How Do I File a Claim After a Fire?
Commercial recovery from fire and smoke damage is time-consuming and involves a lot of stress. Call SERVPRO for help!
After A Fire, How Can I File A Claim?
A fire at your business can not only seriously damage your property but completely shut down your business operations. Filing a fire claim is an essential first step to getting your business operating normally again.
Review Your Policy
Start by reviewing your policy. Pay particular attention to the details:
- Steps you need to take
- Limits of your policy
- Deductibles and co-insurance
Most insurance policies require you to follow a particular procedure to report your claim, make temporary repairs and gather documentation. Your policy should clearly state the limits of the coverage for fire damage and other losses, such as business interruption. Finally, most policies have deductibles and co-insurance amounts that you must pay before your insurance pays anything.
Gather Information To File Your Fire Claim
When you call the insurance company, you will be asked to provide information, such as the date the fire happened, where the fire happened, whether anyone was hurt and anything you know about why the fire started. Have this information, along with your policy number, ready when you call.
Ask About Immediate Assistance
Fire restoration may take a long time to complete. When you call your insurance company, ask about immediate assistance, such as money to lease a facility you can use to run your business operations while your building is being repaired or to hire a fire remediation company in Metro Park, OK, to begin cleaning up the damage.
Document Your Loss
Take photos of your damaged property. Make an inventory of damaged contents. If you have any documentation, such as invoices, that prove the value of your damaged or destroyed property, gather them together. You can get some estimates for the repairs, but your insurance company will probably send out an adjuster to do an estimate before it will approve any amounts. The process of filing a fire claim is fairly straightforward. However, knowing what to expect can help you avoid frustration along the way.
Key Features of Commercial Fire Protection Coverage
After a fire, your company will need an experienced fire mitigation team. SERVPRO can help you, call us!
Commercial Fire Protection Coverage Highlights
The business you own or run in Downtown Oklahoma City, OK, could be a fragile enterprise without a solid fire insurance policy. In less than 24 hours, a fire could destroy a facility or cause thousands if not millions of dollars of damage. This makes getting a strong policy a necessity. While getting a fair deal is important, the real value of insurance is what it will do for your company after a disaster. A few features are essential for excellent coverage.
Insure the Full Value of Your Property
Underinsuring company holdings and property could save you a few dollars every year on premiums, but it could cost you a lot if a major fire strikes. Even in the case of a partial loss fire, you could see a reduction in the amount the insurance company pays out for fire restoration. The insurance provider will calculate the payment of a claim based on a formula that considers the percentage of underinsurance. To avoid this situation, take these steps:
- Insure for the full value of your property
- Use the services of a professional appraiser
- Do not take a shortcut in determining the worth of your building
Good commercial insurance is there in case you need it. Skimping on coverages can put your company's future at risk.
Get Fire Insurance That Lets Your Company Rebuild
After a fire, your company will need to rebuild. Only an experienced fire mitigation team has the tools, training and resources needed to return your building to its pre-fire condition. Certified technicians know how to perform a successful smoke cleanup and to make sure water damage does not lead to mold growth.
Inadequate fire insurance could mean that your company will not have the money to rebuild after a fire. A strong policy is a necessity for just about every business.
A 24 Hour Remediation Response Can Save Your Business After a Disaster
SERVPRO is an emergency response team, which is always open and ready to help you, call us!
After A Disaster, A 24-hour Remediation Response Can Save Your Business.
Disasters aren't usually planned. However, your business can plan for the aftermath. Water damage from disasters quickly invades buildings, making it crucial to receive a 24 hour emergency response. SERVPRO is an emergency response team in Oklahoma City, OK that is always open. A fast response is of utmost importance when contacting remediation experts.
What Can Be Damaged in Any Size Disaster
Your commercial business just underwent a fire or flood within the last 24 hour period. Even if the event wasn't large or didn't cause any visible damage, it's still best to bring a remediation team on site as soon as possible. Water damage is deceptively invasive, seeping into all of your important documents, products, and building structure. The longer you wait, the more irreversible destruction will occur, including, but not limited to:
- Stains on walls, floors, carpets, furniture, and upholstery
- Damage to important documents, photographs, or other paper goods
- Compromised drywall integrity
- Discoloration of any metal surfaces
- Musty smells emanating from your commercial space
All of the aforementioned happens within a day, and all of these unsightly issues are bad for business and your pocketbook. This doesn't even include the damage that can occur after the 48 hour mark!
Have a Plan for the Aftermath
In order to have a fast response, you need to have a reputable company in mind to come in and clean up. This company also needs to be a preferred vendor with your insurance company. Choosing a preferred emergency response team like SERVPRO ensures that you will be covered in the event you need disaster clean up. The worst thing you can do is hire a restoration team only to find out later that you will be paying out of pocket.
SERVPRO is not only preferred by most insurance agencies, but they operate on a 24 hour cycle, any day of the year. They respond to requests with a call within one hour, are on site in four hours, and provide a verbal briefing within eight hours. This fast response time can mitigate any long-term damages that would occur if you hadn't planned ahead to save your business.
Practice Safety If You Smell Natural Gas
A gas fire is a terrifying occurrence, but its consequences can be mitigated by taking the proper precautions.
If You Smell Natural Gas, Exercise Caution.
The qualities that make gas such a valuable commodity in your home, also make it something of a risk. For example, it easily ignites into flames, making it suitable for cooking and heating. This also makes it easy to cause a gas fire in your home.
The substance is colorless and odorless, making identifying a gas leak in your home in Brook, OK, a little bit of a challenge. However, the natural gas in your home has been laced with the chemical mercaptan that carries a smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. Any time you detect this smell in your home, it is time to take quick action.
Steps To Take During a Gas Leak
To avoid a gas fire in your home, there are things you should and should not do if you smell gas. First, let everyone in the house know of the danger, and make sure all children go outside as soon as possible. Then do the following:
- Quickly check the stove burners
- Open all windows
- Consider turning off the gas
- Call 911
Do not turn lights on and off or ignite a match or lighter, as these actions could cause a gas explosion. Also, do not stay in the house any longer than is necessary to check obvious sources of gas or to increase ventilation.
Steps To Take After a Home Fire
Safety always comes first in a fire, followed by the protection of property. Once the fire crew departs, it is essential to call for professional help to clean up all forms of damage caused by a fire. A quality fire remediation company will arrive within hours after being called and begin the restoration process. Trained technicians will perform the necessary actions to keep your home secure from additional damage while working to restore your home to its original condition.
A gas fire is a frightening event, but its effects can be minimized by smart actions.
What Should a Business Do During a Thunderstorm?
There’s always a risk of lightning during convective storms. However, some really stand out for their cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.
What Should A Company Do If There Is A Thunderstorm?
When a strong thunderstorm strikes Smith Village, OK, there are some immediate steps you should take to protect life and property. A heavy rain storm can cause flash flooding and lightning is extremely dangerous; it can strike from miles away and hit anywhere – even inside.
The statistics for lightning hits in the U.S. are alarming:
- Around 40 fatalities per year.
- At least 9 times as many injuries.
- A high rate of permanent disabilities.
Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to prevent injuries and reduce property damage. In some cases, you may be expected to take reasonable precautions; for instance, if a customer is injured by high winds or other storm damage on your property, you may be liable if you’re shown to be negligent.
When Should You Begin Preparations?
Right now! Make a list of steps to take to mitigate damage to your property. Start by taking care of trees outside; dead branches should be removed and live ones should be trimmed to be at least two feet away from the building.
Now is also a great time to look at your landscaping. During a rain storm, where does the water flow? If the rain is extremely heavy, will it collect in your building? With terracing and drainage planned, you can prevent all but the most extreme storms from flooding your business.
You should also make a READY profile with your local storm damage restoration experts. This will put all the info you need in a secure cloud account so you can access it with a free app.
How About During a Thunderstorm?
There’s always a risk of lightning during convective storms. However, some really stand out for their cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. When you see lots of lightning, you should move employees and customers away from windows and access a weather report either on television, the radio or your smartphone. If severe weather or a tornado is approaching, you need to get everyone to shelter immediately.
If you’re well prepared for a big rain storm, you should have no worries about flooding. Heavy lightning storms and severe weather should be considered an emergency, so being ready to act quickly could save lives.
How To Treat Your Commercial Property's Water Damage
This small business had some water damage in the lobby and offices. Our team of experts at SERVPRO was called to the action!
How To Handle Water Damage In A Commercial Building
When your commercial property in Valley Brook, OK, faces water damage, a swift response is essential to minimize destruction and contamination. Permitted to linger, the moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth as well as structural rot. However, with prompt, proactive approaches, owners may reduce the number of repairs and safeguard the premises from future microbial development. The following are four things that must happen to restore the facility effectively.
1. Contain the Area
The broken pipes sprayed water throughout the facility space, possibly filling the room with bacteria and fungus. Section off the impacted zone, restricting access and minimizing exposure to other rooms. Post signs to keep others out. If someone enters, ensure proper protective gear is worn.
2. Reduce Water Exposure
When water damage lingers, the moisture permeates into porous objects, triggering mold and mildew growth. Focus on reducing dampness to slow the process and safeguard the property. Extract saturated structural materials such as drywall and flooring. Pull out wet fixtures, and throw out soaked valuables.
3. Dry Out Space
A water cleanup company has industrial dehumidifiers that pull humidity from hard-to-reach places, including the air. Several of these devices may be required to obtain the appropriate moisture levels. Expect the process to take several days, and add air movers such as a fan to control the speed.
4. Wash and Spray
Tend to the nonporous items by evaluating them closely. You may treat them with warm soapy water followed by a thorough dry. For additional assurance, apply an antimicrobial spray.
If you have special objects such as electronics, documents and photos, speak with specialists about content cleaning procedures. The experts may have the equipment to salvage those pieces.
When water damage invades your company in Valley Brook, OK, be proactive in your cleanup response. Get a clear overview of the issues, pull out the moisture and sanitize the rooms.
Modern Content Cleaning Methods
Cleaning and restoration methods for various materials differ. Water damaged documents can be dried by freeze drying and heat drying.
Cleaning Techniques For Modern Content
If your Oklahoma City, OK, commercial building suffers storm damage, the restoration process may feel overwhelming. In addition to the structural damage, your business’s contents may be damaged. Fortunately, there are a variety of content cleaning methods available today that can restore your possessions to preloss condition.
Items That May Need Specialized Restoration
Your building contains a wide variety of items, possibly more than you realize. Some of these items, particularly nonporous items such as plastics, may be impervious to water damage. Other items, however, require specialized restoration techniques. The following is a list of common items that generally cannot be restored using simple methods:
Flood water has bacteria and other contaminants. Unfortunately, not all affected items can be properly cleaned. A certified restoration service can let you know what can and cannot be restored using the available cleaning and restoration methods.
Content Cleaning Techniques
Different materials require different cleaning and restoration methods. Water damaged paper documents can be dried through freeze drying, thermal drying and dehumidification. Gamma irradiation is an effective cleaning method for many delicate items that have been contaminated by flood water. Foam cleaning is ideal for many types of upholstery. There are a variety of other cleaning methods, including the following:
- Wet cleaning
- Dry cleaning
- Immersion cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
Professionals can select the best cleaning method for your possessions and ensure your items are fully clean, dry and safe to use. If your business incurred a lot of damage and many items need restoration, a professional team may decide to do a move-out and take the contents to an off-site location for restoration while other team members focus on the structure and building materials.
Water damage can be a major setback for a business. Fortunately, today’s advanced content cleaning methods are capable of restoring many items to preloss condition so that they can be returned to your commercial building.
Fire Alarms: What Kind, and How Many?
When it comes to fire safety, any kind of smoke alarm is better than nothing.
What Types Of Fire Alarms Are There, And How Many Are There?
If a fire breaks out in your Smith Village, OK, time is of the essence. While the damage can be taken care of by a fire damage and restoration specialist, the safety of everyone in the home is the top priority. The best way to ensure everyone’s safety is by installing a smoke alarm. Although it may seem simple, there are different types and different requirements based on the size of a home.
Types of Alarms
When it comes to fire safety, any kind of smoke alarm is better than nothing. To maximize protection, it is important to understand how the different types of common alarms work.
Ionization: This type has metal plates with a constantly running electrical current running. It is triggered if the current experiences disruption. These are ideal for detecting fast-burning fires.
Photoelectric: Instead of an electrical current, these emit a light beam. Once its chamber fills with smoke, it disrupts the beam and is triggered. These work well for smaller fires.
Heat: As the name implies, it monitors increases in air temperature. They are prone to false alarms and may take longer to be triggered.
Ionization/Photoelectric: This type provides the best of both worlds to detect smoke as quickly as possible.
Any of the above can be hardwired or battery-operated. Many are also available as smart devices. They provide the same benefits while also allowing for remote notifications, easier disabling and wireless interconnecting. They do come with a much heftier price tag.
Ensure the Home Has Enough
Once you have decided which type of smoke detector works best for your home, the next step is figuring out how many you need and where to put them. At the minimum, there should be an alarm on every level of the home and inside every sleeping area. They should be installed a minimum of 10 feet away from stoves and ovens and high on a wall or ceiling.
While no one wants to experience a fire, ensuring you are ready is essential. Relying on a smoke alarm is the best way to help make that happen.
5 Steps To Prepare Your Business for the Next Winter Storm
Running a business somewhere with harsh winters comes with unique challenges. Planning ahead can help your business be ready for the next winter storm
5 Steps To Getting Ready For The Next Winter Storm
If you have a business in Oklahoma City, OK, winterizing your commercial property for the colder months ahead should be a top priority once temperatures start to drop. Failing to properly protect your building can have high costs.
A winter storm often brings heavy winds and snowfall that can do significant damage. To reduce the chances that you will need to hire disaster restoration professionals for the next spring thaw, follow these five steps.
1. Assess the Risks
Take a look around the property. Ask yourself: What kinds of risks could happen? For example, consider employee injuries and frozen pipes. Make any repairs that might be susceptible to structural stress or other types of storm damage.
2. Assign Responsibility
Another major part of preparing for a winter storm includes assigning roles and responsibilities to qualified staff and professionals. Figure out who is going to make the parking lot safe when it ices over. Additionally, if repairs are complex, decide which company you will call for assistance.
3. Plan for Each Threat
After identifying the wintertime risks your company might face, work with employees to create an action plan for each threat. If, for example, you have concerns about ice dams forming, create a plan for regularly checking and clearing out gutters.
4. Remember To Be Comprehensive
When you protect your building against storm damage, do not forget to be thorough. There are many potential locations for damage to occur. In addition to the roof, plumbing and HVAC systems should be other top concerns.
5. Prepare Your People
Preparing your property is important, but it is only half of the equation. The other half you have to remember includes the people who run the organization. Before the snow starts coming down, make sure you train everyone on any applicable procedures, and have a way to communicate updates.
Running a business somewhere with harsh winters comes with unique challenges. Planning ahead can make things easier. You can help your company prepare for the next winter storm by following these steps.
2 Ways To Determine If Your Carpet Needs Replacing
When water damages your home, it is crucial to get it dry quickly. When it is left to dry on its own, the possibility of mold growth is much higher.
There Are Two Ways To Tell If Your Carpet Needs To Be Replaced.
While there are a variety of things running through your mind after a pipe break or other situation has occurred in your home in Oklahoma City, OK, dealing with the aftermath means taking quick and decisive action to save your furnishings. After all, restoration should be handled by professionals, and the faster they can stop the spread of damage across your carpet, the better. Here’s how to determine the extent of the problem and whether your flooring is going to need replacing.
1. Consider the amount of time that’s passed.
If the water damage incident occurred within the last 24 hours, it can generally be handled fast enough for your flooring to be saved. A few fans set up around the room and opening the windows can help speed along the drying process until professionals arrive. Furthermore, if the mess was a result of a regular ground pipe break or a broken supply line running to your sink or dishwasher, your home’s rugs or flooring can often be cleaned quickly and efficiently. However, once that time period has passed or the water is deemed to be from a hazardous source, the possibility of restoring your floor becomes less likely.
2. Seek out the source of the water.
A situation involving a clean water source, as described above, can generally be considered a non-hazardous zone when it comes to water damage. However, if a sewage line breaks or the damage was caused by an environmental flood, your carpet has been compromised due to bacteria, viruses, fungi and potential diseases. This result calls for professional help and often means your flooring isn’t going to be salvageable.
Whether you’re dealing with a pipe break or other causes of water damage, it’s always best to call on professionals to help recover your home’s furnishings in Oklahoma City, OK. When you’re looking for clarification regarding the restoration of your flooring, follow these helpful tips to gain a better understanding of the situation and proceed from there.