Common Fire Hazards in the Workplace
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove (704) 939-1944
Every year fires break out in workplaces across the country resulting in serious damage to property and even injury and death. In the UK each year there are around 25,000 non-residential fires reported, with a significant proportion of these fires occurring in the workplace.
There are a variety of reasons why these fires break out, although many are due to negligence and could be prevented with more care and attention. One of the best ways to protect your business against fire is to educate your staff on the causes of fire and encourage them to be vigilant and report any potential fire hazards, so that they can be dealt with swiftly.
Although each working environment is different, here are some common workplace fire hazards that you should look out for and how to reduce the risk of them causing a fire.
Waste and combustible material being stored on site
In many workplaces, in particular offices, there can be a build-up of waste such as paper, cardboard and other combustible materials. If this is not disposed of regularly, it provides plenty of fuel for any potential fires should they break out. All it takes is a source of ignition, for example a discarded cigarette to set this alight and it could result in a fire that burns rapidly.
For this reason you should avoid storing rubbish on site is possible, or if you must – make sure it is in a designated area, away from main buildings and any potential sources of ignition.
Flammable liquids and vapours
This may be more of a threat in some types of workplace than others. Those particularly at risk include industrial warehouses and factories where there may be large amounts of flammable liquids and vapours stored. This can also cover anywhere that these materials are present such as garages, hotels and kitchens. Flammable liquids can ignite instantly when they come into contact with a spark or naked flame. Vapours are also particularly dangerous as they spread out, carrying the risk of an explosion with devastating consequences.
To reduce the risk of a fire, always ensure that flammable liquid and solvent containers are sealed properly and if any spills do happen, they are cleaned up immediately.
Dust and powder from wood, plastic and metal operations can cause explosions in enclosed spaces if there is no proper ventilation. Extraction fans should be installed in places where there is a risk of dust in the air, for example in environments such as mines and factories. Equipment and machinery that heats up when used should also be kept clean and free of grease and dust so that this does not burn, starting a fire.
Objects that generate heat
Heat is one of the vital ingredients of fire. Some electrical equipment and machinery warms up when used providing the potential for a fire to start. Make sure you keep combustible materials such as paper away from heat sources and remember to unplug any equipment that is not being used if possible. Never leave any electrical equipment or machinery on overnight unless it is necessary.
Faulty electrical equipment
Fires caused by electrical equipment are one of the most common types of fire in the workplace. Look out for any signs of loose cabling, damaged plugs and replace any faulty equipment. All electrical equipment should be regularly checked and PAT tested by an expert.
Overloading power sockets
This is a fairly common cause of electrical fires but it is one that is easily avoided. If too many appliances are plugged into the same socket or if faulty extension cords are used, this can result in overheating and potentially a fire. Always make sure that you use one plug in each socket and don’t use appliances that total more than 13amps or 3000 watts across the whole socket.
Discarded cigarettes can cause fires if not put out and disposed of properly. Smoking can be especially hazardous if it is allowed to take place near areas where flammable materials are present. Therefore a designated smoking area should be allocated in your workplace away from main buildings and flammables. Staff should also be encouraged to make sure that any cigarettes are put out properly and to use specially provided bins for their cigarettes.
Human error and negligence
It has to be said that one of the most common causes of fires in the workplace is human error. Fires can occur as a result of negligence in a variety of different ways including improper use of equipment, accidents, drinks being spilt over electrical equipment and leaving cooking unattended.
Although you cannot completely remove the human error factor, through proper training you can take steps to reduce it by providing effective training and guidance for your staff advising on best fire safety practice.
If the worst does happen and a fire starts, having fire fighting equipment on site such asfire extinguishers, blankets and hose reels are vital for bringing fires under control. However you should use caution and make sure that all staff are trained to use the correcttype of fire extinguisher.
A little History about our town.
SERVPRO North Cabarrus County & China Grove would like to share a bit of history on our town.
Our city has a rich southern textile heritage, Kannapolis is honoring its past while embracing its future as a center for nutrition, health, and agriculture research.
In 1906 J.W. Cannon purchased the land that later became Kannapolis, and acquired a total of 1008 acres in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. Approximately 808 of those acres of farmland, purchased along the historic wagon road between Salisbury and Charlotte, became the location of the new textile mill, Cannon Manufacturing. Cannon Manufacturing began production in 1908. In 1914 Cannon Manufacturing became known as the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels. Shortly after, Mr. Cannon opened plants in Rowan County, Concord and in South Carolina totaling 20,000 workers. Mill founder J.W. Cannon’s youngest son, Charles A. Cannon, consolidated all the separate mills into the giant Cannon Mills Company in 1928.
Many of Kannapolis’ facilities and amenities like 1,600 homes, a YMCA and civic center, movie theater, daycare center, a temporary hospital were constructed by Cannon Mills for the mill employees. All aspects of life, from housing to road infrastructure to recreation and services, centered around mill operations. By 1984, when Kannapolis incorporated, an estimated 30,000 people were employees of Cannon Mills.
We are proud of our history and embrace the future. Our family and community values is what we are based on. With SERVPRO North Cabarrus County & China Grove you are treated like family.
COMMERCIAL WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove offers 24/7 emergency water damage restoration services.
When your facility faces water damage, it’s best to seek immediate professional help. The longer water stays in your building, the more extensive the damage and the more expensive the restoration costs will be. To help get you back to business fast, SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove offers 24/7 emergency water damage restoration services.
To minimize the damage done to your building’s floors, drywall, insulation, ceilings, and contents, SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove mobilizes as soon as we receive your call. Upon arrival, our certified water damage restoration professionals will quickly, completely, and discretely restore your facility.
Although every instance of commercial water damage is unique, there are several common causes that we have noticed throughout the years including:
- Broken Pipes
- Frozen Pipes
- Leaky Pipes
- Sink Overflow
- Toilet Overflow
- Sewage Backup
If your building experiences any of these issues, we advise taking the following important emergency steps:Avoid hazards: electricity in contact with water, slippery floors, unsanitary water, and unsafe structures.Locate and stop water source.Remove furniture or place plastic under furniture legs to prevent permanent stain or rust. Remove any wet contents.Call SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove to arrange for an inspection and to begin water extraction as soon as possible to minimize damage.
Three Solutions to Emergencies You Might Not Know
Your SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove team has your back when emergencies happen.
Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, accidents happen. Toilets and sinks overflow, sprinklers are broken or go off accidentally, and other various damage can occur in your building.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Water Is Running in the Sink or Bathtub – If you have an overflowing sink or bathtub due to a clog, taking quick action is essential. Water damage is a serious problem that can cause mold growth, warped wood, and ruined carpet within a day or two, especially if the water is left untouched. Turn off the faucet and begin removing as much of the water and residual moisture as possible. Next, call the experts to handle the cleanup. When a sink or bathtub overflows, you’re left with contaminated water that could contain bacteria and viruses, along with traces of food, grease, dirt, and hair. What you might not know is that if you remove any affected building material (or have your emergency cleanup experts do it), you can avoid long-term issues that could affect indoor air quality.
There’s Water Damage From the Sprinkler System – While your facility’s sprinkler system is an excellent defense against unforeseen fires, it can often leave a wet mess behind, especially when there is no fire to extinguish. Whether a chef in your restaurant’s kitchen has caused the sprinklers to go off due to cooking issues or a tenant hangs heavy items from the system, you could easily be left with a watery mess in an instant. Sprinklers can cause damage not just to your floors but also to your facility’s drywall, carpeting, and other materials. What you might not know is that some sprinkler systems have chemicals in the water or suppressants that require special treatment during remediation or require removal of affected items.
The Toilet Overflows Due to a Preventable Clog – Sometimes guests will flush inappropriate items down the toilet such as diapers, clothes, tampons, and more. When this happens, your toilet will eventually clog and can cause a massive overflow of what we call “black water.” This type of water is specifically contaminated with human waste and could cause a huge health risk if you or others come in contact with it. If you find yourself with an overflowing toilet, call the professionals right away to let them properly handle the contaminated water. What you might not realize is this is something that your commercial property insurance policy covers, so you should call your agent as soon as the incident occurs to discuss the damage and whether it makes sense to file a claim.
Unexpected things are going to happen. Your SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove team has your back when emergencies happen.
Steps to take after Storm damage
At SERVPRO of North Cabbarus County and China Grove we have seen it all when it comes to Storm Damage
A severe storm can change everything in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t always have to be a tornado or hurricane to cause destruction on your home or office, and poor restoration can leave you with an unhealthy home for your family. As challenging as recovery can be, you can take comfort in the fact that many have gone through similar experiences. This makes finding the direction you need a little easier. If you know what to expect and learn all you can before a storm hits, you’ll be more prepared to restore things to normal as quickly as possible.
Before inspecting the damage to your home keep safety in mind:
- Watch out for hazards such as broken glass and exposed nails.
- Always assume that downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay at least 10 feet away and alert the police and utility company.
- When inspecting your home at night, use a flashlight instead of a candle (or anything with an open flame). This will alleviate the risk of a fire or explosion from a damaged gas line.
If you do smell gas—or suspect a leak—shut off the main gas line, open the windows, and immediately go outside. Notify the gas company and the proper authorities of the situation and don’t return until they’ve deemed your home to be safe.
Review and Assess the Damage
Your roof is the most susceptible to costly damage. If a tree limb or other heavy debris fell on your roof during a storm, your home might have structural damage, so be cautious. Common signs of roof damage are:
- Holes in the roof
- Split seams
- Missing shingles
- Bruises or dented asphalt shingles
- Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles
- Granules collecting in gutters or downspouts
- Leaks in your roof or ceiling
- Dents on vents, gutters, or flashing
Windows and doors are vulnerable to wind damage and flying debris. Inspect your windows for cracks, holes, broken panes and damaged frames. Watch out for shards of glass, and be sure to board up broken windows until they can be fixed.
Look for damage to siding, paint, bricks and other exterior surfaces of your home. Also check outdoor appliances, like air conditioning units. You’re looking for dings, dents, cracks, splitting, holes, breaks chipping and discoloration.
As safely as you can, secure yourself and remove debris from roof, gutters and make sure downspouts are intact to continue to divert water away from your property.
If there was extended power outages and you have a sump pump, you may have standing water in your basement.
- Do not step in standing water without first making sure power is turned off to avoid risk of electrocution
- Re-engage sump pump to discharge water from the area or call a plumber if the pump is damaged.
Avoid Additional Damage
You may need a board-up service to secure your property so don’t wait. SERVPRO of North Cabbarus County and China Grove can be there day or night for emergency service.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Your insurance provider will instruct you on the next steps to take in making a claim and provide you with a claim number.
It’s important to hire a professional and trustworthy contractor to help you recover your home and restore your lives. Poor or incomplete restoration will leave you with an unhealthy home for your family. Any time there is water damage is involved, mold can begin growing immediately as well. It’s critical to address and remedy this as soon as possible to avoid additional damage and health risk. At SERVPRO of North Cabbarus County and China Grove we have seen it all when it comes to Storm Damage. Whatever your situation is, we will start the process of restoring your lives by giving you a free quote and time estimate on the storm damage repairs required.
How to Get Rid of Smoke Damage and Smell
After a minor fire, often the worst damage is not done by the fire itself but by the smoke and soot
Smoke damage can wreak havoc in your home. Kitchen flare-ups, closed fireplace flues, and electrical fires can send smoke throughout your house, charring walls, covering everything, and stinking up the place. The longer you let smoke and odors linger, the more they soak into walls, carpets, and furniture. Smoke damage becomes harder to repair over time. Get rid of odors quickly to avoid a persistent problem.
Call the professionals let us begin!!!!!
If you’ve had extensive smoke damage, professionals can help you clean up and get rid of smoke odor.
Once the fire’s out or the flue is open, ventilate the house as quickly as possible to mitigate smoke damage.
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County and China Grove the Smoke or fire remediation company: Certified in inspection, Cleaning and Restoration, WE use ozone treatments or thermal fogging to eliminate smells in hard-to-reach areas. Ozone treatments use an ozone generator to send an electrical current through the oxygen, which attacks the smoky odor. Thermal fogging works at the molecular level and generates fine particles to infiltrate the pores of affected materials.
SERVPRO DOES a Professional duct cleaning: Vacuum-scrubs ducts to clear soot and smoke residue
SERVPRO Carpet cleaning: Steam cleans your carpets.
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County and China grove will perform a Deep clean
Throw away heavily damaged or heavily smoked items, and will start cleaning the house top to bottom. WE WILL:
- Wipe down all hard surfaces counter-tops, appliances, and furniture—with a cleaning cloth.
- Wash walls and ceilings. Wipe soot away with a dry sponge. Rub away stubborn stains with a spray.
- even light bulbs. Remove bulbs to wash and dry thoroughly, then reinstall.
- Wash or dry-clean all clothing and drapes.
- Deodorize carpets and window coverings with odor counteract-ants.
- Throw away all food that was not sealed in airtight containers.
- Replace all HVAC filters.
What is mold?
Mold is extremely small element that belongs to the family of fungi. It can thrive on almost any surface especially cellulose-based objects. Mold reproduces very quickly, and it can take hold in your home in no time. Once mold takes over, your health and your wallet can be impacted. The sooner you identify and remediate, the lesser the impact.
Most people hear the word “mold” and cringe. They don’t realize that molds are a very normal part of our world. Molds are present almost anywhere. Though they may be harmful at times, molds are a big part of the ecological balance in the environment, as they play a major role in breaking down organic substances. In fact, molds are the original recyclers.
It is only when certain types of molds get into our homes that issues arise. Though there are thousands of different mold types, only certain kinds are harmful for humans. Health issues range from recurring allergies to severe reactions.
Molds require moisture to grow. There are many different types of moisture sources in our homes, and all of them can produce mold if they persist. From floods to roof leaks, moisture can come from almost anywhere. According to some recent studies, approximately 50 percent of homes have unknown moisture problems. And as we all know, molds thrive best in moist places. While we may notice moisture on our walls or in our bathrooms because we frequently visit these areas, mold can often hide in the areas of our homes we don’t frequently visit such as basements, attics, and behind furniture.
Top Tips for Getting Ready for a Storm/ After a Storm
SERVPRO North Cabarrus County & China Grove. 704-939-1944
Top Tips for Getting Ready for a Storm
- Remove debris from outside and ensure that any loose items are secured or stored inside.
- Ensure all windows and doors are shut, and locked where possible.
- Secure your vehicles in a garage (if possible), but at the very least park them away from any objects including trees that may fall and damage it.
- Organise where your family and any pets will be during the expected storm time, to ensure everyone is safe.
- Storms can result in power cuts, so make a storm kit which includes torches, necessary medication, food, water and blankets etc.
Tips for After a Storm
Depending on the severity of the winds, the post-storm clean-up can vary from small repairs to much bigger ones.
- Avoid standing near walls, buildings and trees that may be prone to collapse following the storm.
- Be aware of any loose electrical wires and cables that may have been damaged. Leave these for a professional to fix.
- Contact your insurance company immediately if you think you need to make a claim.
Whether the forecast for storms later this week turns out to be accurate or not, it’s good practice to prepare your premises in advance. This includes making sure that you have the contact details for those you can contact in an emergency, such as electricians, plumbers, roofers, your insurer’s claim helpline and your local SERVPRO North Cabarrus County & China Grove. 704-939-1944
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove is ready to respond immediately and work quickly to clean or restore your business. We understand that your property’s appearance is important and that every hour spent restoring is an hour of lost productivity. When you need a restoration or cleaning professional, SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
- Small Office Buildings
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- High-Rise Residential
- Manufacturing & Industrial
Have Questions? Call North Cabarrus County & China Grove today. 704-939-1944.
When it comes to commercial and residential restoration services, SERVPRO is a leader in the industry. Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
SERVPRO of North Cabarrus County & China Grove Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, 704-939-1944!