A confluence of circumstances and brought this topic to the top of mind today and I wanted to share a few things. I have seen a number of news stories in the last couple of days related to mulch fires, grills catching grass and dried brush on fire, and the burn bans in effect throughout the midwest with this summer’s dry, drought like conditions. I am also taking my fire extinguisher certification test tomorrow. That said, I thought I would share some basic facts when checking your own fire extinguishers for readiness, should you need them during this season, or any other time.
I know prior to working with Brickyard Fire Protection, my own experience with fire extinguishers was that the commercial ones hung on the wall and somebody came and inspected them once a year, and they were an after thought. In my house, it was even more of an after thought. As a matter of fact, most of the time, it was something that just got in the way, when I needed something else under the sink or in the pantry. Now, I can’t walk into a building without noticing where the fire extinguishers are, and I am drawn to look at the tag to see when it was last inspected. Perspective, baby!
There is absolutely no substitute for the professional inspection and maintenance of a fire extinguisher that in commercial settings is required to be done annually. But on a monthly basis, the fire extinguishers in your home or business should be inspected by someone to make sure that they continue to be in working condition. When conducting a self inspection of your fire extinguisher, use the following checklist (as explained in the NFPA 10 Annex F.6.2.2):
- The equipment is in its designated place, and its operating instructions face outward.
- Access to the fire extinguisher is not obstructed.
- Operating instructions are legible.
- Any seals or tamper indicators are not broken, missing, or in need of replacement.
- Pressure gauge or indicating devices are in the operable range or position.
- There is no evidence of corrosion or physical damage.
Should you find any anomaly during your self inspection, contact a certified fire extinguisher service company to have the unit serviced or replaced.
You can find more information about fire extinguisher service, inspections, and other safety protection services by utilizing our online resources below.
In years past, the mantra of “Everyone Sells” was en vogue and was spread through every department of an organization. Each position was evaluated on how its role in the organization affected the sales effort of that organization. I can remember when I worked in hotel management that we would speak with the front of the house team members as well as the back of the house team members about their role in the sales effort.
The worm has turned. The mantra for today’s successful businesses has changed to “Everyone Serves.” With as much saturation in the market as there is for like products, the only thing that differentiates one company from the next (with the exception of price), is Service. It seems as though, with the focus on controlling costs, and creating efficiency and the dependence on technology, that many businesses have lost the ability to serve their customers.
I can’t tell you the number of times in the past few months that I have been exposed to a lack of service from vendors as well as in my personal consumption. In most cases, this is not due to the inability of the individual to provide good service, but was due to a lack of a service culture within the organization. They wanted to help but simply were not able. Of course, there is always the encounter with the individual who simply does not have the internal skill set to be nice to people and provide good service, but that is not the norm.
When choosing to do business with a company either professionally or personally, I am placing a higher premium than ever on service. This has also cause me to re-evaluate how we handle our business on a daily basis. One of the things that I love about working at The Order Fulfillment Group, OFG Products, and Brickyard Fire Protection is that we look at everything through the prism of service. Whether it is through our order picking operation in the warehouse – where we have layered in accountability to accuracy on top of operational efficiencies throughout the process; or our packing operation, where we have established benchmarks for ensuring that orders are packed in the right box to ensure safe shipping, to the presentation of the items within the packing material – every detail is important.
In discussing our services with prospective clients, we are proud of the fact that we have developed a strong, core set of systems and procedures that make us capable of handling their business needs, but we are also flexible enough to tailor specific services that meet their needs more fully.
Here are some basic tips to making sure that your organization is dedicated to a service first culture:
- Have you empowered your team members to be able to adequately provide a memorable service experience? If not, do it today!
- Don’t settle for simply meeting your customer’s expectations – Choose to Exceed Their Expectations!
- Take the time to evaluate the A to Z of your business’ operation from product development to product delivery and look for ways to affect the service you are providing. Marry those ways into the operational procedures.
- Involve your team members in the development of the service culture. If they own the plan, they are more invested in its success.
- Ask your customers how you are doing? If your organization doesn’t have a formal process for gathering this information, and you can’t develop one – an informal process will work too.
- Be honest in your evaluation of the feedback you have been given. Find a way to either change the service provided or the service delivery so that it is more in step with what your customer is expecting.
- And Lastly, Celebrate Your Successes with your team!