National Safety Month Spotlight: Summer Safety
With summer just around the corner, this National Safety Month blog is dedicated to... you guessed it...summer safety! As school is out for the summer, many families head out to the beach or pool. Here are a few quick tips on how to keep you and your family safe this summer:
1. Wear sunscreen. Apply at least an SPF 15 about 30 minutes before leaving the house. Re-apply every 2 hours or each time you towel off.
2. Teach your kids how to swim. Sadly, drowning remains one of the leading causes of death among children. Consider enrolling your children in swim lessons as early as age 4.
3. Avoid wearing perfumes and scented soaps to prevent attracting mosquitoes.
4. Use sunglasses. Not only does this accessory look cool, it protects your eyes from UV radiation.
5. Stay hydrated. Drink some water every 20 minutes if you're going to be out for more than 1 hour to prevent heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke.
6. Always keep a first aid kit stocked and handy. You never know when you or someone around you will need it.
National Safety Month Spotlight: Forklift Safety
Part 3 of the National Safety Month blog is dedicated to forklift safety in the workplace. Forklifts are used to transport heavy objects within short distances. As these big machines deal with heavy objects, safety measures have to be practiced in order to avoid injuries and deaths. Here are some safety tips you can share with the rest of your team:
1. Forklift operators MUST be qualified. Only individuals who have had sufficient training in forklift operation should be allowed to use the equipment.
2. Wear the right clothes. Loose fitting clothes can get caught in the machinery.
3. Check the equipment. Plan for regular maintenance checks to make sure the forklift is in good, working condition.
4. Look at your surroundings. Only drive the forklift through clear pathways.
5. Don't speed. Drive at a reasonable speed to avoid mistakes.
6. Avoid hazards. Avoid slips and cracks that may make you lose control of the machinery.
7. Make sure the load is stable. Stabilize and secure the load before you move.
8. Check for even loads. Always lift with both forks.
9. Make sure you can see. Use a designated lookout person if you need one.
10. Keep clear. Inform your employees that the forklift is being used and advise everyone to keep clear of the area.
National Safety Month Spotlight: Preventing Electrical Fires
Electrical fires are one of the top leading causes of house fires in the U.S. Most of these fires could have been avoided by following certain safety tips for protecting your home. Some easy things you can do in your home are:
1. Discarding cords that are worn or frayed. When live wires are exposed, they are susceptible to starting house fires.
2. Never breaking the third prong to fit a plug into an outlet. The third prong creates an alternate pathway for electricity in the event of an error.
3. When unplugging a device, hold the plug securely and don't yank the cord. This motion may cause a short circuit.
4. Avoid water and heat sources with cords.
5. Do not overload outlets. HowStuffWorks recommends using this formula: p/e=i (wattage divided by volts equals amps to know if you're overloading your outlet.
6. Do an electrical inspection. The standard rule is that homes with copper wire need an inspection every 20 years and 5 years for aluminum wire. You should also do an inspection if you're buying a century home, a resale home or if you're doing a home renovation.
National Safety Month Spotlight: PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
June is National Safety Month, and this time is used to promote safety awareness and minimize injuries and deaths. PPE or Personal Protective Equipment prevents injuries and illnesses that may be acquired through hazardous environments such as chemical, electrical or mechanical settings. A PPE may include gloves, eyewear, hearing protecting, clothing, etc.
This National Safety Month, employers can utilize this time reinforce the importance of wearing PPE at a job site. The goal is to instill the mindset of putting safety first before any job or customer. Employers can set time aside to do a refresher course for PPE and provide a "lunch and learn" type event. When on-site, production managers can praise employees when they're wearing PPE correctly as a positive reinforcement. Over time, employees will correctly wear their PPE at all times without needing positive reinforcement.
PPE is only effective when it is fitted properly. It won't inhibit movement, allowing the employee to move freely. When it fits, it's more comfortable for the employee and they'll be more likely to wear it. During this month, employers can set up fitting stations and size employees for gloves, eyewear, apparel, hearing protection, etc.
Safety training doesn't always have to be done through a PowerPoint presentation. The goal is to get employees involved as much as possible by encouraging participation. If you have veteran workers, ask them to demonstrate proper PPE use and share stories if any. If you plan to administer quizzes, make it interesting by making it a contest among employees.
PPE is essential to SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton's team as it is used to protect our crew from potentially hazardous situations. At times, PPE may only be a pair of latex gloves and at other times, it'll be the whole PPE suit. We take time to train our technicians which PPE is needed for every type situation. We remind our team that our safety always comes first before anything.
How to Turn Off Water at Commercial Properties
Knowing where your water shut off valve is located is critical when faced with a plumbing emergency. During an emergency, every second counts in the prevention of additional water damage. Being able to locate and teach your employees where to find the water shut off valve will instill more confidence in your team and give you more control over the situation.
What is a water shut-off valve?
A water shut off valve helps stop the flow of water to your home or place of business. While homes usually have local shut off valves for plumbing fixtures, you would want to look for a main shut off valve for a commercial property. Main shut off valves are usually located by the entrance of water into the commercial property. You'll usually find a water meter box close to the street. If you cannot find your shut off valve, consider reaching out to your local water department and they should be able to further assist you.
How SERVPRO of DeRidder Leesville & Vinton can help...
We provide a no-cost service to create an Emergency Ready Profile for our commercial clients. The ERP puts together all information needed in case an emergency were to occur at your place of business. The documents lists out key contact information as well as all shut off valve information. In addition to this, it lets our team know specific information such as preferred parking locations, where to enter the building, also the size of the building.
What does the ERP do in the event of a plumbing emergency?
- The ERP has information ready for you and your team on how to find your water shut off valve.
- Our SERVPRO team will have a copy, so that we can instruct your team on how to find the shut off valve.
- The ERP will have preferred plumber contact information.
- Our SERVPRO team will have an idea of how big your property is, so we will know how many pieces of equipment to bring.
- You will have a point of contact SERVPRO team member.
Call 337-462-6500 to schedule your consultation today.
National Chocolate Chip Day!
National Chocolate Chip Day
Here at SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton, we realize the importance of balancing work and fun. While we provide 24-hour, immediate restoration & cleaning services to our community, we also like to give back in other ways. We love our community & try to show appreciation whenever we can. Sometimes, chocolate is a great way to show that you care.
May 15th was National Chocolate Chip Day this year, so we decided to bring a box of cookies to local businesses in the area. On the cookie box, we attached cards saying "You're the Chip to our Cookie! From SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville and Vinton". The local businesses were excited to receive the surprise chocolate treats from us. After all, who wouldn't be excited to receive surprise cookies? (Not me.)
No Dirty Dishes Day -- May 18th
"No Dirty Dishes Day" falls on May 18 every year and encourages you to take a break from the daily chore. Although SERVPRO of DeRidder is a cleaning company, on this day, we advise you to not do your dishes. Please be advised that this is also not a suggestion to let all your dirty dishes pile up. Instead, this is a list of ways to creatively avoid using dishes today.
Here they are:
1. Use disposable plates, utensils and cups. Step it up a notch and head over to the park for a picnic.
2. Visit that new restaurant you've been wanting to try and dine-in with the family.
3. Order pizza! If you're not in the mood to leave the house for numbers 1 & 2, there will always be pizza.
Preparing for a Hurricane Watch vs. a Hurricane Warning
Hurricane Safety Week
Knowing the difference between a hurricane watch and warning can help you and your family better prepare for what’s to come. A hurricane watch is an indicator to “be prepared” because there’s a possibility that severe weather conditions are coming. This would be a good time to take inventory of your supplies, get important documents organized and ready, have cash on hand, and fill up your cars with gas. Make sure to stay tuned to the weather updates in case a “watch” turns into a “warning”. A hurricane warning tells you to “take action”. Secure and protect your home, and if you are evacuating, make sure to leave as soon as you can to give yourself time. For more tips on how to prepare for a hurricane, go to the “hurricane section” on our blog page.
Foods to Stock up on in Case of an Emergency
A big part of preparing for an emergency is making sure that you have enough food in case of a disaster. The key to having a good emergency stockpile is not about doubling up on your groceries for the week, but instead buying the right kind of food. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends keeping a 2-week food supply, other sources would advise keeping a 2-3 month supply. At the very least, you should have a basic food supply enough for 3 days. Focusing on foods with a long storage life and buying in bulk can help you get the most out of your food supply. Here’s a list of foods you should add to your list:
- Canned meat
- Canned vegetables
- Canned soups
- Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter
- Beef Jerky
- Powdered Milk
- Dry pasta
- Instant Coffee and Tea
- Water – 1 gallon per person per day
Mold Prevention with your HVAC System
HVAC vents and ducts are popular places for mold growth within our homes and places of business. HVAC systems provide a very humid environment, attracting mold growth. One thing to remember is that once mold builds up in an HVAC unit, these spores circulate throughout the rest of the home when being used. The best way to prevent this from happening is to properly care for our HVAC systems. Here are some guidelines to follow to make sure these are properly maintained.
1. Routine Cleaning & Inspection. Make it a habit to inspect and clean drains and drain pans monthly. Check and clean coils on a yearly basis. For best results, hire a professional to help you clean.
2. Replace your air filters every 3-6 months. Air filters help prevent particles in the air from clogging up the system. In doing so, air filters also provide a great place for mold colonies to grow.
3. Repair any leaks in the ducts. Not only is it an energy-waster, but breaks in ducts can cause condensation to drip, causing mold to grow.
4. Invest in a dehumidifier. Humidity levels in your home should be under 40%. Some A/C systems already come with one built-in so make sure to check before you buy a new one.
At the end of the day, calling a professional is better than embarking on a new DIY project. As much as we like to take care of our own homes, specialists have the right training & tools to help you. For air ducts & HVAC system cleanings, give us a call at 337-462-6500 to see how we can help.