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New Director of Operations Joins Allied Universal Inc. Team

Monday, July 26th, 2010
Director of Operations Lora Sargeant

Director of Operations Lora Sargeant

The Allied Universal Inc. team is proud to welcome Lora Sargeant as director of operations. Lora is a Southern California native who graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.

After graduation, she moved to Northern California and started her real estate career.

Lora brings to Allied Universal over 20 years experience in the commercial real estate industry.  She has worked for companies such as CB Richard Ellis, Grubb & Ellis Management Services, and Kennedy Wilson in a variety of capacities including on-site property management, portfolio management, and business development.  She has managed commercial, industrial and retail properties.

Lora recently relocated back to Southern California with her two children, where she most recently worked again for CB Richard Ellis managing medical office buildings for an institutional client.

Floor Warden Facts

Monday, June 21st, 2010
A Floor Warden helps with emergency evacuations.

A Floor Warden helps with emergency evacuations.

All of our training emphasizes how tenants and building management need to work together as a unit to ensure safety. In the event of fire or other emergencies, a fast and orderly building evacuation can save lives.

Tenants with 10 or more employees are required by OSHA to have an emergency action plan to help ensure tenant safety during disasters. The selection and training of Floor Wardens is an important part of any action plan.

Typical duties of Floor Wardens:

  • Wardens and alternative Wardens need to be familiar with all tenants and their workspace locations to ensure that no one is left behind in cases of emergency.
  • A clear understanding of the proper evacuation route and gathering place are essential for preventing panic. Your tenant’s Floor Wardens should practice walking the primary and backup emergency routes to avoid any mistakes that could result from stress.
  • Floor Wardens will work with the building’s fire safety director to check off names of present employees and to note any that are missing after an evacuation.
  • Your tenant’s reception employees should keep logs of any absent employees or office visitors that are present, and share this information with the proper Floor Warden.

Floor Warden training:

  • Cross training of several tenant employees is important to account for Floor Wardens who may be absent during any given emergency or leave their position with the company.
  • Special training or equipment should be given to Wardens who have tenant employees with disabilities that will require additional evacuation assistance.
  • Instructions should be given to Wardens on the location and usage of equipment such as flashlights, radios or whistles.
  • Some tenants in large buildings might want to designate additional employees as stairwell and/or elevator monitors who will supervise safe and orderly evacuations. Floor Wardens should work closely with these monitors to keep track of employees and ensure they take the proper exit routes.

Benefits of the Allied Universal Training System:

  • Our system offers real-time updates to Floor Warden lists, which can be viewed by building management
  • We send automatic annual reminders to each Warden for training renewal
  • Our system is fully integrated with the fire department to ensure Wardens, Fire Safety Directors and the local departments have the same occupancy data for every building
  • We record user training and testing for future reference

Fire or other disasters strike quickly and often without warning. Through repetition of training and certification with our system, Floor Wardens will play an integral part in tenant safety by making sure no one is left behind in times of danger.

For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. Allied Universal, Inc. is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

New Codes Announced To Improve High Rise Occupant Safety

Monday, November 23rd, 2009
New Codes for High-Rise Buildings

New Codes for High-Rise Buildings

New Codes Announced To Improve High-Rise Occupant Safety

Although we are all concerned about safety, in the property management and ownership business, it’s our top priority. No doubt you already know about building codes and the vital role they have in establishing construction and equipment standards. While these codes are often written in a dry and complex manner, they really are life savers.

Ensure the continued safety of your occupants by reviewing these announced guidelines from the International Code Council that affect the International Building Code (IBC). All of the guidelines are safety related, and are intended for buildings that fit the classification as “high rises.” According to the code, these buildings are defined as “… buildings “with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.”

Remember, codes protect not only your occupants but also investment and insurance premiums. Following them will help you avoid property damage and loss, and, more importantly, save lives.

Structural Integrity of Exit Enclosures and Elevator Hoistway Enclosures:

  • The IBC recommends impact-resistant walls be used to protect from possible blasts or projectiles that might result from a fire. The new code ensures the integrity of these exits, and provides extra protection for occupants during an emergency.

Sprinkler Systems: New requirements concentrate on extra redundancies to the sprinkler risers – now each zone is required to be supplied by at least two risers.

  • A minimum of two water mains must be connected to the fire pump water supply

Emergency Systems:

  • Smoke removal requirements for buildings that have experienced a fire and are now in the cleanup phase
  • Electrically-powered fire pumps must be under an emergency power load

Means of Egress and Evacuation:

  • Requirements are designed to aid the movement of occupants out of the building – decreasing the risk of injuries
  • New rules have been established regarding the distance required between exit stairway enclosures
  • During an emergency, official personnel need to use stairways, so there are new guidelines for additional exit stairways to accommodate this extra capacity
  • Luminous egress path markings requirements will ensure that your occupants know exactly where to go, which can decrease confusion in cases of emergency

Elevators:

  • New requirement for a fire service access elevator which gives firefighting personnel a safe and fast way to reach staging areas. Implementation will allow fires to be controlled more quickly.
  • Occupant elevators can be used for evacuation provided the new specific requirements are met.
  • Completion of the requirements may provide exemption from the additional stairway requirement mentioned earlier

Be sure to review the specific requirements before implementing changes. Visit the International Code Council website for more information.

Allied Universal Inc. is a credible source for property managers and owners to learn about many building-related issues. Refer your colleagues to our blog so they can also stay informed about the latest industry trends. And BE SAFE.