Looking Out for the Helpers: First Responder Safety
Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road.
Safety Tips For First Responders
When disaster strikes Century City, CA, there is probably going to be an opportunity for the community to help. Those who take care of people during an emergency must also be mindful to take care of themselves. Here are some safety tips for every first responder.
Protection Against Disease
The potential for contact with harmful bacteria or viruses after a storm increases. If you are going to come into contact with floodwaters or people who are hurt, the CDC recommends that you get the following immunizations:
- Tetanus (if you haven't had a booster in the last 10 years)
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended shots for particular region where you are working
If you are going to be helping in and around floodwaters, flood mitigation experts suggest wearing the proper protective gear. Gloves, waterproof coveralls, rubber boots and a face mask with a respirator can help keep the microbes in the water from getting to you.
Protection Against Electrical Hazards
Fierce storms tend to bring down power lines. As a first responder, you need to be on the lookout for lines that have come into contact with standing water so that you can avoid it. If you are entering a home to rescue someone, it is a good idea to turn off the power at the main circuit breaker so that you can enter safely.
Protection Against Auto Accidents
During flood response, it is important to remember to keep doing the things you always do to stay safe. Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. Do not drive through water that is too deep for you to see the bottom. Adjust your speed to accommodate for potential hazards, and remember to wear your seat belt.
When you are a first responder, you are not just taking care of other people. You must also take care of yourself. By adhering to safety tips and getting immunized against potential diseases, you can be more helpful to others.
Top 3 Reasons Why Irrigation Maintenance Is Important
Regular irrigation maintenance ensures the system works as intended or better.
Why You Should Maintain the Sprinklers
Before you use the sprinkler system to refresh the plants outside your Westwood, CA, business, it is important to perform irrigation maintenance. While it can seem tedious and challenging at times, it is important for the well-being of the system and your landscape. Learn about some of the reasons why you should maintain the sprinklers.
1. Prevents Sprinkler Flooding and Other Issues
Outdoor sprinklers are exposed to a variety of dangerous elements that can damage them. Animals, civilian traffic, severe weather and typical wear and tear can damage the sprinkler heads, pipes and valves that compose the system. Issues with these parts can cause improper irrigation that can malnourish the plant life or cause flooding in your property that can be fixed by commercial building restoration specialists. Frequent inspections can help you find these problems so you can fix them immediately.
2. Adapts System to Seasonal Changes
The development of your property's vegetation depends on each season's precipitation and temperature. As part of your irrigation maintenance schedule, you might need to adjust the direction and quantity of the water spread throughout the landscape, as plants might need more water in one season than another. Failing to adapt the system to each season can cause your plants to be either under or overwatered, which can result in dead grass, trees and flowers.
3. Encourages Upgrades That Improve Efficiency
Despite the straightforward purpose of outdoor sprinklers, manufacturers are always improving the ways that water is distributed throughout the property. New irrigation technology, especially when operated by computers, distributes water in a manner that reduces waste and reaches the most territory. Maintenance allows you to observe the current irrigation setup, then decide what components need upgrades and whether to replace the entire system for a more efficient counterpart.
Every device that services your business requires upkeep and your sprinklers are no exception. Regular irrigation maintenance ensures the system works as intended or better, which keeps your landscape and your business healthy.
Is a Smart Smoke Alarm Right for You?
Investing in smart detectors to improve your home's security can be a wise move.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Smart Smoke Alarm?
Changing your Beverly Hills, CA, smoke alarm to a smart device can seem like a big jump. After all, these detectors have performed well without any significant changes to their design. However, smart detectors add peace of mind and fire safety features you don't have with a traditional alarm.
A smoke detector is essential. It keeps you safe and helps you avoid the need for fire mitigation services.
Three main kinds of smart devices enhance the ability to detect smoke in your home:
- Smart detector
- Smart batteries
A smart smoke detector is an entire device that replaces your previous one. It connects to your phone, and you receive notifications through an app. You can silence false alarms and learn when it's time to change the batteries. Some models include carbon monoxide detection. Smart detectors usually run $100 or more per device.
Listeners are devices you plug into your wall. They listen for the specific frequency of a smoke alarm and send you a notification if one activates. If your home only requires one detector, a listener probably won't save you money since it costs around $100. However, a device can listen to one or more floors of your home, so you can potentially save money with a listener instead of purchasing several new alarms.
Smart batteries operate like 9-volt batteries. They connect to your phone and send notifications when the alarm goes off. They also notify you when the battery life reaches its end.
Choosing a Smart Smoke Alarm
The device you choose depends on your home's size, how old your current detectors are, and how much you're willing to spend. If you have one alarm nearly 10 years old, it may be worth it to replace it with a smart device. A listener or smart battery may be more economical if you have several newer alarms.
Enhancing the safety of your home with smart detectors can be a good decision. It helps first to consider the cost and return on your investment.
The Benefits of Regular Furnace Maintenance
Change the furnace filters and make sure there are no obstructions around the unit.
During times of cold weather, your furnace must bring you heat when you need it the most. To increase the likelihood of this happening, it makes sense to have a regular maintenance plan for this important item in your home in Westwood Village, CA. A few of these items you can do yourself, such as changing the furnace filters and making sure there are no obstructions around the unit. It is also a good idea to keep combustible items away from the heat source, so you won't need any fire cleaning services. For professional maintenance, it is best to call in a licensed HVAC contractor.
The Value of an Efficient Furnace
Dirt is one of the biggest enemies of your heating system. It can cause your unit to run less efficiently and it can cause wear and tear on components and hardware. A clean and well-oiled furnace provides many benefits to your home:
- A quiet and efficient operation
- A reliable heating unit
- An absence of emergency repairs
- A safe system
A well-maintained furnace is just one way to increase fire safety in your home. If you do need fire cleaning services, it is also important to hire a trusted fire mitigation franchise. Trained technicians will arrive at your home quickly and help you minimize damage and reduce costs.
The Importance of Smoke Cleaning
Even a small fire has the potential to cause soot and smoke damage. Fire restoration experts use advanced equipment and cleaning techniques to remove the most difficult stains and the most pervasive smells from a home fire. To deodorize a home, an odor control technician uses tools such as ozone machines, thermal foggers and air filtration devices. They understand the science behind smoke odors and can usually remove all hints of unpleasant smells. This is just one aspect of professional fire cleaning after a home fire, whether it is caused by your heating system or some other source.
Essential Steps for an Effective Sewage Cleanup
The last thing you want to experience in your home is some sort of sewage spill.
The last thing you want to experience in your home is some sort of sewage spill, but it does happen. This serious situation calls for a rapid response from an experienced water restoration company in your town of Century City, CA. A team of highly-trained and certified technicians will arrive quickly and get to work restoring your home to its original condition. They will follow a proven sewer cleanup protocol that prioritizes safety and minimizes damage to your home and its contents.
The Sewer Damage Restoration Process
Once a crew arrives at your home, they will immediately begin to assess the situation. In the case of a sewer backup, the workers will don the appropriate PPE, watch out for safety issues and contain the damage. They will come up with a plan, communicate with you and get your approval, and then follow through with some or all of the following actions:
- Complete water removal through the use of vacuums and pumps
- Thorough drying of impacted walls, flooring and other structures
- Professional cleaning and sanitizing of tainted surfaces
- Cleaning of salvageable personal items through advanced techniques
- Restoration of damaged structures such as drywall and insulation
While a flooded toilet might impact a smaller area, the process remains similar. The crew has one main goal: restoring your home to its original condition.
The Sewer Cleanup Results
A professional job makes sure that there are no lingering smells in the home. It also makes sure areas are dried enough to prevent the future growth of mold, which can be a possibility after water damage. A quality contractor will also make sure to look at the reasons for the spill in the first place and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
A sewer cleanup can be a traumatic event for you as a homeowner. A professional job allows you to continue on with your life without lasting consequences.
Why You Should Purchase Fire Insurance for Your Commercial Building
Commercial fire in Westwood, CA
Property fires may be more common than you think they are. In 2017, there were nearly 500,000 structure fires in America alone. These fires caused more than $10 billion in damage. While most of these blazes occurred in homes, they can harm commercial buildings, as well. That is why you need to purchase fire insurance for your business.
The Types of Damage During a Fire
Fire is destructive in multiple ways. They can cause damage via:
Most commercial insurance policies will pay for fire damage that results from all of these sources. Insurance can also cover fees charged by fire departments. Any harm that results from fire suppressants, such as fire extinguishers and sprinklers, should be part of your policy, as well.
If you do not have proper fire insurance, you will have to use company profits or assets to cover the cost of fire restoration and smoke cleanup services. Your business could shut down entirely if it cannot afford the remediation. Insurance should thus help your company survive a fire disaster.
The Proper Amount of Insurance
You may be tempted to lower your premium by insuring your property for less than what it is worth. Yet underinsuring your Westwood, CA, property is almost as bad as failing to insure it at all. For starters, you likely will not have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of the restoration. Your insurer may also impose a penalty if you fail to purchase sufficient insurance.
To make sure you insure your property for its actual value, have an appraiser assess the premises annually. When deciding how much insurance to purchase, use the appraiser's calculations rather than your agent's estimations.
Buying fire insurance is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. It should give you the funds to keep your company afloat following a blaze.
5 Advantages of Electronic Claims Systems
Exchanging information with your insurance agent just became much easier with electronic claims systems.
Electronic Claims Systems Have Five Benefits
Today, technology has made sharing data and filing an insurance claim for your business in Beverly Hills, CA, incredibly easy. This allows you to get your claim money quicker, so you can hire a disaster restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and get started rebuilding as soon as possible.
1. Earlier Payments
It can take a while for a traditional claim to receive a payout. However, filing an electronic insurance claim can result in earlier payments. This means you can start rebuilding your business sooner and reopen with minimal downtime.
2. Earlier Detection of Errors
Any information in your insurance claim that you submit electronically can be scanned for errors quicker. This means you can edit your claim as soon as possible and resubmit it if any errors are found. This drastically reduces the chance that your claim will be rejected or you will be denied payment.
3. Lower Administrative Costs
When you submit claims electronically, you lower the amount you have to pay to create paper copies and send them in. This is because you don't need to print documents and physically submit them to your agent. Instead, you can submit them all online through your customer portal.
4. Free Software Submissions
Most insurance companies now have their own electronic claims system. That means you no longer have to pay a third-party electronic claim submitter and submit your documents for free through a customer portal.
5. Available Support
Many insurance companies have a helpline for customers who are trying to submit their documents electronically. You can often find this number in the customer portal or on the company's website if you need it. In other words, even technophobes can submit their documents online.
Exchanging information with your insurance agent just became much easier with electronic claims systems. This lets you get connected faster and submit your critical documents for review. Many benefits come from a faster submission.
How To Get Tax Relief for Storm Damage
Storm damage to a commercial building in Westwood Village, CA.
How to Get Storm Damage Tax Relief
Storm damage to your commercial building in Westwood Village, CA, can end up costing a lot of money to repair. While a good insurance policy and timely response from storm restoration experts can significantly lower the hit to your budget, you probably will end up paying some out-of-pocket expenses that you weren't planning to spend. The good news is that you may be able to get tax relief.
It is likely that a portion of the financial loss you endure due to an unexpected storm is tax-deductible. There are several things that factor into how much you can deduct:
- Your property's fair market value
- Timeliness of your insurance claim
- Amount of reimbursement you receive from your provider
Typically, you can claim these deductions in the year in which the storm occurs. If the storm damage is due to a federally declared disaster, however, you may have a little more choice in which year's tax rules will yield you a higher deduction.
Another possible type of relief from both federal and state taxes is an extension on the due dates for filing and making payments. Your building does not necessarily have to be in the federally declared disaster area to qualify for these extensions. This reprieve can give you a little more time to get your business up and running again and recover some of the losses before having to make your tax payments.
No matter how good your record-keeping is, a storm can destroy your tax files along with your building. The IRS often waives the fees to get copies of tax transcripts when a disaster is involved. This is particularly helpful when you are claiming your deduction on a previous year you have already filed.
While storm damage can be devastating to a business, help is available. Talk to your accountant about the potential tax relief that you can receive after disaster strikes.
4 Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm
Make sure your building is properly insulated.
Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in Century City, CA. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.
1. Insulate Your Building
Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.
3. Stock Emergency Supplies
Create an emergency winter weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.
4. Watch Local Weather
During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go.
Keep Your Family and Property Safe During Severe Weather
If your Westwood, CA, home is located in an area that experiences a lot of flooding, then you likely need to take extra precautions to keep your family and property safe during severe weather. Here are a few ways that you can do that.
1. Maintain Your Home to Prevent Water Build-Up
In order to minimize storm damage to your home, you should be sure to perform proper maintenance, even when you are not expecting bad weather. To prevent moisture from building inside the walls, perform regular inspections of your home’s exterior to check for gaps or cracks. You should also make sure that all of your windows’ seals are working properly. Don’t forget to clean out your storm drains and gutters as well, since clogged ones can cause water to back up and leak into your home.
2. Protect Your Property and Belongings
If you know that you may have flood damage, you can prepare by protecting your belongings. A waterproof safe is a great option for any important documents. You can store smaller items in waterproof and air-tight containers while moving whatever you can to a higher location, like a shelf or a second floor. If you can move your furniture, you may want to do that as well. Covering it with plastic can reduce damage.
3. Have an Evacuation Plan
While your home is important, your family is more so. If the flooding becomes an emergency, you should be ready to move to a safer area. Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go. To make sure that everyone is prepared, it might be a good idea to practice beforehand.
Being prepared for flooding can help you protect what’s important, but you will likely not be able to save everything. If your home or belongings are damaged, a water damage remediation service can help restore your house and any items that are not beyond repair.