Current News

Category Archives:Current News

Recovery from Harvey and Irma: Where Do You Start?

HFA information contact:
Dan McCann
Director of Marketing & Communications
800.422.3778 X115

As people are beginning to return to their homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast and Florida to assess the aftermath of Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma – from wind damage to the unprecedented flooding, HFA has coordinated a list of resources to guide your recovery and assist in assessing damages.

  • The Red Cross provides a checklist of items to have on hand when returning to your home or business, in addition to basic tips for recovery.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) walks you through advice about remaining vigilant when it comes to health and safety in potentially perilous conditions. Click here for more information.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has put together a comprehensive resource guide that is frequently updated and covers topics such as safety, price gouging and ways you can seek or provide assistance.
  • FEMA, which oversees the National Flood Insurance Program, also offers a guide to help you through that claims process.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. Click here for details.
  • FEMA, also provides small business disaster grants. Click here for more information.
  • National Public Radio (NPR) has put together a list of resources for those looking help to people affected by Harvey.
  • WTXL ABC 27 affiliate had put together a list of resources by county for Florida Hurricane Irma victims

HFA members affected by Hurricane Harvey are encouraged to contact their membership services representative to discuss how HFA will assist you and your business. 800.422.3778 press 1

Do You Know What’s Just Around the Corner?

According to OSHA, nearly 100,000 workers are injured as a result of forklift accidents annually. The inability of individuals to see around corners and down aisles can quickly turn warehouses into danger zones. What are some of the solutions to minimize the risk?

Safety Mirrors

Safety Mirrors will help employees see around corners and down aisles so they can avoid all kinds of dangers in warehouses and storage facilities, including forklift traffic. Available in many configurations to meet the viewing angle requirements for any application.

Marking and Identification

Safety, warning and floor markings can be an effective way to designate areas of concern. Mounted warning signs at entry points, corners and intersections can alert to pedestrians to equipment traffic. Floor, or lane markers, that designate traffic flows for forklifts visually alert foot traffic and remind equipment drivers of the boundaries for operation.

Warehouse Protectors and Guards

Physical barriers are an excellent way to separate foot and equipment traffic. Posts, bumpers, rails and other high visibility barrier solutions can easily create safe walkways and encourage corner safety by becoming permanent objects to avoid.

Turning a corner blindly is a recipe for injury or product damage. With the many solutions available from various warehouse equipment and office supply retailers, keeping your employees safe is easy to accomplish.


For more information, call (800) 422-3778, Option 2.


Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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Commercial & Industrial Trash Compactors

Many severe injuries are caused each year by improper use of trash compactors. Injuries such as amputations, lacerations, and even fatalities have been the direct result of trash compactor misuse. It is important that management institute specific safety controls and instruct

employees as to appropriate safe practices to follow when using trash compactors.

Management controls

  1. Written safe operating rules should be reviewed with all employees who will use the compactor. Documentation of this training should be maintained in the employees’ personnel files.
  2. Appropriate safety signs for proper use of the compactor should be posted.
  3. Bilingual signs may be necessary in some geographical areas.
  4. The “Emergency Stop Buttons” should be well labeled and located in a prominent, easy to reach location. If the compactor is equipped with a loading door, the door should be interlocked with the main power switch so that the compactor will not operate when the door is in the “open” position.
  5. De-energizing and/or lockout procedures should be established and followed during maintenance and repair operations.
  6. If a loading platform is necessary, it should be substantially constructed of noncombustible materials and have a nonslip surface.
  7. The general public and untrained employees should be kept from the trash compactor room at all times.

Safe practices

  1. The compactor area of room should be kept locked at all times.
  2. The compactor operating key should never be left in the machine when unattended. Only responsible, trained employees should be given keys.
  3. The entire area (especially the floors) surrounding the compactor should be kept clear of debris and other materials at all times.
  4. Employees should never place hands and arms, or climb into the compactor.
  5. Long-handled hooks and rods should be used to clear jams. When performing such operations, the compactor should be de-energized.
  6. All point of operation guards should be kept in place at all times. If maintenance/repair operations require their removal, guards should be replaced prior to the restart of the compactor.
  7. Electrical control box doors should be kept closed and secured at all times.
  8. Never hose down the compactor when the power is on. Turn the power switch to the OFF position and remove the key prior to washing the compactor or the immediate floor area.
  9. Before compacting garbage, the interior of the bin should always be checked.
  10. Stand well back when dumping refuse into the compactor and when compacting trash. Safety glasses equipped with side shields should be worn during these operations.
  11. Before compacting, the operator should note the location of the emergency STOP button(s).Fluorescent lighting tubes or glass should not be compacted unless they are enclosed in cardboard cartons.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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5 tips to Increase Trust with Online Shoppers

Do your customer’s think you’re trustworthy? Do online reviews really make a difference? Let me get to the point, with an emphatic yes.

Consumers absolutely use reviews as part of their online research efforts–and the quality of the reviews materially impacts businesses.

Just consider:

  • 89% of consumers viewed online sources of product and service reviews as trustworthy–and another 80% have changed their minds about a purchase based solely on the negative reviews they read.
  • In 2011, 85% of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to purchase if they could find additional recommendations online.

For some businesses, online interaction is the last in a long list of pressing items.

For others, reviews are like heading to the dentist for a root canal: You’re filled with dread when you think of them. Whatever the reason, what you don’t know will kill you, so start with a quick, do-it-yourself audit. First, ask yourself where you would search if you were looking for your product. Check the usual search engines, blogs, online review and industry-specific sites. Remember: Losing revenue, customers, or even your business is much worse than the pain of reading negative commentary.

It’s also important to remember that fake reviews–of all three types–exist in abundance.

Competitors may pose like a disgruntled customer. A business might try to plant glowing reviews. This is why more has to be done to help consumers get smart about assessing online reviews–and why you, as a business owner, have to pay close attention to what’s going on Web-wise and the actions you need to take.

It’s likely that every business will, at some point, get a few negative reviews–in fact, a couple of these in a large sea of good ones is often convincing evidence that on the whole, your review rating can be trusted. People generally understand that everyone makes missteps from time to time–and they are forgiving. Maybe your front-office person had a bad day. A shipment is late. Quality assurance missed something. But just like real life, it’s all in how quickly, sincerely, and effectively you work to resolve the issue.

The Home Furnishings Association webinar on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 11:00am – 12:00pm PDT will give you 5 tips to Increase Trust with Online Shoppers.

In this webinar, we will provide you with tips to do just that. Experts from Podium will walk you through five proven tips from our customers that will help you become the most trusted business in your area.

Key takeaways include:

  • Why online reviews are important
  • Which online review sites deliver the most value
  • How to build an online review presence on the sites that matter most

Register HERE

State of California Raises Furniture Licensing Fees

The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (Bureau) will be raising fees on nine license types effective December 1, 2016. All fees due on/after this date will be assessed using the matrix below.

The last time the Bureau raised fees was 2002. This change is necessary to align the Bureau’s fees with current operational costs. For information regarding this and other regulatory action, please refer to the Bureau’s Website

Furniture/Bedding Importer $750 $750 $100 $225
Furniture/Bedding Manufacturer $750 $750 $100 $225
Furniture/Bedding Wholesaler $625 $625 $100 $187.50
Furniture Retailer $140 $140 $28 $42
Bedding Retailer $140 $140 $28 $42
Furniture/Bedding Retailer $280 $280 $56 $84
Custom Upholsterer $420 $420 $84 $126
Sanitizer $420 $420 $84 $126
Supply Dealer $625 $625 $100 $187.50

The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation
(916) 999-2041 or email at
On the Web at