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OSHA Requires Certain Businesses to Maintain First Aid Kits

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Folder with label Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA OSHA is happy to provide free guidance for any additional items your business needs in its emergency kit

In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that certain businesses have a first aid kit matching the size of their organization in Grantwood Village, MO. While inspections of kits are rare, not having one when disaster hits can have negative results, including

  • Lawsuits
  • Civil penalties
  • Possible criminal penalties
  • Denied insurance claims

The OSHA Regulations

OSHA says that all businesses that aren’t in “near proximity” to a clinic or hospital must maintain “adequate first aid supplies.” Near proximity is based on the risks and circumstances of your business operations. For businesses with a high chance of life-threatening injury or illness, they must be within a “3 to 4 minute response time.” For businesses that are unlikely to have life-threatening results, up to 15 minutes is allowed.

The Immediate Need for First Aid

Most kits will do nothing more than gather dust. However, sometimes they are the difference between life and death. If you don’t have at least what OSHA requires, you can be held liable for any resulting damages. If gross negligence is proven, you could also face an expensive criminal charge – and possibly spend time incarcerated.

The Items Needed for a First Aid Kit

The items you need are based on the type of operations at your business. However, certain items should be in every kit, including

  • First aid manual
  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Small scissors
  • Antibiotics
  • Adhesive tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tourniquet
  • Elastic bandage
  • Sling
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • Breathing barrier
  • Instant cold compress

OSHA is happy to provide free guidance for any additional items your business needs in its emergency kit. Employees must be familiar with where it is and should have a little training in how to use it. The training can be made fun with small rewards, leaving employees to feel like the training was a welcome break from routine.
If your business has an emergency that causes injury and property damage, first get everyone to safety. Next, use your first aid kit or evacuate the injured to a safe medical facility. Then call an experienced damage restoration company to secure the building and begin the repair process.

Why Is Your Fire Alarm Chirping at 3AM?

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Changing battery to a smoke detector You can pull out the battery to silence the alarm

Batteries are like kittens and babies – they like to go out at the worst possible times. When your fire alarm starts chirping in the middle of the night, it’s normal for everyone within earshot to keep hoping someone else will get it, but eventually, you’re probably the one who will have to get up to fix it.
You can pull out the battery to silence the alarm, but this has led to serious fire damage in Shrewsberry, MO. However, there’s a simple trick to avoid this problem entirely.

What Causes Batteries to Go Bad?

There are three main components that impact how soon a battery will wear out:

  • Internal chemistry
  • External weather conditions
  • Misuse

Standard 9 volt batteries such as the type in your smoke alarm produce electricity by the reaction between the internal metals and electrolytes. In theory, the chemicals could last much longer than batteries do, because it’s actually a build-up of hydrogen bubbles inside that cuts off the reaction. Some batteries are made to last considerably longer; a common type is called an alkaline battery.
The other factors that cause battery degradation in a fire alarm are weather conditions and misuse. Using a battery for applications it’s not intended can cause an overvoltage and potentially a fire. Also, extreme heat and cold can significantly impact a battery’s life.

Why Does a Bad Battery Make That Awful Chirping Sound?
It’s not actually an evil plot against sleep – it’s meant to help keep you alive. As a battery loses voltage, it doesn’t function as well, eventually dropping below the nominal required voltage for a device. The beeping in the detector is telling you that it may fail at any time. Once the fire alarm is issuing the warning chirp, the battery should be replaced within 24 hours – if for no other reason than to stop that infernal beeping.
If a faulty alarm causes smoke damage in Shrewsberry, MO, there’s a local fire cleanup and restoration company that has long experience with returning your home to pre-fire conditions. SERVPRO makes it “Like it never even happened.”

How to Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Pipe insulation Insulating water pipes is the least you can do to prevent frozen pipes

How to Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

What could be worse than coming home from vacation to find a flooded house? Maybe a fire. Yet, flooding happens more often than you think. That’s why you should strive to prevent this expensive ordeal with everything you’ve got.
Common causes of flooding in Crestwood, MO include:

  • Heavy rains
  • Pipe breaks
  • Overflowing rivers
  • Storm surges and Tsunamis

Inspect the Plumbing

Check for leaks as the first thing you do when preparing for vacation. Look under every sink for seepage, check the water heater for cracks and make sure all window seals are in good shape. Also, be sure to check all drains for clogging and test the sump pump before wrapping up the inspection. If you find any issues, no matter how small, have a water pipe repair expert fix it immediately.

Insulate the Pipes

Insulating water pipes is the least you can do to prevent frozen pipes. It will mitigate the risk of broken pipe incidents, saving you thousands of dollars in water damage. There are several options for pipe insulation, including rubber, fiberglass, and electric heat tape. Pick one that fits in your budget and have a licensed plumber install it before jumping on that plane.

Ask a Neighbor to Keep an Eye on Your Property

Having someone to check the house while you are gone is a great idea. It can be a neighbor or a family member who can drop by regularly. Ask the helper to make sure the temperature is 55F or more. Also, let them know where to get a reliable plumber in case the house needs urgent water pipe repair.
Leaving your house for a couple of weeks can be stressful, especially after considering all the things that could go wrong. However, don’t let that ruin your holiday. Inspect as described in this article, or make a water pipe repair service do it for you.

3 Reasons Why You Need Immediate Restoration Services With Category 1 Water

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden floor tiles removed due to water damage, air mover placed on damaged area Water damage in Webster Groves, MO

While it may seem obvious that water that is contaminated with harmful bacteria, sewage, or mold needs to be dealt with immediately, even clean water needs to be removed in a timely manner. Water that doesn't contain any contaminants is labeled Category 1 and comes from sanitary sources such as a supply line: broken pipe or overflowing faucet. If your business in Webster Groves, MO, is affected by unpolluted water, here are three reasons you need to contact a water damage cleanup company as soon as possible.

Water Can Become Contaminated With Time

Just because water is clean to begin with doesn’t mean it is not still at risk of becoming contaminated in the future. In fact, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours. The water may become exposed to pollutants and harmful bacteria the longer it is stagnant. It doesn’t take much for clean water to degrade into Category 2 or Category 3 water, so it is important to dry the area of water before it becomes unsafe to enter.

Water Creates a Hazardous Situation

In addition to potentially harboring dangerous contaminants, water can cause slip and falls or become an electrical hazard. If you suspect that wires or electrical components have been exposed to flood water, avoid the area and wait for help to arrive. In certain situations, it may even be necessary to shut off the building’s electricity if the electrical box is safely accessible.

Water Is Very Destructive

The longer water is left to sit the more damage it causes. It can seep into hardwood floors or carpeting and travel deep into the walls of your building. If the structure of your building is exposed to water long enough, it may need to be torn apart and rebuilt.
Just because you are dealing with clean water does not mean the situation is not a serious one. Get help right away to mitigate damage to your building and ensure the safety of everyone inside.

How the Pros Respond to Large-Scale Disasters

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of the SERVPRO office (outside) SERVPRO of Affton/Webster Groves

As a business leader, you've already got enough on your plate. When a disaster hits your workplace, you may feel helpless and not know how you can possibly recover. Fortunately, professional cleanup companies have the skill and experience to help you with disaster recovery in even the worst situations. When you need a quick response and reliable service, contact a specialist.

Advantages of Calling the Pros

Certified disaster cleanup experts have what it takes to get your business on track. Whether it's a fire, flood, storm damage or something else, the incident doesn't have to derail your business. The company provides the following benefits:

  • The technicians have the right equipment.
  • The company uses industry-standard techniques.
  • The company will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For Widespread Disasters

For minor or moderate incidents, the disaster recovery team can have you back in business quickly. Of course, in the most severe circumstances, more effort is required. The cleanup company can mobilize its forces and send additional equipment and supplies to local franchises. The best disaster cleanup organizations have a team in Affton, MO, near you.

The Process

For storm response or to help you clean up and rebuild after another disaster, the company will first assess the damage and make a plan. Technicians will share this information with you so you know the time frame and how it will affect your business. Next, team members clean up the damage. This may entail removing water or addressing smoke damage. Crews will salvage any materials they can and will replace those items that are beyond repair. Restoration may include rebuilding the roof, foundation or other areas of the building such as flooring, walls or ceilings.
Disaster recovery doesn't have to be an impossible task. When you call upon a professional company with a strong track record of success, you can have peace of mind.

How Ice Dams Can Cause Mold Damage

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles on a roof winter background image Ice dams occur when snow melts on top of a warm roof.

When a snowstorm hits, you are probably worried that the power will go out in your Concord, MO, building. You may also fear that a burst pipe will flood your office. Yet winter weather can also affect your commercial property in another way. An ice dam can form on your roof, leading to the growth of black mold.

Ice Dams and Mold

Ice dams occur when snow melts on top of a warm roof. The melted water then flows to the colder eaves, where it refreezes into ice. This ice blocks additional water from dripping off the edge of the roof. The water instead goes under the shingles and into the building, where it can damage:

  • Insulation
  • Sheetrock
  • Wall studs

When these parts of the building get wet, they create a breeding ground for mildew and mold. By the time you notice the fungus, you may not be able to handle the problem on your own. Instead, you may need to contact mold remediation specialists, which could affect your company's profits. You may even have to close down the property temporarily while the ice dam is removed and mold cleanup is performed.

Stopping Ice Dams

There are simple steps you can take to limit the development of ice dams. Try adding insulation or heated cables to ensure the entire roof remains fairly warm. You should also put caulk around any pipes or vents and seal exhaust and HVAC ducts.

Fixing Ice Dams

If you do see one or more ice dams, you should get rid of them immediately before they cause mold damage. You can quickly and safely break up the dam with a roof rake.
An ice dam could cause water to back up on your roof and leak into your building. This, in turn, could necessitate extensive black mold cleanup. To prevent this occurrence, maintain a consistent temperature on the roof and quickly address any dams that form.

Tips for Putting Up a Temporary Security Fence

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

A woman is upset about her building which has burned down Fire damage in Marlborough, MO

Tips for Putting Up a Temporary Security Fence

When you experience a fire at your Marlborough, MO, commercial property, your buildings, inventory, equipment, and other belongings become vulnerable to theft and vandalism as a result of the fire. At this point, it's important to protect yourself against further losses, such as with a security fence. Other elements of protecting against losses include

  • Contacting your insurance agency
  • Waiting for professionals before removing or cleaning items
  • Making a written and video record of the damage
  • Saving receipts for all repair work

If you have sensitive information or dangerous substances on your property, discuss appropriate actions with the insurance company and the fire damage cleanup and repair professionals.

Security Is Your Responsibility

Although there will be several parties involved in the reconstruction of your fire-damaged property, including the insurance company, adjusters, the fire department, and cleanup and repair crews, you are ultimately responsible for making sure your property is secure. A temporary security fence is just one part of that effort.

Tips for Choosing Temporary Fencing

As you go about choosing the best type of fencing for your property, consider the following tips:

  • Understand the point of the fencing. Are you trying to keep everyone out or prevent goods from being removed from the property? Do you need multiple points of access? How will authorized people gain entry?
  • Consider the type of landscape surrounding your property. There may be some challenges and hazards to consider.
  • Make sure the fence is secure enough. You may require maximum security or maybe a simple fence will be adequate. Remember the main purpose of the fencing.
  • Balance your potential financial losses with the cost of installing temporary fencing.
  • Look for a reputable company. Ask for recommendations and check into past jobs.
  • Find out if there are any legal requirements regarding fencing. Hopefully, the professionals providing the temporary fence are familiar with these guidelines.

Carefully consider your options as you secure the safety of your buildings and belongings. Remember that the aftermath of a fire is a particularly vulnerable time for commercial properties. Discuss the need for a security fence and further steps with the professionals you've hired to handle fire damage cleanup and recovery.

Stay Safe in the Kitchen This Holiday

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm Test your smoke alarms in your Webster Groves, MO home before the holidays

Stay Safe in the Kitchen This Holiday

Did you know that the winter holidays are the times when most home cooking fires happen? It’s popular to celebrate the holidays with family and feast, but the additional chaos brings more opportunity for accidents. Give the firefighters in Webster Groves, MO, a break, and make some plans to keep your family safe from fire damage this holiday season.

Top Ten Holiday Kitchen Tips for Fire Safety

Additional people and extra cooking mean you have more risk than normal, so it’s a good time to make sure you are extra careful in the kitchen. Take some time before everyone arrives to prepare the kitchen for holiday safety. Here are some kitchen tips for before and during the holidays:

  1. Test your smoke alarms before the holidays.

  2. Clean your stove and oven to reduce grease buildup.

  3. Keep kids and pets out of the cooking area, using a physical barrier if necessary.

  4. Cook only when you are alert. Falling asleep with food on the stove is a common way fires start.
  5. Don’t leave the stove unattended while cooking.

  6. Plan to be home as long as it takes to cook your turkey or other large items.

  7. Keep clutter off the kitchen floor so you have plenty of room to move around the cooking area.

  8. Ensure that cords are not hanging where they might be snagged by someone walking by or grabbed by children.

  9. Keep flammable items away from the stove. Make sure your guests aren’t using the stove as a landing pad for food packages, paper towels or oven mitts.

  10. Don't put out a grease fire with water. Use a lid and turn off the heat.

You can really help reduce risks and keep your family safe by following these simple tips. Most of this advice comes down to staying alert in the kitchen.

If you need help to clean up after a fire, count on a fire damage specialist to get you through it. Unlike most contractors, these professionals deal specifically with fire recovery and can guide you through cleanup, repairs, and care for your personal belongings.

Building a Commercial First Aid Kit

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

front view of green first aid box OSHA requires that all workplaces have at least one approved first aid kit

Building a Commercial First Aid Kit

When it comes to workplace accidents you need to be prepared for anything, whether a twisted ankle from slipping on a wet floor or a first-degree burn from an electrical fire. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all workplaces have at least one OSHA-approved first aid kit. Although particular industry requirements vary, your business will need to supply these basics:

1. Bandages and Gauze
Bandages and gauze come in many shapes and sizes, making them very versatile for a variety of types of injuries. They can be used for cleaning, covering, packing and securing wounds.

2. Resuscitation Equipment
This equipment commonly includes airways, syringes and a mask used for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

3. Blanket(s)
A first aid kit blanket is used to reduce the loss of body heat if an injured person is at risk of going into shock or as insulation from cold temperatures. It could also be used as a pillow or to elevate an injured limb.

4. Elastic Wraps
Elastic wraps are used for support, as well as administering localized pressure to injured body parts such as a sprained ankle or wrist. They are also great for keeping a hot or cold compress in place or a wound dressing intact.

5. Splint
A splint is used to stabilize and immobilize an injured body part such as a broken bone. It will be used until further treatment is available.

6. Instructions for Requesting Emergency Assistance
The kit must include a list of the items of information you need to have available when calling 911, including your name and title, your location, your telephone number, the number of people injured, type(s) of injury, first aid already performed and condition of injured individuals.

7. Miscellaneous Supplies
An emergency kit should also include supplies such as latex gloves, tweezers, scissors, adhesive tape, antiseptic wash and topical antibiotics.
Check out the OSHA first aid kit requirements for your particular industry and number of employees. In the event of a disaster at your building in Lakeshire, MO, you can feel confident calling on cleanup professionals to help.

How To Prevent Water Damage on Vacation

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

A hand with a glove removing debris from a gutter Remove any debris, such as leaves and twigs, from your gutters

4 Ways To Avoid a Water Pipe Repair While Returning from Vacation

The last thing you want to think about on vacation is a broken pipe or flooded basement back home. Here are four ways to avoid a water pipe repair when you return from a relaxing trip far away from Grantwood Village, MO.

Inspect Your Home Before You Go

Before you jet off to Jamaica or load up the family minivan and make tracks for the Grand Canyon, perform a walk-through of your home to make sure all things water-related are in working order. If you spot any of the following warning signs, it would be wise to address them before you leave:

  • Damaged hoses connected to major appliances
  • Kinks in those hoses
  • Plumbing leaks beneath kitchen, bathroom, and utility room sinks
  • Cracks or corrosion on your water heater
  • Cracks or gaps in your window and door seals
  • Damaged roof shingles

Some of these warning signs lead to fairly easy fixes. If appliance hoses or shingles are damaged, replace them. Fill gaps in seals with caulk. For more significant issues, such as a cracked water heater, your best move is likely to call a professional technician.

Ask a Friend To Check In

Have a responsible friend or family member stop by your home periodically. He or she can pick up your mail, feed pets, and ensure that no water damage has taken place. Better still, arm him or her with the number for your trusted water damage restoration company just in case you're in need of flood cleanup or water pipe repair while you're away.

Clean Your Gutters

Remove any debris, such as leaves and twigs, from your gutters. Make sure your downspouts are clear and connected properly, too.

Test Your Sump Pump

If extreme weather strikes Grantwood Village, MO, while you're away, you'll want your sump pump to be up to the task. Verify that it's working properly before you depart by removing any debris, filling it up, and running it. Ensure that water is leaving the home and that the pump isn't making any odd noises.
Vacations aren't cheap. Save your hard-earned cashed for your next trip to Boston or Belgium instead of a water pipe repair.