A glass storefront provides your business with numerous benefits, from a sleek look that appeals to customers to a built-in space for advertising. However, glass storefronts can also make your business premises more vulnerable.
As with any large glass window, your storefront could become broken due to a storm, accident, or attempt at burglary. Choosing the correct commercial glass type and leaving installation to an experienced glass expert can reduce the risk of breakage but may not prevent all storefront glass damage.
Should your glass storefront break, it’s important that you understand how to address the problem as safely and efficiently as possible to protect your company from liability issues or theft and your employees from injury.
In this blog, we discuss the steps you should take in the event of a storefront accident.
Assess the Situation
Storefront breakage can occur for numerous reasons, so it’s important to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the damage before proceeding. If, for example, the glass shattered due to the impact of a tree branch, you should be able to start or continue your workday after notifying your business insurer.
However, if the glass was broken by an intruder, you should make a call to local law enforcement. If the break-in occurred while people were inside the building, have any customers and employees who witnessed the event stay to talk to the officers.
If the break-in happened during off-hours, have a police officer check the premises for anyone who shouldn’t be there before entering the building. Let any employees coming in for work know how the break-in affects their schedule.
Contact a Trusted Glass Professional
Once you know the situation with the building’s security, reach out to a trusted glass professional. Commercial glass suppliers and installers understand how much stress an incident like the one you’ve experienced can cause and generally act promptly to help.
Cordon Off the Area
In addition to taking steps to address circumstantial hazards before entering your business if the storefront is broken, it’s also important to prevent injuries in the area where the glass fell.
In many cases, the glass will mostly fall into your property. However, if a projectile thrown by a child in your store hit the glass, some or all of the pieces may land outside.
Regardless of where the glass fell, take measures to cordon off the area until it can be cleaned. If you have businesses next to you, let the owners or on-duty staff know about the potential hazards.
Have the Correct Professionals Clean
Glass cleanup is much riskier than most of the cleaning your regular employees may undertake. Unless you cannot avoid doing so, do not send employees who are not cleaning staff to handle broken glass.
This principle holds particularly true if you think that having a regular employee clean up glass would fall outside his or her job tasks, violate his or her contract, or create a potentially difficult premise liability situation. Do not allow customers to aid in cleanup, even if they offer to do so.
Contact your contracted janitorial or housekeeping staff to see if they can handle this type of mess and if they are available for an immediate clean-up. If your regular cleaners cannot perform the job, you may need to hire someone else.
If you have employees tackle the mess or you pitch in yourself, ensure that every person is properly outfitted. Do not attempt to enter an area with broken glass if you are not wearing closed toe shoes.
Additionally, require anyone sweeping or picking up pieces to wear work gloves and clothing that provides adequate coverage. Once the large pieces are gone, you will need to vacuum or mop the floor thoroughly to get rid of any shards too small to pick up individually.
Protect Your Interior
Once you have cleaned up as much of the glass as possible, take steps to protect your business location’s interior from the elements and from any further security breaches. For smaller storefronts, you may be able to cover the opening with plastic.
For a larger storefront, you may need to consider boarding over the opening until arrangements for replacement glass are made.
Follow these guidelines to ensure that you don’t have to deal with any issues more serious than the broken glass and possible security concerns that have already arrived along with a broken storefront.
If you’re facing a storefront-related issue not directly covered in this blog, call the expert team at Ken Caryl Glass, Inc. We have worked with local businesses of all sizes to help business owners choose the right glass solutions for their companies, industry, and location.
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