Recent Fire Damage Posts

Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Proactive Planning in case of Fire and Water Disaster

Fire and water disasters can strike any home or business, and if the owners happen to have sensitive electronic data or machinery, then damage can cost them dearly. If you happen to be a fire and water damage contractor working on behalf of one of these people, it may be in all your best interests to implement some preventative measures, rather than face the challenge of restoring or replacing valuable information or expensive machinery. To that effect, here are a few handy strategies to help keep valuable goods safe during a fire, flood, or other water disaster. Take notes:

Protecting Data by using cloud based backups

Because fire and water can destroy servers or drives stored on site, it’s a good idea to keep backups of important information elsewhere. Use a cloud based backup such as iDrive or Carbonite to store your financial records, contact databases, and other sensitive data. If something does happen to your on-site information storage, you’ll be glad that you did.

Having insurance paperwork

You’ll want to make sure that an insurance policy is in place for the information and equipment you’re responsible for, but you’ll also want to ensure the records of that policy are safe too—just to keep your bases covered. Without your paperwork, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to cash in on your policy, even if it does cover the damages. That’s why having extra copies—physical ones—is vital. Don’t just keep copies in your desk, either. Make sure they’re somewhere that won’t be affected if the emergency they’re supposed to cover strikes. Maintaining a copy in a separate location like your car or a safety deposit box helps to make sure your insurance paperwork isn’t destroyed in the same fire or flood that damages the items it’s meant to protect.

Having warranties on critical equipment

Insurance is fantastic, but you can double your protection if you’re sure to buy equipment that comes with a warranty. Warranties often cover fire and flood damage, and in many cases, you can opt to purchase extended warranties at the time of purchase that protects your equipment for extended periods. Make sure to read the information in your warranty agreements carefully, you don’t want to spend extra money on a warranty just to find out that you don’t have cover for fires and floods. Keeping a sharp eye on the fine print is always a good idea.

Next, the equipment is disassembled, and each component cleaned. Highly trained electronics professionals are used for this step since this part is the most detail oriented and requires considerable knowledge of how to clean each part. Optical and chemical quality testing follows, after which the device is reassembled, adjusted, and returned to service.

Having up to date software

Finally, make sure always to update your software to the latest versions. Keeping your software updated often results in the data you store in various applications being saved and backed up to the parent company’s servers (for more detail on this, read the user agreements for your software carefully). A simple example is iTunes—if you’re using a recent version of the app, your purchases will be kept track of via the App Store, and you’ll be able to download them again, even if something happens to your device.

No matter what you do, disasters can still occur—and there’s always the possibility that they’ll take out equipment or valuable data. On July 11, 2012, a fire at an IBM data center in Calgary, Alberta temporarily brought down several government services (including 911), and similar incidents have occurred around the world from time to time in recent years. Of course, electronic restoration can often be used to handle these kinds of situations, but it’s better to prevent than cure. Stay vigilant—you’ll find it’s worth your while.

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Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to avoid Data Loss in the Event of a Fire

If a business you’re responsible for relies on backing up large amounts of electronic information, you’ll probably want to make sure there’s a way to preserve it in the case of an accident. To be more specific, you’ll want to have a contingency plan set up to deal with the possibility of fire damage. A fire in the server room can do more than simply damage infrastructure. It can also set a business back months while you replace ruined equipment, and—perhaps worst of all—it can obliterate large quantities of data that the company needs on a daily basis. Data could include everything from financial records to client databases, so you should only ignore the risk of fir eat the peril of losing some very important assets. If you’re a contractor working on behalf of one of these businesses, it also represents a significant challenge.

That said, there are a few things you can do to help avoid irreparable data loss in the event of a fire. From preventative measures to restorative treatments, here are a few ideas to help you soldier on when the sparks literally start flying:

Protect your data using cloud based backups

If you’re worried about losing data when physical servers and computers are threatened, there’s one simple solution: house it somewhere else (or at least house a copy there). Using a cloud based backup lets you store an extra version of your most important information using servers that you won’t be responsible for. Since many of the largest cloud based backup solutions (like Backblaze and Crashplan) take special care to preserve their users’ info, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen to your stash once you entrust it to them for safekeeping. Of course, this won’t save your equipment or facilities themselves, but it’s better than nothing.

Electronic restoration

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs to your servers and you haven’t stored backups of your information elsewhere, electronic restoration might be the only effective route to take. Many highly sensitive technologies can be restored—at least to some extent—including computers, telecommunications technology, manufacturing machinery and medical instruments. By removing corrosion and deposits, it’s often very possible to get these units working like new again for as little as 10-30% of the cost of replacing them entirely. Once a skilled technician removes contaminants such as soot, dust, and deposits from chemical vapors, he should be able to take the equipment apart, clean the individual pieces, reassemble them, adjust the machinery and return it to service.

Proactive planning for fire (and water) disasters

Of course, one of the best ways to deal with damage is to avoid it completely. You can save yourself from the inconvenience of having to restore your equipment by making sure it’s not an easy place for a fire to start or a flood to break out. Avoid storing flammable materials near sensitive equipment, and make sure electronics aren’t stored under your sprinkler system or near water pipes. It’s also a good idea to have maintenance briefed on the nature of the technology in the area so that they use safe and appropriate methods when cleaning or tidying up around it.

Have insurance

Finally, you want to make you have cover if a disaster does happen to strike. Restoring your electronics can save them, but it can also be time-consuming—and you want to make sure you can afford the downtime. That’s why having comprehensive fire and accident insurance is key to keeping you in business when the unexpected occurs. Make sure you understand your policy and keep an up to date copy with you always, just in case.

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(213) 263-2292