Is Your Business Required to Have Fire Insurance?
If you have a business, you probably need fire insurance.
Fires are one of the most common and costly disasters in Smith Village, OK. Nationally, there were around 500,000 structure fires in 2017 alone, with almost 30% of them being commercial, industrial or public use properties. Fire insurance covers most of these claims.
But is it required? Does it make good economic sense, or are the premiums too expensive to justify it? Don’t premiums keep rising?
The short answer is that you should always have fire coverage. However, it may not always be required.
What Does Fire Insurance Cover?
Virtually all commercial insurance policies will cover fire damage. It’s such a common cause of disaster that a lack of coverage would probably require a special policy. The standard coverage for fires is comprehensive, including:
- Fire cleanup
- Water cleanup
- Smoke cleanup
For business insurance, most insurance companies will recommend a Preferred Vendor that has been vetted and has a proven history of quality and reasonable price. Generally, the full cost of the fire restoration will be covered if you use locally-recognized cleanup and mitigation experts. Cleanup includes repairing the water damage from fire suppression efforts.
What Isn’t Covered?
Small fires that don’t produce a lot of smoke or require water suppression may not produce enough damage to exceed your deductible. You should ask your restoration specialist if it’s going to require a claim. Some cases of arson will also not be covered if you’re involved in any way.
When Is It Required?
If you have a loan or investors, they’ll probably expect you to maintain standard commercial insurance, including fire coverage. Also, if you’re renting your commercial building, the owner is likely to require you to maintain full coverage.
Should You Have It if It Isn’t Required?
Some areas, such as very rural locations, may have such limited resources to fight a fire that insurance rates may not justify the premiums. However, rates for fire coverage in Smith Village, OK, are very reasonable. It makes sound financial sense to carry a commercial insurance policy.
If you have a business, you probably need fire insurance. It’s a pretty big gamble to go without it, and your investors will certainly require it.
The Standard Steps in a Fire Restoration
Fire damage in Oklahoma City, OK.
Roughly, 350,000 home fires occur every year in the U.S. These are frightening events that cause serious injuries and millions of dollars of property damage. They happen quickly and can spin out of control in a matter of minutes. The first step is to get everyone out of the home and to call 911. The fire crew will arrive and put out the fire and then depart the scene when the job is completed. The next step is fire restoration. This is a difficult, technical job and should be trusted by a qualified fire remediation company in Oklahoma City, OK. Though each fire is unique, restoration technicians follow a proven process that maximizes safety and efficiency.
The Essential Steps
After being contacted, a crew of highly-trained technicians is dispatched to the home. They begin with an inspection and damage assessment of the property and use this information to develop a plan of action. If necessary, they will board up the home or put a tarp over it to keep the away secure and avoid further damage. The next steps are as follows:
- Water removal and drying, if needed
- Removal of smoke damage from all surfaces
- Removal of soot damage
- Cleaning and repair
The final stages of the fire restoration include drywall repair, painting and laying down new carpeting. After major fires, major reconstruction is sometimes needed.
The Important Tools and Techniques
A professional crew uses advanced equipment to remove water, dry out wet areas, remove smoke and soot damage and facilitate damage cleaning. Air filtration devices, ozone machines and thermal foggers are sometimes necessary to rid a home of persistent smoke odors. Industry-recommended cleaning agents are employed to clean all surfaces impacted by the fire. Technicians also employ a variety of cleaning techniques for personal belongings, fabrics and other materials. The fire restoration process is complete when the home is restored to its original condition.
Flood Water Prevention Methods
Sandbags can keep floodwaters from getting inside your building.
Flood Water Prevention Methods
Engineers take considerable leaps to stop high water from flooding city streets and neighborhoods. As a business owner, you should take note of what measures Valley Brook, OK, has in the event of a natural disaster or flood.
These are some of the common methods:
Levees are concrete or sand embankments to prevent water overflow.
Dams block water completely, only allowing an area to flood when necessary.
Locks allow ships to move through higher water areas to lower areas.
Dikes are long walls or ditches that prevent the sea from crossing into cities.
Gates can block water when necessary but open and close to permit traffic and water flow.
Unfortunately, none of these methods are perfect. During storm season, don't let your business be caught unawares by high water. You should be ready to reach out to a water damage remediation company as well as familiarize yourself with how your city protects itself.
Some cities have devised unique ways to keep floodwaters from entering business and agricultural districts.
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is designed to open and close completely. When it is open, the water flows freely. As the water rises, the walls close to stop flooding and fill the adjoining pools with excess water. When the flooding recedes, the barriers open again, returning the channel to normal flow.
The barriers on the River Eden in England are a newer solution for flood prevention. They replace traditional sandbags with hydraulic barriers that can be raised or lowered when necessary. The barriers are now computer-controlled to prevent them from accidentally lowering.
Barriers To Protect Your Business
Along with understanding what your city does to protect against a flood, you should also be prepared to protect your business yourself. A dam can be built from sandbags to block water. Retention ponds, like small versions of the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier's retention pools, and french drains help control pooling water.
When a storm is coming, there are many things you can do to help safeguard your business from high water conditions.
5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage While You're Away From Home
Insulate pipes in cold weather.
Preventing Water Damage In Your Home
Going on a trip can be fun, but worrying about your home in Smith Village, OK, can make your vacation less enjoyable. Luckily, there are some things you can do to increase your peace of mind while you’re away. From trusted friends to water pipe repair, the following are some ways you can reduce the chances of coming home to a damaged house.
1. Have a Housesitter
One solution is to have someone you trust to stay in your house while you’re gone. If this isn’t an option, you could also ask someone to check in regularly to make sure there are no issues.
2. Remove Debris From Gutters and Spouts
Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to build up, resulting in a leaky roof. To prevent this from happening, make sure to remove any leaves or other debris from the drains before you leave.
3. Insulate Pipes in Cold Weather
If you are planning a vacation during the winter, any exposed pipes should be insulated. If they get too cold, you could end up with a broken pipe. Keeping them warm will reduce the chances of this and any resulting flooding.
4. Make Repairs Before Leaving
If your house is already damaged, then it is more vulnerable to water damage as well. Inspect the building and have any necessary repairs done before you leave. Water pipe repairs can prevent pipes from breaking during your vacation. A cleanup and restoration service can help with this.
5. Turn Off the Water
If the other options aren't enough, you can simply turn the water to the building off. This won’t prevent a flooded building caused by bad weather, but it can keep damaged pipes or appliances from becoming a problem.
Taking the right precautions can help ensure you don’t return to a stressful situation after your relaxing vacation. Whether it’s making water pipe repairs, cleaning gutters or just turning off your water, these small steps can prevent serious water damage when you’re away from home.
Protecting Your Commercial Building From Water Damage
If a pipe break occurs in your building you should contact a water remediation company such as SERVPRO.
Use The Following Three Methods
When leaks and pipe breaks occur, commercial property owners in Valley Brook, OK, face several serious concerns. Water saturation in walls and flooring leads to mold and mildew. Water in home appliances ruins the devices, leading to expensive repairs and replacements. The rooms develop an unpleasant, stale odor. These hazards shut down down the impacted area. It could even half operations. To safeguard the facility and maintain workflow, proprietors should make every effort to prevent water damage. The following are three effective methods to use.
1. Install Sensors
Early detection of pipe cleanup permits owners to catch water exposure before it becomes a massive flood. Have specialists install them near any significant water source such as washing machines or water heaters. If the area becomes damp, an alarm goes off.
2. Keep an Eye on Machines
Your office space probably contains a staff room stocked with a refrigerator, sink and dishwasher. While convenient for employees, this location should be a watch zone for owners. Monthly, look around to ensure the buildup of water in home appliances isn't happening. Look behind the machinery. Open up the cabinet doors. It's easy for a hose to become loose or develop a hole, leading to lingering puddles that ruin the foundation, cabinets and drywall.
3. Analyze Your Water Bill
Complications may develop in places that are not visible, such as within walls or the irrigation line. To locate this before a broken pipe occurs, owners should scrutinize their monthly water bill. When discrepancies appear, contact a water remediation company such as SERVPRO. The professionals can perform leak detection tests, identifying the primary source, fix it and tackle any secondary damage.
When commercial owners see water in home appliances, immediate attention should be given to clean up the mess. Work with one company to handle the job, securing the area and sanitizing it quickly and efficiently. Swift action allows for the doors to reopen and projects to resume.
3 Reasons To Invest in Business Insurance
Having an insurance policy is an owner's lifeline.
3 Reasons To Invest in Business Insurance
If your commercial property in Oklahoma City, OK, has suffered water damage, contact insurance immediately seeking aid. Most insurance policies cover some water intrusion, such as busted pipes. Your agent can collaborate with a water restoration company to ensure that the building receives appropriate cleanup and provide financial help.
1. Minimize Your Out-of-Pocket Costs
Repair bills for broken pipes can be quite large. The lines themselves must be mended; then, the property must be dried, cleaned and restored. This process is timely and could require revamping much of the space, costing well within the thousands. Many owners do not have that money saved, and a bank loan means facing undesirable interest. With an insurance policy, owners pay a deducible. The agency handles the rest of the funds, at least up to the coverage amount.
2. Receive Thorough Professional Restoration Services
The insurer may not love writing over a large check, but the agency certainly needs to protect the asset and avoid future claims. Before financial assistance is granted, the agency insists on their adjuster seeing the building, determining what should be done. They also monitor the completion request to ensure that everything you need is covered. It's an extra set of eyes to safeguard you and your establishment.
3. Cover Property Loss and Damage
During a water cleanup, the crew may extract drywall and carpeting since there are difficult to sanitize thoroughly. Also, the team looks over any other drenched valuables, considering whether they are salvageable or not. While their content cleaning employees may be able to treat electronics and important documents, much of the saturated items are likely tossed. Insurance policies cover the restoration of the structure and the replacement of lost belongings, saving you the hassle of paying for them yourself.
Water damage remediation adds up quickly. Having an insurance policy is an owner's lifeline, offering the reassurance that the premises receive proper care at an affordable rate. The monthly investment pays off when calamity strikes.
4 Tips To Avoid Mold in Your Restaurant
It's important to keep your humidity levels in check.
The Following Tips Can Help You Avoid Mold Growth In Your Restaurant
Running a restaurant is ultimately all about the customer experience. Mold growth in your kitchen is one of the last things you’d want your customers to associate with your restaurant, yet it’s a surprisingly common issue in the restaurant industry. Follow these tips to avoid a mold outbreak in your Smith Village, OK, restaurant.
1. Be Aware of Mold-Prone Areas
It’s no secret that mold needs moisture to grow and multiply, and you probably already know that moisture-prone spaces attract mold spores. A restaurant kitchen is, in general, an environment with notoriously high humidity levels. However, some areas of your kitchen are likely more attractive to mold than others. Areas to watch closely include any place that tends to be dark, warm, and prone to condensation buildup, such as behind refrigerators and coolers and under sinks.
2. Take Care of Your Ventilation System
A functioning, properly maintained ventilation system is critical to preventing mold growth in a restaurant kitchen. Your ventilation system circulates air through your kitchen and is your primary means to minimize moisture in the air and decrease humidity levels. Your ventilation system is also responsible for either introducing or preventing dust, dirt, and contaminants, which can encourage mold, from entering your kitchen. Be sure to keep up a regular maintenance schedule.
3. Monitor Humidity Levels
High humidity is a key factor in mold production, so it’s important to keep your humidity levels in check. Hygrometers, which measure humidity, are inexpensive and widely available. Aim for a reading of 30-50%.
4. Keep It Clean
Keeping your restaurant kitchen as clean as possible is the best way to prevent a mold outbreak. Clean high-traffic and high-moisture areas regularly, and don’t forget corners and hidden spaces where mold flourishes. Keep an eye out for any signs of water damage. If you suspect damage, be sure that professional restoration efforts begin as soon as possible before mold begins to colonize.
No one likes to picture mold when they think about their favorite restaurant. These tips can help you avoid mold growth in your restaurant kitchen.
4 Tips for Water Damage Cleanup
A broken pipe can cause a lot of damage to your home in Valley Brook, OK
Tips That Can Help You With Water-Related Disaster
Every homeowner deals with a broken pipe at some point. Tucked away behind a wall, plumbing issues can cause a lot of damage but knowing these tips will help you with a water-related disaster.
1. Keep Safety in Mind
Even a small amount of flooding comes with risks. You could be dealing with contaminated water, or your electrical system may have been compromised. If the source is sewage-related, use proper protection if you must come in contact with the water. To prevent electrocution, disconnect the electricity in your home. Once the electricity is safe to turn on, avoid plugging in any electronics that were affected. Testing should be left to a qualified expert.
2. Stop the Water
Look for the source of the flooding and shut off the closest water valve. If you cannot safely reach that switch, or you cannot locate it, turn off the main valve to your home. Stopping water flow will lessen the amount of water damage.
3. Document for Insurance
While not all incidents are covered by home insurance, a sudden flood from a broken pipe most likely will be. Make the claim process easier by taking high-definition photographs and detailed notes of the damage. This includes structural damage and damage to any belongings. You should also keep track of expenses that are a result of water in the home.
4. Ask for Help
It might seem like a do-it-yourself job, but you should get a second opinion on proper cleanup. Ask a local water damage and restoration company in Valley Brook, OK, to perform an assessment. The inspection will reveal every issue, not just the easily seen ones. If extensive damage is discovered, the company can help you create a plan and execute restoration in a timely manner to get your home back to normal.
A broken pipe can cause a lot of damage but being prepared is the best tip for dealing with it.
How Fire Loss Is Calculated
Commercial fire damage in Smith Village, OK
After a commercial fire, you will probably hear something about your fire loss or your losses directly related to the disaster. Here are some key points that can help you understand what this is and how it is calculated.
The Purpose of It
One of the main reasons fire loss is calculated is that it helps understand how severe the disaster was. Knowing how much loss an area sees will give communities an idea of whether they need to increase the amount of fire protection or not.
A fire loss estimate is also good for identifying situations with high monetary losses. The fire department officials can look at the losses and determine which situations could have benefited from more force and which could have used less. This helps fire departments establish what equipment and practices they will need to use in different situations.
What Is in the Calculation
Here is a rough outline of what is included in the calculation:
- Calculate the total monetary loss due to fire damage to structures
- Add contents directly damaged by the fire, smoke, or extinguishers
- The fire loss total will not include indirect costs, such as business interruption or fees for a remediation company
Documenting Fire Loss
To document fire loss, an official will estimate the total pre-incident value of your structure and contents. Then, they will document the monetary losses you incurred due to the fire. They will generally round numbers since this is a rough calculation. However, after the initial report is submitted, it can be edited if more accurate details are uncovered. Damage to adjacent properties will also be included in the report because it is based on the incident, not the property.
Getting an estimate for how much loss you incurred due to fire and smoke damage in Smith Village, OK, is something that the fire department will use to improve its operations. It will generally include the total direct monetary loss incurred on all properties involved.
3 Things You Should Not Do After a Flood
Home flooded in Oklahoma City, OK
3 Things You Should Not Do After a Flood
When dealing with floodwater, many homeowners are tempted to put themselves or their families at risk in an effort to save their home or their possessions. This is usually not a good idea. These are three things you should not do after a flood.
1. Don't Stay in Your Home
There is not much you can do to prevent damage by staying in a flooded home. If you have time, you can place sandbags, move possessions to higher ground, board up windows and take other precautions, but once flooding is imminent, it is best to evacuate to a shelter. Attempting to remain in your home puts you at risk of drowning, electrocution, and contact with contaminants in the water. It also puts the emergency workers who will have to assist you if you get in trouble at risk.
2. Don't Rely on Do-It-Yourself Solutions
You may be able to repair the water damage from a minor flood yourself, but when major flooding occurs, by the time it is safe to re-enter buildings, the damage is usually too severe for most do-it-yourself attempts to be successful. Have a plan in place to deal with the floodwater. Contact your insurance company. Have the names and contact information of several contractors and flood mitigation services in Oklahoma City, OK, on hand. Don't count on being able to obtain equipment, such as generators, protective gear, and pumps, that you would need to attempt to dry out your property yourself.
3. Don't Walk or Drive Through Standing Water
Downed power lines can electrify standing water, posing an electrocution risk. As little as six inches of water can damage your car and cause traction issues, increasing the risk of accidents and drowning.
Flood water poses significant risks to homeowners attempting to salvage their property after a flood. In most cases, it is best to let your insurance company and restoration professionals take the lead and avoid putting yourself at risk.