Continuing Education and Renewal Requirements in Wisconsin: Insurance Agents
Providing quality service to insurance customers rests on the ability of the Insurance Agent. They need to be able to offer the right products and knowledgeable service while abiding by the laws and regulations defined by their home state. This includes understanding the products and needs of the customer, as well as keeping current with the state's current laws and regulations.
The sole purpose of continuing education helps insurance agents to update their industry expertise persistently. The license terms typically last only two years and require renewal upon expiration.
Wisconsin Continuing Education
- Wisconsin renewal requires 24 hours of CE (including 3 in Ethics).
- Licenses renew every two years on the last day of the licensee's month of birth.
- Excess CE credit hours cannot carry over to subsequent license renewal periods.
- Courses may not be repeated for credit within one renewal period.
Every state has its license renewal and continuing education requirements. Although some states give professionals with more experience more flexibility after an extended period in the insurance industry, other states require a certain number of continuing education hours before the renewal of the license. The most typical requirement is 24 hours of continuing education, with three of the 24 hours pertaining to ethics.
Wisconsin Renewal Requirements
- 24 hours of CE are required every two years.
- 3 of the 24 hours must be in Ethics.
- Any courses approved for CE in Wisconsin may be taken for credit.
- Online, textbook, or classroom courses are acceptable.
- You must pass your course completion examination with a 70% or better.
- Excess credits cannot be carried over to the next renewal period.
- Courses cannot be repeated for credit in one renewal period.
- Courses completion exams must be taken with a proctor and are not open book.
SERVPRO of Brown County has an opportunity for the Insurance Agents in our area to take our continuing education classes.
Two courses, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and Ethics are going to be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at the Marq on French Road in De Pere. The cost is $10.00 per attendee. The class size is Limited.
For the complete details on how you can register to attend our seminar, check our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SERVPRO10198/events/
We hope to see you there!
How Prepared Is Your Cottage for Winter?
Owning a cottage as a secondary residence could come with responsibilities you may not have with your primary home. If you only frequent your place during certain times of the year, there are several things you can do as the owner to ensure a successful winterization of your property.
Although we are past the first month of winter in the Brown County area, here are a few valued tips recommended by insurance agents to cross-reference with your checklist; in case you may have overlooked an important detail.
- Shut off the water supply, drain the pipes and hot water tank, and leave taps open to allow them to breathe. Toilets should be turned off and flushed, and then any remaining water bailed out. Alternatively, pour antifreeze into the bowl to protect the lines; be sure to use RV (pink) antifreeze or another environmentally friendly product.
- Unplug all electrical appliances and electronic devices. Many modern electric and electronic devices continue to draw a small amount of power even when turned off; over a winter, it can add up to an expense you don't need.
- Thoroughly clean the kitchen and remove any food. During the winter, rodents and even bears can sniff it out. This could create a considerable amount of structural and financial damages causing you to dig deep into your wallet.
- If you can, remove valuables, such as TVs and stereos, and take them down to the city. If any valuable items left at the cottage, make sure windows are covered so that thieves can't see in and become tempted to break in, leaving your cottage exposed to those cold weather extremities.
- Install a cover over the chimney opening to prevent raccoons or other furry tenants from moving in. Inspect the exterior of the cottage, looking for other small openings that could be co-opted for an animal home – including under the deck, at the foundation, or under eaves.
- Arrange to have a local snow removal company come at least once over the winter to remove snow and ice build-up from the roof. Even a relatively small load, such as a foot or so, can become dangerously heavy if there's a period of rain followed by a freeze-up. Put boxes over vents or skylights to protect them from snow loads or accidental damage by an over-eager person with a shovel.
- Consider hiring the same company or someone to maintain the road and walkways around the cottage over winter. This allows access in case of an emergency such as a fire. Keeping the paths and driveway shoveled also makes the cottage look more lived-in, which is a security advantage.
- Hire someone or ask a friend who lives up there year-round to check on the cottage periodically to make sure everything is okay if, for some reason, you are not able to get up there yourself. If something unfortunate has happened, from a break-in to a fire, to a roof cave-in, the sooner you are made aware and can deal with it, the better.
At SERVPRO of Brown County, our business is helping people recover after any natural or human made disaster. Water recovery is one of our specialties. We know that every water damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. Our trained professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays to help take care of your emergency circumstances.
If you unexpectedly find yourself in need of our water restoration services for your cottage, feel free to call us, day or night, at 920-434-8224.
Meet Starr Lambie: The latest Addition to SERVPRO of Brown County
SERVPRO of Brown County welcomes our latest addition, Starr Lambie to the front office staff.
As the new year begins, we like to take the time to share how our SERVPRO family continues to flourish by employing dedicated and friendly people to serve the Brown County area better.
Towards the end of 2019, two new team members were added to the team SERVPRO front office staff. One of those employees is Starr Lambie, a long-time resident of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
She is our office assistant with the friendly voice you'll hear answering our phones or greeting our customers with a smiling face as you enter the doors to our Pamperin Road establishment.
Her role with the company involves general office functions, along with helping ensure our accounts receivable are appropriately managed.
Starr has a Shih-Tzu fur baby named Alfie. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, card making, and crocheting. Her favorite season is Winter. Starr loves the holiday season, especially Christmastime, where she gets to binge-watch all her favorite Christmas movies.
An interesting fact about Starr; it's a dream of hers to attend the Kentucky Derby.
Starr is happy to be a part of the SERVPRO family and looks forward to learning more about storm restoration.
Professional Carpet Cleaning Services for Your Brown County Area Business
There seems to be a debate among business owners over which time of year is the best to have your commercial property carpets professionally cleaned. Most proprietors base this decision on the amount of foot traffic your company sees daily. Ideally, that would factor into selecting a time to have your property serviced; however, there are other factors to take into great consideration.
Come springtime, professional carpet cleaners become extremely busy as everyone sets up appointments to remove winter buildup. However, that buildup exists all through the winter, and when you call during the colder months, it’s easier to schedule professional carpet cleaning. Waiting until the last minute before an important event to have your carpets cleaned is unwise, as appointments may not be available for weeks. Having your carpets cleaned in the winter avoids the rush while freshening your business.
Despite the potential to track in wet and snow, your carpets may stay cleaner for a more extended amount of time in the winter because they won’t accumulate as many allergens. During the warmer months, pollen, dust, and airborne pollutants enter your home through open windows. If you didn’t have your carpets cleaned in the fall, all of that contamination makes an unhealthy indoor environment. When you seal everything up for winter and keep doors and windows closed, everything stays trapped inside, and your carpet holds it all, adding to the polluted air. Professional cleaning of the carpets in your business reduces and eliminates those spring and summer pollutants and makes it easier for your employees to breathe when they’re inside.
Faster Carpet Drying
It’s easy to believe that freshly cleaned carpets dry faster in the warmer weather, but that’s not always true. Carpets may dry slightly quicker in the winter due to lower humidity that helps moisture evaporate more quickly. Professional carpet cleaners also have high-powered fans to help dry your carpets so you can enjoy your clean carpets and revel in the warmth and insulation they bring to cold winters.
Keeps Value Longer
Regular professional cleaning extends the life of your carpet. Even if you can’t see the stains, soil, and pollutants on your carpet, there’s a tremendous amount you don’t see that is slowly but surely wearing away at your carpet.
Cleanliness Impresses Your Clients
You’ve heard of saying, “Dress to Impress.” Well, the same goes for how your company looks to your current or potential clients. With your lobby being the place where people enter and exit your business, chances are it is one of the highest traffic areas in your business. As a result, the floor and carpet in your lobby gather even more soil and grime than other areas in the business. To ensure you’re generating the best impression possible, make sure you clean high traffic areas more frequently.
Something to also keep in mind is the longer you hold off on carpet maintenance, it could end keeping the fibers from being adequately restored to its former appearance.
SERVPRO of Brown County offers state-of-the-art equipment that is handled by our highly trained professionals to get the job done right. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
Give us a call today at (920) 434-8224.
We Offer Solutions for Your Mold Issues
Our team took on a restoration job that involved a 18-Wheeler freight trailer carrying mold contaminated cardboard tubes.
No surface is safe from mold.
That includes metal. Since metal is not porous, removing mold from its surface is not difficult. Metal items are usually salvageable. The sooner you remove the mold, the fewer the chances it will spread to contaminate other, less durable items.
The team at SERVPRO of West Brown County received a mold restoration job involving an 18-wheeler freight trailer full of pallets with cardboard shipping tubes, each filled with various metal components. Our highly trained technicians were more than ready to tackle this task effectively and efficiently as possible.
Typically, we deal with residential and commercial mold infestations but have handled many requests for services that require a professional restoration company to make sure the job is done up to health code standards.
The process of adequately handling mold begins with an inspection and damage assessment. In this instance, the mold was visible. It was our job to detect how many items inside the freight trailer was affected in order to begin the next stage, which is containment.
There are several measures we take to prevent the spread of mold. Again, this was not a typical job we see every week. However, it is still essential to follow the proper protocol, which is to isolate the contaminated area to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
With our extensive line of SERVPRO cleaning products, our team carefully handled each medal piece to eliminate mold colonies and took precautionary measures to prevent new colonies from forming on the parts.
Mold cannot be removed entirely from cardboard. In this instance, the solution was to prevent further spreading of the mold by eliminating all of the contaminated cardboard tubes. Once we discarded each tube, the metal parts were inserted into a new cardboard cylinder then placed onto one of our pallets.
As you can see from the pictures, our team members did a great job of handling this customer's mold dilemma.
If you ever find yourself with a unique mold situation and have questions regarding the issue, feel free to contact SERVPRO of West Brown County at (920) 434-8224.
Biohazard Clean Up: Tear Gas
Tear gas is a chemical that stimulates pain, tearing, and burning in the eyes and skin that is commonly used by law enforcement and the military.
Once tear gas is dispersed into a residence, if proper treatment is not implemented promptly, there is the potential of permanent damage to your property’s structure and personal items within the home and can pose a severe health hazard to you and your family.
What exactly is tear gas made of?
Today’s tear gas formulations include several different compounds:
- Chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS)
- Chloroacetophenone (CN)
- Dibenzoxazepine (CR)
- Oleoresin Capsicum (OC or pepper spray)
Chlorobenzylidene is not technically a gas. It is shot or thrown in canisters that contain a solid material that turns to a gas when exposed to air and moisture. The resulting chemical reaction makes the canister hot and fills the air with a noxious gas.
Tear gas is complicated to remove as it is developed to disperse and stick to surfaces. After the initial dispersion, the tear gas settles on all surfaces. The oily residue must be removed from all areas of the home, including walls, countertops, floors, and contents. If any vicinity is left untreated, it will continue to off-gas, irritating the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract.
When law enforcement utilizes tear gas into a residence, it is a last resort. Any size of tear gas cleanup needs to be performed by a company trained in the proper techniques and solutions which neutralize the irritants. As a safety measure, our technicians must wait for law enforcement to deem the affected area stable enough to enter, which can typically take up to about 4-5 days.
To ensure each employee does their job up to company and regulation standards, they receive ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:
- IICRC Training
- Employee Certification Training
- Initial Franchise Training
- Continuing Education Classes
If your home or business experiences a biohazard situation, our team is here for you. Our technicians are fully trained to perform cleanup measures that will keep you safe. The techs comply with all OSHA and health regulations.
If you ever find yourself in need of our biohazard services, give us a call at (920) 434-8224.
Test Your Knowledge: Frozen Pipes
Winter is in full swing in Brown County, which means a higher probability for frozen pipes within your home or business.
A burst pipe can be costly and time-consuming to remediate. Protect your prized personal possessions or essential business equipment from damage by preventing frozen pipes.
Do you know how to prevent pipes from freezing, or could you manage pipes that are already frozen?
Let's test your knowledge with these five questions.
- Prevent pipes from freezing by setting your thermostat no lower than:
A. 32 degrees
B. 55 degrees
C. 68 degrees
- Pipes actually freeze when the temperature reaches 32°.
- If it is extremely cold outside, you should keep water faucets running.
- When pipes freeze, they always burst.
- What should you NOT do if you suspect you have a frozen pipe?
A. Shut off the main water valve.
B. Leave faucets open until repairs are made.
C. Get a hand-held torch and start thawing the pipe.
The correct answers for this quiz are listed at the end of the blog post.
Now that you tested your knowledge of frozen pipes, here are a few more signs to look for whenever the temperature drops.
There Is Frost on the Pipe
For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated on the exterior of the pipe. This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.
Another potential sign of a blocked pipe is an odd smell coming from a faucet or drain. If the pipe is partially or entirely blocked, the only way the odor can escape is back up in the direction of your property.
Once you are aware that a pipe is frozen, act quickly to thaw the pipe. Depending on the location of the pipe and your level of expertise, you can attempt to thaw the pipe yourself. If you still feel uncertain about the process, it's best to contact a licensed plumber to thaw the pipe for you. It is imperative to thaw the pipe as soon as possible to avoid it from bursting and causing extensive damage to your property.
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of West Brown County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage event. Our trained technicians receive ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications to give your residential or business property the attention it deserves.
If you unexpectedly find yourself in need of our services over the holiday season, give us a call at (920) 434-8224.
- 55 degrees - For most homes and businesses, setting the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees assures that warm air circulates throughout the building, protecting your pipes from freezing.
- False - No, they won’t. Pipes freeze when the heat is transferred from the water inside the pipe to the surrounding air. This means that the surrounding air temperature has to fall well below 32° for the pipes to freeze.
- True - Always keep one or two faucets running slowly. Water moving through the system should prevent the line from freezing.
- False - Pipes can freeze without bursting. You can reduce the likelihood of a frozen pipe bursting by shutting off the main water supply valve and draining the system by opening faucets throughout the house or office.
- Never use a torch, gas heater, candles, or anything with an open flame to thaw pipes.
Continuing Education Classes Set for January 2020
With the New Year just around the corner, our goal is to provide the best service not only to our customers, but to companies that want to help themselves or their employees grow within their line of work.
SERVPRO of West Brown County is here to provide continuing education classes for the 2020 year to individuals that work as Property Managers, Insurance Agents or Adjusters and are also looking to keep their licenses up to date.
Two classes will be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at the Marq on French Road in De Pere.
The first seminar deals with Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and will run from 8:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. Registration for this course starts at 7:15 a.m. and goes until 7:55 a.m. In order to receive CE credit for this course 100% attendance is required. Attendee will then receive 4 Insurance credit hours after completion.
The second seminar deals with Ethics and will run from 1:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. Registration for this course starts at 12:45 p.m. In order to receive CE credit for this course 100% attendance is required. Attendee will then receive 3 Insurance credit hours after completion.
The cost to attend these seminars is $10.00 which is the state credit processing fee per person.
Breakfast will be provided by Smoke-Out Cleaners and lunch will provided by Electronic Restoration Service.
Class size is Limited. Please confirm guests attending by making reservations either by contacting our West Brown County office at (920) 434-8224 or send an email to our Marketing and Sales Manager, Jim Knopf at jknopf@SERVPROgreenbay.com.
We look forward to seeing you there in January!
Winter Preparations: How Prepared Is Your Business for the Cold Temperatures?
As a business owner, you have an array of responsibilities throughout your organization that requires your constant attention. Sometimes you forget with the many modifications continually going on in your office, other pressing matters could become problematic and cost your company production losses.
One of those commonly overlooked issues is weather preparation for your business property.
If your business is located in the Brown County region, then you know winter can create one major dilemma after another. First, it’s frozen pipes the next a backed-up toilet. Sometimes it’s an even bigger nightmare like a flooded facility.
As we enter the winter months, how prepared is your business for the freezing temperatures?
Here are some great tips offered by The Disaster Safety website on how you can prevent frozen pipes from happening in your business.
- Seal all windows, doors, and other openings on exterior walls with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.
Seal cracks and penetrations
- Seal all wall cracks and penetrations, including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduits, and other utility service lines.
Insulate and seal attic penetrations
- Insulate and seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, and electrical and mechanical chases.
Insulate recessed light fixtures
- Insulate recessed light fixtures in the ceiling to reduce the heat entering the attic. Look for visible light inside the attic. If present, insulate or seal. If the space above a suspended ceiling are conditioned, there is no need for added insulation or sealing.
- Let all faucets drip during extremely cold weather to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet.
Install a monitoring system
- Install a monitoring system that provides notifications if the building’s temperature dips below a predetermined number. Never set your thermostat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Insulate pipes most vulnerable to freezing by using pipe insulation.
Install an automatic excess flow switch
- Install an automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming domestic water line to monitor and provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve. Use wireless sensors near water sources.
Monitor sprinkler systems
- Monitor sprinkler systems using a central station to provide early detection of a pipe failure and heat unheated sprinkler control rooms.
Provide backup power
- Provide a reliable backup power source, such as a standby generator, to ensure continuous power and heat to the building.
At SERVPRO, we want your business to avoid any loss. That is why our team of trained professionals is ready to take on your particular restoration situation. We know that water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and other items of high value. Our team is ready to start the water extraction process almost immediately.
When minutes matter, know that we are here to oversee your water loss leaving your primary focus on serving your customers with little to no interruptions in your businesses’ productivity.
If you find yourself in need of emergency services or have any questions regarding our water restoration process, give us a call at (920) 434-8224.
Candle Safety Tips to Avoid Holiday Mayhem
A clear glass hurricane candle holder with a red candle and holly berry wreath serves as a holiday centerpiece.
Did you know the top 3 days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve?
As enjoyable as it is to decorate during the holiday season, utilizing candles to add more seasonal flare throughout your home or for ceremonial/religious practices could potentially put your home at a higher risk for a fire.
From a statistical standpoint, on average, 23 home candle fires are reported each day. What’s even more alarming is from 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 8,200 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage.
There are a variety of ways to avoid becoming one of those startling statistics.
The following are helpful tips on how to avoid a fire mishap from happening in your residence.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Keep candles at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) away from anything that can burn.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell, and feel like real candles.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
- Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
- Don’t burn a candle down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
- Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
- Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.
When it comes to candles, never under any circumstances, leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet. Their curious little minds tend to be attracted to the colorful flames. Supervision is vital for them not to burn themselves or to cause an unexpected fire hazard in your home.
Decking the halls should be fun, but always remember to exercise more caution when using candles.
The team at SERVPRO of West Brown County knows all about the aftermath resulting from accidental fires. That is why you need to know the place your family calls home is in great hands when we get involved in the restoration process.
As a locally owned and operated business, we are strategically located to respond quickly to your smoke or fire damage event. If you have any questions about our services or need immediate assistance, call us today at (920) 434-8224.