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Creating a Fire Escape and Restoration Plan for Your Business
Don’t panic when a fire happens! Learn how your business can prepare for safe evacuations and effective fire damage restorations.
No one wants to experience a fire. They are traumatic, destructive, and dangerous. However, the reality is that it can happen at any time. For that reason, it’s important that businesses make sure they are prepared for the disaster if it should occur. In fact, it’s vital that owners create and communicate their evacuation plans with their employees to ensure everyone’s safety.
Preparations shouldn’t end with a basic fire escape plan, though. For the best results, businesses should also make sure that they are prepared for the restoration process that follows the evacuation. Otherwise, they could waste a lot of time and money while they complete the commercial fire damage restoration in Weymouth, MA.
In order to be safer and more efficient, business owners should keep reading this guide. They’ll learn more about steps they can take to create a safe escape route and an efficient restoration plan.
How to Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business
Safety should always be the first priority when considering how to deal with a commercial fire. Therefore, it’s crucial that business owners sit down and truly think of the safest way to help their customers and employees evacuate the building in the event of a fire. The following steps can help create a safe and effective plan.
Prepare for Multiple Scenarios
Fires are unpredictable, so fire evacuation plans should cover multiple scenarios. Listing all of the possibilities can help companies to create an action plan. During this process, it’s important to consider the specific risks that threaten a business and how they can impact a person’s ability to escape safely.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
To avoid chaos when a fire breaks out, every employee should know their role in the escape plan. The chief fire warden's role should be assigned to an employee who can handle the stressful situation and be responsible for any planning, prepping, or execution of the fire plan. Other roles can include route guides to help employees and customers evacuate calmly and floor monitors to make sure each room is clear.
Highlight Nearest Exits and Create Escape Routes
The best fire evacuation plans should have multiple routes in case of blockages. These routes should be communicated to all employees and displayed for reference throughout the building. They should point everyone towards the nearest exits, which should be clearly marked for fast action.
Understand Tools and Inspect Them Regularly
Fire codes require businesses to have specific fire safety tools, but they are only useful if employees know how to use them. It’s important to educate employees so that they are familiar with all of the available tools that can help them stay safe. It’s equally important that these tools be inspected routinely as well. For example, companies should test that fire alarm systems, lighting, and sprinklers are working properly.
Preparing for a Fire Restoration
Once everyone has exited the building safely, the hard work of completing a commercial fire damage restoration begins. Business owners should also have a plan for how to handle this process if they want to minimize their downtime. The following steps are the most crucial for successfully bouncing back after a major disaster.
Know Who to Call
First and foremost, companies should immediately know who they are going to call when a fire happens. While 911 is the obvious answer, that’s not the only call that needs to be made.
Business owners should also know which commercial fire damage restoration company they want to hire. It’s better to have a company picked out before they are needed so that no time is wasted searching the internet for the best local company.
Aside from looking at the restoration crew's experience, business owners should consider the contractor’s availability. Since fires can happen when they are least expected, it’s essential that the restoration company offers 24/7 emergency services.
Decide How to Operate Business
A fire doesn’t mean that a business has to close completely. If the fire is quickly extinguished, a company may be able to safely continue operations while the restoration is completed. However, this only works if the company has a plan in place. They should consider:
- Where business transactions will take place
- How many employees will be needed
- Alternative business locations
- How downtime will impact finances
Find out More About How to Prepare for a Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Want to know more about how businesses can prepare for a fire? Contact SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy. Their commercial fire damage restoration company can provide more insight into their process. They are also available 24/7 for emergency assistance, so local companies should call right away.
How do I Create an Office Fire Escape Plan?
Creating a fire escape plan is an essential part of any office building.
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
What is a fire escape plan? Is it necessary?
Creating a fire escape plan is an essential part of any office building and is incredibly important for the safety of you and others on your property. This can be more complicated than it sounds, but it's important to understand the dangers that employees face while working in your business. With proper planning and preparation, you can safely evacuate everyone from your building if there's ever a fire or other emergency.
Identify all possible exit routes.
Identify all possible exit routes. Include escape routes from each room, common areas, and conference rooms as part of your plan. Also, consider the following:
- Determine the best escape routes from all locations in the building, including each room, common area, and conference room.
- Identify the exits closest to where you work, eat or sleep.
- Keep your workplace fire escape plan with you at all times in case of an emergency.
- Review your personal evacuation plan with co-workers when new employees join your company or if there are changes to an existing plan (e.g., remodeling).
Designate a "safe area" to meet outside of the building.
Designate a "safe area" to meet outside of the building. A safe area is a meeting place outside of the building, where everyone can gather in case of emergency. It should be large enough to hold all employees and should be accessible from your fire escape route (if you have one). Identify one or more meeting locations in case you are separated from others during an emergency.
Walk through your fire escape plan with all employees.
Review and practice your fire escape plan with all employees. Walk through the plan with them, making sure everyone knows their role and where to meet if they need to evacuate the building.
Make sure you conduct regular fire drills as well as review your fire escape plan on a regular basis. By practicing these skills together, you can effectively reduce the risk of injury and death for both staff and visitors during an emergency.
Show staff evacuation routes
- Show staff evacuation routes.
- Walk staff through the plan.
- Practice the plan.
- Make sure everyone understands the plan.
Your company in Weymouth, MA, and surrounding areas should always have a fire escape plan in place before any emergency arises. This will help ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency and can quickly get out of harm's way. The fire department will also be able to access your building more easily because they'll know exactly where it's located.
The Basics of Insurance Deductibles
Flooded building in Weymouth, MA.
Here's How Storm Deductibles Typically Work
Your commercial insurance coverage depends on the specific needs of your business in Weymouth, MA, and several factors can play a role. If, for example, you live in a Special Hazard Flood Area, storm insurance may be mandated by law. Some type of flood coverage is probably a good idea if your area experiences frequent precipitation or rainy seasons.
The amount of money you end up paying with a storm policy is a delicate balance of your premium and your deductible. Essentially, the deductible is the money you must pay out of pocket before the coverage kicks in.
Typical vs. Trigger
Usually, an insurance policy will have a standard deductible. That is, there is a set amount that you will be expected to pay for restoration services or repairs before the insurance company will contribute. Some storm insurance, however, has a trigger clause that activates a different set of rules for the deductible if a storm is nigh. Required conditions for a storm deductible to be triggered often include:
- Official storm watch or warning issued by the National Weather Service
- The intensity of the storm defined
- The specific time frame during the storm when the damage occurred
Standard vs. Percentage
A standard deductible is a fixed amount that the policyholder must pay before insurance pays for any of the damage. In areas that are particularly susceptible to storm damage, however, a percentage deductible may be applied to minimize the risk for the insurance company. Percentage deductibles take the total value of the property and base the deductible on that amount. These deductibles can be as low as 1% of the total value of the property or as much as 5%, depending on the level of risk the location of the property poses.
No matter what kind of deductible your insurance company offers for your storm insurance, it is still a good policy to have. Your insurance agent can detail the benefits of purchasing a storm policy for your business.
4 Signs It’s the Right Fire Restoration Company
4 Signs You've Found The Right Fire Restoration Firm
The aftermath of a fire in your Quincy, MA, business is a messy situation. Along with needing smoke cleanup, there is likely water damage. Choosing a professional water and fire damage restoration company helps ensure the property is restored to preloss condition. But how do you know it’s the right company? Below are four indicators you’ve chosen correctly.
1. Commercial Fire Restoration Certified
A company that is licensed means that it has been certified by the IICRC. This requires regular certification, providing added peace of mind that the company adheres to established regulations and rules. The company will make it clear that it is certified.
2. Available 24/7
Since a disaster may strike at any time of the day, as well as during non-business hours, you need a trusted provider that is available 24/7. Round-the-clock communication and assistance are essential when there is fire and water damage. After receiving the call, the right company should be able to have an inspector scheduled to complete an assessment within 48 hours.
3. Versatile, Trained Technicians
Knowing that the damage sustained may run the gamut from soot to mold, you need a one-stop fire damage restoration company that can handle all forms of damage. If you choose a company that only handles one element, it means added delays that waste time and money. A company with cross-trained technicians means limited disruptions and work that is done right regardless of the work that is required.
4. Insurance Expertise
A key component of restoration is working with your insurance provider. While you need to focus on keeping operations going, an experienced restoration company will have the know-how to work directly with your insurance provider to ease the process.
Getting back to normal operations after a fire is vital to the success of a company. Choosing the right fire damage restoration company helps make that happen faster.
4 Ways SERVPRO Performance Guidelines Ensure Excellent Service
If you are an insurance agent who needs a fast and reliable restoration option for your provider program, SERVPRO is here to help.
SERVPRO's Performance Guidelines Ensure Excellent Service In Four Ways
The team at SERVPRO takes great pride in providing top-notch service to our clients. Whether you are an insurance agent or a business owner you can rest assured that our technicians have the skills, training and education they need to get the job done right. These are four of the ways our performance guidelines help ensure excellent service.
1. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification Validation
Our drying workbook is validated by the IICRC to ensure industry-standard practices are applied to every job. Insurance clients who choose to use SERVPRO as their vendor of choice in Weymouth, MA can include drying validation and correct equipment utilization in every claim file.
2. Claims Information Center
Our Claims Information Center provides the insurance agent with the most thorough mitigation reporting data possible. Claims agents have access to the complete electronic job file which includes the first notice of loss, digital photos, detailed estimates and scanned forms and paperwork. Additionally, they have access to new assignments, completed jobs, pending jobs and job cost data.
3. National Account Participation Agreement
All of our franchise professionals are required to agree to 21 different guidelines to be eligible to receive insurance client referrals. All of our guidelines are continuously maintained and evaluated for compliance by utilizing background checks on employees and insurance. This helps us guarantee that our customers only work with the best service providers in the industry.
As soon as a loss is reported, we track and report on each step of the restoration process. Insurance professionals have access to complete documentation of every step of the claims process. Our clients always know exactly what has been done and still needs to be done on their claim.
If you're an insurance agent looking for a fast, reliable and customer-focused restoration resource for your vendor program, our SERVPRO franchises are ready to help. Our commitment to excellence is why we are Faster to Any Size Disaster.
Commercial Insurance Coverage Limits Determine If the Fire Loss Is Partial
When extinguishing the fire, water was a friend. Now, it is an enemy.
If The Fire Loss Is Partial, The Commercial Insurance Coverage Limits Determine This.
Simply put, the insurer will determine the loss to be partial if the policy limits are high enough to pay the cost of restoration. Damage inflicted by partial loss fires generally fall into three categories:
Water Cleanup Is the Top Priority After a Fire
When extinguishing the fire, water was a friend. Now, it is an enemy. It seeps into every porous material it encounters and continues inflicting damage in your building.
After the fire, aggressively remove the water as quickly as possible to minimize the fire loss. Any delay would be like sending mold an invitation to dinner. Water removal will require:
- Elimination of standing water using pumps and wet-vacs
- Removal of restorable wet fabrics, carpets and furniture
- Disposal of unrestorable wet fabrics and carpets
- Removal of everything not damaged by water
- Removal and disposal of damaged wallboard and other construction materials
- Deployment of high-volume fans to help dry out everything that remains
Smoke Damage Mitigation Is A Complex Process
While the water cleanup is underway, it would be a good idea to begin treating the damage caused by smoke. Smoke cleanup is usually a three-step process:
- Install air filtration equipment to remove residual smoke residue from the air
- Use ozone machines to neutralize smoke residue that has settled on surfaces everywhere
- Deodorize your building by thermal fogging
Ozone and thermal fog are both dangerous to humans. Therefore, the structure should be unoccupied while those tasks are taking place.
Fire Damage Is Often the Simplest Cleanup of All
Damage caused by flames is easily identifiable. Anything touched by fire needs to be removed, painted or sent out for restoration. Complete the treatment of fire damage before completing the air filtration step.
All the tasks associated with fire loss and cleanup require specialized skills and equipment. A team of fire restoration specialists is in the Hingham, MA, area. They are ready to get started and are waiting for the call.
3 Facts About Fire Damage at a Rental Property
If you need assistance with emergency planning, or if you are currently dealing with fire damage and loss, contact SERVPRO, we can help you!
Three Fire-Related Facts For Renters
Rental property owners and tenants may be unsure about the limits of their responsibilities for fire damage. Here are three helpful facts about liability and insurance coverage in the event of an apartment fire in Weymouth Landing, MA.
1. Property Owners Are Responsible For Structural Damage
A landlord is responsible for covering damage caused by fire to the property itself. This includes building materials, systems, and provided contents, such as carpeting. A homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of cleaning, restoring, or replacing damaged materials and items.
2. Tenants Are Responsible For Their Contents
Tenants are responsible for restoring or replacing their own possessions following an apartment fire. These contents may include clothing, furniture, electronic devices, and personal effects. This is likely to be the case regardless of the cause of a fire. Renters insurance can help to offset costs that accrue due to a fire at a rented residence. Tenants should make sure that that the policy they choose will cover replacement costs and not actual value with depreciation.
3. Renters Insurance Can Cover Additional Costs
Renters insurance policies may also provide a limited amount of liability coverage for negligence as well as injuries or property damage suffered by third parties. These policies may also help to offset a variety of expenses associated with loss of a use of a residence, such as additional living costs or the cost of temporary relocation for the duration of the mitigation and restoration process.
After an apartment fire has been extinguished, renters should document damage to contents and make a list of items in need of restoration, repair, or replacement. Try to locate proof of purchase if possible. Property owners should also document structural damage to support a separate homeowners insurance claim. Renters and landlords can both benefit from the expertise of a fire damage cleanup and restoration company in Weymouth Landing, MA.