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Retail Cleaning Checklist

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

COVID has forced retailers to adapt in many ways remarkably quickly. And while it’s certainly been a difficult time and the future remains uncertain, it’s also been an eye-opening experience for changes that may be long overdue. 

When it comes to store cleanliness, COVID has perhaps pushed businesses in a good direction, pandemic notwithstanding. It’s important to pay extra attention to the details. Creating a thorough retail cleaning checklist is absolutely essential so that nothing is forgotten and to keep your entire team on the same page.

Retail Cleaning Checklist:

  • Clean High-Touch Surfaces Often - The most important parts of your store that need cleaning are the spots the get high traffic of touches. Of course, these are the areas that are most likely to pass a virus or other germs from one person to the next. For retailers, these likely include; Doorknobs and handles, Counter surfaces, Bathroom doors, Sinks and toilets, Shopping baskets and carts, POS machines, and credit card pin pads.
  • Disinfect Properly - There are many different solutions that work as a disinfectant. First, make sure to use soap and water before disinfecting. This helps reduce the dirt and grime beforehand, making the disinfecting round more productive.
  • Wash Soft Surfaces - Clean all carpets, rugs, chairs, couches, window drapes, towels, and apparel tried on by a shopper. Use soap and water or any other disinfectant cleaner on larger items to clean them and preserve their appearance. For small individual items, use a washing machine with hot water. 
  • Wipe Down all Electronics - Electronics are the most commonly touched items in any store, particularly around the point of sale area. Clean all POS hardware, including desktops, keyboards, scanners, tablets, credit card machines, receipt printers, keypads, and cash drawers. Many retailers have implemented a regular cleaning every 15-30 minutes.
  • Don’t Forget Outdoor Areas - Outdoor areas are safer than indoors, but they, too, need attention. Do not spray outdoor areas with disinfectant. It’s not proven to reduce risks of transmission and a waste of the cleaning material. Clean areas that are routinely touched with soap and water, such as railings, outdoor seating areas, sidewalk signage, or anything else at your storefront that can come into contact with customers or passersby.
  • Make all Retail Cleaning Checklists a Habit - As important as the items in the checklist itself, it’s critical that businesses implement a routine for their staff. Like mask-wearing, more frequent hand washing, or any other change we’ve had to make to adapt to the pandemic, changing your store’s policies requires that your staff find a habit. Start with a general staff meeting to go over a cohesive policy. Put the new policy in print so that all team members can access it and it can be shared with new employees.

Post checklists in opportune spots around the store. Ask shift leaders and managers to double-check with staff members throughout and at the end of their shifts, especially during the beginning.

SERVPRO offers commercial cleaning services backed by over 50 years of experience. They are knowledgeable and certified to ensure sanitation in line with CDC guidelines. Let us worry about the dirty work, call 1-800-SERVPRO today for a consultation. 

When Renting Office Space, What Is the Landlord Responsible for?

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

When you’re renting commercial office space, it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of what your landlord is responsible for. You don’t want to spend money on services that aren’t your responsibility. And you also don’t want to cause further damage to anything that you should not tamper with in the first place. This could be a transgression of your rental agreement and could lead to legal recourse. 

With that said, you should always check your rental agreement or lease contract. Have a copy on hand that you can reference when you’re unsure which responsibilities belong to you and which to your landlord. 

Generally, there are a number of aspects your landlord is responsible for. Structural repairs usually fall on the landlord. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to maintain and repair heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, as well as plumbing and electrical.

If there are any systems or machinery that come with the space, those usually fall under the landlord’s responsibility as well. In addition, your landlord is usually responsible for keeping common areas like stairways and elevators clean and functioning properly.   

If your lease contract does not specifically state these matters, then it’s worth having a discussion about. Otherwise, you could be held liable for building repairs that you’re not insured to cover. 

Whether you are a landlord or tenant in a commercial space, keeping your property clean and safe is important. If you need help cleaning and maintaining your commercial space, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO. Our trained professionals are there to help your business succeed. 

How to Teach Children About Fire Safety at Home

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

A parent’s biggest goal is to make sure that their child is always safe. We live in a world where there are many things to be fearful of, but the best thing that you can do is teach your child what to do in a dangerous situation.

One of the disasters we tend to teach children about earliest is fire. The key to introducing fire safety is to have a plan to teach your children if there is a fire at your home. 

Make sure your fire alarms are working properly.

Primarily, you need to make sure your fire alarms are functioning properly so you can introduce what a fire alarm is and how it works to your children.

Fire alarms are there to alert you that there is a fire, so in case there is actually a fire in your home you need to make sure your child knows what that sound is.

Plan your escape route.

You need to have a plan on how you and your children are going to get out of your home in the case of a fire. They need to be able to get out from their bedroom, so a window may be the easiest way for them to get out. You might need to get a rope ladder to assist them to get out of the house safely.

Decide on a family meeting point.

Once you make it out of the house, you need a safe place to be until help arrives. The point should not be too close to your own home. Some good places to consider are across the street, a neighbor a few doors down, or even walk to a neighboring road. Make sure that your child is comfortable with the location you choose as a safety point.

Put your plan into practice. 

The key to having a safe and successful plan for fire safety is to make sure you practice it. This allows you and your family to become comfortable with what to do in the event of a fire. It is best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. 

Fire safety is going to be something that your child has most likely never thought of, so it may be scary to them at first. The goal of teaching your child about safety is to make sure that your child is comfortable with knowing what to do in a dangerous situation.

SERVPRO is always happy to help with disaster prevention, so do not hesitate to contact us to help make your home a safer place.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home from Lightning

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

The CDC puts your odds of being struck by lightning at 1 in 500,000. But they also say, “Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities.”

Eitherway, you’re odds are much better than your home’s. 2020 saw 17 U.S. lightning fatalities. In contrast, insurance policyholders made 77,000 lightning claims in 2019. The claims resulted in more than $900 million in damages.

Protect your home from lightning

These statistics show that lightning is a serious problem for homeowners. So check out these tips for protecting your home in 2021. 

Lightning Protection System

Have a lightning protection system professionally installed. These systems give lightning a designated path to follow, so it doesn’t travel to unprotected wiring or piping in your home. They consist of air terminals (lightning rods), main conductors, ground rods, bonds, surge protectors, and even tree protection. 

Lightning protection systems should only be installed by contractors listed by Underwriters Laboratories and certified by the Lightning Protection Institute.

Surge Protection Devices (SPDs)

These devices redirect electrical surges that come to your home through powerlines. They protect your appliances by diverting the electrical surges into the ground. They should also be professionally installed. 

How to protect yourself from lightning

If you’re indoors, and you know lightning is coming, unplug electrical appliances. If lightning is already striking, stay away from all electrical appliances, windows, doors, piping, water sources like sinks and showers, and landline telephones. 

If you’re outdoors, find shelter, preferably in a lower elevation. Lightning travels by the path of least resistance, so the taller an object is, the more likely it will be hit. A vehicle with the windows closed is a safe option.

Never use a tree, as they're often the tallest structures and most likely to be struck. Also stay away from telephone and utility poles, and any metal objects. 

If you’re interested in learning more about protecting you and your home from lightning, contact the Lightning Protection Institute.

If you’re home or business suffered damages from a lightning strike, and you need emergency services, contact our 24/7 emergency service line. We have over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian locations, so we’re strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

SERVPRO: An Advocate Who Will Stand up to Insurance Companies for You

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Having a disaster happen to your property can be a stressful time for you as the owner. Not only are you required to handle the cleanup of the disaster, but you have to deal with filing a claim with your insurance company.

Insurance companies are typically very difficult to work with, as it is hard to understand some of their lingo if you are not familiar with restoration terms. 

The simplest solution is to hire an advocate that will fight your insurance company for you. Not only are you getting a top-of-the-line restoration specialist, but you are also hiring someone to work with your insurance company directly.

SERVPRO offers to handle your insurance company for you, therefore you do not need to have a middle man to pass along information to the insurance company. This prevents there being any chance of miscommunication between the company you have hired to fix your home and your insurance company. 

SERVPRO offers high-quality restoration services and is also able to work directly with your insurance company. We can help manage your insurance process and your paperwork. It is important to hire a company that is willing to advocate for you, not simply get the job done at a low standard. 

SERVPRO has a team of highly vetted professionals who want the best for your property. Our team is familiar with much of the language insurance companies use and will look out for you during the process. 

How to Secure Your Outdoor Furniture in Severe Weather

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

title over home in front of stormy sky Ensure the protection of your valuable outdoor property by taking these steps.

Finally, the weather is warming up and Ohioans are itching to get outside and use their outdoor furniture. But with warmer weather comes severe storms. Storms notorious for blowing away your furniture.

So how can Ohioans secure and protect their outdoor furniture? 

This is a great question since tornado season starts in April. 

Check out these five simple steps to keep your outdoor furniture where it should be.

Store it 

Seat cushions, pillows, plastic lawn chairs, and potted and hanging plants can blow away. Bring those light-weight and fragile objects inside your garage or home. 

If you have an outdoor umbrella, close and secure it. If you can’t bring it inside, make sure the umbrella has a heavy base and is firmly anchored. If it’s loose in the base, lay it on the ground in a safe place.

Cover it

Outdoor furniture covers come in many sizes and are great for wood and wicker patio furniture. Most hardware and big box stores carry durable weather-resistant covers. Find covers that fit your furniture. Invest in rope, bungee cords, ratchet straps, or even chains to hold the covers in place. 

If you don’t have furniture covers, and you need something quick, a tarp will get the job done. 

The best part about furniture covers is they keep your furniture dry and clean. Simply remove the covers and get back to relaxing!

Weigh it down

If your patio furniture is light, and you can’t bring it inside, the next best thing is to weigh it down. Sandbags can be helpful. Pile sandbags on your umbrella base. Stack light-weight chairs and top them with a sandbag. 

You can even use sandbags to hold down your furniture covers. 

Trim it

These last two tips take a bit of forethought but are important. Inspect your trees and shrubs for low-hanging or dead limbs. Especially limbs near your home. In a strong storm, these limbs can fall and damage your outdoor furniture, your home, and your vehicle.

Pro tip: add trimming dead limbs to your regular lawn maintenance to prevent future damage. 

Plant it

Plant a windbreak -- a row of trees or shrubs that blocks wind. They not only protect your property, they also provide privacy and look beautiful. From small shrubs to tall pines, you can find the perfect plants to fit your needs. 

Follow these 5 easy steps, and you’ll get years of use out of your outdoor furniture.

What to Do After a Fire

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Today 1-800-SERVPRO

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO Customer Care Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our specialist will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the SERVPRO Franchise Professional can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Water Damage Claims

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance of any kind will usually bring about a feeling of security and peace of mind; that is what “insurance” is after all, right? When purchasing a plan, whether it be homeowners, health, car, or any other kind of insurance, the buyer usually takes into consideration the monthly costs, deductibles, premiums, and other factors. This is important information to be aware of when finding a plan that best suits your needs. Oftentimes, however, we do not really think about those plans until the absolute worst has happened and we are faced with a disaster or an emergency. Much like any other insurance plan, homeowners coverage will come with stipulations and possibly those fine print lines that sometimes get overlooked. If you find yourself in a sticky situation with needing to file a claim for water damage in particular, you may understand this now more than ever.

One of the first steps in getting your mess taken care of is understanding what kind of water damage you are dealing with and what your plan covers. In order to better understand this, you can call your insurance company and they can help you not only get the claim started, but also catch you up on what is covered. It is important to note that making this initial call may be the most important step to take in the whole process, as some policies have a deadline for filing. Sometimes it may be tempting to let it go or do a quick fix because it “does not look TOO bad”, but don’t be fooled, this may cost you more in the long run. 

While sewer backup, bursting pipes, and storm-related water damage may be taken care of with your plan; you will find that the gradual water damage like a leaky roof from seepage or pipes leaking, will NOT be covered. However, if that gradual damage ends up causing major damage like a broken pipe or other extreme situations, your insurance may help with a portion of the costs. Again, this is something that you should contact your agent about for more information. 

While water damage can be overwhelming and even scary, it can be taken care of (even avoided)! If you find yourself in deep waters (pun intended), you should take that first step of making that call to your insurance company. If you are lucky enough to not have encountered this, remember it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a look at your plan again for a refresher. In addition, it may be worth your while to keep a record of maintenance that has been done over the years as well as take preventative measures to avoid water damage. Although we hope you are never faced with this kind of situation, we are here to help if you are. For any water damage restoration and cleanup give SERVPRO a call because not only are we faster to any disaster, but we can also work with your insurance company for a stress-free claims experience!

Storm Damage Prevention Tips in Canton

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Although disaster sometimes cannot be foreseen, the damage can be somewhat prevented. There are steps that any homeowner or business owner can take in order to stay prepared and ready if a storm should strike your neighborhood. The preventative measures one can take range from minor improvements to structural upgrades. And no matter the task (big or small) you will be happy that you made the effort if a storm should strike. So, what are some of the best practices when it comes to storm proofing your home?

-       Prevent water damage and leakage – Make sure that windows and doors do not have any cracks or exposed areas. Water seeping in can cause damage not only to the structure that it is penetrating, but also the interior of your home. Avoid water damage and mold by using proper materials to seal up and openings. 

-       Maintain your surroundings – Take care of trees and gutters around your home. When you make sure to get rid of any dead or hazardous branches, that is one less threat of structural damage. Additionally, make sure to clear out your gutters to avoid water buildup.

-       Upgrade – Although upgrades may cost a little more time and money, they may be a stress saver later on down the road. Whether it is your roof, siding or even windows, updated materials will better withstand harsh weather. 

-       Cross your Ts and dot your Is – Make sure to check all of the areas around and inside of your home, including the chimney, basement and attic. It may be as simple as cleaning out your chimney of old debris or patching a hole in the ceiling. 

-       Button up – If there is a storm on the way make sure to secure all windows and doors and remove any clutter from your yard or driveway. This will help to protect you inside and the outside of your home. Your neighbors may even thank you for not adding to their home damage with the trash cans or bicycles that were left out for the strong winds to carry.

-       Have backup – investing in backup power for your home could be a lifesaver if a storm should hit. Not only can it help to protect your electronics, perishables and pipes (if it is cold out), but you will also be grateful for light and electricity if things get really bad. 

Although some of these measures may seem like a chore, they can help to save and protect you, your home and your loved ones. Storm proofing is one more investment to make when it comes to safety and security in your life. In addition to these steps, it is a good idea to have a solid plan that everyone is aware of, as well as backup supplies like food, water, and first aid. If disaster should strike, you’ll be glad you took the time.

Let SERVPRO Be Your Trusted Building Maintenance Partner

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

As a business owner or property manager, your plate is full enough. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to complete your top-priority tasks and clean your facility. Or maybe you have a cleaning crew, but you’re not satisfied with their work. 

As America’s #1 cleanup and restoration brand, we provide professional cleaning to commercial offices and industrial facilities.

Since COVID-19, cleanliness has become a top priority for everyone. Business owners know their customers expect the highest level of cleanliness for their safety. So if a workplace is dirty, has odors, unwanted moisture, or shows signs of normal wear and tear, customers and employees may feel unsafe. We’re here to help you keep your space looking and smelling new. 

If you want to raise the standards of clean, we offer Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. This program targets viral pathogens to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This service is geared to the unique needs of each space and includes a professional deep cleaning using our EPA-approved, hospital-grade cleaning agent. 

When your customers and employees see the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your business’s window, they’ll feel safe and welcomed. 

Your local SERVPRO franchise wants to take building maintenance off your plate and give you the best professionally cleaned workspace they can. That way you can focus on the things only you can do.