Escape Planning for your Business
An emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, however, OSHA recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan:
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
- Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
- Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
These tips are provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Silent Killer: Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide, considered "the silent killer", is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Reduce the change of carbon monoxide exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce carbon monoxide. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys services annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional carbon monoxide safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov
Not All Smoke Damage Can Be Cleaned With Soap!
When it comes to cleaning smoked-damaged contents after a residential or commercial fire, the variety of contents in a typical job requires restorers to utilize a variety of cleaning methods.
Here is a quick description of each method of content cleaning:
- Dry Cleaning - Removes light to medium nongrease-based soils.
- Wet Cleaning - Removes moderate to heavy residues. The process involves cleaning using water, with or without a cleaning agent.
- Spray and Wipe - Apply a cleaning product using a spray bottle. After spraying, wipe the surface with a clean white towel. This method is effective for materials possibly damaged if saturated with cleaning product.
- Foam Cleaning - Effective for light residues or delicate materials. Clean with the foam of a cleaning agent rather than the liquid
- Abrasive Cleaning - Agitates the surface being cleaned. Apply a cleaning product containing abrasive ingredients
- Immersion Cleaning - Dipping contents items into a bath of cleaning product. This bath is an ultrasonic tank filled with water and cleaning solution. High-frequency sound waves then create high temperatures and microscopic jet streams of fluid to agitate and scrub contents.
SERVPRO recommends that you DO NOT attempt to clean smoke-damaged surfaces or contents yourself, and call the professionals!
Post Construction Cleanup
Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it’s time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate. SERVPRO of Savannah can provide the debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design.
Dehumidification and Drying
During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. If you think one of your projects may have a moisture issue, rely on SERVPRO Professionals to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.
You want the facility to look its best when the doors open. SERVPRO of Savannah Professionals provide cleaning services to give the building that extra shine. Services include:
- Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep and finish
- Ceiling, walls and fixture cleaning
- Air Duct Cleaning
- Debris Removal (if necessary)
- Window Cleaning
Rely on SERVPRO of Savannah to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible!
What is Lurking in your Ducts?
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Savannah's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
The SERVPRO proven Duct Cleaning System is cost efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process:
- The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Savannah can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
Mold has been around forever because mold is a naturally occurring microscopic fungi that can be found almost anywhere.
Here are a few key years regarding the history of mold awareness.
- 2001 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines for Schools and Commercial Buildings (www.epa.gov)
- 2003 OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin
- 2003 IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation (S520) (www.IICRC.org/s520info.shtml )
- 2006 National Indoor Mold Society is formed (http://afamerica.com/nims/)
- 2008 IICRC Standard and Reference Guide (S520) 2nd Edition is released
- 2009 EPA Designates September as National Indoor Toxic Mold Awareness Month
Litigation Prior to 1993 Was Limited:
- Initial cases were:
- Faulty construction
- Lawsuits are in state and federal court
- Regulatory Organizations such as State Health Agencies, State Attorney Generals and the outcome of litigation are defining the future of how we conduct mold mitigation and remediation and how mold liability is handled.
SERVPRO of Savannah requires that our techinicans become certified throught the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.
Call SERVPRO of Savannah today for any and all mold questions or concerns. 912-234-9690
What are Industrial Hygienist and Indoor Environmental Professionals?
What are Industrial Hygienist (IH) and Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP)?
The Industrial Hygienists (IH’s), or Indoor Environmental Professionals (IEP’s), are used to assess fungal ecology, sample the indoor environment, determine the condition of mold, and establish the scope of work
- When to consult with an IH/IEP
- Surface Mold Growth
- Limited Mold Growth
- Extensive Mold Growth
- What does an IH/IEP do:
- Perform an Assessment of the Fungal Ecology of Property, Systems, and Contents
- Create a Sampling Strategy
- Sample the Indoor Environment
- Interpret Laboratory Data
- Determine Condition 1, 2, and 3 to Establish a Scope of Work
- Verify the Return of the Fungal Ecology to a Condition 1 Status
If an IH/IEP is called in he/she will test for the mold types and spore count, determines the site protocol, performs hazard assessment, meets and communicates with all parties as well as preforms the final clearance testing.
If an IH/IEP has set a protocol for your mold, call SERVPRO of Savannah at 912-234-9690.
Hurricane Preparedness: Red Cross Tips
Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes.
The best way to protect your home and your family from a hurricane is preparedness. SERVPRO of Savannah works closely with the Southeast and Coastal Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross, and they some tips to make sure you are prepared the next time a hurricane (or any type of tropical storm) hits:
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tank.
- Unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Please visit http://www.redcross.org/ for more information.
Do you know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning?
It’s important to know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. Make sure you’re prepared this hurricane season with these hurricane watch and warning tips from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency.
What is a Hurricane Watch?
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
What to do during a Hurricane Watch
- Fill up your car with gas.
- Secure buildings.
- Review evacuation plan.
- Listen to a radio or television for official instructions.
- Check your family's emergency supplies.
- Bring in outdoor objects (i.e. toys, garden tools).
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings.
- Secure outdoor objects which cannot be brought inside (i.e. boats, lawnmower).
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
What is a Hurricane Warning?
A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 36 hours or less.
What to do during a Hurricane Warning?
- Listen to a radio or television for official instructions.
- If in a mobile home, check tie downs and prepare to evacuate.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored.