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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Commercial Fire And Water Damage Prevention Tips

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

No matter what kind of commercial building you have, fire and water damage are a risk for businesses all over the country. Many events that cause significant damage to commercial buildings can be avoided by taking simple preventative measures.

Having quality fire and water damage prevention is the best and cheapest defense. SERVPRO would rather help you avoid an incident, but our commercial restoration team is standing by to help you recover quickly. 

Here are some simple steps to prevent fire and water damage to your commercial building.

Keep your fire protection equipment up to date.

When was the last time you checked the expiration date on your multipurpose extinguishers? Do all your employees know where each fire extinguisher is around your building? Have you checked to ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order? Is your emergency kit supplied with items like a flashlight, bottled water, and first aid kit? Many businesses also include fire escape masks to prevent smoke inhalation in the event of a fire. 

Many local governments offer to have a visit from the fire marshall to conduct workplace fire risk assessments and help you create a fire prevention plan. This is an excellent tool for lowering your risk of fire damage.  

Protect your building from accidental or intentional fires

The US fire departments respond to more than 3,000 office property fires each year. Most fires are caused by human error, like leaving a coffee pot on, burning food in the kitchen, or spilling liquids on electrical equipment. 

Fires that occur between 3 pm and 12 am are usually the most damaging because fewer people are around to catch it early. Keep dumpsters away from the building and empty trash cans inside your building every day to prevent smoldering papers or things from becoming a full-fledged fire. 

Keep the trees and bushes around your building trimmed. If you have security cameras or motion sensor lights, it is essential to have a clear line of sight around your property. This will make it easier to spot problems or suspicious activity.

Keeping your HVAC and electrical systems maintained is key to fire prevention and safety. About 9% of commercial fires happen because HVAC systems and other appliances malfunction. Have your heating systems and other appliances inspected regularly, especially before the winter months when your heating systems will be working overtime. Ensure the smoke detectors in utility and storage rooms work correctly.

No smoking policies can dramatically reduce the risk of fire around your commercial property. Cigars, cigarettes, and other smoking materials cause about 9% of fires in office properties. Make sure your employees know and abide by the smoking rules. Provide safe ways to dispose of cigarettes in all the designated smoking areas to reduce the risk of fire. 

Prevent commercial water damage with regular inspections.

When was the last time the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems in your commercial building were inspected by a professional? Sinks, toilets, and leaking roofs are common causes of water damage in commercial properties. 

An easy and effective way to prevent expensive water damage is to have your facility inspected regularly. Air conditioners, water heaters, water pipes, and other plumbing can develop leaks, cracks, and weak areas over time. It’s essential to catch problems early instead of waiting until they cause thousands of dollars of damage. 

Old toilets usually have weak water pressure, which can lead to more clogs. If the toilets clog frequently, it can cause damage to the pipes and lead to black water flooding. Newer toilets are more efficient and effective. Consider replacing old toilets and plumbing before there is an issue.  

Have the sprinkler systems inspected to prevent leaks and malfunctions. Sprinkler systems are excellent at minimizing fire damage, but if the pipes leak, they can cause severe water damage. 

Inspect your roof frequently. Look for damage to the perimeter flashing or areas where water is not draining correctly. Make sure the gutters and drain pipes are clean, especially before any major storms to prevent your roof from leaking. 

Consider installing water leak detection sensors that will send an alert if there is a leak. These are especially useful around water heaters ice and beverage machines, and other utilities that have the potential to cause serious damage if they malfunction. 

Perform Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is a careful inspection of your property and work habits to look for things that could cause damage to people or property. Many companies perform risk assessments for you, or you can designate a person in your organization to receive risk assessment training

The benefit of conducting regular risk assessments is that you are aware of the vulnerabilities and threats to your property so you can take steps to prevent accidents. It is always better to be proactive than reactive. 

Develop an Emergency Readiness Plan

Use the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program (ERP) to prepare for disaster ahead of time. A SERVPRO disaster recovery specialist will assess your business and help you create an emergency READY profile for your building and property. 

The ERP profile includes critical information about your business, like emergency contact information, locations for all your shut-off valves, and other vital details that you, your employees, and the emergency response team will need to know in the event of a disaster. 

Having this information in one place will help you and the SERVPRO team respond quickly and effectively to minimize damage in an accident or disaster. There is even a Smartphone app with access to your plan from anywhere, 24/7. 

SERVPRO specializes in commercial property restoration from any disaster. Our technicians will clean and repair your business quickly, so you can get back to serving your customers. Contact us today to set up an Emergency READY program for your business.

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