Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A fire in the home of one of my relatives got me thinking about house fires and fire safety.  Restoration Professionals deals with fire and smoke damage all the time and we hope you never have to become one of our customers due to a fire in your home.

Here are a few tips to help prevent fires, and if you do have a fire in your home, some advice that could save you or a family member's life.

1. Smoke Alarms - Sounds like a pretty basic concept but there are many homes and apartments that do not have working smoke detectors.  They should be installed on every level of your house, especially near bedrooms.  You should test them twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings time in the spring and fall).  I actually check mine more often than that (when I use my oven to cook a new dish that gets a little smoky; I won't go into detail...)

2. Fire Extinguisher - Have one installed in or near your kitchen.  Grease fires can be difficult to put out and burn very hot.  They can rapidly spread to surrounding cabinets.  A dry chemical extinguisher can put out a grease fire.  A small extinguisher can be purchased for around $20 at Home Depot or Menards.  I keep mine under the sink.

3. Practice fire safety with your kids.  The US Fire Administration has a great website that teaches kids about fire safety:  This site has games, puzzles and quizzes that help educate children in a fun, engaging manner.

4.  Use caution with candles - 55% of candle fires start because of close proximity to combustible material such as curtains or bedding.  Never leave a burning candle unattended.  Sounds like common sense but 20% of candle fires start from unattended candles.

5. Establish multiple escape routes from your home and practice them with your family.  Determine a meeting place outside so you can account for all family members.  This will not only be important during a fire; it will also make your neighbors wonder what kind of family activity you have going on that involves climbing out of windows and standing together under the maple tree in the front yard!

These are just a few reminders to keep you and your family safe.  More information can be found at and through your local Fire Department.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hiring a Restoration Contractor

When a disaster such as flood or fire strikes, it is overwhelming to deal with the prospect of cleaning up and rebuilding.

Adding to the stress is the fear of being taken advantage of by shady or inexperienced contractors.  

When choosing a restoration contractor, there are a few questions every homeowner should ask before choosing a service provider.

1.  Are you licensed?  The State of Minnesota requires anyone who contracts or offers to contract with a homeowner to construct or improve residential real estate must be licensed as a residential building contractor.  Reconstruction of a property after a flood or fire is considered an improvement.  
As part of the licensing process, companies must prove that they carry the necessary insurance to protect not just you as the homeowner but the contractor's employees and the contractor if something unfortunate should happen during your project .  
An additional protection offered by hiring a licensed contractor is that you are then eligible for the state Contractor Recovery Fund which reimburses a homeowner should they incur a financial loss due to misconduct or nonperformance of contractor.  
Restoration Professionals is licensed as a residential building contractor in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

2.  Are you experienced in handling insurance claims?  It is important that you hire a contractor who is able to estimate, document and coordinate your insurance claim.  
Many home remodelers that have gotten into the restoration industry in recent years do not have the experience needed to deal with insurance claims and are unaware of the steps and documentation necessary for you to recover all insurance proceeds in order to restore your property to a pre-loss condition.  
In addition, there are specific procedures and processes that should be performed on your property to eliminate the possibility of mold or lingering smoke odor once your home is restored.  Restoration of a fire, smoke or water damaged property can be more complex than a regular remodel. 
Restoration Professionals has been handling insurance claim projects since we started our business and as the name implies, we are professionals at restoration work. 

3. Is it safe to let your employees into my home? After a disaster happens, you may feel especially vulnerable.  Letting complete strangers into your home and giving them access to your personal property can be daunting.  It is important to make sure your contractor performs background checks on employees and provides adequate training on handling customer's personal property.  
Restoration Professionals performs background checks on employees and provides continual training as well as restoration industry certifications.  

Know the right questions to ask to protect yourself, your property and your financial well-being if a misfortune strikes your home.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hello and Welcome to the Restoration Professionals blog.  
Let me introduce myself - I am Patty Miranda, Director of Marketing for Restoration Professionals or, as we like to call it, RestPro.  
We are a full-service water and fire damage emergency services and restoration contractor and we offer a variety of other services including carpet cleaning, mold remediation and bio-hazard clean-up, to name a few.  
We will be posting various things on this blog including helpful hints and articles for our customers and trade partners as well as more information about our company.  We will also try to throw in a little fun and trivia just to mix it up a little, so stay posted.