Blog

exterior of school facility with trees and grass

At the beginning of the school year, the building opens for hundreds of students and staff ready to join the new year. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and wonder where to start with maintenance when playing catch up from the summer. 

Instead of waiting until the doors open, maintenance and facility staff can begin their work in the summer – and get a jump start on things that didn’t get finished the year before. Here is a back-to-school checklist of things to work on and inspect before the bell rings in September. 

5 Areas to Assess for School Maintenance

  1. Check the HVAC Systems.
    • Is the heating and ventilation system ready to go? Cold weather is around the corner, and the heating unit needs to be working properly and at peak performance. Check the boiler for leaks, corrosion or rust, and create a weekly, monthly, and yearly schedule for regular maintenance
    • Look at fans and vents for loose nuts and bolts, and listen for any strange sounds that may indicate loose parts. Make sure exhaust fans for proper airflow. 
    • Replace the filters with new, clean filters. Clean filters not only provide clean airflow, but will also increase efficiency of the HVAC unit.
  2. Check the alarm systems. 
    • Safety of students and staff is the most important job of any person in the school. A yearly check of alarm and safety systems is necessary. Make sure to properly document all testing and results. 
    • Test fire alarms including smoke detectors. Replace batteries and light bulbs if necessary. If possible, contact your local fire department to complete testing.
    • Make sure all extinguishers are filled and in proper working order. Take inventory of the units and make sure they are all tagged appropriately with the date they were last serviced. 
    • Test emergency exit lights and replace any bulbs if needed. 
  3. Look at the plumbing.
    • Check the buildings plumbing before students and staff arrive. It’s been sitting unused for the majority of the summer.
    • Check water heaters. Look at gauges and verify water temperatures are not too hot. 
    • Make sure all heaters are in good working order with no leaks. 
    • Test showers in locker rooms, sinks, and all toilets. If they’ve been unused for months, it is vital to test before slews of students begin using the pipes on a regular basis. 
  4. Check the cafeteria.
    • Check the stoves and gas/electric lines for leaks. Make sure everything is working properly and call in a professional if needed.
    • Check fridges and freezers for proper temperatures. Make sure that doors and hinges close securely. 
  5. Inspect the roof for any loose shingles or holes and call in a professional if necessary to repair the issues.

Need a Quick Fix?

If you notice damage due to water or areas that need repairing, let us know. At Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, we have a team devoted to commercial restoration. Call us today for a free walk through and see how we can help get your school ready for the return of students, staff, and faculty. 

Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration today 406-628-0178 for emergency property damage cleanup and restoration services by Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration of Billings and Laurel, Montana

fire sprinkler system on ceiling of office building

Fire safety is vital to protect your business, employees, and customers. A fire protection sprinkler system is a reliable method to extinguish a fire at your commercial property, save lives and lessen property loss. According to the Congressional Office of Compliance, fire sprinkler systems reduce the risk of a person dying in a fire by 75%. 

On top of putting out fires, fire protection systems can also save you money on your insurance or taxes for having the extra physical protection on your property. But as beneficial as they are, if your fire sprinkler system is not up to date, working properly, or regularly maintained there are no guarantees that it will work when you need it to.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) created the NFPA25, which is “the baseline for inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems.” By following this checklist, you can conduct routine maintenance and safety inspections on your business’s sprinkler system to keep it in working order. You will also know if it’s time to upgrade your system to a newer one. If you’re unsure of where things are in your system, you can refer to this guide.

Monthly Inspection Fire Sprinkler System Checklist

  1. Check the control valves. During your monthly inspections, you should first focus on the valves. They should each be in their normal open or closed positions, properly sealed and locked, accessible, free from any visible leaks, not damaged, and labeled appropriately. 
  2. Check the gauges. It’s also important at this time to inspect the gauges. If you have a dry system, there are three things you need to check: See that the gauge on the supply side of the dry pipe valve shows a normal supply water pressure, confirm the gauge on the quick-opening device has the same pressure that’s shown as on the dry pipe valve, finally check the gauges that are on systems with low air or nitrogen pressure alarms. If you have a wet system, make sure your gauges are in good working condition and that normal water pressure is being maintained. 

Quarterly Inspection Fire Sprinkler System Checklist

  1. Inspect the alarm devices. Check that these devices don’t have any visible damage. Then test the water flow alarm by opening the test connection on a wet pipe system and the bypass connection on a dry pipe system.
  2. Secure the hydraulic nameplate. Make sure this is attached to the sprinkler riser and can be clearly read. 
  3. Check your fire department connections. Ensure they are visible and not damaged. Check that the fire department valves and gauges are in good repair and not leaking.

Annual Inspection Fire Sprinkler System Checklist

The NFPA requires your annual fire sprinkler system inspection be completed by a professional technician. A certified professional can ensure that your building is safe and up to code. During this inspection, the technician will complete everything on the monthly and quarterly inspections. They will also: 

1. Inspect all of your sprinkler heads. This will include the pipes and fittings. 

2. Check the interior dry valve pipes. They’ll check that the pipes are free of physical damage, that the trim valves are in the appropriate open and closed positions, and that the intermediate chamber is not leaking.  

3. Test the main drain flow. This checks the conditions of the water supplied to the sprinkler system from the pressure reducing valve.  

If you conduct this checklist and see broken gauges and valves, proper water pressure is not being supplied to the system, or if your pipes aren’t fitting properly or leaking, it might be time to upgrade your system. Although costly up front, it’ll save money in the long run, by keeping your business up to code. And should your commercial property ever have a fire, a sprinkler system will limit property losses and saving lives. 

Need Fire Damage Restoration Services? 

Contact Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration. We provide emergency fire damage and water damage services. Our certified and trained technicians are available 24/7 to help assess the situation and mitigate the damage from the fire, smoke, soot, and water used to put the fire out. At Alpha Omega, our technicians will work directly with your insurance company. We want to restore your business as quickly and safely as possible. 


Alpha-Omega Pros is a fully certified professional restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas.

Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration today 406-628-0178 for emergency property damage cleanup and restoration services by Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration of Billings and Laurel, Montana

exterior of commercial building experiencing a workplace fire with fire and smoke coming out of building, fire truck and firemen putting out the fire

Fires at your business property can be devastating to you, employees, and the company’s bottom line. The good news is that most fires are preventable. Knowing the most common causes workplace fires will allow you to educate your employees. This will keep your building secure and safe from workplace fires. Read more

exterior apartment building

Requiring a tenant to have renters insurance is a great way to protect you, your property, and their personal belongings. Should anything happen to the property while your tenant is living there, renters insurance will add a level of ease and security to benefit both parties.  Read more

commercial building undergoing cleanup from property disaster

When your business has been damaged by flooding, fire, or mold growth, hiring a property restoration company as quickly as possible to prevent further damage is key. The faster you act, the less damage your commercial property will have overall, and the cheaper and faster it will be to repair it. The type of business insurance you have may affect who you can hire, but asking potential contractors the right questions will help you feel confident in who you hire, ensuring the job gets done right, safely, and on time. Read more

Evacuation Floor Plan for Tenants or Commercial Property Fire Safety

Fire damage at your rental property can be devastating to your tenants and to you. The safety and fire education of your tenants is a crucial part of being a professional landlord. It doesn’t matter if you are an established landlord or if this is your first building to rent. Not to mention, you have a legal and ethical obligation to do so. Providing proper fire safety education can mean the difference between someone safely using their stove versus incorrectly using the stove and starting a fire. Read more

evacuation plan graphic for fire or other emergency from commercial building

Fires in a rental property can be stressful on your tenants and you. They can lead to tenant injury, displacement, or worse, death. Making sure your tenants have proper fire escape plans in place that they are aware of, feel confident in, and can act upon during an actual emergency is key to making sure everyone is safe during a fire. 

If a fire occurs in your business, are your tenants educated on fire prevention methods and prepared if one happens? Is your rental property set up with the proper escape plans and tools in case of a fire?  Creating a fire evacuation plan with your tenants is the first step to keeping everyone safe, minimizing damage, and allowing your rental property to be rebuilt to pre-loss condition faster Read more

apartment building that suffered fire with caved in roof and boarded up windows

Fire damage can be devastating to your business. Fires can ruin structures, possessions, and lead to water damage from the water used to put out the fire. It’s important to call a professional restoration company as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Construction restoration companies have different levels of services and repair and rebuilding timelines.  Read more

burst pipe and damaged ceiling tiles in commercial property water damage

Water damage and flooding can happen to your business from severe weather or from your sprinkler system or water used to put out a fire. After the damage occurs, it’s important to act quickly to get the water out of your commercial building. Waiting can lead to worse damage like mold growth, mildew, and further structural damage. More damage means it will take more time and money to restore and rebuild your property. And with a business, you’ll want to reopen as soon as possible.   Read more

hand in room holding tablet with emergency evacuation plan template

Commercial fire damage is a big deal. It can lead to the disruption of work and financial losses, and, in worse case scenarios, loss of life. If a fire occurs in your business, are your employees educated on fire prevention methods and prepared if one happens? Is your business set up with the proper escape plans and tools in case of a fire?  Creating a fire evacuation plan with your employees is the first step to keeping everyone safe, minimizing damage, and allowing your commercial property to be rebuilt to pre-loss condition faster Read more