Risk Management – Fire Sprinklers

December 31, 2010

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The latest journal of Pest Control Operators of California featured an article by the Jenkins Insurance Group, describing some insurance claims against the pest control industry this past year. Sixty percent involved workmen’s compensation. Of the remaining forty percent in general liability claims, at least three large claims involved fire sprinklers, both from general pest control and termite operations. As reported by Jenkins Insurance Group director, Paul Lindsay, “When it comes to property damage claims, Branch 2 is no lightweight…. the topper came from a stumbling technician who, while treating in an attic, broke a water sprinkler line. After about 20 to 30 minutes, the valve was turned off, but not after water coursed through the attic and down the walls. tens of thousands of dollars later, the claim from this seemingly hidden exposure is finally being put to rest… Not to be outdone by Branch 2, the (Branch 3) inspectors broke a couple of attic sprinkler lines…that ran up claim dollars.” One can only begin to imagine the general liability claims due to fire sprinkler related damages across the entire country. I would not be surprised if that number surpassed $100,000,000, but that is only a guess.
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November 5, 2010


A first word of warning to new technicians who underestimate the difficulty of pest control work is, “You’re not a pest control technician until you have survived the summer.”

In Southern California, we thought the summer was over until last week we experienced record temperatures over 100 degrees the 1st week of November!

Technicians are taught to:
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Subcontracting in Pest Control

October 22, 2010

Subcontracting has its’ pluses and minuses. In this economy, more subcontracting is occurring and so it is a very timely topic.

Subcontracting happens for a few logical reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

Balancing Revenue and Risk

October 19, 2010

Today is one of the worst weather days I’ve ever seen in San Diego. Hearts Pest Management pest control trucks have by-and-large been pulled off the roads. On days like today, there is a lot of service stop juggling to other days and times. Hearts Pest Management will carefully weigh the risks of conducting follow-ups and special service calls. The company certainly wants to please its’ customers, but it also has a civic responsibility to not endanger the public, not create conditions on the roads that have a heightened likelihood for accident and chemical spill. There are a lot of crazy drivers on the road. Back home in NY, we learned how to drive in slippery conditions. Here in Southern California we encounter many needless accidents caused by over-confident drivers unskilled in wet weather driving.
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Think Before You Knock!

September 11, 2010

You can find countless books on every aspect of the sale – except one. I have never, ever found one on a salesman’s guide to a fast exit.

At age fourteen, I sold door-to-door subscriptions for the Long Island Press. We traveled in groups on the public buses and subways to the areas we would work each evening. As I was to learn, the group could provide a false sense of safety because once we chose a door, we were on our own. Read the rest of this entry »

In Pest Control, Is the Customer Always Right?

July 23, 2010

Any company that does not listen to its’ customers is doomed. …and while many companies say they listen to their customers, the proof is measured by the reaction to customer requests and changes made to satisfy the customers’ concerns.

There are situations presented by pest control that are unique.

1) The pest control technician is licensed and required to abide by both pest control regulations and the pesticide label. The pest control worker must not abrogate the pest control label to satisfy a customer request. Read the rest of this entry »

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