Fire prevention tips for holiday homes

This season’s fluctuating highs and lows have caused an unusual rate of house fires in the metro and—amidst strands of decorative lights and power cords—now marks a good time to highlight some important safety tips. Here’s a quick list of precautions that will help you enjoy a safer holiday.

Treat outdoor lighting with respect.

Exterior lights often require more electricity and burn hotter than indoor lights. While many people are quick to use any extension cords they might have in storage, it’s crucial to use outdoor-approved extension cords and nothing else. LED lights also burn much cooler and more efficiently than the old-school incandescent bulbs, making them a smarter buy that lowers several risks. These are quick, easy fixes that should be heeded much like wearing a seatbelt.

Be aware of indoor hazards.

In the cold months, coziness is understandably a priority at home. Amidst the relaxation, remember to be mindful of where your heat sources are. Is your space heater at a distance of at least three feet from its surroundings? Is everything in your home—especially if you have a Christmas tree—safely distanced from the fireplace? Is all the lint removed from around your dryer? Is all of the tinsel, toys, wrapping and seasonal décor kept away from flame or heat? Did you switch off your electric blanket after using it? Also, despite its admitted use by homeowners, any fire department will tell you to never heat your home using an oven.

Wisely place and water your tree.

A high-moisture, well-watered tree is good. An under-watered tree can become dry, turning those lights wrapped around it into potential igniters. And if your tree is artificial, check your electrical connections and keep it away from flames or heat sources. And whether your tree is natural or otherwise, always remember to switch off those lights before bed.

Test your smoke alarms.

Now is a good time to ensure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Some fire departments offer smoke alarms free or at a reduced price. You can inquire about this by calling your fire department’s non-emergency number. And on that note, always make sure your home has a fire extinguisher in case of emergency.

We’ve seen—and repaired—every type of home disaster at Total Construction. So in addition to wishing you the warmest holiday season, we also wish you the safest. For additional household inquiries, you can always call our team of experts for more information. Stay turned for further safety tips after the holidays.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Looking for a good construction contractor after storm damage? Contact your insurance agent.

Few things are closer to the heart than home sweet home. So when you’re dealing with damage to your house—whether wind, rain, hail, fire damage, water damage or disaster—you want the repairs done right, on time, and without hassle. Fret not. You can put your insurance company to use, along with a few other rules of thumb, to help you find a proven contractor who will work on your home as if it were their own, and for an honest price.

It’s a numbers game.

We all know that insurance companies, by nature, are careful and sticklers for accuracy. But that’s a good thing. In 2013, they’re measuring ways to satisfy customers even better. They’re scoring customer satisfaction right down to the decimal. That means insurance providers are shortening their lists and becoming stricter on who remains in their network of preferred contractors. Only the best ones make the cut, and as the market only grows more competitive, today’s insurance companies won’t gamble with a contractor who’s anything less than legendary at their specialty.

The driving force behind this trend is called policyholder retention, a.k.a., your happiness as a customer. Your utmost satisfaction is the goal of good insurance, as well as the good contractors they keep in their proverbial rolodex. So if you receive, or request, a list of preferred contractors from your insurance company, you can be assured that they mean good business. Because in 2013, it’s not about who they know; it’s about who produces impeccable results for customers, again and again.

Other signs that lead to stellar contractors.

While insurance is a good start to finding an A-list of construction contractors, here are some other ways to help narrow it down when you need a tried-and-true specialist in restoration, roofing, or repair:

A good reputation.
Has the company earned local awards to prove itself as a standout against the competition?

A solid warranty.This not only signifies a company’s faith in the high quality of its own work, but commitment to the satisfaction of each customer.

Testimonials. While it’s important to find a roofer who’s certified, it’s also important to locate solid customer testimonials that lend credibility to a company’s level of care, friendliness, and timeliness getting the job done. Angie’s List is also a reliable source.

Local dependability. If you’re looking for service in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion or surrounding areas, Total Construction has been a trusted contractor in the metro since 1987. Winner of the 2010 Better Business Bureau Integrity award, we serve each customer’s exact needs and while working seamlessly with insurance companies through our insurance claims department. We believe it’s important to seek the best contractor, and we believe we can compete with the best.