Cleaning Up After Virus Exposure
SERVPRO is here to help
It's nearly impossible to prevent some exposure to COVID-19, the coronavirus, in Bountiful, UT. Unsuspecting individuals could be carrying the virus, and when they touch doorknobs, elevator buttons, computers, and drinking fountains, traces of the virus are left behind to be picked up by the next person. Business owners, however, can take steps to reduce the risk of further coronavirus exposure. The Centers for Disease Control, commonly referred to as the CDC, has the following recommendations:
- Reduce physical contact by using noncontact greetings and holding virtual meetings, for example
- Encourage employees to improve handwashing and other hygiene habits
- Increase ventilation in the workplace
- Promote good habits, such as covering sneezes and staying home when sick
Of course, frequently handled surfaces around the building should be disinfected frequently. Even with all of these precautions, however, cases of the virus are still likely to show up. When this happens, it may be necessary to schedule professional covid-19 cleanup services.
Closing the Doors for Professional Cleanup
Some businesses have the ability to close their doors for thorough coronavirus cleanup. During this time, professionals use FDA-approved disinfectants and wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including safety shoes, gloves, zipper suits, and safety glasses or full-face shields. While the business is closed, trained cleanup professionals work methodically through the building to clean and disinfect all surfaces.
Disinfecting While Businesses Stay Open
Of course, closing business doors isn't possible for every employer even in the face of coronavirus exposure. When a commercial organization has to remain open, professionals may move discreetly through the property, sealing off contaminated areas and increasing the frequency of cleaning surfaces. If possible, it's important to track the path of the infected person to specifically target those surfaces while disinfecting.
Professional Compliance With Federal Guidelines
Finally, professionals follow recommendations from the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to comply with federal guidelines post-coronavirus exposure. For example, once an infected person has exposed an area, the CDC recommends isolating the area and waiting at least 24 hours before moving in for cleaning efforts. Ultimately, it will take the efforts of everyone in Bountiful, UT, working together to slow the spread of the virus.
Helping Families and Communities Prepare for Natural Disaster
SERVPRO is prepared
Across the country, there are community efforts to share information about disaster preparedness. These events involve a variety of activities and preparedness topics:
- How to put together emergency supply kits
- Establishing family evacuation plans
- Keeping communication lines open
SERVPRO regularly participates in Bountiful, UT, and nationwide events, sharing materials and claim services resources. As cleanup and repair professionals share their experiences, community members learn which preparedness techniques work better than others.
Emergency Supply Kits
Your family's emergency kit should include enough supplies for three days, such as a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable foods and a can opener, basic repair tools such as hammers, pliers, and matches, and a first aid kit. Don't forget to have copies of your important documents stored safely with these supplies.
Family Evacuation Plans
Make sure each family member knows how to evacuate your home during an emergency. Establish a central meeting place in the community where you can gather if disaster strikes in the middle of the day. Be sure to practice evacuation plans with a variety of scenarios in mind. Your sheltering and evacuation efforts will look very different if you're affected by wildfires versus experiencing earthquakes. Check with community leaders; some cities and towns have emergency response and evacuation procedures already in place.
Open Communication Lines
Gather emergency numbers and make sure that each family member has all the necessary contact information stored in their phones. Homeowners should also store numbers of emergency response professionals for quick responses to life-threatening situations and insurance companies for quick claims services. Sometimes, texting may be available even if phone calls aren't going through.
SERVPRO technicians have witnessed the differences in homes following a disaster when the families were prepared and when they were not. When appropriate disaster prep steps have been taken, homeowners and their loved ones have better chances of staying safe and recovering once the storm has died down. Don't wait until you require help with claim services to discover what a natural disaster can do. Take preparedness steps right away.
4 Steps of Formulating a Fire Safety Plan
Having a fire escape plan is a big part of fire safety.
No matter how careful you are in your home in Bountiful, UT, a fire can still break out. If that happens, you want to know that your family is prepared to respond and get out safely. To do this, you need a good fire escape plan. Follow these steps to make sure the whole family understands their role in the event that your home catches fire.
1. Install a Reliable Alert System
You likely have smoke detectors throughout your home in various locations:
- On every level
- Outside every sleeping area
- Inside each bedroom
Test each detector monthly. Make sure every family member recognizes the sound that the detectors would make if they sensed a home fire.
2. Map Your Escape Route
Make a map of your house, and call a family meeting. Fire restoration experts recommend that you walk through your home together, identifying at least two ways you can get out of each room. Mark potential exits on your map so that you have a visual representation of your fire escape routes.
3. Talk About an After Plan
Once you leave your house, where do you want your family to go? Pick a meeting place that both a safe distance away and easy to get to on foot. Make sure everyone knows where this spot is, and talk about whom you should contact if you can't get to the meeting place. All family members should also understand how to contact emergency services.
4. Practice the Plan
Your fire preparation plan is not complete until you have run through it a couple of times. Conducting a fire drill gives family members a chance to see how quickly they can escape your home. Try to beat your best time every time you practice. A few seconds can make a big difference.
A big part of fire safety is having a fire escape plan for your home. Decide what your plan looks like and talk to your family about it. Planning ahead can keep your family safe if there's a fire.
Thunderstorm Safety for Your Business
Hail can lead to property damage after a severe storm.
Rain storms are vital to the well-being of environments around the country, but severe thunderstorms produce dangerously heavy winds and lightning strikes. Sometimes, flash flooding, power outages, and property damage result from the severe weather. Tragically, every people are injured or killed during this type of storm. Protect yourself and the occupants of your Bountiful, UT, properties with the following safety tips:
Prepare During Severe Storm Watches
When a watch is issued, it means that conditions are just right for severe storms to develop. Tune into your radio frequently for up-to-date information, and use this time to prepare for a storm:
- Review the community's emergency warning system and protocols.
Reiterate company policy for severe weather safety.
- Secure loose equipment or furnishings around your buildings.
- Reschedule outdoor events for better weather.
Once a warning is in effect, your preparations will improve safety throughout your properties.
Stay Inside Until the Storm Passes
Most rain storms move on within an hour, so even if you're stuck in a shelter you wouldn't have chosen, plan to stay put until the high winds, lightning, and hail are over. While waiting for the danger to pass, take appropriate safety precautions:
- Shutter doors and windows and stay away from windows, glass doors, and skylights.
- Avoid standing near electrical equipment, including electrical telephones.
- Move away from plumbing systems.
Listen to official weather updates.
Experts recommend waiting about 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
When the Storm Is Over, Review Areas of Improvement
Once the storm-related danger is over, you can improve your preparations for the next storm. For example, you could post the contact information for emergency personnel or a commercial storm damage cleanup company. Take the time to inspect your first aid kit. Consider the benefits of installing lightning rods and discuss their installation with your Bountiful, UT, fire department. Take advantage of the calm weather between rain storms to prepare for the future.
Nobody Weathers Storms Like Property Managers
Storms in Bountiful, UT come in all shapes and sizes
Property management jobs come with a great deal of responsibility. Nothing happens without their approval. Everything that does happen follows the manager’s plan. One important procedure in any manager’s playbook involves storm preparedness. Storms come in all shapes and sizes:
- Tropical storms
The Emergency Procedures Handbook Is at the Center of the Storm Plan
All property managers should have a storm preparedness plan. Any who don’t should publish one quickly. What should be in this book? Imagine the following situation after the storm:
- There is no office
- There are no files or computers
- There is no phone service
- There is no electricity
The recovery needs to start immediately. The book has all the information required. It has all the contact information. Keep a printed copy in the vehicle along with a satellite phone. Keep another copy in a smartphone. Senior staff members should also have copies. What’s in the book? The following steps will help set it up:
- Write down everything imaginable. Then write down everything else.
- Meet with the staff. The employees will have plenty to add. Perhaps some teams, like maintenance, will their own section in the book.
- Meet with the owners. Address their concerns. Also, make sure the owners get the complete picture in writing. Don’t ever give them the opportunity to say that they didn’t know about something important.
Keep the Handbook Current
Periodically, the manager and senior staff should review and republish the handbook. One good time to do this would be when a slow-moving hurricane threatens the community.
Storm preparedness planning is essential for any managed community. So is storm recovery. Don’t forget an important contact entry in the
Emergency Procedures Handbook. Reach out to the storm damage restoration experts who are Faster to Any Size Disaster. They are nearby in the Bountiful, UT, area and are only a phone call away.
6 Ways to Reduce Your Home’s Flood Risk
Air mover on laundry room floor after suffering storm damage in Bountiful, UT.
Floods are often unavoidable. Although you may not be able to fully flood-proof your home, every homeowner in Bountiful, UT, can take proactive prevention and flood safety measures to protect their properties against extensive flood damage.
- Prepare Sandbags
If you receive adequate warning of an approaching storm capable of producing significant rainfall, such as a hurricane, create an external barrier with sandbags, which can divert water from your residence.
- Install a Sewage Water Backstop and a Sump Pump
A sewage water backstop is an efficient flood safety device that prevents backwater from flowing into your basement. A sump pump is another beneficial machine that can drain water out of your home.
- Assess Basement Windows and Your Foundation
A cracked foundation may enable water to flow inside your basement. Water can also seep through basement windows. To secure these areas, ensure that windows are properly caulked and sealed and repair any existing foundation issues.
- Maintain Gutters
Routinely clean your gutters to prevent blockages that may restrict water flow. In addition, install downspout extensions to direct water farther away from your home’s foundation.
- Plant Grass and Use Mulch
Both mulch and grass absorb water. So planting grass around your home and placing mulch around external foliage provides an additional flood safeguard. However, to ensure retained moisture does not damage siding, keep mulch at least six inches away from your home’s exterior.
- Properly Grade Soil
Grading the ground away from your home is another efficient safety tip that also helps divert water away from your foundation.
Peace of Mind
Following these seven flood safety tips helps reduce your home’s flood risk. However, it is impossible to fully eliminate the threats of extreme weather and bursting pipes. For this reason, the best flood safety measure is a flood insurance policy, which provides financial security and ensures that you have funds available to cover cleanup and restoration costs and replace destroyed property.
Planning for Emergencies and Major Disasters
Broken pipe in Bountiful, UT.
SERVPRO is a commercial and residential cleanup and restoration service provider. When your Bountiful, UT, home is affected by an emergency, company professionals may help you work through the claims process with your insurance company. The cleanup and claims services aren't the only resources the company provides. You may also have access to emergency preparedness resources, and you can certainly use the company as a resource when you need an emergency response.
Preparing for Emergencies
The disasters and emergencies that could affect your Bountiful, UT, home come in many varieties. The better you prepare, the easier it will be to survive the emergency. Here are a few things you can do to plan ahead of natural and man-made disasters:
- Put together a three-day supply kit including a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable foods, basic tools, flashlight, radio, first aid kit, hygiene items, and copies of family documents, such as insurance policies and ID.
- Create a plan for reuniting with your family. Appoint a location where all family members should meet when possible. Ask a friend or family member in another town to serve as a communication facilitator. If you can't reach each other, you may be able to reach someone in another town.
- Store extra batteries for your radio and keep a local map on hand. Find out whether your community as an emergency response plan and plan to work within those arrangements.
If your emergency is limited to your household, a supply kit of basic necessities will get you through a few rough days, giving you time to contact disaster remediation and claim services providers. On the other hand, your emergency preparation can also help you and your family survive a major natural disaster.
Disasters Could Happen to You
Most people believe they are safe from natural and other major disasters. Unfortunately, communities just like Bountiful, UT, are often affected by storms, flooding, damaged properties, fires, and other disasters. Make sure you know how to access resources within your neighborhood, as well as claim services through insurance providers and emergency restoration specialists, such as SERVPRO.
Understanding Mold Coverage for Renters
Mold damage in residential home in Bountiful, UT.
When you live in a house or apartment you don't own, it is advisable to purchase a good rental insurance policy. That way, if your belongings are harmed or destroyed, you can get help paying for them to be replaced. Does your policy cover mold damage, though? The answer to this question depends on a couple of factors.
What Does a Rental Policy Cover?
Just because you are not responsible for the building itself does not mean that you don't suffer loss if someone breaks in or something damages the building. Renters insurance covers losses that result from a few different scenarios:
- Fire Damage
- Storm Damage
If your clothing, furniture or other belongings have mold patches as the result of one of these issues, most rental insurance policies will also cover the mold remediation. There are a few notable exceptions to this coverage, though.
What Does Your Rental Policy Say About Mold?
Mold can grow anywhere there is excess moisture and organic matter for it to feed on. It can start to grow as soon as 24 hours after water damage has occurred. That's not a lot of time, so a fungus infestation may be inevitable. Your policy may cover mold removal in this instance.
If you have an ongoing mold issue or you have delayed reporting the problem to your landlord, however, the damage to your belongings may not be covered. Document every instance where you had mold growth cleaned or reported it to the office. You must be able to prove that you have done everything in your power to stop the problem to reasonably expect your insurance provider to pay for repair or replacement.
Your rental insurance is designed to protect you from significant financial loss when your belongings are damaged in a disaster. Mold is covered in some instances but not in others. Review your policy with your insurance agent to understand if your provider accepts mold claims under your current coverage.
Top 5 Reasons a Security Fence is Necessary After a Commercial Property Fire
Fire damage in your Bountiful, UT commercial building, can be devastating.
When you talk to fire remediation experts in Bountiful, UT, after a commercial property fire, they will probably bring up a variety of services, including putting up a security fence. Unfortunately, many property owners do not realize the importance of such an addition. True, board-up and tarp services will secure a property to some extent, but a fence protects against at least five specific property threats.
- Theft and Looting
5 Specific Property Threats that Fences Protect
First, a fence helps to protect against any potential liability issues that may interfere with your insurance claim. After any disaster, your insurer expects you to take the necessary precautions to protect your property and other people from potential injury, a fence is a natural part of those precautions.
Unfortunately, people are drawn to disaster sites. Some find them interesting, and others are merely curious about the aftermath. However, their curiosity often leads to trespassing, but by having a necessary and established perimeter, you can avoid nosey bystanders.
3. Theft and Looting
Next, a security fence helps to prevent theft and looting. Damaged properties are always vulnerable to thieves and looters, especially when a disaster occurs at a business that may have valuable merchandise and equipment still on the premises.
Sometimes, disasters can bring out the worst in people, and sites can lead to vandalism. While there is no satisfying explanation for the further degrading of damaged property, a fence can reduce the risks associated with vagrants and vandals.
Last, fencing helps to limit site access to some wildlife. For example, large animals, such as deer, will not be able to scale the fence. While a secure perimeter will not eliminate all animal risks, when combined with board-up services, your property should remain animal-free.
While a security fence may seem like overkill initially, there are plenty of reasons to use one after a fire disaster. Therefore, protect your insurance claim and your property and use a fence when recommended.
Getting Ready for Bad Weather
Pipe bursts are common with low temperatures and can lead to water damage.
When Old Man Winter rises from his slumber and wreaks havoc on your business in Bountiful, UT, there may be little to no warning. That’s why preparation is the key to protecting your business from inclement weather, such as a snow storm.
3 Ways To Prepare For Bad Weather
1. Know the Area’s Winter Storm History
Nobody can predict the severity of a winter season, but it doesn’t hurt to know what the past winters have brought to your area. If you have just opened a business in an unfamiliar city, look online for storms and temperatures from previous winters.
2. Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
Getting ready for a snow storm should begin before the mercury in the thermometer begins to dip. When the weather is still warm, you should start doing an assessment of your business in preparation for the winter. Do a close examination of the windows and doors to see if any air is getting inside the building. Caulking and weather stripping are great tools for insulating your business. Inspect your pipes and do what is necessary to prevent a pipe burst.
3. Create a Storm Plan for Your Employees
Encourage your employees to sign up for your area’s storm warning system and to pay attention to local forecasts when there is a chance of a winter storm. If possible, allow your employees the option of working from home. Have an alert system in place to let your employees know if the office will close due to inclement weather.
Unless you live in a tropical area, there’s a good chance Old Man Winter will punish your city with a snow storm at some point during the season. Good winter preparation is the best line of defense against a fierce wintery storm. Sometimes a storm could be so severe that some damage is unavoidable. If your business is affected, be sure to have a good contact for a company that handles storm damage restoration.