SERVPRO Holiday Safety Tips For Commercial Properties
The holiday season is here, bringing festive parties, cold winter weather, and plenty of other workplace hazards. SERVPRO is here to help keep your property and workers safe, happy, and healthy during the holidays with some practical disaster prevention tips.
1 Decorate with care
Holiday decorations can keep the workplace mood cheery and festive. Keep high-traffic areas clear of decorations to avoid any mishaps. The best places to decorate are reception areas, lobbies, break rooms, and foyers.
Be mindful of the weather as you hang decorations. Strong wind and heavy snow or ice can cause damage to your decorations, buildings, trees, and other property if you aren’t careful.
After you hang all your decorations with care, walk about your property as if you are a customer, employee, or visitor. Can you see all the appropriate entrance and exit signs? Is everything easily accessible? Are there any tripping hazards? Are there any potentially dangerous decorations within reach of young children? Check to be sure all the fire extinguishers, strobe alarms, and other safety apparatus are visible and unobstructed.
2 Keep decorations aglow and avoid fire hazards
Make sure you select noncombustible or flame-resistant decorations. Unfortunately, many decorations are flammable. Keep them away from heat registers, radiators, stoves, and other heat sources.
Avoid using candles and other open-flame decorations around commercial buildings. It’s easy to knock them over or forget about them when everyone goes home at the end of the day.
If you decide to hang exterior lights, make sure you choose lights that are suitable for outdoor use. Fasten them to the building, walls, trees, and other places with appropriate light clips instead of tacks, staples, nails, or other things that might puncture the electrical cord.
Avoid linking more than three strands of lights together and use as few extension cords as possible. This reduces the risk of electrical fire and avoids overloading extension cords and electrical outlets.
It’s best to turn off all holiday decorations when the building is closed. This significantly reduces the risk of electrical fires and other mishaps.
3 Be prepared for a “white Christmas” with snow and ice removal
Do you have plans or the right equipment to handle any snow or ice that might come your way? It’s best to have a plan before the first snow or ice storm of the season.
Walkways, parking lots, and other areas can become slippery very quickly when rain or snow freezes. Improper snow and ice removal can also block access to fire hydrants, handicap parking, loading docks, and other critical areas.
It’s easy to forget to stock up on snowmelt, deicer, and other supplies to deal with winter weather. Make sure everyone stays safe this holiday season by preparing for whatever winter throws at you.
4 Keep your building toasty warm and dry
During the cold winter months, your HVAC system is working overtime to keep the people in your commercial property toasty warm. Don’t forget to schedule a full HVAC inspection to make sure everything is running efficiently. Reduce the stress on your HVAC system by turning off cooling systems that aren’t necessary.
Have the roof, weather stripping, and insulation inspected before winter weather sets in. The temperature changes and precipitation during the winter months can be hard on any roof. Repairing holes, leaks, or damage prevents energy loss and helps your HVAC system run more efficiently. It can also help prevent frozen pipes and damage from water leaks.
5 Avoid a frozen pipes incident
Frozen might be an adorable kids movie, but it’s best to avoid any workplace reenactments. Even a cold draft can cause a pipe to freeze, especially in older, poorly insulated buildings. This is particularly dangerous during the holidays when business hours might be shorter, and fewer people are around your property to find leaks before they cause significant damage.
When pipes freeze, the water expands. The pressure can cause the pipe to crack. Not only will this disrupt the water supply to the entire building, but it can also cause significant water damage and even flooding. The water leak can lead to mold and mildew damage.
Winterize your property before winter settles in. Make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated to prevent them from freezing and bursting (especially pipes that run along exterior walls). Make sure all shutoff valves and levers are in good condition. Run water at a slow drip to prevent pipes from bursting if they do freeze, especially if your building will be unoccupied for any length of time.
SERVPRO technicians are standing by throughout the holiday season to respond to any disaster. Whether the holiday potluck ends with a kitchen fire or a frozen pipe spills water, we will help you recover and return to normal quickly. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial restoration services.