Save Your Energy Costs

Feb 23, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Let’s face it, electricity is significant for any office environment. Employees cannot function effectively without light or in extreme climate conditions, and with everything switching to digital, most companies cannot survive without technology. However, without proper monitoring, these costs can add excessively to a big, fat bill at the end of each month. Consider applying these tips to your office environment to reduce your monthly and annual energy bills.

Lighting – Switch Them Out

Want to save 75% of your energy? Compact fluorescent light bulbs are easy to install and affordable, and will help cut your energy costs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lighting can consume as much as 50 percent of the average commercial building’s energy bill. So, take the first step and switch to lower-wattage bulbs.

Regulate the Air

Another huge factor to electrical bills is heating and cooling systems. The easiest way to cut these costs is to regulate the temperature using a programmable thermostat. Costs increase the more the systems are turned up or down, since it takes more energy to get to the desired temperature each time. So, agree as a group, at what temperature everyone is comfortable working. For those who run colder, fill a basket in the break room (or mutual meeting area) with blankets.

A couple other things to note with temperature regulation:

  • Check your air-conditioning units regularly for leaks or faulty equipment
  • Ensure windows and doors are well sealed and not leaking out/in air

Enjoy the Outdoors

Studies show increased productivity and creativity with natural landscapes. If your business permits and the weather allows, consider changing your environment and working outside. You can save on energy costs to not utilize the building – not to mention –fresh air is good for you.

Put it to Sleep

Set your computers to go to sleep automatically after a set time of inactivity. Most screen savers keep monitors running at full power, so if you don’t use it, lose it – so to speak.

Shut it Down

Ask the last person to leave the office for the night to walk around and ensure everything has been turned off. Check computers, monitors, printers, lights, etc.

Even better, consider plugging these devices into a power strip, and after everything shuts down, you can simply switch the power strip OFF to ensure you’re not wasting any energy. According to the Department of Energy, electronics plugged in still use 75 percent of electrical use when powered off.

So Many Colors – What do They Mean?

Feb 19, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Knowing the color codes for electrical wires is great knowledge to have for safety when installing or checking your own wiring.

Here are the common color codes used:


Used for power in all circuits – Considered hot and should be used as the power feed for a switch or an outlet. (Often used as a switch leg).

Never use as a ground or neutral wire.


The secondary live wires in a 220-volt circuit – Used in some switch legs.

Connect to another red wire or to a black wire.

White and gray

Indicate neutral wires (still carry a current), which connect to the neutral bus bar (conductive metal that attracts the electric current for distribution outward to feeders within an electric panel).

Connect only to other white and gray wires.


The grounding of an electric circuit – Its purpose is to provide a path for a circuit’s electric current if a live wire within the circuit happens to touch metal or other conductive material.

Only connect to other green wires. Can carry a strong current – treat cautiously.


Used as hot wires – Usually used as travelers in different switch applications, (three-way or four-way switches).


Used as hot wires – Used mainly as switch legs in fans or lights.

DIY: Cord Management

Feb 11, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

For National Electrical Safety Month, we advise you to pick those cords up off the ground and be electrical safe. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially in an office with multiple computers, phone lines, printers and other electrical appliances. This is why we put together a list of simple, practical approaches to hide and store those electrical cords in a safe manner, to prevent tangling, tripping over or damaging the wiring.

Cover ‘Em

If you have spare extension cords lying around, you could also follow Martha Stewart’s organizational tip to store these with this tidy up approach.


Inspired by this approach – Prevent damage by sliding foam tubing over each cord. This approach prevents damaging the wires if stepped on, but still try to place these out of the way for safety.

  • Cut the foam tubing to your desired length (whatever the cord length that lies out in the open along the carpet).
  • Using a utility knife, cut a slit in the middle of the tubing.
  • Carefully (as to not further tear the slit) slide the slit over your cord(s) to cover each one.

Access ‘Em

These days, everyone has a mobile phone, and some use theirs for business purposes to make and answer sales calls, check mail, etc. Here’s an easy approach to keep all of your unplugged cords together and untangled. Place a row of your required amount of oversized binder clips and slip your unused cables through for easy access.


Hide ‘Em

She’s at it again – Martha Stewart teaches us how to eliminate cluster of cords lying under your workspace.

  • Some desks include a hole and cover to feed cords through, but if not, drill a hole through the desk (big enough to fit all your desktop cords).
  • Then, mount a power strip under your desk, and plug in each wire.
  • Wrap each cord separately and place in a wire basket, suspended under your desk with wire hooks.
  • Optional: Label each cord before placing in the basket to easily identify each.


Purchase ‘Em

If you choose not to DIY, there are several organizational items you can purchase, within budget:

Room & Board Cord Management Straps

Staples Cable Management

Don’t Get Burned…Out!

Feb 5, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

National Burn Awareness Week is coming to an end, and while you should still be aware of the risk of hot water and fire burns, you should also be aware of the ability to get burned (out) at work.

It’s important to “finish what you start,” and get all of your work complete each and every workday. However, it is sometimes, almost too easy, to get caught up and work harder and longer than necessary. Working harder and longer hours, can, in fact, force you to work harder and longer on all projects moving forward. By then, the cycle will just continue.

New research from finds that four in five employees experience feeling burned out at work.

Burnout can contribute to an array of mental and health problems:

  • Insomnia/Exhaustion
  • Lack of Motivation/Interest
  • Depression
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Lowered Immunity
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse
  • Heart Disease
  • Quick to Anger
  • Withdrawal from Others
  • Digestive Issues
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol

Luckily, if you can recognize that you don’t “feel like yourself,” and address the related issues, there are ways to combat this burnout before it has severe effects on your personal and professional life.


Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to effectively function throughout the day. However, some need more or less, depending on the person. According to WebMD, if you feel drowsy during the day, you probably need more sleep.

Quit Trying to be Barbie

Surprisingly, Barbie can be a doctor, gymnast, computer engineer, teacher and attend her own wedding all in one day! But, realistically, no person could accomplish this. So, quit trying to “do it all.” Write down a list of your projects, sort them by priority, and then consider distributing some of those primary jobs among your team or others who can assist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take a Break

It’s way too easy to forgo your break time when you need to put out a “fire” in the office. But, if you don’t take breaks every now and then, you will get BURNED. Even a meager two minutes walking the hallway can help. Just get away from the office environment, where you can be distracted by job requests.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Even if your employees or boss don’t acknowledge you for a job well done, commend yourself. Self-praise helps boost your mental health, especially when times get stressful and you feel like you’re stuck.

Know When to Quit

Sometimes, no matter what you try to fix the situation, you still feel “off.” Consider a career change. It can be scary, and it’s not always practical to just up and quit without a backup plan, but check out your options and speak to a headhunter. A change of routine can do a lot for your health, and it’s easier to find a new job, while you still have a bit of motivation left in you.

Slays Restoration LLC Renews Franchise Member with DKI

February 5, 2015 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that Slays Restoration LLC of Carmi, Ill has renewed its Franchise Member with the DKI network.

By continuing its DKI Franchise Member, Slays Restoration LLC will continue to utilize DKI’s 24 hour call center, its DIAMOND® claims tracking technology, and other tools to enhance its ability to serve its insurance and corporate customers. Slays Restoration LLC also gains access to DKI’s training seminars and workshops to ensure they remain abreast of all changes in this rapidly evolving industry.

“We are delighted that Slays Restoration LLC will continue to be a part of the rapidly growing DKI network,” Dan Cassara, DKI’s president.  “Slays Restoration LLC’s commitment to quick response, superior workmanship, and outstanding customer service reaffirms DKI’s position in the marketplace as The Source for Quality Restoration.  We look forward to continuing our rewarding association with Slays Restoration LLC.

Company owner and CEO, Shawn Slay, is pleased Slays Restoration LLC meets DKI’s high standards for continued Franchise Member, as DKI has always stood for excellence in the industry.  The opportunity to work in partnership with other quality firms in the DKI network has allowed Slays Restoration LLC to expand their scope of services, introduced them to new markets and has helped ensure their continued success.

In addition to being able to use DKI’s technology and training capabilities, Slays Restoration LLC can also continue using the DKI branding in its marketing efforts, participate in its various co-op programs, and leverage DKI’s corporate marketing efforts.

About DKI

DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America.  DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.  For more information about DKI, visit our website at or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.