Office fires are a real thing. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) over 14,500 fires occur in office buildings each year. That's significant. Not only are fires dangerous, but the damage they can cause can be significant. While your commercial cleaning company may be a safety net in fire prevention by catching and eliminating some risks, it is ultimately up to your employees to take ownership and follow fire safety. Developing clear guidelines for your employees, training and reinforcement of those guidelines will greatly reduce the risks of office fires from happening.
Our teams observe lots of fire safe no-no's. We've compiled the three most common potential risks that we see on a regular basis. We've also included some tips on how to prevent these issues from occurring in your office. If your employees adopt three simple practices, you'll be able to reduce your fire risk.
The office break room is easily one of the most used rooms in any office. It's used by pretty much every employee several times a day. From morning coffee, to eating lunch and hosting office pot lucks, break rooms are a central gathering place. Being such a high use area it's not surprising that break rooms can also become one of the nastiest rooms in a common office. Your commercial cleaning company may clean at night, but unless your business has a day porter it's up to your employees to keep the area tidy during the day. And it's important for employees to take ownership of certain tasks like removing old food from the refrigerator that the commercial cleaning may not be tasked to perform.
In addition to the messes that we can see, there are the bacteria and germs that we can't. But those germs and bacteria can make us sick which could lead to employees using more sick days. Keeping a tidy break room will also help your commercial cleaning company to do a more thorough cleaning each service, which will further reduce the presence of bacteria and germs. Since no one wants to use a dirty break room, we've complied a list of five easy tips to keep your office break room yuck free. Getting your employees to adopt these habits will create a healthier, cleaner environment for all employees to enjoy.
Clean Out the Refrigerator Weekly
Are there science projects growing you the break room refrigerator? Unless cleaning out the fridge and throwing out old food is part of your commercial cleaning contract, this task is completely up to your employees. Old lunches that have been forgotten in the refrigerator mold and start to stink. In addition to producing a foul smell, the extra containers take up space in the fridge causing over crowding which can lead to food not being cooled properly. Setting a schedule to clean and purge the break room refrigerator weekly eliminates rotten food odors and ensures their is adequate space for food storage.
Spills happen. Especially in office environments. Trips to and from the break room with coffee and with more and more people taking lunch at their desk give plenty of opportunity for spills to happen. But what happens when the spills on the carpet have taken over as the new carpet pattern?
Most janitorial services will do periodic spot cleaning as part of your commercial cleaning. However, if spots become excessive additional fees can be incurred. Off schedule carpet cleanings are also an added expense. So before you throw in the towel and have the carpet replaced, there are a few proactive steps that can be taken to control office spills.
Use walk-off mats. In high traffic areas like outside of break rooms and elevators. Walk-off mats not only will help catch coffee spills but reduce the amount of dirt tracked on carpet from shoes. Both of these elements help to keep your carpet clean longer.
The office break room. Its unsuspecting enough but it is a breeding ground for illness causing bacteria and germs like e coli, flu and the common cold. The break room contains plenty of high touch surfaces. Think of how many times the handles to the microwave and refrigerator are touched during a work day. Add to this surfaces like counter tops, faucets and vending machines its almost impossible not to pick up more than your morning coffee or lunch when visiting the office break room.
At best, if your company uses a professional commercial cleaning service, the break room will be sanitized one time per day. That is if the commercial cleaning service contracted has an effective sanitation and disinfection program. But that once per day cleaning doesn't help you after the break room has been used by several employees during the day. So how can you decrease your chances of picking up something icky in the break room? A few easy tips can help keep you healthy.
Stay Healthy at When Using Break Rooms at Work with These Tips
#1 Avoid using community cleaning tools such as sponges and dish towels.
These items are notorious for hoarding bacteria even in a normal home setting. In an office setting with multiple people using them, its just not a good idea. The goal of washing out your coffee cup turns into more than cream and sugar floating in your coffee. Instead, clean your dishes with paper towels or a clean dish towel that you bring from home each day. Or, bring a clean set of utensils with you from home when packing your lunch.
#2 Use hand sanitizer after leaving the break room.
Going to the break room to grab some coffee or a snack from the vending machine? Lather on some hand sanitizer before touching surfaces on your desk like the keyboard and phone and definitely before eating or drinking anything . This quick step will prevent germs picked up in the break room from being transferred to your desk. Better yet, wash your hands with soap and warm water.
#3 Wipe surfaces with sanitizing wipes.
If your office is willing to provide sanitizing wipes, use them to wipe down surfaces that you will touch. If your office does not provide these, keep a container of them on your desk and take a few sheets with you to the break room. Use them to wipe off the break room table before you sit down to eat your lunch. If you eat lunch at your desk, wipe your desk off before eating.
#4 Wash your hands.
The best way to prevent the spread of germs and decontaminate yourself is very low tech. Washing your hands frequently can dramatically reduce your chances of getting sick at work. Some key times to wash your hands or at least use hand sanitizer are before eating, after a trip to the restroom and after leaving the break room.
Become your office's clean break room ambassador.
The best strategy is to promote good break room hygiene in your office and encourage all employees to participate. Educate your co-workers on the importance of keeping the break room clean during the day. You can also post reminders of sanitary behaviors such washing hands and cleaning up messes after use. The entire office will benefit if everyone is committed to keeping an clean environment.
A clean break room is not just pleasant to use, it is critical to the health your office. Maintaining a sanitary break room environment between cleanings by a professional commercial cleaning service, can prevent illness, absenteeism, and boost morale. Protecting yourself is a manageable task. Save a sick day for something else....not the office bug.
About Quality Maintenance & Repair Service, Inc
Quality Maintenance & Repair Service, Inc is a full servicecommercial janitorial company servicing the Jacksonville Florida and surrounding areas. We provide expert, quality and affordable cleaning solutions for large and small properties. In addition to janitorial services we also provide maintenance services such as window washing, carpet cleaning , tile floor care and general building maintenance.
Office: 904-388-8790 Fax: 904-388-8799 Email: email@example.com
Spring has sprung! And even though here in Northeast Florida we didn't get much of a winter, now is still a good time to start getting your office ready for the warmer months ahead. Winter can be hard on facilities. From the tracking in of dirt on boots to the carpet stains left over from the holiday potlucks, there are usually quite a few tasks that need to be caught up on to freshen up an office space. Also, maintenance is the easiest way to freshen up any commercial office and improve the appearance of the facility without doing any redecorating or renovations.
You may agree that some maintenance could improve things around the office, but you may also be wondering where to start. As with anything, budgets aren't unlimited so it's always important to focus on the most critical items or things that will get the most bang for the buck. That's why we've complied a list to ten spring maintenance tasks that are worth the investment. Every item may not apply to you situation, but this list a great place to start in deciding which maintenance tasks to tackle this spring. The tasks are not listed in any particular order of importance but all will give you significant return on your investment.
Our Suggestions for Spring Facility Maintenance Tasks
1. Get the carpets cleaned.
Carpets take a beating year round but the business of the winter holidays can easily cause maintenance like carpet cleaning to get swept under the rug. Not to mention that lack of cleaning can cause carpets to harbor smells, allergens and other irritants. Carpet cleaning is an easy way to freshen up your office while improving the overall appearance of the facility by removing unsightly stains.
2. Touch up paint walls.
Dings and scuff marks happen. From people in general just touching wall areas like light switches and door frames to walls being run into with chairs ladders or other items, walls will periodically need to be touched up or repainted to ensure that your office looks it’s best.
3. Patch holes and dings.
Right along with touch up paint sometimes walls in commercial office building get dings and holes. It’s easy to open a door too hard or have a delivery person bump a dolly into a wall and there you have it, a nice hole in your wall. Depending on where these accidents happen, a hole in a wall can really take away from the overall first impression a visitor has of the office or business. Patching up these holes, especially those in areas frequented by guests is an easy maintenance task that will improve the appearance of your facility.
4. Strip and wax tile or machine scrub ceramic tile.
Daily mopping of vinyl and ceramic tile is a basic maintenance activity. It’s great for removing simple, daily surface stains like coffee or soda spills. However, daily mopping does not shine tile, protect tile or clean deep down below the surface of the tile. So that dirt that is visible on the tile will not come up with a mop. It’s time for a maintenance machine cleaning. Machine cleaning removes the dirt that mopping can’t. It is also required to maintain the life and desirable appearance of these types of floors. Spring is a good time to schedule these services if you aren’t on a normal maintenance schedule.
5. Pressure wash entrances and patios.
Outdoor areas can get dirty over the winter months. From piles of leaves to coffee spills at entrances it can be hard to keep out door entrances and patio areas clean. Spring is an optimal time to clean up outdoor areas by pressure washing concrete and stone surfaces. Pressure washing will remove dirt, soil and stains while also brightening up the appearance of your entrances. Additionally, examine any areas of the building that may have spots and stains that are need of pressure washing as well.
6. Clean windows.
Spring brings with it more sunlight and nothing highlights dirty windows more than bright direct sunlight. Also, you may be using the irrigation system more during the summer to care for your landscaping. While this extra watering is good for your plants and grass, those mineral deposits can make windows dirty and streaky. Frequent window cleaning solves this problem and clean windows make a great first impression on anyone who visits your property. This is especially true of retail facilities and restaurants.
8. Install or replace walk off mats.
Walk off mats are the first line of defense for carpet and tile. Having these in place greatly reduces the amount of damaging dirt and debris carried in on shoes from getting into your building. This protection is only helpful if walk off mats are actually being used, being used in the right places and are properly maintained. If your commercial facility does not currently use walk-off mats, now is a good time to research systems and purchase some for key spots in your facility. If you have walk-off mats installed, read up on the manufacturer's recommendations for proper care and maintenance. If maintenance is needed, go ahead and take care of those tasks to extend the life and effectiveness of the walk-off mats.
9. Clean up patio or outdoor furniture.
With the weather becoming nicer and warmer, more people will be drawn outside to enjoy their lunch and breaks. Make sure that they are greeted with freshly cleaned outdoor furniture.Skipping this task may make some unhappy to dirty up their professional attire by sitting on dirty furniture. For some furniture types, this may be as simple as hosing off pollen and dirt with a water hose. For other types it may mean having the upholstery cleaned.
10. Change air filters.
Air filters in commercial offices should be changed out frequently to maintain good indoor air quality. But if you don’t have a dedicated handyman it can be difficult to stay on top of a schedule. Or maybe this maintenance task just slipped through the cracks. Either way, Spring is a great time to make a fresh start and change out air filters. Once changed you can being a regular schedule to change out air filters frequently.
Grab our free checklist of the top maintenance tasks to get done. The checklist makes it super easy to plan and schedule these important facility maintenance services. Even better our team of professionals cleaners and facility maintenance professionals can knock out the entire list with one phone call.
Von Joined our team in 2011. Von supports sales by making sales calls and setting appointments for our sales team. She also provides customer service to clients by staying connected and building partnerships. Additionally Von helps out the human resources team by providing administrative support for recruiting, interviewing and on boarding of new employees. Whew....Von has a very busy role. She tackles it with a smile and always a positive attitude. Von will most likely be the first person you meet when visiting our office or speak with when you call. Von has three adult children and a son in high school. She is active in her church and community.
5 Things About Von
What makes you laugh the most?
Things my mother has said to me over the years. And they seem to come to pass.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chicken: Baked, fried , stewed, broiled, etc
What is the one piece of advice you would give to a 20 year old just starting out?
Do all your research and think before making decisions.
What three things do you think about the most each day?
1. What I can do improve myself.
2. How to manage my time wisely.
3. If something happens to me what will happen to my 11 year old son and mother.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving-spending quality time with family from near and far. And of course the GOOD food.
We are so blessed to have Von as part of Quality Maintenance Family!
The messy desk. There are at least a few in every office. We’ve seen our fair share of them. These are the desks that our crews really, really want to dust, but there isn’t an inch of clear space to do so. They can be found running over with everything from papers, mail, food crumbs and cluttered with personal items. The messy desk is not only a challenge for your janitorial service to dust and clean but it takes away from the cleanliness of the office as a whole. Even more, a messy desk can contribute to decreased productivity.
The messy desk is so near to our heart and a common complaint we hear from office managers, that it is the first topic in our keep it clean series. Today we are sharing a few practical tips and some helpful web resources that can solve the messy desk problem in your office.
7 Tips for a Cleaner Workspace
1. Treat your desk top like prime real estate. Only items that you need to have immediately and frequently should take up residence on your desktop. Make use of desk drawers for items like pens, highlighters, personal items (hand lotion etc) and paper clips.
2. Limit personal items on your desktops. A picture or two is fine if there is adequate space without making the desk appear cluttered. Aim to avoid things like car collections, stuffed animals, things that are easily broken or anything else that attracts dust. Before putting something on the desktop consider if it adds to job productivity. If it doesn’t then another location may be more appropriate.
3. Create a system. A filing system is needed for any paper files that you maintain. Consider an inbox for items that you are currently working on to keep on your desktop File everything else away in a desk drawer or file cabinet. Desk file racks, folders and hanging file folders are excellent tools to organize and categorize paper files. A label maker is also handy.
4. Store books and binders on book shelves. These items take up lots of desktop space. So unless it is a binder or book that is needed frequently for job performance, store these items off of your desktop. Tops of file cabinets can also double as good storage places for these.
5. Keep only the quantity of supplies that are needed. Do we really need 75 pens on our desktop? Keep an adequate supply of materials at your desk and visit the supply closet when you run low.
6. Aim for a clear desk top at the end of the day. Make a routine to clear off your desk at the end of every workday. Put away things that were not completed. File all paper work and discard all trash from the desk. Leaving your desk clean and organized at the end of the day will facilitate a more productive start for the following work day.
7. Declare a clean-up day. At least once a week, take a few minutes to purge papers, file, dust personal items, and sanitize your phone, mouse and keyboard. This is a good habit to maintain the organization of your desk space.
Abandoning the messy desk for a clean desk only takes a few new habits. With a little practice and some changes to your routine a more productive, beautiful and organized day is within your reach.
Are you onboard? Now here comes the work part of this challenge. (We did mention there would be work, right?) It’s time to clean up your desktop and keep it clean. We’d love to see your progress. Post a before and after picture of your desk space on our Facebook page using the hashtag #keepitclean. We will be randomly selecting one winner at the end of the challenge to win an awesome office supply basket.
Want more information on office organization? We thought you would. Our team found these websites inspiring. Check out our Pinterest page for even more inspiration.
Inspiring and Helpful Resources
21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done
How to Organize Your Office for Maximum Productivity
10 Tips to Keep Your Desk Clean, Organized and Productive
Here's How Your Desk Should be Organized
How to Organize Your Workspace
Take out the trash. Simply taking out the trash every day will help keep the odor down in the office. This is especially true in break rooms and cafeterias where people heat and discard food. If employees are allowed to eat at their desks, then trash all over the office should be taken out every day.
Limit eating areas. One person eating fish for lunch at their desk can leave the air less than fresh for days. Now imagine this employee drops the fish on the carpet. That odor is in the carpet until the next carpet cleaning. When possible, only allow employees to heat, eat and discard food in designated areas such as break rooms, cafeterias or outdoor eating areas.
Clean up. There are a few areas in offices that are breeding grounds for odors. If you have a cleaning service, the cleaning of these areas may not be included in your janitorial service contract. This leaves your office staff to clean these areas to not only keep them sanitized but to prevent them from stinking up the office. Wash dishes daily. Throw away old food from the refrigerator weekly. Clean the inside of the refrigerator with a cleaning solution monthly. And don’t forget to clean the inside of the microwave at the end of the week. Keeping these areas clean will do wonders for keeping your office smelling fresh.
Dust regularly. A dusty office smells dusty. If you have a cleaning service, make sure that they dust at least three times per week and wipe down desks. Ask that your employees leave their desks uncluttered enough so that the majority of their workspace can be dusted and wiped down. If you do not have a janitorial service, set a standard that your employees dust and wipe down their desks before leaving work each day. And don’t forget the periodic detail dusting for areas such as baseboard and window blinds. These areas can hold dust and cause that dusty smell as well.
Carpets. Dust, dirt and smells can liner in carpet until they are removed. Daily vacuuming helps keep dust and dirt under control. But regular carpet cleaning will remove smells from the carpet which will help your office smell fresh.
These tips will get you well on the way to an office that not only smells clean but that is clean! Whatever you do, make sure to tackle the problem directly for long lasting results.
Whether your office is in a converted house or a high-rise tower, a surprising number of pests find their way inside. Many of us have seen ants marching into the break room or gnats hovering around indoor plants-or heard co-workers complaining about itchy bites. When pests invade the best course of action is to find and address the root cause of their presence.
Why are there pests in my building?
When insect and rodent pest enter a building, they'll stay if they find food. Building managers and maintenance crews try to prevent pests for getting in by plugging holes and caulking cracks, but they can't stop you from bringing in cereal infested with beetles or a potted plant that will eventually generate thousands of gnats.
Which pest visit office buildings?
Almost any pest can crawl, fly or hitchhike into your office building. The most common pests that find their way into office buildings are described in the slide show below.
Prevent pests from invating
If you have pests make sure to take immediate action. It may be necessary to call in a pest control service to get the problem under control. But with proper cleaning, and staying on top of the above hygiene factors will help manage pests in the office.
Fall is the perfect time to catch up on facility maintenance tasks and prepare your office for winter. You can save time and money by hirng a handy man to complete your to-do list.
A handyman in a great option because you generally pay by the hour to have a wide range of maintenance tasks completed without having to contact or work with several different contractors. A handyman is usually a more affordable option for maintenance work and are very knowledgeable about many facility maintenance trades.
Consider hiring a handyman to tackle these fall tasks at your office:
1. Gutter cleaning
Gutter cleaning for most buildings should be done at least twice per year and scheduling around the change of seasons is optimal timing. Gutters are a frequently forgotten, until a problem occurs. However, getting those gutters cleaned is an important part of taking care of your property. Any property, commercial or residential needs regularly scheduled gutter cleaning services.
2. Change light bulbs and ballast
Chances are there is at least one light bulb in your facility that is out or flickering its way to burn out. Fall is a great time to have the light bulbs in your office replaced. Its also a good time to replace the ballast in fluorescent lights
3. Touch up paint
Everyday wear and tear can leave the paint on office walls with scuff marks or other damage. Fall is a perfect time to have have holes patched and painted or the paint touched up to cover marks and stains.
4. Hang pictures, white boards etc
Have a picture or white board that has be waiting to be mounted on the wall? Or have you wanted to change out the art in your office. A handy man can expertly hang these items and make any necessary wall repairs.
5. Replace carpet squares
Carpet squares are a great flooring option. Unfortunately with foot traffic and other general use carpect squares can become loose. This creates a safety hazard for possible trips and falls. A handyman either secure the carpet square with glue or replace the section with a new carpet square.
6. Heating System Inspection
The first hard freeze of the season is not the time to realize that there is a problem with the heating system. A handyman skilled in HVAC (like ours) can perform a perform a preventative maintenance inspection to identify an possible problems with the system.
Of course of handyman can assist with these and many more facility maintenance tasks. But as the seasons change these are a great place to start to refresh your office and make sure that you're ready for the colder months a head.
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About this blog
The official blog of Quality Maintenance & Repair Service. We are full-service janitorial company, servicing Jacksonville Florida and the surrounding counties since 2001.