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How To Protect Your Business From Fire Damage
Provide training on how to use a fire extinguisher to your employees
Fire Disaster Preparations For Your Business
One of your responsibilities as a Dekalb, GA, business owner is to create a fire preparation plan with an emphasis on protecting your employees and inventory as well as the rest of the property. Of course, contacting your insurance provider about risks specific to your business and appropriate coverage should be one of your first steps. What else should you include in your fire disaster preparation efforts?
Identify Fire Threats
It's much easier to prevent fires when you identify the most likely culprits. Begin your search for the most common causes of fire in the business place with these areas:
- Faulty electrical wiring and equipment
- Clutter and dirt, such as an overflowing trash can and grease buildup
- Improperly stored flammable and combustible materials
- Human error, such as disposing of a cigarette inappropriately or blocking ventilation
- Human negligence, such as taking short cuts and misusing equipment
- Arson and vandalism
If you have a kitchen in your workplace, there are additional risks of fire damage. Your fire preparation efforts should consider each of these potential culprits.
Create Prevention Plans
Your next step should include putting together a fire prevention plan that includes gathering fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and other preventative equipment. Your plan should cover the proper storage and disposal of flammable and combustible materials as well as hazardous waste. Schedule proper maintenance of fire protection equipment, in addition to the appliances and equipment you use regularly. A tidy building is less vulnerable because clutter is one of the main causes of commercial fires.
Provide Ongoing Training
With a plan in place to prevent fires, it's time to train employees on the proper procedures for reducing the threat of fire. Include training sessions about how to use a fire extinguisher and how to prevent the spread of flames. The training you provide for your employees can go a long way toward reducing fire damage.
Give an Ounce of Prevention
If your Dekalb, GA, business is exposed to fire damage, cleanup and reconstruction professionals can get you back on your feet. However, the costs and inconvenience of fire preparation are much less than the costs and inconveniences of rebuilding.
How To Get a Tax Deduction for Storm Damage
Storm damage in Mount Vernon, GA
The CBO estimates that storms cause $54 billion in storm damage every year. The federal government has attempted to make it easier for taxpayers to recover by allowing them to take a deduction on their taxes in some circumstances.
Casualty Loss Deduction
The casualty loss deduction was written into the tax code as a way to help taxpayers who had suffered financial losses due to property damage. Losses must meet these requirements to be tax deductible:
- The loss must result from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected or unusual
- Value of the loss must exceed the amount recovered through insurance
- A claim must be filed on all insured property
Value of Your Loss
The value of your loss is considered to be the difference between what your property was worth before it was damaged by the storm and then compared to what it is worth afterward. This calculation is based on the lesser of either the fair market value or the adjusted basis of the property. Different methods may be used to determine the value of your loss, but commonly include the estimated sales price of your property in preloss condition and the cost to repair or remediate the storm damage. Replacement value is not considered.
Amount You Can Deduct
To determine your tax deduction, you must specify the value of your loss and then subtract any compensation you have received or expect to receive from insurance for that loss. You then need to take that amount and subtract $100, plus 10% of your adjusted gross income. However, the $100 deduction, and deduction for gross income, are sometimes waived if the damage is caused by presidentially declared disasters.
If you have sustained storm damage that was not fully compensated by insurance, you may qualify for a tax deduction. A tax professional in Mount Vernon, GA, can help you determine whether your loss qualifies and the value of your tax deduction.
3 Tips for Preventing Mold After Flooding
A dehumidifier can be set up to pull any remaining water out of the air
3 Tips for Preventing Mold After Flooding
If flooding has been an issue at your Brookhaven, GA, business, then you may be concerned about the possibility of black mold, growth on the property. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent this positional problem for your business. Here’s what you may want to know.
1. Act Quickly
It’s important to act quickly if there is flooding at your place of business. The faster water removal can begin the less likely subsequent mold problems are to occur. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that a local water damage restoration service be contacted to help with repairs. These professionals can also perform a mold cleanup if necessary.
2. Remove the Water
The first step you may see the restoration service do is remove the water from the affected area. Doing so can help prevent the conditions that could lead to black mold growth. This process will often involve the use of a pump for large amounts of water, but professionals may also use squeegees or sponges to pull water out of difficult to reach areas.
3. Dry the Area
Because mold most often appears whenever there is a moisture problem, it’s important to thoroughly dry the area. After the water has been removed equipment such as a dehumidifier can be set up to pull any remaining water out of the air. Your restoration service should have access to these tools and be able to set them up where they will be most effective.
Preventing black mold on the business property can involve several steps. If flooding has occurred it’s best to act quickly and contact a professional as soon as you can. Remove the water from the affected area, and then use a dehumidifier or similar tools to make sure everything has been thoroughly dried. Doing so can help prevent the conditions mold prefers to grow in.
Writing Off Commercial Losses From Storm Damage
Flooded building in Chamblee, GA
Writing Off Commercial Losses From Storm Damage
Commercial taxes are always a sticky subject, and what's true today may not be true tomorrow. However, when it comes to business losses due to storm damage, the law seems surprisingly simple. Your ability to write off losses depends on the steps you followed in processing the loss. It is the result of a multi-step process with intermediate results of each step along the way.
1. File an Insurance Claim
If you have insurance, whether, flood, commercial or both, you need to file a claim on time. Failing to do so may cause the insurer to reject the claim. If the denial is due to something you did or failed to do, this may affect your ability to write off the loss.
2. Calculate Your Net Loss
The Total Loss is the amount of money that you need to return your business to its pre-storm condition. You will have submitted some portion of this amount to the relevant insurance companies for reimbursement. When you receive a payment from those insurance companies, subtract that amount from your Total Loss; this figure is your Net Loss.
3. Write Off the Net Loss
Your Net Loss is not tax deductible; it’s better than that. For your company, a loss is the same as an electric bill, property taxes and other business expenses, and your company can write it off. If your business had a Net Income of $100,000 also had a Net Loss of $40,000 due to storm damage, the Net Income subject to taxes would be $60,000.
4. Get the Business Up and Running Again
You can always leave the financial aspects of storm damage to your financial professionals. Getting your Chamblee, GA, business back on its feet is your job. There are local disaster recovery specialists who have the equipment and experience to get the job done quickly.
What To Do About Wet Wood Flooring After a Pipe Burst
Water falling on wooden floor
Tips for Taking Proper Care of Wet Wood Flooring
A pipe burst can lead to many serious forms of damage. If you’ve noticed that the wood flooring in your Mount Vernon, GA, business is wet as a result of a burst pipe, make sure you call a professional immediately. In the meantime, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate as much water damage as possible. Here are some tips for taking proper care of wet wood flooring.
Clear the Floor
Before you start cleaning up the excess water, be sure to remove any items that are still on the floor. Leaving objects on your wet floor can cause them to become severely damaged. Some examples of objects that you should remove are
Items that are already soaked will continue to allow water to seep into the wood floor. Remove loose objects right away to prevent further damage from taking place.
Remove Excess Water
While you’re waiting for professional services to arrive, it’s a good idea to remove any excess water from your floors before it continues to spread. You can use a clean rag, mop or towel to clean up small puddles. If the pipe burst caused more widespread damage, use a wet vacuum to remove larger areas of excess water. By taking this step, you can stop additional damage from taking place.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help to dry any excess water that is left on your wood floor. Simply run the dehumidifier at its highest setting and keep it running for at least 24 hours to safely remove all traces of moisture. If you still notice signs of water after running the unit, turn on some fans and point them towards the wet areas to dry them completely.
Mitigating further water damage after a pipe burst is only the first step in the process of restoring your business. To safely bring it back to its original state, call a professional restoration company as soon as you can.
3 Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance for Your Enterprise
Commercial fire damage in Mount Vernon, GA
Whether you own a small mom and pop shop or lead a corporation of dozens of employees, you worked hard to make your dream a reality. A disaster such as a commercial fire can cause significant damage to your property. Business interruption insurance, also known as business income insurance, can protect your enterprise from the large loss of revenue that often results from an emergency. Familiarize yourself with this type of insurance to discover if this investment is right for you.
How To Qualify for This Type of Business Insurance
Business income insurance in Mount Vernon, GA, is not typically sold as a stand-alone plan. It is often added to property insurance coverage or a business owner’s policy. This type of insurance is ideal for:
Property owners who have older buildings susceptible to a business fire
Owners of restaurants, factories, hotels or other businesses with kitchens or large machinery
Businesses located in areas with hot summers
Almost any enterprise can reap the benefits of business interruption insurance. The best way to see if you qualify is to have an in-depth consultation with an insurance agent.
Minimize Your Profit Loss
Business income insurance goes beyond a standard property insurance plan. Property insurance can reimburse you for fire cleaning expenses to the interior and exterior of your building. Business income insurance, however, can recover your profits from the clients you lost while restoring your property to working order.
Temporary Relocate With Security
The fire damage restoration process can be lengthy, so many enterprises temporary relocate to a new building. Whether you relocate for a few months or a year, business income insurance can cover the extra expenses of the move.
Fixed Costs? No Problem
Many properties still have fixed costs even if a business is not operating within it. Business income insurance is great for covering overhead such as rent or utilities while you work to make your commercial space good as new.
Business interruption insurance can help mitigate the negative consequences of a fire. Understanding the perks of this type of coverage can help you decide if it’s a right fit for your enterprise.
Can Electronics Be Cleaned Up After a Fire?
An electrical fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building.
As you try to pick your business back up after a commercial fire near Dunwoody, GA, you have a lot to think about. You need to find a trusted fire restoration company that can help you through the entire process. This team knows how to clean damage walls, furnishings and even electronics. An electrical fire can cause a lot of damage to computers and other electronic devices, but sometimes this equipment can be salvaged after the flames are gone. With the proper steps, some electronics can become as good as new.
Steps to protect your electronics after a fire.
• Avoid Power: While you may be tempted to turn on a computer to see if it works, the truth is this can cause more harm than good. If smoke clings to the metal surfaces in your device, you can start a terrible corrosion by adding power to the mix. Leave any electrical devices turned off.
• Get Them Cleaned: Remember that smoke residue? That has to be removed from every inch of the device. For this reason, a computer cleanup can take a while. The professionals will go over every inch of the hardware to ensure the potentially dangerous residues are gone.
• Have an Inspection: After the initial cleaning, you may want to have the electronics inspected one last time before adding power. This final inspection can look over the computer for more signs of fire or smoke damage. An electrical fire can cause unexpected smoke residue buildup on internal parts of the computer, so a second inspection is a good idea.
Many businesses rely on computers and other electronics to get business done. Restoration professionals may be able to help you restore computers, television sets, DVD players, cash registers, security systems and other electronics key to your day-to-day activities.
An electrical fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building. Restoring your belongings after the disaster can help you get back on your feet.
How To Respond to Commercial Water Damage
Commercial water removal after large loss
How To Respond to Commercial Water Damage
Commercial properties in North Atlanta,GA, suffer losses for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is water damage. Damaged pipes, old and worn roofing materials, and overflows from toilets can all cause a lot of destruction. The two most common types of plumbing system failures are frozen pipes and material failure. There are several statistics that illuminate this situation:
- More than half of water loss claims were caused by material failures and only 18 percent by frozen pipes.
- Frozen pipe failures cost about twice as much as material failures.
- Properties in the range of 16 to 40 years are most likely to suffer material failure claims.
These figures should warn property owners to regularly maintain the plumbing systems in their properties and to take steps to protect against frozen pipes.
Act Quickly and Safely
Whether water seeps into the basement from just barely damaged pipes or rushes in from a broken main, it's essential that property owners act quickly to prevent further destruction. The first step is to cut off the water supply, if possible. Before entering a water-logged environment from leaking pipes or natural flooding, you must make sure the building is safe to enter. Gas leaks or electrical problems could be dangerous.
Identify the Category of Water
When you're first confronted with the destruction caused by leaking pipes or flooding, you should identify the type of water. For example, clean water from a broken faucet looks like tap water, running clear without odors. This category of water doesn't pose the same health risks as black water which may contain bacteria, parasites, and toxic materials.
After turning off water to the property, it's time to contact professionals. Depending on the circumstances, you may call the insurance company, a water damage remediation company, and/or municipal water authorities. All further actions will be affected by the response of these professionals.
Commercial losses from damaged pipes can be minimized by quick action. Take necessary steps to prevent losses, act immediately when necessary, and work with experts to deal with damage appropriately.
What is the best way to handle a commercial water loss?
SERVPRO of NW Dekalb/ Dunwoody/ Brookhaven is prepared with the proper equipment to help you with your Commercial Water loss.
When experiencing a commercial water loss it is critical to make sure you do not skip any steps in the process.
3 ways to handle a commercial water loss.
Here are some thoughts to think as you start to go through the cleaning process:
- Contact SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven immediately to get on site and start the extraction process. In many cases this is called "emergency services." The point of this is to minimize secondary damages like mold from forming.
- Once all of the water is extracted the drying process can begin. SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven can start to place green equipment everywhere to quickly get the structure dry.
- Monitor the drying process daily. Once dry the equipment can be removed and the reconstruction process can begin.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven at (770) 396-3883.
3 Ways To Lower a Business Interruption Insurance Claim
Protecting your DeKalb, GA, business from fire, flooding and other disasters is probably a high priority for you. Different types of insurance, such as a business interruption policy, can help you reduce monetary loss in case you must close temporarily due to water or other types of damage.
There are a few steps you can take that may reduce the total cost of your claim and lower out-of-pocket expenses as well.
- Act Quickly
Contacting your insurance company right away can be a major factor in the cost of your claim. Filing quickly, sending photos of the damage and giving a detailed account of what caused the incident can prevent filing and payout delays. If you do not hear from your insurance company within 24 hours of filing a claim, it is wise to contact it again to ensure your claim has already been recognized and filed.
- Call for Mitigation
Serious floods can result in large water damage that may spread throughout your building. However, calling in a flood cleanup and restoration company to perform mitigation may prevent mold growth, water damage to electrical systems and a loss of inventory. When flood professionals can prevent widespread destruction within the first 24 hours of an incident, the overall cost of your business interruption claim may drop.
- Have Standing Water Removed Quickly
Whether a flood in your building was caused by a broken pipe or torrential rains, the resulting standing water can be as problematic as the initial flooding. Even clean water can degrade if it is allowed to sit, as bacteria and mold may grow rapidly due to high humidity in affected areas. Having standing water removed quickly can reduce the amount of damage your building suffers, and your insurance company may even investigate whether you took steps to remove standing water, as it is often the responsibility of the business owner to do as much as possible to prevent further water damage after a flood.
Flooding in DeKalb, GA, can be costly, even if you have business interruption insurance. However, taking steps to prevent further damage may help you keep claim costs low. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnwdekalbdunwoodybrookhaven.com/.