When real disaster strikes, emergency cleanup procedures may not be the first thing on your mind. But when a pipe bursts or a small fire breaks out in the office kitchen, you must be prepared to take quick action. Sometimes just knowing what to do can help mitigate the stress that you and your employees can experience. The follow-up is equally important, to help reduce costly damage.
Here are a few professional tips for handling emergency cleanup scenarios.
Before Disaster Strikes
For major and minor crises alike, have an emergency preparedness plan in place. Establish escape routes and set a meeting zone in your facility’s parking lot or immediate vicinity. Depending on the type of business, you may also need to address chemical spills and procedures for summoning emergency-response teams. Don’t forget to consider events such as personal injury, fire, flood and weather events. Appoint a safety officer for the company and task that individual with checking first-aid kits, fire extinguishers and other emergency supplies twice or more each year. Acquaint yourself with the location of water shut-off valves and electrical breaker panels or fuse boxes. Finally, establish procedures for backing up data and storing important documents in fireproof and waterproof cabinets, or offsite.
What to Do First in an Office Emergency
Above all, remain calm and assess the situation. If you perceive that the safety of you or your employees is at risk, call 911. If the emergency is facility related, such as flooding from a burst pipe or broken sprinkler head, close off the area immediately and find a way to stem the rising tide. Shut off the water main or feeder line causing the problem. Once you have stabilized the situation, turn your thoughts to cleaning up as much of the damage as you can. Most commercial emergency cleanup scenarios, whether they involve fire, flooding or weather, include water damage. It’s critical to remove as much water as you can, as quickly as possible. Place fans in the area to help halt the damage. If the situation is beyond your capacity or equipment, call in a commercial cleaning service immediately.
Follow Up for Emergency Commercial Cleanup
The longer the mess sits, the greater the risk of permanent damage to flooring surfaces and drywall. In addition, potentially toxic mold begins growing quickly. A cleaning or janitorial service will have the knowledge and equipment necessary to extract the mess and handle any subsequent problems that could result. Town & Country Office Cleaning can help with unexpected events and emergency situations, as well as provide regular office-cleaning services. Let their experienced professionals advise you on emergency cleanup procedures and best practices before disaster strikes.