Recent Posts

Are Your Employees Prepared for a Workplace Medical Emergency?

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

What would you do if an employee had a medical emergency on the job? The American Heart Association (AHA) says most employees aren't prepared to handle life-threatening health issues—like sudden cardiac arrest—in the workplace. That's why the AHA just launched a workplace safety training initiative focused on first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use.

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart, which can return the heart to a normal rhythm after a sudden cardiac arrest.

Jim Holland, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Kansas City, Mo., knows how important it is to train staff on first aid, CPR and AED use.

In January 2015, Holland's wife, Nancy, went into sudden cardiac arrest while they were at a restaurant having dinner with friends.

The restaurant's manager, Richmond Carson, had learned CPR because his mother is a nurse and she suggested that it would be an important skill for him to have while working in a public-facing position.

Carson administered CPR to Nancy until the first emergency responder arrived with an AED.

The restaurant didn't have an AED on hand, but the first responder was a police officer who carried one in the car, Holland told SHRM Online.

The combination of CPR and AED use saved Nancy's life. Although there was initially some uncertainty about whether she would suffer permanent brain damage after the incident, she did not. Holland joked that when Nancy recovered, the only thing she had forgotten was her cellphone passcode.

Holland said that although the 911 responders arrived very quickly, if Carson hadn't known CPR, chances are that Nancy wouldn't have survived. Likewise, the availability and quick use of the AED were critical.

Creating Awareness

More than 90 percent of employees who participated in two 2017 AHA surveys said they would take employer-sponsored first aid and CPR training courses—but many employers don't provide such training, according to the surveys.

Employees may have a false sense of security that someone else in the organization will know what to do and is qualified to respond to an emergency situation, said Michael Kurz, a physician scientist at the Alabama Resuscitation Center and a professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

It is disheartening that lifesaving training is often only offered after a serious incident that demonstrated a need for it, said Peter Fromm, a registered nurse and administrator at the South Nassau Communities Hospital Center for Cardiovascular Health in Oceanside, N.Y.

"All businesses should be committed to proactively fostering a safe workplace environment, one that empowers people to take on a small social responsibility that can have a large community impact," he said.

Reasons to Consider Providing Training

For many industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends CPR and AED training as a best practice but doesn't require it, although some businesses that expose workers to specific safety hazards are required to offer such training.

[SHRM members-only how-to guide: How to Determine Regulatory Requirements for Safety]

Even if not required, the AHA says, employers should offer first aid, CPR and AED training because it can save lives. An employee only has a 5 percent to 7 percent chance of surviving cardiac arrest while waiting for the arrival of emergency medical services. Employees who receive immediate defibrillation, however, have up to a 60 percent survival rate one year after cardiac arrest, the organization says.

Therefore, it is important to inform workers about the location of these devices in the workplace and to train employees on how to use them.

After the 2015 incident, Holland and his wife decided to focus on creating awareness about CPR and AED training.

Holland wondered what would happen if someone suffered sudden cardiac arrest in a Fisher Phillips office or at a client's worksite. He wanted to make sure his co-workers and clients were prepared.

He started the "Richmond initiative"—named after the restaurant manager who saved Nancy's life—through which Fisher Phillips purchased AEDs for its 32 offices.

Holland noted that some offices, depending on their size and layout, should have two AEDs so that one is always within reach during an emergency.

He said everyone in the office should know where the nearest AED is located.

It should be in a conspicuous place, like hanging on a wall, rather than in an HR manager's office drawer, he added. That way, anyone can access it.

The law firm also offered CPR training to all of its employees. "You can have someone come into the office to do CPR and AED training so that if something comes up, you're prepared for it," Holland said.

He recommends training everyone in the office on CPR. If that's not possible, "it's a good idea to notify workers about who is CPR-certified," he said. But even people who are not CPR-certified can at least start pounding on someone's chest in an emergency, he added, noting that hands-only CPR is now taught, which is administered by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, rather than also giving mouth-to-mouth breaths.

People might be afraid of hurting someone and facing legal liability, but most states have good Samaritan laws that will protect them when assisting someone in an emergency.

"Had Richmond not seen the value in being trained, I might not have survived," Nancy said in a press statement. "I can't stress enough how important and empowering these trainings and the availability of AEDs are for people."

* Courtesy of https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/Pages/Workplace-Medical-Emergency.aspx

Preparing Your Business for A Storm

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

A Severe Weather Plan can help you prepare for an approaching hurricane or another severe weather event. Make sure everyone in your business, especially your leadership team, understands the Severe Weather Plan. Each year, review the plan and update it as necessary.

Take the necessary precautions

If a storm threatens, secure your building and move equipment/furniture to a secured area.

Protect data with backup files

If your business depends on data processing, consider an alternate site. You should also make provisions for alternate communications and power.

Employee safety comes first. Prepare, distribute and follow your business hurricane plan for recovery.

Consider providing shelter to employees and their families and helping with supplies after a storm.

Establish a rendezvous point and time for employees in case communications are disrupted.

Establish a call-down procedure for warning and post-storm communications.

Provide photo IDs and a letter of authorization to enter the building.

Check your hurricane evacuation level and FEMA flood maps to determine if your business location is vulnerable to storm surge or freshwater flooding.

Have your building(s) inspected by a licensed professional to find out if your workplace is vulnerable to hurricane force winds and what is recommended to retrofit.

* Courtesy of https://www.georgiapower.com/company/safety/outages-and-stormcenter/prepare-before-storm.html

Do I need flood insurance for my home?

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Standard homeowners and renter’s insurance does not cover flood damage. To protect your home, be sure to understand the risk of flooding and what your insurance options are. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But flooding can also occur in inland areas and away from major rivers. Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners, but a special policy is required as flood insurance—like earthquake insurance—is not part of standard homeowners coverage. Flood policies are provided by the federal government and some private insurers. The federal government provides flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While they are underwritten by the government, NFIP policies are generally sold through private insurance agents. In some areas, primary flood insurance may be available through private insurers.  However, the NFIP provides only actual cash value coverage for your possessions. That means you'll get the current value of your possessions, which may be considerably less than the cost you'll incur to replace them, especially if they are older and have depreciated in value.

* Courtesy of https://www.iii.org/article/do-i-need-flood-insurance-for-my-home

STAY SAFE FROM SUMMER STORMS

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

While the spring season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th. While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to help ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). Contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.

BEFORE THE STORM

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

DURING THE STORM

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

AFTER THE STORM

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediate

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 7

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

You probably have a smoke alarm in your home. After all, new homes come with them already installed and many communities have laws that require them to be installed.

What about a carbon monoxide detector? Do you have any installed in your home? Do you need one?

The importance of having a carbon monoxide detector is often underestimated or simply forgotten by many parents. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide sources, such as furnaces, generators, and gas heaters, are common in homes and can put your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

In fact, the CDC reports that over 15,000 people each year are treated in emergency rooms for non-fire related carbon monoxide exposures. And an average of about 500 people die each year from non-fire related carbon monoxide exposures.

The CDC also reports that common sources of carbon monoxide exposure include:

  • Oil and gas furnaces
  • Motor vehicles
  • Stove/Gas range
  • Gas line leaks
  • Gas water heaters
  • Generators
  • Space heaters

So you should definitely have a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you have any appliances that are not electric and that burn natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood, coal, or other fuels, or if you have a home with an attached garage.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

These guidelines from the CDC can help you avoid exposing your family to carbon monoxide:

  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • If your CO detector sounds, evacuate your home immediately and telephone 911.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
  • Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
  • Do not run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
  • Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
  • Do not heat your house with a gas oven.

Symptoms of CO Exposure

Depending on the degree of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Chest tightness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision

Remember that carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so without a CO detector, it can build up in your home without your knowledge.

*Courtesy of https://www.verywellfamily.com/carbon-monoxide-detectors-2634187

Hurricane Safety

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane season began June 1, 2019 and will run through November 30. As hurricanes become more prevalent in surrounding areas of Georgia, so does the economic impact on its communities. Prepare for intense weather condition now with these safety tips.

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.

* Courtesy of http://team.georgia.gov/georgia-news/hurricane-season-safety-and-preparedness/

Do You Have Dirty Ducts?

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties' service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties today. 

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.

Ask SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest or other potential obstacles.

For more information on proper cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO® of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties at (706) 278-7378. 

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

Your Belongings and Water Damage

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, 
Call Us Today – (706) 278-7378

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product. 

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out will provide several benefits, including the following:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. We start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO of Gordon, Murray, & South Whitfield Counties can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a water emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most

*www.SERVPROgordonmurraysouthwhitfieldcounties.com/water-cleanup