How Do You Create a Fire Escape Plan?
Every employee in your building must know of at least two ways to escape from every room.
What Are the Steps to Making a Fire Exit Plan?
As a business owner in Clear Lake, TX, you may be concerned with protecting your employees and the valuable contents within your building from fire damage. While protecting those items is mainly an issue of not letting a fire start in the first place, your employees’ lives are both more valuable and easy to protect. Making sure you have a sound fire escape plan in your building is an essential safety measure. It’s not enough to just tell your employees to evacuate in the event of a fire, however. A concrete, laid-out fire escape plan is crucial in assuring everyone’s safety. Here are a few pointers to make your plan easier to design, as well as some things it should include:
Check Smoke Alarms
First and foremost, you must be sure your building meets NFPA standards for smoke alarms. This means a smoke alarm in every room and office, and outside every major working area. Also, while it’s highly unlikely that your employees will have this problem, it’s important to verify that everyone in the building knows what a smoke alarm sounds like so that they can evacuate immediately upon hearing it.
Plan Escapes from Every Room
As an important part of your fire escape plan, every employee in your building must know of at least two ways to escape from every room. If every room does not already have two means of escape, it’s a good idea to create them. For example, for rooms on higher floors, a fire escape ladder on the outside can help ensure employee safety and escape in the event of a fire.
Establish a Meeting Place
Make sure every employee in the building knows where the designated meeting place outside the building is. This makes accounting for everyone easier after evacuation and creates a more orderly and efficient escape process.
It may seem like overkill, but an important part of any effective emergency escape plan is regular drills. You should conduct fire drills at least twice a year, or until everyone in your building can complete the evacuation process within a reasonable but short time period based on the size of your building.
After the Flood: 3 Actions To Take While Waiting for the Insurance Adjuster
Nassau apartment damage.
Protect Your Property and Prepare To File a Claim
When a large flood impacts Nassau Bay, TX, you will likely be one of many neighborhood residents filing a flood insurance claim. This is an effective way to protect yourself against any damage the flooding causes; however, waiting for the insurance adjuster can give flood waters time to cause further damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take in the meantime to protect your property and prepare to file a comprehensive claim.
1. Take Photos of the Damage
Once you know your home is safe to enter, begin by taking photos of flooded rooms and damaged items. Refrain from separating belongings during this stage and wear rubber boots and gloves for protection if you must enter flood waters. Catalogue whatever you find, including water stains on walls and ceilings, damaged furniture and ruined drywall.
2. Make a List of Valuables
Before you call in a flood damage and remediation service to drain flood waters from your home, make a list of any valuables that have been damaged. Include vehicles, artwork, jewelry and other items of value and list their estimated worth until you can access actual receipts. If any electronics, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets suffered water damage, retrieve their model and serial numbers to help expedite your claim once the adjuster arrives.
3. Call a Contractor
Have a contractor come in to check for water and mold damage so the adjuster can examine his or her findings and compare them with other damage estimates, such as the one the insurance company quotes you. Although each report may differ slightly when it comes to estimates, this can help you file a flood insurance claim with more efficiency.
Flooding in Nassau Bay, TX, is likely to keep your local insurance adjuster busy for days. However, you can take steps to prepare a flood insurance claim before your property is professionally inspected.
How To Safeguard Your Business From a Water Damage Claim
Insulate your pipe.
Detect Damaged Pipes and Minimize the Risk of Flooding
To help protect both their investment and financial security, it’s essential for every business owner in Dickinson, TX, to possess a commercial property insurance policy. Water damage resulting from leaking pipes is a common claim that often necessitates extensive cleanup and restoration efforts. Although aging infrastructure may complicate the situation, there are several proactive steps every business can take to help detect damaged pipes and minimize the risk of flooding.
Broken Pipes and Supply Lines
Water supply lines likely run throughout your building. In addition to sinks and toilets, water may also flow to and through a variety of equipment:
- Fire suppression system
- Water heater
- HVAC system
To help reduce the risk of leaks, you should schedule routine inspections of these vitals systems to verify the absence of obstructions, loose hose connections and defective components that may cause water seepage.
During the winter, exposed pipes may be susceptible to freezing. Ice formation can increase pressure within the pipe, which may cause it to burst. To minimize the risk of damaged pipes, you should insulate exposed supply lines in uninsulated areas of your building and those near external walls.
In addition to leaking pipes, flooding can also arise if water seeps through a compromised roof. Completing routine rooftop evaluations can help you identify potential issues and commence necessary repairs before substantial leakage occurs.
It’s also important to take proactive steps to prevent the formation of ice dams during the winter. To alleviate this concern, you should routinely clear gutters of debris and ensure you have adequate insulation above your ceilings. Maintaining proper air circulation is also key.
Although most property insurance policies cover water damage, avoiding a claim is often preferable. While it may be difficult to detect damaged pipes inside walls, employing proactive maintenance procedures can help you identify and repair some potential flooding sources before significant destruction occurs.
Does Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?
Water damage in a Nassau Bay, TX home.
Does Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?
Homeowners considering whether to file an insurance claim may be concerned about rate hikes. In general, filing claims is likely to result in higher rates. Find out more about why this is the case and a few possible exceptions.
Number of Claims
The number of claims a homeowner files will impact their insurance rates. It is usually the case that:
- The more claims that are filed, the higher the rates
- Some types of claims may result in higher rates or policy changes
- Too many claims may result in policy termination
A policyholder should consider whether filing an insurance claim for minor damage is worth raised rates or changes in coverage.
The Type of Claims
Rates will generally rise whether the losses claimed are partial or total. Factor in the following considerations:
- If the policyholder is at fault, rates are very likely to rise
- If the policyholder is not at fault, rates may or may not rise
- Some types of claims may raise rates and cause policy cancellation
Certain claims, including water damage or mold, may be more likely to result in significant rate hikes or policy changes. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary to cover a home flood.
The Insurance Provider
Some insurers are more forgiving of certain types of claims. Inquire about an insurer's rules regarding:
- Forgiveness or limitations
- Rate increases
- Reporting consultation for potential claims
A homeowner should be aware of policy terms and insurer practices. This information may increase the likelihood that coverage will offset damage cleanup and restoration costs.
A homeowner may want to set aside money in a savings account. Lower insurance rates by raising the deductible to match this amount. The homeowner can use these funds to cover minor damage instead of filing an insurance claim. If a residence sustains damage, obtain an estimate from a mitigation and restoration company in Nassau Bay, TX.
What Should You Throw Away After a Fire?
If your cosmetics have been exposed to fire you should replace them.
Five Items To Throw Away After a Fire
Exposure to heat and smoke can ruin delicate or perishable contents. While some items can be cleaned and restored, others should be disposed of and replaced. Here are five items to throw away after a house fire in La Marque, TX.
Open food packages may become contaminated by smoke, ash, soot, or fire suppressants. It is important to get rid of:
- Open packages or containers
- Open pet food
- Cans exposed to extreme heat
Canned or packaged food that was not exposed to high heat may be safe to consume. Remove the label, clean the can, and write the contents and expiration date on the can in permanent marker.
2. Porous Kitchen Contents
Not only do food items pose a re-contamination risk. It is also important to dispose of:
- Plastic cutting boards
- Plastic dishes, cups, or utensils
- Baby bottle nipples
Plastic is porous and may absorb toxins. Throw away and replace these items after a fire.
High heat and smoke can ruin medicine. Examine each product and consider:
- The safe temperature range
- Whether the packaging is open
- Any visible damage
It is safer to dispose of and replace medicine after a fire. Extremely high temperatures may make any formula less effective.
Heat can also destabilize beauty and personal care products. Continued use can result in:
- Absorption of toxins through skin
You should dispose of and replace products exposed to smoke or high temperatures. Throwing these items out is safer than risking re-contamination.
5. Burned Clothing
Clothing damaged by smoke or soot may be restored. Burned clothing should be thrown away. This is particularly the case for:
- Charred or singed items
- Babies' or children's clothing
- Burnt linens
If you are not sure whether clothing can be cleaned, consult with a restoration professional. You should dispose of items with extensive damage.
All of these contents may pose re-contamination risks. If you are not sure whether to throw away or attempt to clean an item, ask fire damage restoration experts in La Marque, TX.
4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes
After flooding, we often find sand and dirt along with the wet materials and contents.
4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes
Walking into an area in your home with flooding water from a broken pipe or backed-up sewer line can be overwhelming. As you try to prioritize all the questions running through your mind, it is important to consider how to address the damage promptly. The more you know about dealing with the problem, the better chance you have of addressing the issues quickly and efficiently, even while stressed. So, here are four things you should not do after water damage strikes your home in Clear Lake, TX.
1. Forget to call the insurance company. Your first instinct may be to call family and friends to help with the cleanup. But the standing water in home flooded areas can wait while you take pictures for the insurance company and make initial contact with your representative. The pictures are an important piece of evidence and can help prove the claim if there are questions raised by the adjustor.
2. Attempt to restore the area alone. Water that stands against walls, floors, and appliances can do unseen damage. That is why it is important to contact a professional cleanup crew to help restore the area after a broken pipe. The trained individuals know what to look for to prevent mold, water seepage, and further damage.
3. Miss the chance to inventory damaged items. Removing wet and ruined items from the flooding water and tossing them out the door may be the first thing you want to do, but don’t do it. It is critical to your insurance claim that you either photograph each item or make an inventory list.
4. Assume water is clean. All flood water is not created equally. There are three categories of water, and each has its own cleanup procedure. The categories are clean water, grey water, and black water. By contacting a team of professionals, you can be sure to address the contaminated flood water properly.
Water damage can be extremely disconcerting. When addressing a broken pipe or overflowing appliance, knowing what you should not do can be just as important as knowing what to do.v
Basic First Aid Tips for Burns
Minor burns may not require medical attention.
Basic First Aid Tips for Burns
A fire in your commercial building in La Marque, TX, can damage the structure and many of the items in it. If the incident occurs while the building is occupied, though, the fire damage to the property may not be your most immediate concern. If people suffer from burns while they are trying to escape, it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of first aid to help them until medical professionals can arrive.
The first thing you need to do is decide if the injury is a major or minor burn. If it's just a few small blisters or the skin is red, the burn is probably minor. A major burn, however, shows other warning signs:
- Has charred appearance with white or black patches
- Covers a large area or involves a deep wound
- Makes skin look leathery or excessively dry
The severity of the burn will dictate the appropriate burn first aid.
Minor Burn Aid
Minor burns may not require medical attention. Your fire damage emergency kit likely contains all the supplies you need to treat it. Cool the burned area, apply a lotion specially formulated for soothing burns and cover it with a clean bandage. An over-the-counter medication may be used to ease the pain.
Major Burn Aid
When people have major burns, they will likely need the help of a medical professional. To keep them as comfortable and safe as possible before emergency services arrive, though, you can apply some basic first aid. Do not attempt to flush the burn with water. Keep an eye on their vital signs, such as breathing and heart rate, and administer CPR as necessary. Make sure that all restrictive items, such as jewelry or accessories near the burn, are removed. Cover the burn with a clean bandage or cloth to guard against infection while you wait.
Certified restoration experts can mitigate the fire damage to your building, but if people are injured, they may need medical assistance. Knowing basic first aid can be useful until help arrives.
Why Business Renters Purchase Their Own Flood Insurance
Flood damage in La Marque, TX.
Running a business is challenging enough without having to worry about natural disasters. Still, business owners in La Marque, TX, must plan for flooding. After all, few things can bring a business to a standstill faster than a flood. Still, many business owners think they do not need independent flood insurance if they house their business in a rented building. That logic is misplaced. For a variety of reasons, purchasing renter’s insurance is usually a good idea.
No business owner wants to watch floodwaters consume the workplace. Still, flooding is more common than you think. Floods occur in a variety of situations, including the following:
- Heavy rainfall
- Damaged dams
- Overflowing draining basins
- Melting snow and ice
Many business owners do not own the buildings that house their businesses. Even if the landlord has his or her own flood insurance, savvy business owners often choose to buy renter’s insurance. The rationale is simple. When a flood occurs, the landlord’s insurance policy generally covers structural damage to the building. This includes both interior and exterior damage. It does not, however, typically cover damage to the contents of the building. Without rental insurance, business owners are responsible for replacing equipment, inventory, computer systems and other business property.
Getting a Quote
Applying for both a renter’s and owner’s insurance policy is a similar process. Once you find a reputable insurer, expect to provide a list of business assets. After your agent determines your business’s flood risk, he or she can advise you on how much insurance your company should carry.
While renter’s insurance cannot eliminate the possibility of a flood occurring at your business, it can give you peace of mind. It can also help you cover the cost of a restoration service if your business ends up underwater. Either way, investing in independent flood insurance coverage is an effective strategy for protecting your business investment.
Feeling the Burn: How To Treat Major and Minor Burns in the Workplace
Knowing basic burn first aid can help the healing begin.
How To Treat Major and Minor Burns in the Workplace
Fire damage in commercial buildings is not always the result of flames that rage when no one is present. A fire could break out at your business in Clear Lake, TX, even when workers are there. If this happens, it is likely that someone or several people may require burn first aid. Knowing what to do in such a situation can get them on the road to recovery faster and may even save their lives.
Ideally, most of the burns sustained by employees during a fire are minor. Minor burns have several symptoms:
- Change in skin color that looks like a sunburn
- Small coverage area
Minor burns do not require emergency care but simply basic first aid. As with a sunburn, you want to cool the affected skin and apply a soothing lotion. Bandage the burn to keep it clean, and it should heal on its own.
A major burn, however, is a side effect of fire damage that requires medical care. There are several ways to know if someone’s burn is more serious:
- Change in texture of skin, causing it to appear extra dry
- Evidence of charring, such as white or black patches
- Diameter larger than three inches
- Located on a sensitive area of the body, such as the face, groin or major joint
The first thing you do when you discover someone at your workplace has a major burn is call 911. While you are waiting for the EMTs to arrive, keep an eye on the victim. Watch for signs of shock or respiratory distress. Keep the burned area covered, and make sure the victim is out of danger.
If workers are present when flames cause fire damage on a commercial property, the people are the first priority. Calling emergency personnel for major burns trumps calling your insurance company or fire remediation specialists. Knowing basic burn first aid can help the healing begin.
Reasons and Tips To Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean
The best way to avoid a lint fire is by simply cleaning the lint after every load.
Many people may not realize the importance of keeping a dryer vent clean. However, keeping your dryer vent clear of debris is the first step in preventing a lint fire from occurring in your home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, January is the peak month for dryer fire incidents, so be particularly mindful to remove lint during the fall and winter time.
• The best way to avoid a lint fire is by simply cleaning the lint which has collected in your dryer’s lint trap after every load.
• Cleaning your lint trap ensures that debris does not accumulate over time in your dryer vent and restrict airflow through the unit’s exhaust.
• If the airway becomes restricted, there may be excess heat during operation of your dryer, which can cause flammable materials such as lint to ignite and cause damage to your property.
• Annually, there are 2,900 dryer fires reported, and every year, an estimated $35 million in property loss results from these fires. The leading cause of residential fires results from a failure to keep the ventilation free of debris.
Keep It Clean
A great way to keep your dryer’s exhaust ventilation clean is by using a rotary vent auger, or dryer snake, which is a bristled and flexible tool used to clear hard-to-reach areas of ductwork, such as your dryer exhaust. You should clear the vent anywhere from one to three times per year, depending on the number of people in your household, as lint and debris may begin to accumulate over a shorter amount of time if more loads of laundry are being done on average. You should be able to clean the vent on your own, but it is also possible to hire professionals to clean it for you.
Remembering these guidelines may help prevent a lint fire in your home. For more information for residential fire prevention, you can also check the local fire codes in Dickinson, TX.