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National Security Officer Appreciation Week

September 11th, 2018

Security GuardThis week, as we remember our emergency first responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy, we ramp up to honor some additional unsung heroes—security professionals.

Security officers, who strive to help maintain safe and secure workplaces, schools, shopping malls and communities, deserve heartfelt appreciation. Hard-working, highly trained men and women, security officers are counted among our country’s first responders. These individuals deter crime, lead evacuations, provide information, work closely with local law enforcement and are constantly vigilant in their efforts to keep us safe.  Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency Preparedness Month 2018

September 4th, 2018

Disaster Preparedness Plan 2018Each year, government organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), nonprofit agencies, such as the American Red Cross and private enterprise, including Allied Universal, to mark September as the official month to observe national emergency preparedness. All year long, members of educational, municipal and community groups across the United States should prepare to respond to an infectious disease outbreak, chemical or radiological release, or other manmade or natural disaster. To that end, September 15 is designated National Day of Action. While the CDCis using this year’s campaign to highlight preparedness in regard to public health, FEMA is turning its attention toward emergency planning.  Read the rest of this entry »

Back-to-School Safety: College Vaccinations

August 21st, 2018

Back to School Shots

The following is provided for informational purposes only. Allied Universal is not a medical expert. Consult your healthcare provider before pursuing any vaccines or taking any medication.

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are turning, football has begun, the weather is cooling off, and it’s time to fill backpacks with school necessities—pens and pencils, notebooks and laptops. But when you check that all important “to-do list” this year for your student, make sure to include the most important item on the list—inoculationsVaccines Back to School

 

School presents a new world of opportunity–as well as risk. And never are those perils more acute than when your young adult heads to college. Communal living spaces, less-than-sanitary conditions, shared food and drinks, and irregular sleeping habits can leave students vulnerable to disease. For this reason, most institutions of higher learning in the United States require proof of vaccinations prior to enrollment. That is because prevention is key. William Schaffner M.D., and president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), recommends parents check students’ medical records to ensure they are current, paying particular attention to meningitis, hepatitis B and HPV.

Meningitis

Childhood VaccinesInflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord, meningitis is a bacterial infection that is so serious, it can be fatal within days without prompt antibiotic treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, delayed treatment increases the risk of permanent brain damage and death. What’s more, it is most oftencommunicated in close quarters, such as dorms or college apartments. This is likely because the bacterium is spread via the respiratory system, moving quickly through large groups of people.The vaccination for meningitis is an entry requirement for almost every college. But even if your student’s school does not require it, be sure to inquire about the inoculation. It could save your child’s life. Medical Insignia School Vaccines

Hepatitis B

A blood-borne infection transmitted through sexual activity, hepatitis B can lead to long-term liver-related consequences, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The hepatitis B vaccine is a three-dose series and is consideredsafe.Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can all cause hepatitis. However, it is often caused by a virus.

HPV

College Student HealthA disease transmitted through sexual activity is HPV (human papillomavirus). It can cause certain cancers and disease in males and femalesand is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). In fact, about 79 million Americans are currently infected. And about 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that almost every person who is sexually active will get HPV at some point if they don’t get the HPV vaccine. Unfortunately, because HPV often has no signs or symptoms, most people who contract it aren’t even aware they carry the disease. The CDC recommends parents vaccinate their children for HPV because 31,000 HPV-induced cancers occur each year in the U.S.


About the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Services SystemCollege Student Safety

Before you pack the trunk with your college student’s clothing, pillows and family photos, make sure you’ve tended to their most important higher education supply – good health! Our interactive, e-learning program helps all types of buildings, including those in the commercial, residential, and higher education space, with compliance to fire life safety codes and instantly issues a certificate to building occupants who complete the course! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to the training needs of your facility. Click here for more information or to subscribe.

Landslides and Mudslides

August 7th, 2018

Landslides Severe WeatherSevere Weather: Landslides & Mudslides

Part 3 in a 3-Part Series

Weather-related disasters lead to devastating loss of life and cost billions of dollars each year. The first post in our three-part series about severe weather disasters focused on extreme heat. The second entry discussed floods. This last post will tackle landslides and mudslides, since they so often accompany other severe-weather events.  Read the rest of this entry »

Extreme Weather: Floods

July 24th, 2018

Floods Severe WeatherFloods

Part 2 in a Part Series

Weather-related disasters across the world lead to devastating loss of life and cost billions of dollars each year. Our last post about severe weather disasters focused on extreme heat. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) breaks weather-related disasters into eight major categories. This week, we will tackle one such designation, floods. Check back, as the final post in this series will tackle hurricanes, mudslides and landslides.

A flood is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Recent floods in Charleston, and Texasare taxing resources, destroying property, injuring hundreds and resulting in troubling associated issues such as mosquito-borne disease and infrastructure damageRead the rest of this entry »

Severe Weather Disasters: Extreme Heat

July 10th, 2018

Extreme Weather DisastersPart 1 in a Series

Extreme weather causes some of the most devastating natural disasters known to man. Already this year, the United States has faced six weather and climate-related major disaster events, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports have resulted in 36 deaths and economic losses exceeding one billion dollars. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) breaks these disasters into eight major categories: extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, landslides and mudslides, lightning, tornadoes, tsunamis, and winter weather. This week, we will discuss extreme heat. Check back for future posts, which will conclude our series. Read the rest of this entry »

Travel Scams: How to Be Safe

July 3rd, 2018

Travel Scams Be SafeAccording to AAA, nearly 37 million Americans (88 percent of travelers), will drive to their destinations this summer – which represents an increase of 4.7 percent over 2017. Another three million will take to the skies, increasing air travel by 6.8 percent over last summer. Other modes of transportation will include cruises, trains and buses, which will be used by nearly two million travelers. If you plan to join the ranks of summer travelers sometime between now and Labor Day, heed necessary precautions and take these steps to avoid travel-related scams to ensure your journey is safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Water Safety

June 13th, 2018

Summer Water SafetyAlthough it’s a great way to exercise and stay cool during the hot summer weather, participating in water sports is not without risk. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 360,000 people drown each year. The good news is that most water-related fatalities and injuries can be prevented when safety steps are taken.

To keep your family and friends safe this summer, observe the following summer water safety tips: Read the rest of this entry »

Best Practices for Workplace Safety

May 22nd, 2018

Workplace DisastersDespite the migration of millions of American employees to home offices, 78 percent of the U.S. workforce still report for duty at a company facility, at least part-time. So, safety in the workplace remains of paramount importance. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016, which occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Workplace Injuries

Potential causes of workplace injuries and death range from fatigue (due to inadequate ergonomics or overexertion); substance abuse; slips, trips and falls; to natural and manmade disasters, including workplace violence. If a major emergency occurs or you get hurt on the job, everyone pays the price—in down time, lost productivity, low morale and economic impacts. But when we work together to create a safer place to work, we’re all more productive and satisfied with our jobs and business operations are better prepared to recover. For the purposes of this post, we will focus on workplace safety before, during and after disasters. Workplace Disasters

Workplace Disasters

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates two million people fall victim to workplace violence each year. Employees in retail and healthcare are particularly vulnerable, but it can happen anywhere. Working with your local police department can help you control risk and plan for incidents that might occur. Whatever the cause of the workplace emergency, your attitudes and actions can impact your ability to survive the situation. Whether manmade (terrorist attack or coworker’s violent aggression) or natural (severe weather or earthquake), workplace disasters require specific preparation and reactions.

Safety Training at WorkOfficial Safety Training

One way to make sure you are ready is to complete Community Emergency Response Team training (CERT). The CERT program supports local response capability by training volunteers to spontaneously organize themselves at the disaster site, to provide immediate assistance to victims, and to collect disaster intelligence to support responders’ efforts when they arrive. But CERT is not the only way to prepare yourself for a workplace emergency. Wherever you work, you play a critical role in creating a safe and healthy workplace for everyone by following pre-established emergency procedures and measures.
Workplace Disaster Prep
To help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has produced a free booklet about citizen preparedness, which may help you if disaster strikes when you are at work. Entitled “Are You Ready?”—the in-depth guide walks readers through steps to take to keep them safe in any hazardous situation. FEMA’s awareness campaign is called: “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”That’s wise advice for employers as well as individuals.Emergency response planning can save lives, reduce the number of injuries, and prevent loss of property.

Slip-and-fall accidentsTo be safe at work, before disaster strikes:

  • Identify potential workplace hazards and safety roles and responsibilities. Know that workplace disasters can strike at any time, with little or no warning.
  • Conduct a job safety analysis to establish proper work procedures to help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
  • Executives and safety officers must keep communication open to make sure workers are comfortable with learning and offer feedback.
  • Maximize personal safety at your regular workspace. Keep area free from clutter.
  • Participate in safety training drills.
  • Report hazards, incidents, and near-misses.
  • Take steps to control flammable and combustible materials in your department and make sure they do not pose a fire or explosion hazard. (For example, large accumulations of waste paper or other combustible materials can pose fire risk.)
  • Ask for help, when needed, to maintain your safety.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Obey “No Smoking” rules. Careless disposal of cigarettes and matches can lead to fires and explosions.
  • Store and handle hazardous materials properly, according to the instructions on the label and on the safety data sheet.
  • Use and maintain equipment properly.

Workplace DangersDuring & After an Emergency:

  • Stay alert. Just as you drive defensively on the road, use the same caution at work.
  • Know the risks and danger signs.
  • Don’t get into situations you are not trained to handle.
  • Identify at least two ways out of any potentially hazardous situation.
  • Volunteer to help others.
  • Listen to officials for information about evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Repair damaged property.
  • Take steps to prevent or reduce future loss.

About the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Services System

Online safety trainingNo matter the type of emergency you may face while at work, take steps to make sure you are safe. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning program helps commercial, residential, educational, institutional, government, retail and industrial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes and rewards building occupants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to the training needs of your facility. Click here for more information or to subscribe.

High-Rise Safety

May 8th, 2018

People who live or work in high-rise residential or commercial buildings face very specific disaster-preparedness challenges. Emergencies such as fires, bomb scares, weather-related incidents and earthquakes present special dangers for high-occupancy buildings, such as dormitories, apartment homes, condominiums and office complexes. The best defense is a coordinated emergency-response plan that identifies potential risks and outlines the best response.With limited access to egress, if you’re in a high-rise when disaster strikes, you might need to stay in the building until the emergency passes. Or, if evacuation is necessary, you would need to quickly find the exit.

The good news is that high-rise building requirements include more working sprinklers and fire alarm equipment than non-high-rise facilities. And if your building owner or manager subscribes to the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System, first responders will have access to building-specific instructions, which will help in emergency situations. To help make sure you are prepared, we have assembled some tips to keep you safe.High-Rise Evacuation

High-Rise Disaster Safety Tips

In all situations—

  • Take responsibility for your own safety. This is important because, in some situations, first response may be delayed in reaching you.
  • Familiarize yourself with the safety features of your facility (fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans and alarm response).
  • Make sure exit and stairwell doors are clearly marked, remain unlocked and are free from debris and clutter which could obstruct the walkway.
  • If an official makes an announcement, listen carefully and follow directions.
  • If you are told to evacuate, go outside and gather at the pre-arranged meeting place.
  • Stay put until an official instructs you it is safe to return to the building.

high-rise fire safetyFor Fire—

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)reports there are approximately 16,000 to 20,000 fires in high-rise buildings each year. This represents 2 to 4 percent of all building fires. If you are in a high-rise when fire breaks out:

  • Well in advance of an emergency, find the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Don’t automatically run for the stairs. Stay put and wait for instructions.
  • If it is clear you should evacuate, pull the alarm on your way out, to notify the fire department and your neighbors. Don’t assume someone else will handle this.
  • If the fire alarm sounds, feel the door before opening and close all doors behind you as you leave. If the door is hot, find another way out. If it is cool, leave by the nearest exit.
  • Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs in a fire, unless the fire department instructs otherwise. Some buildings come equipped with elevators, which are intended for emergency use. Such elevators should be clearly marked.elevator high-rise evacuation
  • If someone is trapped in the building, notify the fire department.
  • If you are unable to evacuate your apartment or high-rise workplace in a fire due to flames, smoke or a disability, stuff wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep smoke out. Call the fire department to alert officials to your location.
  • Slightly open a window and wave a bright-colored cloth to signal your location. However, be prepared to close the window if smoke conditions worsen.

To Shelter in Place—

high-rise flood safetyIn some emergency scenarios, you may need to stay put instead of evacuating.

High-Rise Safety Resources:Earthquake high-rise safety

FEMA Building Code Resources

National Fire Protection NFPA High-Rise Building Safety

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Evacuation & Sheltering-in-Place

About the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Services System

No matter the type of emergency you may face while in a high-rise building, take steps to make sure you are safe. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning program helps commercial, residential, educational, institutional, government, retail and industrial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes and rewards building occupants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to the training needs of your facility. Click here for more information or to subscribe.