Home Fire Prevention and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family

Fire. It’s a horrible thought. But what would be worse is not being prepared for it. Most people think having extinguishers and smoke detectors is enough, but it’s equally important where they are located and how they are mounted when building a fire prevention plan. At Ace Handyman Services, we can help you keep your family safe by making certain your current preventive tools are fully operational and helping you think through what you might be missing. 

We can collaborate with you to make sure you feel prepared. There are two main areas to focus on – Prevention and Protection.

It’s interesting to know the history of Fire Prevention Week – which always occurs the week of October 9th – is rooted in a significant event that changed how Americans started thinking about prevention. To learn more about the history of Fire Prevention Week, keep reading below!

So, you might be wondering, what are the “must haves” to take greater comfort in being prepared and keeping your family safe?

PREVENTION: Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Taking preventative cautions with the right tools is the foundation of protecting your home. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors need to be installed throughout your home. Place these on every level, in every bedroom and right outside sleeping areas, including your basement. You must make sure these devices have fresh batteries. Testing your alarms monthly is highly recommended. These detectors also have a limited lifespan of 5 to 7 years, so make sure they are replaced when needed. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsman will get these properly installed for you to give your family peace of mind, not just with placement, but also with battery replacement and testing.

To shop online for the detectors for your home, click on the links below: 
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/smoke-detectors?query=smoke%20detector

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/carbon-monoxide-detectors

PREVENTION: Areas to Clean to Prevent Fires

Thousands of homes are destroyed due to a failure to clean out dryer vents and furnace filters. Lint filters need to be cleaned before and after every load of laundry and brushed every 6 months with a nylon brush. The vent pipe should be cleared out every 3 months as well. Furnace filters should also be replaced because after filtering out dust and other particles, if it isn’t replaced, the furnace can overheat and start a fire. This should be done every 90 days, but if you have pets, then it drops to every 60 days. In the midst of a busy schedule, it is easy to overlook these vital areas. Call a Multi-Skilled Craftsman today, and we can get it done for you.

PROTECTION: Fire Extinguishers

After your detectors are installed, a fire extinguisher is the next step in protecting your home. Extinguishers use a rating system to understand their appropriate use. The higher the number, the more powerful it is. The letters reflect the type of fire. For example, 5:B-C:

  • A means fires that can be put out by water, 
  • B are fires from flammable liquids like grease, and 
  • C fires stem from electrical equipment. 

Getting a multi-purpose extinguisher that can range up to 40:B-C is highly recommended by experts. Once purchased, have one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsman install one in an easy-to-reach area for when emergencies arise. Best practices say to have them in kitchens, near any source of heat, on each floor of your home and in garages.

To shop online for the right fire extinguisher for your home, click this link: 
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/fire-safety/fire-extinguishers.

Once you have the correct extinguisher for your home, it’s imperative to learn how to use it in case of an emergency—you will not have time to read the directions if something happens. 

A simple way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is the PASS TechniquePull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep

  • Pull the pin from the handle
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire (not at the top of the flames)
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep the stream from side to side until the fire is out

Remember, fire extinguishers are only intended for immediate use for small fires or to create a short escape route. First call 911 for any fire in your home, because fires spread quickly. Then reach for your extinguisher and get the family out of the house.

We are here to keep you safe, Neighbor

Taking these fire safety precautions can be the difference in saving your valuables, home and even lives. We know your family’s safety is a serious matter. Reach out to your local Ace Handyman Services, and we will take the time to give you peace of mind.

For more Fire Prevention Tips: https://tips.acehardware.com/blogs/fire-prevention-tips/

History of Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

How AHS Started: The Andy Bell Story

Last month, we told the story of what makes an Ace Handyman Services Craftsman. This month, we’ll tell you the story of its founder and how it all got started. We caught him in his pottery studio in his backyard over the weekend, doing what he loves. 

“Finding and retaining kind, servant-hearted people has allowed us to grow at a rate that connects us to so many communities,” said Andy Bell, Founder and CEO of Ace Handyman Services.  

“I set out 24 years ago to build a beautiful company with beautiful people, and always knew the rest would sort itself out,” said a smiling Bell, from his shed, with a block of new clay and a potter’s wheel in Lakewood, Colorado. 

And the company is setting records, both in year-over-year growth and territory expansion.  

The Idea Started in the Basement of His Home 

Twenty-four years ago, Andy Bell thought the home improvement industry needed to change, for the better. There was a lack of dependable, trustworthy professional organizations in the handyman lane, whom the homeowner could count on.  It was simply hard to get a commitment on getting work done, on time and on budget, reliably and ethically for all involved.  He believed it could be changed for the better.   

Bell started with a service business that could be more than fixing things for customers who were neighbors – he thought it could earn its way to becoming the homeowner’s ally. A company that could be counted on, not just in the completion of the work, but also in its timeliness and quality. That could earn trust by making promises and keeping them. That employed men and women who would be treated with dignity and respect, sometimes for the very first time in their careers. 

Turns out, he was right – and Ace Hardware knew it too – and today, the franchise is growing faster than any other in the home improvement category. 

It All Starts with Beautiful People Treating Each Other with Dignity and Respect  

We are all seeking the right people, and they will grow into the job with gusto if they know you have their backs, in good times and in tough times. For Ace Handyman Services, it all revolves around supporting the Craftsmen and our highly functional office staff.  There is a true art to being a Craftsman, and these old-world skills are as valuable today as they were 100 years ago. We do 1,162 different home repairs around residential and commercial properties—no day is the same—and each project requires organization, communication and an artist-like approach to conducting the completion of this wide variety of canvases and mediums.  The trades are important, the people in the trades are important and the handyman has emerged as one of the most important allies to the preservation of our greatest assets: our homes.   

Hey, you might know this person. They come from all walks of life. They’re in the trades, sure as carpenters and remodelers. But they’re also the guys in their garage when they get home, or helping their neighbors fix things in their homes. They might be retired. They might be in a job that they don’t truly love.  

Andy started as a Craftsman, deployed from his basement, and has high reverence for the very special “kind” of Craftsman it takes to work with Ace Handyman Services. 

“As the world moves deeply into artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms and high tech, there will always be a need for those artists who have the skills to work with their hands. I’ve not seen a robot that can artfully repair holes in drywall, repair a hardwood floor or repair torn linoleum.”   

But an Ace Handyman Multi-Skilled Craftsman is set way apart from the industry because they all must have a passion to serve customers and improve the customer’s life.   

“We hire for heart – a servant heart – someone who is driven to make lives better, every day. It just happens to be with a hammer.” 

Ace Handyman Services hires those with humility and an ability to both communicate and adapt to the tremendous diversity and creativity required to complete 1,162 different home improvement projects.   

“Most notably, we treat the Craftsman with a level of service unlike anyone in the industry – an office staff that removes the scheduling and paperwork and a support system that surprises those who have never been treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve,” says Bell. 

The industry looks past the person and just wants the work done. Ace Handyman Services reveres the person and supports them to get the work done. For most, it’s a stark contrast to what they have experienced in the past. 

How It All Started – A Desire to be a Better Father, Family Man and Community Member

Andy made a name for himself in high end restaurants – much of the customer service that his customers have come to expect comes from that heritage.

“I always loved making a special dinner even a bit more special; with a kind word, a story or just a simple thank you for joining us tonight,” said Bell reflecting on his restaurant days. 

But for him, the restaurant industry did not fit his desire to be a good father and family man, and with his first child on the way, he decided to break out and start a handyman company.   

His wife, Colette, who leads Franchise Development, tells the story, that out of the basement of their suburban home, he used to tell her that “We’re going to build the largest handyman company in the world. He’s never stopped believing that, and it’s on its way to happening.” 

But Andy isn’t just a dreamer, he’s a doer.  He maintains that same vigor and vitality, with that same belief that is taking Ace Handyman Services by storm. He starts his day early, very early, and then balances his life with work stopping at dinner to spend the evenings with his family.  The franchise is adding more than 100 new territories this year, and 61 last year in the pandemic, and the numbers will more than double every year for the next five. 

Relentless Desire to Serve His Franchise Owners Who Do the Same for Customers 

Indestructible optimism is the best way to describe his personal brand.   

“The Handyman is so valuable and important, however not accepted as a Trade category.  We stand beside all trades and are some of the most talented Craftsmen in the industry–well-rounded, capable of listening, being pragmatic and completing projects in a professional and timely manner.  Our franchise owners are hand-picked for their leadership skills, community care, business acumen and the love of our lane, the Handyman lane.”   

Ace Handyman Services schedules an exact time to show up, quickly assesses the job(s) with its customers and completes the projects in alignment with the customer’s wishes.  This coordination is duplicated time and time again by the great leaders in its franchise body.   

“We have some of the most talented people in any industry leading a charge to gain credibility in an industry that is still learning who and what it is,” said Bell.  

The Future

When you probe him on what’s next, in developing the territories around all Ace Hardware Retailers, serving customers, and bringing helpful to their homes, you see a twinkle in his eye and you know this handyman industry and Ace Handyman Services will indeed be the treasure of home preservation, an advocate for the trades and will very soon become the world’s largest handyman company, period. 

Ace Handyman Services Nashville/Guthrie’s Ace Hardware Owner Cole Guthrie states, “When I first started, I knew there was a need for a premium handyman white glove service, one that I personally trust being in the home with my wife without me present. One with a trusted brand, trusted name. So, we jumped in looking to get that done with Ace Handyman Services. Once involved, I figured out that Andy Bell has figured this model out and he had spent the 20+ years really building an infrastructure for a great business. The model is after Bringing Helpful To Your Home, and it really does stand for that.“