If your place of business is cluttered up with unorganized equipment, materials, debris or paperwork, you have a fire hazard on your hands. Making a clear pathway to an exit not only removes flammable items, but also helps you get to safety. Tidy up! And don't forget to keep the garbage or disposal areas clear.
3. Set a smoking policy. Smoking but it also introduces potential fire hazards. Consider the following as you create a safety-minded workplace smoking policy:
4. Install and test smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are one of the simplest, most effective things you can do for fire prevention in the workplace. Install the best ones you can afford and inspect them regularly. Working smoke detectors can give you valuable time to react to a fire, which can make a huge difference in reducing harm to your business and the safety of your coworkers. Conduct periodic fire drills by using the test feature on your smoke alarms, to ensure that everyone knows how to react in the event of an emergency.
5. Install sprinklers. Sprinkler systems are an effective part of any workplace fire prevention plan. Used in conjunction with a warning system like smoke detectors, automatic sprinklers can help mitigate the impacts of a fire at your business. A professional can help you design a sprinkler system configuration that addresses important or at-risk areas of your business.
6. Place and check fire extinguishers. Like sprinklers, fire extinguishers can sometimes prevent a minor fire from turning into a major disaster. Buy enough fire extinguishers as appropriate for the size of your building, and make sure they'll be accessible when it matters. That means no junk or equipment making them hard to reach. Putting them under cabinets or on high shelves won't do much good when a room is full of smoke, either.
7. Check for hazards. Make time on a regular basis to inspect equipment, areas where chemicals are stored and other identified high-risk areas. Perform maintenance on electrical equipment as soon as problems are spotted. Fires are often preventable, and the last thing you want is for your business to be destroyed by a fire that could have been averted through proactive maintenance.
Smart policies, persistent vigilance and swift action can help you avoid or mitigate fire damage at your place of business. Keep your eye on the ServiceMaster Restore® blog for more tips on how to keep your workplace safe, and know that you can always contact us if a fire does hit your business. From cleaning up smoke and ash damage to evaluating damaged office equipment, our experienced crews know what it takes to help your business get back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Marketing Director for ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning served the last two years on board; will work to further expand growth of fast-growing organization
NEW CANEY, Texas – The Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce recently installed Mark Linabury as the Chamber Board Chair for 2019. Linabury currently serves as the Marketing Director for ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning. He has been as a member of the GEMC Chamber board for the last two years.
“Mark has a very enthusiastic attitude about the growth of this area and how businesses can promote themselves through the chamber,” East Montgomery County Chamber President Rick Hatcher said. “He was always looking for ways to help his business and others, so he was one of those members that was noticed a lot. His work ethic and integrity is unquestionable, so we are very fortunate to have Mark leading the board this year.”
Linabury begins his one-year term during a period of unprecedented progress in East Montgomery County. The region has seen a 120 percent population increase in the last 15 years for Porter, 37 percent for New Caney, and 18 percent for Splendora. The development of Valley Ranch Town Center and the high performing New Caney Independent School District has made the area a much sought after community for new residents.
“As a board, we will help Chamber President Rick Hatcher and his staff serve the members to help them grow and improve their businesses and organizations,” Linabury said. “I'm a big believer in being seen, being heard, and being remembered. We want to give our members every opportunity possible to get the most from their memberships.”
Hatcher singled out Linabury’s extensive business marketing background as why he’s best suited to lead the chamber during a time of business and residential expansion. The GEMC serves 400 members, and Linabury’s goal is to increase that number and seek out new ways for them to benefit from being a part of the chamber.
“We are excited to have Mark installed as Board Chair and take an even more active part in the Greater East Montgomery Chamber,” said Brad Hollibaugh, owner of ServiceMaster Restore in Houston, and regional managing director of ServiceMaster Recovery Management. “We have many great clients in East Montgomery County, an important area for ServiceMaster Restore. Mark will bring the same professionalism and business savvy to his time as Board Chair as he does with ServiceMaster.”
In 2018, the GEMC offered members over 100 opportunities to meet, greet, and build relationships. These included Business After Hours events, luncheons, informational meetings on area growth and development, and special events for the community. Two of the biggest events include the Casino Celebration held in February, and the East County Grand Prix cart racing event in April.
“There is so much to be excited about in the business community as well as for the consumer,” Linabury said. “Combine that with a genuinely friendly and inclusive chamber, it's difficult not to enjoy and benefit from. It's something we call 'ProudToBeEMC' and is certainly something I am personally proud to be a part of.”
ABOUT EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Founded in 1990, the Greater East County Chamber of Commerce is the leading advocate for the business community spanning the Greater East Montgomery County. It serves 400 members across the communities of Porter, New Caney, Splendora, Roman Forest, Woodbranch Village, Patton Village, Grangerland, and a portion of Kingwood, located just north of Bush Intercontinental Airport and Houston the East Montgomery County area.
A backed-up, overflowing toilet or sink can be distressing enough for a commercial property owner or small business. When there's actual sewage involved, a minor inconvenience can turn into a serious and potentially hazardous clean-up situation.
Use this guide from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore® to learn what you should do immediately after a sewer backup occurs, plus tips on how you can prevent them from happening in the future.
What to do if you have a sewer backup
Cleaning a sewage backup in your office isn't a basic cleaning task. Handling sewage is extremely hazardous, so the clean-up process should only be completed by professionals. If you notice any signs of sewage backup, call a professional company immediately so they can remedy the issue and get your business back to normal.
Experts in the field know how to avoid any health risks while they safely remove all biohazards. A professional cleaning crew can effectively handle the following sewage clean-up tasks:
Common causes of sewer backup problems
Sewage issues can be hard to remedy, but knowing what causes them in the first place can help you prevent the worst from happening. Some of the most common reasons why commercial buildings experience a sewer backup include the following:
How to prevent sewer backups in your building
Contaminated water and sewage issues in your building can be extremely dangerous. Luckily, a few preventative maintenance tasks can keep them from happening in your business. Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of sewage contamination in your building:
Dealing with sewage clean-up is a difficult job that should be left to the experts. If it's not properly cleaned and disinfected, your company could pose a dangerous health hazard to all employees and customers who enter your building. To help keep everyone safe, call the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore. Our commercial sewage backup clean-up services include deep cleaning and eliminating any lingering bacteria and germs from items exposed to contamination, leaving you with a fully sanitized work environment. With our expert processes, training and experience, we can help get you back to business.
Business disruptions can come out of nowhere. If a disaster strikes, having a plan in place to keep business as usual can reduce your risk of permanently closing your doors. Since about 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it's crucial to create a continuity plan before a disaster occurs. Use these tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore® to create your own business continuity plan.
Key features of a business continuity plan
In order to draft an effective business recovery plan, your focus should be on ensuring that your staff and resources are protected and able to function if a serious event threatens your operations. A thoughtful, well-rounded business recovery plan should be able to do the following:
To help you address each of these areas in your own business disaster recovery plan, use the following tips from the pros.
1. Designate a team
Before you begin creating a business recovery plan, put together a preparedness and response planning team to help you strategize. Make sure each member understands his or her responsibilities if an unexpected event happens. Work together to identify what processes and assets would need to be maintained for your business to continue running during a catastrophe, and formulate realistic recovery strategies.
2. Assess threats
Identify all potential threats to your business, including natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. While the likelihood of a major natural disaster occurring may be rare, there might be plenty of other threats that could wreak havoc on your business such as a power outage, data breach or equipment malfunction. Make a list of every threat so you can create a preparedness plan for each.
3. Gather contact information
Your business plan should include vital contact information. Some people from whom you should collect numbers, addresses and other contact information, include the following:
After all contact information is documented, write out details about how you can stay in contact with staff both during and after the disaster. That way, everyone is informed about what to do, where to go and any next steps.
4. Identify essential staff and inventory
Make a list of all of your staff. Then, identify which jobs you would consider critical if you suffered a major business interruption. Determine which office equipment each staff member would need to be able to perform his or her work, such as a computer, desk and phone. Consider additional inventory you'd need for your business, including servers and software.
5. Determine ways to protect and access the company's data
Keeping your business' important data and sensitive information backed up on a regular basis can help you immensely during a disaster. Store financial records, login credentials, employee records and business emails on a cloud-based platform as well as a reliable external hard drive. That way, you can have quick access to vital business records and information during recovery efforts.
6. Determine an off-site location where staff can work
If you must work remotely following a disaster, it's important that employees know where they should go. Find safe spaces out of which your staff can work and include multiple routes they can take to get there, in case the most common route is blocked off because of disaster.
7. Create an emergency preparedness kit for your office
This kit should include essentials that can help your staff, customers and business survive a disaster. The emergency preparedness kit for your company should include at least the following items:
8. Practice your plan
Once you've developed your business recovery plan, practice it with your team. Run regular exercises to determine what works and what doesn't. Make any updates as necessary to keep things running smoothly. With regular practice, your team will feel more confident about what to do if a disaster actually does strike during work hours. When you feel confident that your business continuity plan will work, hand out copies of the plan to all staff members that they can review as needed.
With the right business continuity plan in place, your business is more likely to survive a disaster and reopen its doors. If you need help creating your own business recovery plan, call the experts at ServiceMaster Restore. With our pre-loss planning services, we can work with you to create a unique plan that includes the best action items your company should take if the unexpected hits your area. With the proper tools, planning and resources, we're focused on getting you back to business as usual.
It only takes a small leak in a commercial building to cause extensive water damage. The longer the leak goes unnoticed, the more damage you can expect. Find out what you can do if you find a leak in your building with help from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.
Common leaks detected in commercial buildings
Any building can spring a leak. But commercial buildings are put under quite a bit more stress than residential buildings, with heavy use of bathrooms, kitchens and other water-intensive processes. Learn about the most common types of leaks found in commercial buildings, and what you can do to fix them.
Every faucet has components that can wear out over time, especially with frequent use. When a seal or other faucet component begins to leak, it leads to ongoing water loss. When the drip becomes a trickle or a flow, water loss can be extensive and your water bill can substantially increase.
Toilets have a number of parts that can wear and lead to issues, especially water loss. For example, a flapper that fails to create a solid seal will allow water to leak from the toilet tank drain. If leaks like these aren’t repaired as soon as possible, you may experience additional damage to other toilet components, your water bill may increase significantly, and you may eventually have to replace the entire toilet to remedy the problem.
Underground leaks often go unnoticed. Signs that you may be experiencing an underground leak include:
A leak can hide anywhere in a commercial building. If the leak is not discovered early, the amount of water loss and damage caused may be extensive.
Signs of hidden leaks include:
Once the leak is identified, it may require pulling out walls, ceilings, and other major pieces of the building to fix the leak and repair the damage.
How to detect plumbing leaks in your commercial building
Installing a leak detection system can make it much easier to identify potential leaks and address them as quickly as possible. These systems can be extremely beneficial in commercial buildings, as they allow for the creation of a building-wide detection system.
Technology offers some exciting innovations in leak detection. Wireless water leak detectors can communicate by phone, text, and email when a leak is detected. Cloud-based sensors are also available that integrate with a portal where you can monitor all sensors in a system. There are even automated sensors which can shut off water in certain applications. If you are unsure which type of water leak detection equipment is best for your building, consult a contractor before installation.
What to do if you find a leakIf you suspect a leak in your business, contact professionals immediately. At ServiceMaster Restore, we’re available 24/7/365 to help you through crisis to resolution. Our commercial water damage restoration services include taking quick action to prevent additional damage and costly repairs. The faster the experts can remedy the issue, the faster you can get your business back to normal.
A natural disaster can occur at a moment's notice. Within seconds, your business can be damaged or destroyed, forcing you to close your doors until you can get back up and running. Unfortunately, businesses that haven’t implemented a disaster recovery plan before the unthinkable happens may likely be unable to reopen their doors after a loss. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), up to 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a natural disaster strikes. With lack of planning for financial damages, property destruction, loss of essential business documents and equipment, and taking care of staff needs, it can be difficult for business owners to rebuild when disaster strikes.
Luckily, the experts at ServiceMaster Restore are here to help. Use these tips to get your business back on its feet as soon as you can after disaster strikes.
Create a detailed natural disaster plan
If your business is going to survive a natural disaster, you’ll need a detailed preparedness plan in place. Write down a list of immediate solutions you'll implement in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Include items such as:
If you need help creating your plan, print out FEMA’s business continuity and disaster preparedness plan, fill in your company’s information, and ensure key employees are aware of its details.
Keep lines of communication open
As soon as you can, keep your customers and staff informed about what's happening with your business. Provide an estimate of when you'll be able to reopen for business. If excessive damage forces you to temporarily relocate, let others know how to find you. Keep in mind that your ability to recover from a natural disaster might largely depend on how quickly your employees are able to return to work. Reach out to your team, and work with them to make scheduling changes if necessary so everyone can get back to normal as soon as possible.
Seek outside help
While FEMA provides financial assistance to businesses that are located in a federally declared disaster area, the process of receiving aid can take some time, especially when an astronomical number of claims are being filed. Have a backup plan in place to ensure you're able to cover the costs of repairs in a punctual manner.
Consider purchasing a flood insurance plan that specifically covers natural disasters. The Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be a good place to turn for help. Through the organization's Office of Disaster Assistance, businesses that are located in declared disaster areas can apply for low-interest, long-term loans to make repairs and replacements.
Set your business up for a quick recovery
Even just one act of nature can cause a major interruption. Businesses that recognize the importance of having a detailed plan in place to recover after a natural disaster may have a greater chance of survival. Start listing out your steps to rebuilding before disaster strikes to increase your chances of recovering.
If the unexpected does happen, remember that you’re not alone. Count on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to guide and support you throughout the recovery process and help get your business back up and running again as quickly as possible. Give us a call at 281-358-0363.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 29 percent of office fires are caused by cooking equipment. If a fire does break out, you may experience extensive, costly damage to your office and put the safety of your staff members at risk. To help keep everyone at your office safe and protected from fire-related accidents, use these four kitchen fire safety tips from the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore®.
Other tips and tricks for avoiding accidental office fires
All it takes is one accident that may put fellow employees or the business in harm’s way. To ensure that everyone stays safe, there are some other tips you can use in your office to help avoid a fire in the kitchen and other areas of the office. Some other instructions you can provide to help protect your office against fires include:
In the event that you do experience a kitchen fire in your building and cannot safely put it out, evacuate the building immediately. Once you get outside, call emergency services.
Once the fire is out, there are some things you can do after a fire to preserve as much as you can. Then, call on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to help get your business back up and running as soon as possible. Our fire and smoke damage removal services can get your facility back to pre-loss condition quickly and safely, so you can get back to business. Give us a call at 281-358-0363
After Harvey's flood waters receded, ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning's commercial division was on location at the Kingwood H-E-B. A restoration plan was put in place and the cleanup process began. This was one of many commercial projects that your local ServiceMaster Emergency Response Team responded to including senior living and assisted living care facilities.
ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning
801 Russell Palmer Road
Kingwood, TX 77339
801 Russell Palmer Road
Kingwood, TX 77339