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16 fire prevention tips for home and work

Cooler temperatures are finally on the way and the heating season is coming up. Sadly, this means the risk of fire at home and at work is on the rise as well. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire department responds to a fire every 19 seconds in the United States. Fire and smoke damage cause property losses approaching $12 billion each year. The human toll is stunning, with fire injuries and deaths reaching into the thousands each year.

October 8-14, 2017 is National Fire Prevention Week. Now’s the time to take steps to prevent fires and to protect yourself if a fire does occur. Whether in a place of business or at home, you should be doing the following:

  1. Keep matches, lighters and other fire starting devices out of sight and reach of children.
  2. Keep candles away from children and pets. Extinguish candles after use and never leave them burning unattended.
  3. Have your heating system checked out and serviced before using it for the first time this fall.
  4. If you burn fuel for heat, you need a carbon monoxide detector. CO2 is colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly, and is the result of burning fossil fuels.
  5. If your home or business uses gas for anything (heating, water heater, stove) and you smell gas, evacuate and call 911 immediately.
  6. Install fresh batteries in smoke detectors. A good time to do this is each fall and spring when we change to and from daylight saving time.
  7. Businesses should have a fire escape plan diagramed and labeled, and posted in easy view. (You should have a plan for your home as well, and all family members should know what to do.)
  8. Know where all exits are located. Even your newest employee should know this.
  9. Keep working fire extinguishers within 75 feet. Your local fire department will come to your business and provide training on the use of fire extinguishers. Be sure you know how to use one. Replace fire extinguishers every year or have them serviced.
  10. Don’t leave a stove unattended. Grease causes a lot of fires in the kitchen. Interestingly, according to insurance statistics it’s especially common when preparing French fries. Consider installing a fire suppressor such as StoveTop FireStop (not a paid endorsement) to prevent kitchen fires.
  11. Programmable coffeemakers should have an automatic shutoff feature or you must always remember to turn them off. Never leave a coffeemaker on when you are away from the building. If possible, use a coffeemaker that has a thermal carafe instead of a heat plate. The thermal coupler in the heat plate can go bad and start a fire.
  12. Be sensible with extension cords. Don’t use them if you don’t have to. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord and don’t overload them. Don’t run them under carpet and make sure nothing is resting on an extension cord such as a chair leg. This creates resistance, which in turn builds heat, which can start a fire.
  13. Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup and static electricity from clothing is a dangerous combination that could spark a fire.
  14. Turn off supplemental heat when not needed. Be especially careful with kerosene space heaters that use an inverted fuel tank. If not installed properly they can leak and cause a fire.
  15. Do not store gasoline powered equipment in a storage area that has a gas water heater. If something goes wrong with either one, the other will literally add fuel to the flame.
  16. In the event of a power outage make sure everything is turned off in case the power is restored while you are away. Many fires have started while someone was cooking when an outage occurred, and the power came on later with the stove still on and no one at home.

 

If the unavoidable happens, Disaster One will perform fire damage restoration including cleanup, water extraction, reconstruction, and contents restoration. Call us at 800-277-4787 to learn more.

COMING UP NEXT: In addition to prevention, you need to be prepared in case the worst scenario happens. In our next post we’ll share tips on what to do before and after a fire.

Do you have another great fire prevention tip? Share it in the comments section.

 

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Disaster One announces merger with BluSky Restoration Contractors

Disaster One announces merger with Colorado-based BluSky Restoration Contractors

Joining forces and Merging Cultures to Benefit Customers Nationwide

 

On Monday, October 2, Greensboro, North Carolina-based Disaster One, Inc. announced a merger with Centennial, Colorado-based BluSky Restoration Contractors, LLC.

Ras Fenger, Disaster One President

Rasmus Fenger, Disaster One President

Kent Stemper, BluSky CEO

Kent Stemper, BluSky CEO

“Joining forces with BluSky is all about making the resulting company stronger for our customers and employees — customers who need our services today, as well as tomorrow,” says Disaster One president Rasmus Fenger. “BluSky has a very similar culture to Disaster One, in that they place the highest value on both its customers and its people. Like a great marriage, where each make the other better in an unbreakable partnership, this too will result in a great company,” adds Fenger.

Fenger has been in the cleaning & restoration industry for 20 years. He acquired Disaster One in 1999 and the company has been exponentially expanding its footprint and sales ever since. Fenger will step away from day-to-day operations of the merged company and will take on a role as a partner, working to support integration of the two companies. BluSky CEO Kent Stemper will remain as the merged firm’s CEO.

“BluSky and Disaster One share similar missions and core values that are driven first and foremost on our firms providing best in class customer service,” says Stemper. “Two of Disaster One’s core values are integrity and teamwork, which have been primary drivers of BluSky’s success as well and will be a great fit with our firm, and that represents a key factor in attracting BluSky to approach them about joining forces. We will be stronger together and our customers will benefit,” added Stemper.

According to Stemper, BluSky has grown organically as a privately-owned Colorado startup in 2004 to more than $100 million in sales and has a nationwide footprint that includes nearly every state in the contiguous United States. In addition to steady sales growth, BluSky has been certified as a Great Place to Work™ for small to medium-sized companies for nearly every year for the past 10.

Stemper says BluSky hires for character as well as competence. “For BluSky it’s about building a strong culture,” says Stemper. So, when it came to a company with whom BluSky would be interested in joining forces, Stemper says matching cultures was paramount. Disaster One was that company because they share a similar approach in many ways.

“At BluSky, we care for our employees and treat them well.  As a result, our employees will take the extra step to do an exceptional job for the company and their teammates.  We look forward to merging our cultures and continuing to improve upon what’s been built,” adds Stemper.

 

 

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Ready for Hurricane Irma

Ready for Hurricane Irma

Disaster One announced this morning that it will complete the majority of its work in southeast Texas this weekend and will redirect resources to its Tampa and Atlanta operations early next week where Hurricane Irma is expected to strike.

In the event of catastrophic storm damage or flooding, we will assess each loss and do everything we can to help as many of our clients as possible.

Hurricane Irma left catastrophic damage in its wake in the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm and now Florida is bracing for impact. The historic “monster” storm is expected to make a direct hit on south Florida this weekend as a Category 4 hurricane, and will still be a tropical storm as far north as Atlanta. Everyone in the projected path should monitor weather updates closely.

We bring order and assurance to chaotic situations. If you or someone you know needs our help, contact us at any time 24/7/365 at 800-277-4787 to request service.

LEARN MORE:

What to do before, during, and after a hurricane

7 tips for avoiding contractor scams after a hurricane

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Hurricane damage

7 tips for avoiding contractor scams after a hurricane

In the wake of a hurricane or even a tropical storm you’ll see a lot of contractors offering to help with repairs. Some are very reputable, some…not so much so. How do you avoid being scammed?

Disaster One offers the following advice:

  • Be suspicious of any high pressure contractor who tries to rush you to make decisions, particularly if the repairs are not an emergency or the work is temporary
  • Ask for references; an ethical contractor will be happy to provide them
  • Do not deal with a contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job upfront
  • Immediately dismiss any contractor who claims to be backed by FEMA – they do not endorse individual contractors
  • Look for the business name and phone number on the vehicle of anyone who approaches you about repairs
  • Ask to see the contractor’s driver’s license – write down the license number and the license plate number of their vehicle
  • Never allow a contractor to discourage you from contacting your insurance company; you should contact your insurance company immediately

If you ever experience flood or storm damage, Disaster One is here for you with 24/7 emergency response. Integrity is #1 in our mission statement and we encourage you to check our references.

Call us any time at 800-277-4787 any time you need our help.

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Disaster One Responds to Hurricane Harvey

Disaster One Responds to Hurricane Harvey

A convoy of 11 trucks and trailers left Disaster One’s corporate headquarters this morning taking a large crew, power generators, and disaster restoration equipment to southeast Texas. This is the first wave of vehicles headed for the devastated areas surrounding Houston to aid in recovery after Hurricane Harvey wreaked its havoc in late August 2017.

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Disaster One mobilizing for Harvey relief

Mobilizing for Harvey Relief

The damage from Hurricane Harvey is catastrophic in southeast Texas, and Disaster One has mobilized its manpower and equipment to assist.

 

Hurricane Harvey MobilizationWith early estimates approaching $160 billion in damage, Harvey is expected to be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history according to media reports published on Wednesday morning. In response, before flood waters have even begun to recede, Disaster One has mobilized a team of 20 emergency response personnel to travel to Texas and help start the long process of recovery.

In addition to our crew, Disaster One is deploying 1,500 pieces of disaster restoration equipment including power generators, dehumidifiers, and air movers, to extract flood waters from homes and businesses and begin drying structures and their contents.

WATCH THE TRUCKS LEAVING FOR TEXAS 

 

How you can help:

Countless people have asked what they can do to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, so we’ve compiled a list of charitable organizations providing disaster relief. If you would like to make a contribution or lend a hand, please consider the following.

American Red Cross – Hurricane Harvey

Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Americares (donate to provide emergency medicine and supplies, water, and medical outreach)

Greater Houston Community Foundation (Hurricane Harvey relief fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner)

JJ Watt (Houston Texans) Houston Flood Relief Fund (donors include NFL organizations and players, but anyone can donate)

Donors Choose Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund (specifically focused on helping teachers rebuild and restock their classrooms)

Humane Society of the U.S. (helping animals and the people who care for them deal with Hurricane Harvey)

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Sleeping Booty

Sleeping Booty signs on for Chips for Children 2017

The cool factor at this year’s Chips for Children just went up.

Popular North Carolina cover band Sleeping Booty has just been signed to perform at the conclusion of what is already an action-packed evening of fun. The band is set to take the stage following the high-rolling Chips for Children casino night games and a spectacular live auction.

A high-energy 12-piece band, Sleeping Booty is a tour de force featuring a horn section, percussion, and multiple lead vocalists. The band delivers the best music from Aretha Franklin to ZZ Top, and is guaranteed to finish Chips for Children on a high note.

We’re excited to have The Sleeping Booty Band on board and we know you won’t want to miss Chips for Children this year. Come and help us support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greensboro!

DATE: Friday, October 27, 2017

LOCATION: Greensboro Country Club, 410 Sunset Drive

TIME: Doors open at 7:00 pm for cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres; casino games start at 7:30. Sleeping Booty will hit the stage around 10 pm.

 

Learn More About Chips for Children

Learn More About The Sleeping Booty Band

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Meet Our Team: Matt

Our blog series “Meet Our Team” continues this week. We periodically post a brief interview with one of our team members to let you see inside Disaster One and learn more about who we are.

Matt Lampert Disaster OneToday we’re pleased to introduce you to Matt, a project manager in our Charlotte office. A native of Waynesboro, VA, Matt has been with Disaster One for 20 months. In the last 8 months he’s been named Project Manager of the Month twice and tied for first place for Disaster One’s Customer Service Award, which is based on customer feedback.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a couple large fire losses in Charlotte and Monroe, NC, and helping get the Charlotte branch’s new project manager up to speed.

What inspires you to do what you do?

Wanting to continue to further my education within the industry and be as productive as possible for the Charlotte branch and for the company.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

The team atmosphere in Charlotte and getting out and experiencing different things on a daily basis.

What is your proudest moment at Disaster One?

Winning PM of the Month two straight months.

What do you like to do when you’re off work?

Weekend road trips to the mountains and beach, trying out new craft breweries, and projects around the house.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

I played collegiate soccer at Bridgewater College in Harrisonburg, VA.

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Roof hail damage repair

My Disaster One Story – From Jesse

As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, we’ve invited our clients to share a memorable Disaster One story with us. The following story is from Jesse, a Greensboro homeowner.

“We have had a Nationwide homeowners policy since the 1960s and have, thankfully, not had to make a claim until recently. We have always heard horror stories about the claims process from many insurance companies.

A few weeks ago, we contacted our agent concerning hail damage to our roof. He was very accommodating when we talked with him. An agent from Disaster One in Greensboro, NC, was at our house in two days to check the roof. The young man, Noe Salas, was also very courteous and professional. In a few days a claims associate from Nationwide called to inform us that the claim had been approved for the total replacement of the roof.

The roof was replaced on April 21, 2017. It was very obvious from the manner in which they unloaded the shingles and equipment and proceeded to get to work that this group knew what they were doing. The job was completed and the site was cleaned up.

We are writing this letter because we feel that each of these people should be recognized for the outstanding manner in which they performed their duties. Our claim story is very positive and satisfactory.”

Thank you, Jesse, for your kind words and for choosing Disaster One to serve you in your time of need.

 

(Photo credit: CharlotteProRoofing.com (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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Meet Our Team: Rodney

Our blog series “Meet Our Team” continues this week. We periodically post a brief interview with one of our team members to let you see inside Disaster One and learn more about who we are.

 

Meet our team: RodneyToday we’re pleased to introduce you to Rodney, a Large Loss Water & Mold lead restoration technician. A native of Columbia, SC, Rodney has been with Disaster One for three years.

What are you working on right now?

We just started work on a loss in New Bern, NC, at an apartment community. They had flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy that affected 16 units. We’ve got 11 people including temps on the job.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I like the feeling of being able to help people in their time of need. I have great coworkers – we’re always learning new things about restoration, and we keep each other inspired.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

Every day is going to be different. Also, there’s opportunity for advancement and great on-the-job training with Paul Miller, Steve Brown, and Chris Maness.

What is your proudest moment at Disaster One?

I found Disaster One online. I was working with a carpet cleaning company at the time and I wanted to get into full-time restoration. One of my proudest moments was the day I got hired; it’s been full steam ahead ever since. But probably my very proudest moment was going back home to Columbia in 2015 [the epicenter of historic flooding after Hurricane Joaquin] to help my fellow South Carolinians get their lives back in order.

What do you like to do when you’re off work?

I like to shoot pool, and I love to barbecue. You know I cater, that’s my biggest thing.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

That’s a tough one, there’s not a lot of mystery to me! I pride myself in being a people person; you get the same “me” every day.