Recent Commercial Posts
How Does the Commercial Restoration Process Work?
Disasters such as fire, mold, or even flooding and water damage can happen at any time. But when it happens to a commercial property, not only is the property damaged but also disrupts business operations. Whether it's a small enterprise or large corporation, the devastating effects of any disaster can be confusing and overwhelming to deal with.
Thus, the commercial restoration process must be comprehensive and effective to get your business back running in the shortest time possible. This informative guide is designed to help business and property owners understand the restoration process in the event of a disaster.
Most restoration companies offer 24 hour restoration service. A round-the-clock customer service provides you with quick access to request for restoration services. The restoration process typically begins with contacting the restoration company. On the call, a trained technician will guide you through the process and ease your mind.
Upon the arrival of the restoration team, a thorough assessment of your property is done to determine the extent of damage caused. Based on the findings, the team will formulate the best plan of action for the restoration process. At the same time, this will allow them to create an accurate estimate of the expected reconstruction cost, obtain necessary permits for restoration, and, the expected date of completion.
DOCUMENT FOR INSURANCE
Proper documentation of the damage is crucial when filing an insurance claim. During the assessment phase, it is paramount that you are as detailed as possible when documenting. The documentation can include having photos of your property taken both inside and outside to showcase the extent of the damage. Ensure your pictures are clear and detailed.
This will help determine and prove the replacement costs and will make the claims process a lot easier. At every phase, have your insurance company's details readily available and maintain the necessary info they may need well- organized to ensure a seamless restoration process.
MITIGATION AND SALVAGE OF ITEMS
Mitigation may be necessary depending on the severity of the damage to prevent any further damage to your property. After disaster mitigation, any salvageable item inside is moved to a secure location. This helps minimize the losses you'd have incurred.
An efficient commercial restoration plan should include cleaning, drying, and deodorizing much of the salvaged items to make them usable again.
The fifth phase of the process will include a full cleanup effort. Using advanced restoration equipment, the team will eliminate debris and other contaminants from your property. Then, apply sanitizers and disinfectants to ensure proper compliance with applicable regulations, protocols and best practices.
The last step is the reconstruction phase, which may include doing repairs and renovations. At this time, your commercial property is reconstructed to make it functional again. This is usually the longest part of the process. But the time taken to complete is determined by the severity of the damage sustained.
Working with a professional commercial restoration service ensures they have the expertise necessary to handle and execute your property reconstruction in a timely, affordable way.
Are you looking for professional commercial restoration services? Contact us today the moment a disaster has occurred to your commercial property for expert mitigation and restoration services.
Commercial property insurance covers businesses for losses due to certain covered events, such as fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disaster. This coverage helps business owners protect their valuable assets, such as an owned or leased building, tools, equipment, machinery, or inventory. Commercial property insurance rates typically average $500 to $1,000 per year.
Commercial Property Insurance Rates
The cost of business property insurance varies depending on the value of the property to be insured, the location of the business, and the coverage limits and deductible you choose. There are several other factors affecting the cost of commercial property insurance, but most small businesses will pay $500 to $1,000 per year in premium.
Some insurance providers will allow you to include commercial property insurance in a business owners policy (BOP), which is a bundled package of multiple insurance types. The cost of the package as a whole is often less than the underlying policies if purchased separately.
The most important factors that affect the cost of business property insurance include:
- Geography: Everything from the land value of your business location to local crime rates can impact the annual cost of your premium.
- Safety and Security: This expands on the geography and location aspect. Is your commercial property located in a high crime area? Are there hazardous materials stored in your building or nearby?
- Size of Business Premises: A large commercial building will generally cost more to cover than a single unit office space.
- Age of Building: Old buildings can be more susceptible to certain types of damage, so they may cost more to insure. For example, a fire caused by old electrical wiring could translate into costly repairs if the building needs to be rebuilt to code.
- Type of Equipment: Heavy industrial equipment will cost more to insure than an at-home business’ sewing machine.
- Age of Equipment: You may pay higher premiums if your equipment is hard to repair because of scarce parts or if it’s more likely to break down because of heavy use.
Insurance companies will charge more for greater risk exposures that require higher coverage limits. It’s important to remain aware of the risk exposures of your business and the assets that you need covered.
Use an Agent or Broker Who Understands Your Business
Commercial property insurance is a type of small business insurance and is not specific to any particular industry. Keep in mind that not every insurance company will have intimate knowledge of your business or the risk exposures that need protection. When shopping for a commercial property insurance policy, try to find an agent or broker who understands your business or industry type.
How Commercial Property Insurance Works
A commercial property insurance policy is non-industry specific, which means that the coverage is mostly standard across all business types. However, commercial property insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. Policies will differ in a few key areas, such as the coverage limits, how assets are valued, and what’s covered and not covered in the policy.
What Commercial Property Insurance Covers
Your insurance policy will cover certain perils, which are causes of damage such as fire or theft. Coverages included in your policy are called inclusions, whereas perils not covered in your policy are called exclusions. It’s important to know what is covered in your policy and what is not covered.
Here are some of the primary items covered in a commercial property insurance policy due to loss from a covered peril:
- The building, owned or leased
- Business equipment loss
- Damage or loss due to wind, hail, fire or theft
- Accidental damage of property
- Business Interruption (lost business income)
- Electronic data
- Interruption of computer operations
- Valuable papers and records
- Forgery or alteration
- Accounts receivable
Of the covered items in a commercial property insurance policy, the most important items to cover are the building and the business’ assets contained within it. Business interruption, which covers a loss of income when your business is forced to suspend operations due to a covered event, is also necessary coverage in the property insurance policy.
For more information about Commercial Insurance visit Fit Small Business: Get Your Business Into Shape!
Commercial Fire Prevention
Causes of Commercial Fires
Commercial Fires Prevention
During the five-year period of 2007-2011, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year which include general business offices, banks, veterinary clinics, research offices, engineering facilities, mailing firms and post offices. $112 million in property damages were reported.
When Are Commercial Fires Likely to Occur?
The chance of a commercial fire occurring during operating hours is extremely high. One-third of commercial office fires occur between business hours. The more populated a business is, the higher the chance of a fire occurring. Businesses occupying these commercial properties should inform their staff of fire dangers and how to prevent one.
- Turn off Coffee Makers, toaster ovens and kitchen appliances
- Have a designated staff member ensure kitchen appliances are turned off at the end of the day
- Always plug major appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet
- Never use an extension cord with a major appliance — it can easily overheat and start a fire.
- Always plug small appliances directly into a wall outlet.
- Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
- Don’t allow space heaters in an office setting.
- Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
- Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged and loose electrical cords. Do not try to repair them
- Do not overload wall outlets.
- Insert plugs fully into sockets.
- Never force a three prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
- Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away.
- Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
- Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.
- Do not overload power strips.
- Use power strips that have internal overload protection.
Information provided by FEMA and the National Fire Protection Association.
We Provide Commercial Services
Commercial Restoration and Mitigation Services
If you are a property manager, business owner or building engineer then you understand the importance of maintaining and taking care of a commercial property. Our SERVPRO Commercial Division is solely dedicated to providing quality service for commercial clients and their properties. Our Commercial Division understands the needs and complexities of commercial buildings.We provide Emergency Ready Plans for large scale buildings, to get you back in business as quickly as possible.
We have the resources and capabilities to provide commercial restoration and mitigation services for any size structure. Whether your business or commercial property faces a fire, water or mold loss, we can handle it. We also provide board up and bio-hazard clean up services.
- We are an EPA & IICRC certified firm
- Any size loss will be handled confidently by an IICRC professional trained in water, fire, smoke, and commercial loss
- Golden Spike, Great Wolf Resorts, Ballard House, VA Medical Center, Aurora Firehouse 15, local municipalities, etc.
- We have equipment resources to manage all of your needs
- Including specialty drying equipment (injectidry, floor drying system, ETES, air scrubber, desiccant, etc.)
- 16 production vehicles, including 2 trailers
- Esporta Washing System
- Ultrasonic Cleaning System
- Document Drying
- Production teams with 7 years of national catastrophic storm travel
- Producing jobs in locations such as Illinois, Maryland, Arkansas, Idaho, Florida, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, California, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.
- Ownership that places the highest importance on Customer Satisfaction
- Our capabilities allow us to respond to your needs
SERVPRO’s Commercial Division is qualified to answer any of your restoration and mitigation questions. If you are concerned about your commercial property or if you have any questions about the services we provide, call our office and ask for our commercial division.
National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.
SERVPRO offers a number of resources which help homeowners & business owners be prepared when a disaster happens.For more information please call us at 303-576-6868 ask for Danielle Neff.
SERVPRO also offers an Emergency Ready Plan for commercial & residential apartments.
Benefits of the Emergency Ready Plan?
- Have a plan of action before an event occurs.
- Identify and eliminate hazards and risks to help prevent potential disasters.
- Identify major water, electrical and gas shut off locations.
Development Boom in Colorado
Many projects currently underway are multifamily, meaning apartment or condo buildings, with nearly 10,000 new residential units in the downtown area, the report also says.
Some people say developers are overbuilding, creating too many apartments that contribute to worse traffic and overcrowding in the city.
Schippits said one way developers decide whether to build is by looking at the number of apartments compared to jobs available. CBRE is a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services and investment firm.
Denver's job-per-apartment unit ratio is 5.9, meaning for every 5.9 jobs, there's one apartment unit.
"As a metro area... we're underperforming when it compares to our competitive set like Seattle or Austin," Schippits said. "If you peel the onion away any more...downtown is even further behind."
Downtown's ratio is at 6.6, above the national average of 6.1.
"What we're forecasting is with all the new apartments coming online, plus the jobs that are created downtown as predicted by Moody's [Analytics], our ratio will drop to 5.2," he said.
"So we're not overbuilding," Schippits said, adding that building more apartments is key to controlling for expense. "If we have more supply, there's less pressure on cost."
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order
Homeowners, do you know the location of the gas/water shut offs?
Fire, Smoke, Flames and The After Math
Call SERVPRO, We Provide Quality Service!
What to Expect After a Fire
Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, SERVPRO professionals are trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.
Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO professionals. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.
If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.
Different Smoke Odors
Cleaning smoke and soot damage yourself or using a basic cleaning service runs the risk of recurring smoke odor which can cause respiratory problems. Smoke odor can be harmful depending on what type of material was burned. Smoke that comes from wood framing causes a “campfire” smell which lets off acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, formic acid, heavy metals, nitrogen-oxides (NO2), phenols, sulfur dioxide (SO2).
Cooking fire smoke is very difficult to remove and has a lingering smell of burnt animal fat/protein. Grease splatter from a cooking fire requires specific cleaning techniques that only a professional can provide.
When plastic is burned, it releases dangerous chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, furans and heavy metals, as well as particulates and are known to cause respiratory ailments which are potentially carcinogenic.
Fireplace wood fires also emits hazardous emissions, such as particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other emissions that can be dangerous for health.
Who Are The Professionals?
SERVPRO provides 24/7 Emergency response. After the initial emergency call a crew of certified SERVPRO professionals will promptly respond to your fire damage and arrive onsite prepared to assess, plan and arrange resources to restore your home or business back to what it once was.
What Will SERVPRO Do?
Board Up and Security
Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.
All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.
The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.
Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.
Unexpected Damage During Castle Rock Inn Remodeling
Our technicians help your Inn retain its historic charm as we focus on restoration rather than replacement after damage. Contact us today.
SERVPRO Technicians Quickly Dry Out Your Flooded Business
When your business takes the leap and decides to make major upgrades, you do not anticipate a water loss during the rehabbing work. Accidents do happen, and when they result in a significant water intrusion, all of the planned improvements may need to go on hold until the moisture is removed. Our crews and equipment are up to the challenge of fast and thorough water evacuation.
Our area is attractive to visitors who enjoy our many outdoor activities, shopping, and dining. Comfortable and well-maintained lodgings are a must to encourage continued visits, and the event spaces in local hotels are important to local residents, too, for weddings and parties. While remodeling your Inn, a pipe cut by a contractor necessitates immediate commercial water removal in Castle Rock to prevent a delay in the ongoing renovations. We have both the workers and the equipment to make this happen fast.
When power machinery is threatened by water intrusion and possible submersion, the responders must be certified in not only water removal but also safety. SERVPRO technicians are among the restoration industry’s most thoroughly trained workers and take all steps necessary to avoid any risk to the building, other contractors on site, and themselves as they take on the task of removing the standing water. Once it is clear that we have met all safety precautions, we begin to pump out and extract the water in the most efficient way possible.
Areas newly tiled or carpeted we assess carefully to ensure no moisture remains in the subflooring. Grout takes up to 72 hours to cure sufficiently to be sealed, so we may face dealing with areas where water absorbed through those lines. SERVPRO technicians are trained extensively in moisture measurement and monitoring, and use those skills to ascertain where residual water may hide and then we use our advanced training to get that water out of structures and fixtures.
Wet padding and carpets must be dried thoroughly to avoid secondary damage such as microbial growth or delamination. We work with your insurance carriers and perhaps those of your general contractor to determine how to manage the carpet drying. Sometimes removing and replacing the padding makes the most sense, as the materials in carpeting respond better than most underlays. If the padding remains, we make sure to use effective techniques such as weighted extraction wands and slow, repeated passes systematically over a series of smaller areas when extracting. SERVPRO crews are water removal experts and work as a team to ensure no area or layer of newly installed flooring goes untreated.
If a water loss threatens your commercial remodeling project, call (720) 842-1950 immediately. SERVPRO of Castle Rock / Parker awaits any emergency with well-prepared crews and tools, and water removal is one of our core services.
For more information about the City of Castle Rock, Colorado visit: https://www.crgov.com/
Outlet Store AC Water Damage Woes in Castle Rock
Make sure that your customers stay cool and purchase the rest of your summer inventory by contacting SERVPRO after damage at your store.
Our SERVPRO Technicians Identify the Source of the Water Damage Before Proceeding with Remediation
Warmer temperatures persisting into autumn mean that your commercial space needs the air conditioning system working far past the last day of summer. At the end of a hardworking cooling season, a wide range of malfunctions may cause damage from condensation or leaking related to AC. Our water damage experts find the trouble, suggest a fix, and then restore the harm done to your building and its contents.
Do not let commercial water damage in Castle Rock prevent opportunities to clear out your outlet store’s summer inventory. Water leaking from your air conditioning unit slowly and surreptitiously soaked gypsum board and carpeting in the dressing rooms. We have technicians with the training and the experience to inspect the cooling system and arrange for cleaning, maintenance, and repair so the water seepage stops destroying the structure and fixtures of your property.
Simultaneously other members of our crew get to work extracting the moisture from the carpeting. Powerful vacuum technology draws the water out, and we also may pull out and replace the padding as it is difficult to dry and inexpensive to replace. We evaluate the condition of the walls to determine whether some areas need tear out and replacement or if a concerted drying effort can restore their integrity. SERVPRO trucks carry high-efficiency air movers and dehumidifiers to increase the speed of drying, a key strategy to avoid collateral damage like mold growth, peeling and blistering paint, carpet delimitation, or warped flooring.
SERVPRO team members receive advanced training in tracing the genesis of water events and using the industry’s best practices to remediate the harm done. Professional assessment is crucial to a successful restoration after water damage as water migration, and movement is not easy for the layperson to predict or trace to the source. Our emphasis on IICRC coursework and certification is the foundation of the services we offer, research-based as well as field tested and proven.
Your HVAC system likely suffers from excessive condensation, mechanical failure, clogging, or a combination of reasons resulting in significant water infiltration. SERVPRO cleans and maintains AC and venting systems, and also works with specialized contractors if needed to get your cooling configuration back online. SERVPRO crews do not rest until the water damage is abated and the origin of the moisture is found and eliminated.
SERVPRO of Castle Rock / Parker offers the skilled technicians and specialized equipment needed to clear your retail space of water and to restore the damage it caused. Call for a consultation at (720) 842-1950, and expect the arrival of a fully-equipped team within hours.
For more information about the City of Castle Rock, Colorado visit: http://www.crgov.com/
Preventing Commercial Water Damage During Construction of Your New Business
Don't let water damage get your business down before opening day.
As a new business owner, the last thing you want is water damage during the construction of your business. However, it can happen if the proper procedures are not followed. Remember that SERVPRO is proud to serve our local business owners when the unexpected happens, but this article from The Hartford Insurance explains what can happen:
Common causes of water damage during construction include:
• Improper installation of weatherproofing, waterproofing and moisture barrier systems on the exterior skin of a building
• Poorly glued connections on plastic pipes or improperly sweated copper pipe connections
Supervisors should ensure that all weatherproofing/ waterproofing installations adhere to the building plans, manufacturers’ specifications, industry standards, and all relevant building codes. The WDPP (Water Damage Protection Plan) should include a quality control plan for plumbing connections and fittings such as marking each connection with a permanent marker. The plan should also include the fire sprinkler system. Worksite inspections should verify that:
• Water accumulations from rain and groundwater are not migrating into the building
• All door and window openings are covered at the end of each work shift and prior to inclement weather
• Water lines and mechanical equipment are protected from freezing
• Sprinkler or plumbing lines that are pressure tested with water are drained immediately following the test
• Standpipe valves are closed
• Roof drains are not blocked with leaves or debris
• Sink drains are not clogged
• Storage areas are dry and well ventilated
• Materials are raised off the floor by pallets for storage Controls
The WDPP (Water Detection Protection Plan) often outlines preventative measures to minimize the risk of water damage such as an administrative policy to shut off the domestic water supply during off-hours. Supervisory personnel should verify that no trades will be working during off-hours before shutting off the water supply. In addition, they must ensure that the domestic water line doesn’t provide water to any operating mechanical system that requires a constant water source. Other preventative procedures include:
• Providing a secondary power source (i.e. generator) when using sump pumps or other water pumping systems
• Testing sprinkler and plumbing systems with air pressure to identify system leaks before charging with water
• Sealing leading edges of roofing materials at the end of each day to prevent storm water from getting under an incomplete roofing membrane
• Providing heat during the winter in buildings with charged water lines or standpipes to protect from freezing
• Leaving a gap of at least 1/2” between the drywall and the floor to minimize water contact in the event floors become wet
Many leak detection systems are available to help prevent water damage. Many commercial water flow detection systems are completely non-intrusive (no cutting of pipe to install) and easy to program. Passive leak detectors monitor water flow and sound an alarm (local or connected to a centrally monitored system) when water starts to flow and the system is armed during off hours. Active leak detectors not only generate an alarm, but can also prevent water leaks by automatically shutting off the water supply. The WDPP can list the leak detection systems used on-site, identify supervisory personnel responsible for their use, and refer to the operating guidelines for each system.
Mold in the workplace
Keep your employees safe from mold related illnesses.
Mold can easily grow in many areas of the workplace due to a number of causes. At SERVPRO Castle Rock/Parker, our technicians hold a special certification to safely remediate mold from your business. Though it may sometimes seem like something that can be put off, it should be treated and remediated as soon as possible. OSHA published a guide which identified the serious effects mold growth could have on your employees. The following is taken from the OSHA website, www.osha.gov.
Building-related illnesses (BRIs)
The term building-related illness (BRI) is used to describe illnesses that are characterized by objective clinical findings related to specific exposures in the indoor environment. Building-related illnesses (BRIs) are diagnosed by evaluation of signs and symptoms by physicians or other licensed health care professionals. Moldrelated BRIs result from mold contamination that has occurred in buildings under specific conditions. All BRIs are preventable by eliminating and controlling the conditions that can lead to the harmful exposures.
How Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) differs from BRI
Terms such as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) have been used to describe situations in which building occupants experience a variety of symptoms that, unlike BRIs, appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. Symptoms often disappear after occupants leave the building.
If you suspect that your business may have mold, or you have identified mold, our skilled technicians are happy to help. Skip the bleach and call the pros.
SERVPRO Restores Historic Commercial Building After Water Loss
The Owyhee Hotel
In January, our crews were in Boise, ID to help customers who had experienced water losses due to subzero temperatures and snowfall over several days. One call we received was from the property manager of a historic building in Boise. The historic Owyhee Hotel, which is now home to several businesses, had experienced water losses in several different areas. We arrived on-site and were able to stabilize the areas. We spent several long days working hard to dry out the affected areas, while still preserving the historic features of the beautiful building. It took over 60 pieces of drying equipment to get the job done. Thank you for trusting SERVPRO to help! To learn more about the historic Owyhee, visit their website at: http://www.theowyhee.com/.
Restaurant Fire Safety
Keep your restaurant safe with these tips. If you do experience a fire, call SERVPRO Castle Rock/Parker to get you back to business!
Restaurants—with their open flames, hot equipment, electrical connections, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals and paper products—have all the ingredients for a fire to flame out of control. Nearly 8,000 eating and drinking establishments report a fire each year, according to 2006-2010 data tabulated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in Quincy, Mass. These fires caused an annual average of $246 million in direct property damage.
A fire can devastate your business, leading to lost revenues and even permanent closure. But there are steps you can take to prevent fires and minimize the damage.
• Install an automatic fire-suppression system in the kitchen. This is crucial because 57% of restaurant fires involve cooking equipment. These systems automatically dispense chemicals to suppress the flames and also have a manual switch. Activating the system automatically shuts down the fuel or electric supply to nearby cooking equipment. Have your fire-suppression system professionally inspected semiannually. The manufacturer can refer you to an authorized distributor for inspection and maintenance.
• Keep portable fire extinguishers as a backup. You’ll need Class K extinguishers for kitchen fires involving grease, fats and oils that burn at high temperatures. Class K fire extinguishers are only intended to be used after the activation of a built-in hood suppression system. Keep Class ABC extinguishers elsewhere for all other fires (paper, wood, plastic, electrical, etc.).
• Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment, and watch for hazards like frayed cords or wiring, cracked or broken switch plates and combustible items near power sources.
• Have your exhaust system inspected for grease buildup. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume operations and semiannual inspections in moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like wood- or charcoal-burning ovens.
Train your staff to:
• Find and use a fire extinguisher appropriately. An acronym you may find helpful is PAST – pull out the pin, aim at the base, make a sweeping motion, (be) ten feet away.
• Clean up the grease. Cleaning exhaust hoods is especially important, since grease buildup can restrict air flow. Be sure to also clean walls and work surfaces; ranges, fryers, broilers, grills and convection ovens; vents and filters.
• Never throw water on a grease fire. Water tossed into grease will cause grease to splatter, spread and likely erupt into a larger fire.
• Remove ashes from wood- and charcoal-burning ovens at least once a day. Store outside in metal containers at least 10 feet from any buildings or combustible materials.
• Make sure cigarettes are out before dumping them in a trash receptacle. Never smoke in or near storage areas.
• Store flammable liquids properly. Keep them in their original containers or puncture-resistant, tightly sealed containers. Store containers in well-ventilated areas away from supplies, food, food-preparation areas or any source of flames.
• Tidy up to avoid fire hazards. Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat and cooking sources. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.
• Use chemical solutions properly. Use chemicals in well-ventilated areas, and never mix chemicals unless directions call for mixing. Immediately clean up chemical spills.
Be prepared: Have an emergency plan
If a fire breaks out in your restaurant, your staff must take control of the situation and lead customers to safety.
• Be prepared to power down. Train at least one worker per shift how to shut off gas and electrical power in case of emergency.
• Have an evacuation plan. Designate one staff member per shift to be evacuation manager. That person should be in charge of calling 911, determining when an evacuation is necessary and ensuring that everyone exits the restaurant safely. Ensure your staff know where the closest exits are, depending on their location in the restaurant. Remember that the front door is an emergency exit.
• Offer emergency training. Teach new employees about evacuation procedures and the usage of fire-safety equipment. Give veteran staff members a refresher course at least annually.