Plan and Practice Your Escape!
October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears A Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!" According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely", yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.
Every Second Counts
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. Your professionals at SERVPRO of High Point want you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way.
Preparing For A Fire
In preparing for a fire, you need to draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and all the windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for the elderly or disabled individuals. SERVPRO of High Point wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way.
A Note To Your Insurance Agent
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster your SERVPRO of High Point professional arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results-including lower claim costs. Within four hours of a loss notification, your SERVPRO of High Point professional will be on-site to help ensure a fire damage is handled properly by utilizing several services. One of the services is structural cleaning. After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. A pretesting will be done to determine the extent of damage, then specific equipment will be used and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found within the structure. Another service is contents cleaning. All of the restorable contents in the affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all of the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Then we provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items for agents and their policyholders. And lastly, SERVPRO of High Point provides specialized services that rid the insured's home or place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
The Power of Recognition
According to Gallup, only 33% of employees are engaged at work. Based on much research, 79% of employees who quit their jobs claim that a lack of appreciation was a major reason for leaving. This seems to support the common belief that employees who quit don't leave the job; they leave their boss. In today's battle to attract and retain top performers, organizations are looking for effective strategies like additional perks and optimized workplaces. But, perhaps they are overlooking an easily executed and less expensive approach: employee recognition. For recognition to drive results, it must be earned. Team members need to know how to earn it. Bosses need to clearly define what they recognize and how it relates to performance outcomes. When they do this, it becomes a catalyst for driving results. This is what is called purposeful recognition. This approach starts with leaders creating goals, defining expectations, and understanding the behaviors that will lead to their desired results. Then they need to consistently and continually provide recognition for those behaviors. Here at SERVPRO of High Point, each employee has a very clear understanding of their goals. Our Owner recognizes each of us on a regular basis based upon when we reach each goal. This is exactly why our employee retention is at an all time high. Most of our staff has been here over 5 years! Go Team SERVPRO of High Point!
Contents Pack Out
Sometimes knowing what not to do can be the most valuable information a person, or in this case a business, can have in their toolbox. When I packed out my first contents job five years ago, there were definitely some warning signs I wish someone had posted for me. Let me tell you it would have made the job a whole lot smoother. I managed to complete the job with few issues and my client was ecstatic in the end, giving me a raving testimonial. But the pack out itself was harder and way more stressful than it needed to be because I didn't know what not to do. First, don't use unprofessional equipment and supplies. Do not go to the big box stores and buy off the shelf boxes that are not standard in size and are flimsy in construction. Use an appliance dolly to move appliances. Don't skip steps. The magic is in the details. And lastly, give your client control. There is never a time during a contents restoration job and especially during the pack out process that a homeowner should feel not in control of their items.
Using Software to Manage Expectations
You need software that connects all the job functions you do in your business. Working with anything less will be detrimental to your financial well being. So, what does this mean to you and your business? In a nutshell, when you receive a loss, you do not automatically know what needs to be done, but you do need to know quickly. Unless your a new start up company, your company is running with several people who are responsible for doing different jobs. For that reason alone, the manager of the process needs to know what is going on at all times. If you use a software that works on a cell phone, information can be added to that software easily from the field. As different people load information remotely, it tells everyone in the company what has happened and what has not yet happened. Having information at the fingertips of the entire team means the person back in the office can easily review notes and find answers for anyone who might call with a question about a project.
Dedication To Education
Education in the restoration industry is seeing a revival. While certifications and training have always held value, there are more educational opportunities and certifications available today then ever before. Within the last year, the restoration industry has started offering brand new advanced designations, the IICRC continues offering key certifications, and there are numerous other training events happening across the country on a weekly basis covering everything from drying to large loss to estimating and everything in between. None of that even takes into consideration the larger industry conferences, expos, and trade shows that offer a plethora of educational opportunities on a number of topics related to restoration. Since 2016, nearly 200 people have been nominated for awards in the field of restoration. Each year the field seems to become broader and more competitive , with nominations becoming more in-depth and elaborate. Each year's nominees include owners, VP's, project managers, technicians, operations managers, marketing and sales and more!
National Day of Service and Remembrance
In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.
On this day and everyday, SERVPRO of High Point salutes those heroes who arrive in the greatest times of need and stand strong in the face of disaster and adversity. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times.
Give back and make a difference in your community this year. There are many ways to volunteer and these avenues need to be explored in giving special reference to this day.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precationary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure to have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year. Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked. If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials. Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris. Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open. And finally, use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering your the home.