Posts Tagged ‘smoke damage’

Mar
6

Candle Soot Claims: Part One

March 6th, 2013 by Rainbow International

Insurance and commercial property management companies have noted an increase in claims due to black spot stains on ceilings, walls, furniture, contents and HVAC filters from previously unidentified sources. The mystery is solved though! The problem is referred to as “black soot deposition” (BSD) and, as research indicates, a common household decorative item frequently causes it.

There is no evidence of a sudden or accidental source for BSD, like malfunctioning furnaces, gas water heaters, cigarette smoke or cooking by-products. Until recently, there was little compelling evidence to assign proper blame for the source of BSD. Tests have confirmed, however, the primary culprits are very possibly decorative scented candles.

Low quality candles are often to blame

Research indicates increased BSD is often the result of candle manufacturers adding additional fragrance oils to their products, along with improper wick trimming by customers. Many fragrance oils are not suitable for combustion and do not burn cleanly. It also appears many amateur candle-makers have entered the expanding market to capitalize on the current popularity of candles without proper training or experience.  The outcome is an abundance of low-quality candles burning in many homes and a corresponding increase in the frequency of indoor soot deposits.

Potential dangers to structure and health

The number of aromatic candle manufacturers, professional and amateur, grows each year. Many companies introduce candles to their product line without the knowledge necessary to produce a safe and clean-burning product. According to J. David Krause’s thesis, “Characterization of Scented Candle Emissions and Associated Public Health Risks,” chemical testing provides conclusive evidence that emissions from some burning candles contain more than 20 volatile organic compounds, lead and a significant amount of carbon.

Burning scented candles inside homes, apartments and commercial buildings can present serious health hazards to those living and working there. It can also mean damage to ventilation systems, furnishings and contents. Evidence suggests breathing even one micron of soot can be hazardous. It has been determined that breathing particulate matter, 2.5 microns or smaller, is detrimental to human health, and these particles are dangerous because they are inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing irritation and respiratory problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Lung Association (ALA) says those most at risk include people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly.

Oct
12

Rainbow International and Waco Fire Station #11 Promote National Fire Prevention Week

October 12th, 2012 by Rainbow International

The job of a firefighter is very serious and often hazardous. Everyday firefighters put their lives on the line to keep their communities safe. In honor of Fire Prevention Month we took a trip to our local fire station to bring cupcakes, check out the station and let the firefighters know just how much we really appreciate them.

After visiting we realized just how awesome our firefighters truly are. They make sacrifices to protect our homes and families, and provide emergency services without a second thought. These acts of courage and compassion should not go unnoticed! Support your local fire station and the brave men and women who prevent and lessen the impact of tragedies from happening in the future.

Thank you to our local firefighters and all of those around the world who keep us safe!

Aug
2

Home Fire Survival Guide

August 2nd, 2012 by Rainbow International

Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 25,000 are injured in fires, many of which could be prevented. Following these safety precautions and preparing for a possible home fire can dramatically shorten the amount of time it takes to reach safety.

Most house fires happen between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. This means you are likely to be asleep, making it even more important that you know how to react in order to save yourself and your family since you won’t have much time to plan your escape.

If you notice smoke, drop to the floor and begin to crawl to the exit nearest you. The smoke and heat will rise to the ceiling. With luck, you’ll be able to stay where the air is cool and clear.

Install and Test Smoke Alarms

Some tools are needed beforehand in order to survive a fire. Homes should be outfitted with a smoke and fire alarm. These alarms will alert you to the presence of a fire, giving more time to escape. Homes should have fire extinguishers on hand, and those living in the home should know how to use them. Sleeping with doors closed will help because they can prevent a fire from spreading into the room.

Have a Family Escape Plan

If you have children, work out an escape plan. Chances are any fire will start while they’re sleeping and you may not have the opportunity to tell them what to do. They need to know what to do, and they’ll only know if they’ve practiced it. Plus, when children panic they look for places to hide, like a closet or under the bed. They need to know how to get out of the house, and how to do it, by crawling to the nearest exit.

Beware of Hot Doors

Hot doors mean that the fire is nearby and the door should not be opened. Check for heat before touching a door. The best way to do this is to feel the top of the door with the back of your hand, so you don’t burn the palm of your fingers.

If the door is hot, don’t open it. Doors can keep out smoke, even more so if you can put a blanket or clothing along the bottom. Head for the window. If you can’t get out, find a way to signal your presence, with nearby items such as a flashlight or white sheet.

Make Firefighters Aware of Pets

Placing stickers on windows to alert firefighters that pets are in a home will help save their lives. Firefighters have the obligation of protecting people and property first, but will save pets if possible. Since animals can become easily confused during an emergency, leashes should always be kept in the same place so they can quickly be located during the rush to evacuate a burning home.

Apr
20

Helping Your Family “Go Green” for Earth Day

April 20th, 2012 by Rainbow International

It is becoming more and more important for us to reduce pollution and help save our environment. Read these tips and tricks to help your family get started on a new eco-friendly lifestyle!

  • Save water by decreasing your shower time – or take a bath. It uses less water.
  • Brush your teeth with the water off.
  • Recycle – most things can be recycled now days including junk mail, cell phones, paper products, plastic, etc.
  • Switch from paper and plastic bags to reusable bags and totes.
  • Forget the electric or gas dryer, and air dry your clothing.
  • Unplug your appliances when you leave the house to save energy (and prevent a fire hazard).
  • Use refillable beverage containers instead of disposable water bottles.
  • Opt for direct deposit, online banking, and paperless statements to reduce paper use.
  • Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of jarred, canned, or frozen.

Don’t forget, Earth Day is this coming Sunday, April 22nd. But with these tips you can make everyday Earth Day!

Sep
26

Rainbow International Welcomes Five New Franchise Owners In September

September 26th, 2011 by Rainbow International

Rainbow International welcomes five new franchise owners to business training at the home office in Waco, Texas!

We’re joined by new franchise owners Bob Cullen (Carmichael, California), David Crow (Champaign, Illinois), Brent Arthaud (Worcester, Massachusetts), John DeVito (Katonah, New York) and Ben Berringer (Portland, Maine).

Welcome to the Rainbow International network of water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup and restoration professionals!

Jul
22

Empathy In Restoration Industry Business Development

July 22nd, 2011 by Rainbow International

Last month the Harvard Business Review released results of a personality survey* administered to 1,000 salespeople. They sought an answer to the question: “What makes a superior salesperson or sales representative?” I found their answers intriguing, especially for those working in a sales capacity as business development associates in the restoration and cleaning industry.

The seven (7) key personality traits identified in this survey are:

(1)    Modesty
(2)    Conscientiousness
(3)    Achievement Orientation
(4)    Curiosity
(5)    Lack of Gregariousness
(6)    Lack of Discouragement
(7)    Lack of Self-Consciousness

While many of these traits seem self-evident in a good salesperson, others are outside the realm of general expectations. I encourage you to read the full article for more information.

To this mix I’ll add another trait that, based on my experience, is critical in successful business development associates, particularly to those working with insurance agents and adjusters in the restoration and cleaning industry: empathy.

Empathy is the ability to recognize and, to some degree, share the feelings of others. For the restoration and cleaning industry, this can mean successfully relating at an emotionally and psychologically compelling level with customers dealing with the shock and aftermath of a water, fire, smoke or mold disaster. As a restoration and cleaning services provider, the business development associate represents both insurance carriers and their policy-holders. The most successful amongst these possess the genuine empathetic ability to see, think and feel what their customers see, think and feel.

My own experiences as a sales representative and sales manager confirm this. Leading restoration and cleaning industry business development associates truly care about their customers. They take the time to listen and expend sincere effort to understand the challenges at hand. This is evident in pre-call planning, face-to-face interviews and service presentations leading to the successful completion of a job.

If you want to be a leading business development associate in the restoration and cleaning industry, ask yourself the following tough questions:

  • “How can the restoration and cleaning contractor I represent help solve my customers’ problems?” 
  • “What is best for the customer?”
  • “Does everything I do, from emails to calls to presentations to deal-sealing handshakes, put the customer first?”

Exercise empathy. See, think and feel as your customers do and work towards becoming a leading restoration and cleaning industry business development associate. Above all, treat others as you would like to be treated and put your customers first.

Sincerely,

Bruce T. Vogt
Director of Business Development and Marketing
Rainbow International®
bruce.vogt@rainbowintl.com
www.twitter.com/brucetvogt

Bruce Vogt, an accomplished speaker, instructor, author, and communicator is an authority on water damage restoration, mold remediation and humidity control.

Bruce has over 20 years consulting experience with engineers, plant and facility managers, manufacturing facilities, hotels, motels, universities, water and fire damage restoration contractors and the military. Bruce has designed humidity control systems for plants, factories, military equipment and environmental protection systems for museum artifacts at the Smithsonian Institute.

Bruce understands the effects and potential health consequences of water, fire, smoke and mold damage  He has trained water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup and restoration contractors and insurance agents and adjusters for many years.

Bruce was a contributor to the first-ever published IICRC Standards and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration S500-94. He is also the author of Marketing by Delight, a reference guide to superior customer relations. 

*http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/06/the_seven_personality_traits_o.html

Oct
14

Rainbow International Featured on NBC’s "The Office"

October 14th, 2010 by Rainbow International

Check out the 09/30/2010 episode of The Office at about 9:40 in. Look at the refrigerator magnet to the upper right, above the one-eyed green monster. Yes, that’s a Rainbow International service vehicle magnet!

http://www.hulu.com/watch/179299/the-office-counseling

Many thanks to Mr. Appliance of Fresno franchise owner Dylan Conner for the eagle-eye in catching this. And special thanks to Jodi Bunnell, Director of Business Development with Rainbow International of Northeast Pennsylvania for making this possible.

“There was an opportunity offered at our local chamber of commerce in Scranton to drop off promo material,”  Jodi said. “I dropped off magnets, pens, and mugs. I am so excited that they used our magnet! Keep your eyes open for the pens and mugs.”

The Office is a hit comedy series that depicts the lives and experiences of employees in a Scranton, Pennsylvania paper company.