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Fire Extinguishers And Your Kitchen

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Almost half of all residential fires in the United States started in the kitchen in 2013 (49.4%). The vast majority of fires are cooking related, and you need to develop a plan on what to do if an unintended fire breaks out on your stove or in your oven. Here are steps you can take to protect your kitchen with a fire extinguisher, and what you can do to when an unexpected fire breaks out. Fire Extinguishers Fire extinguishers are an essential item in the kitchen. You want a multipurpose fire extinguisher that can be used on burning greases and oils (throwing water on these fires makes them spread faster). Fire extinguishers aren’t very expensive, and don’t settle for the cheapest model you can find – they typically don’t last more than a few seconds when fighting a fire. Get the largest fire extinguisher you can handle, and keep it stored away from the stove (a fire could block your ability to get to the fire extinguisher). You should initially have two fire extinguishers: one you can use to train with and one to always keep stored in the kitchen. Using A Fire Extinguisher Firefighters train to fight fires for one reason – so they know how to use their equipment in the best way possible to put the fire out under stressful conditions. There are few things more stressful than watching a fire engulf your stove and kitchen. You need to teach yourself, and the other members of your household, how to properly use the type of fire extinguishers you have bought for your kitchen. The best way to train is by starting small grease fires in a pan in a safe area in your backyard, and using the fire extinguisher to put them out. Here is how to use the average fire extinguisher. Remove pin. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire (shooting straight into the pan could send the burning grease flying in all directions). Squeeze the handle to send short bursts of the extinguishing material onto the fire. Repeat until fire is out (remember, the pan and grease are still hot, so be careful when touching the pan). Know When to Stop You should know when to stop fighting the fire and flee. The smoke and heat can increase quickly if you can’t get it out right away with the fire extinguisher, especially in an enclosed space like a kitchen, and if the fire quickly spreads, you need to realize that the best thing to do is to get you and everyone else out of the...

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Five Ways To Clean Your Office Without Harming The Environment

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A clean office and retail showroom are essential to keeping up employee morale and making a good first impression on customers and clients. However, increasingly, consumers are opting to do business with companies that make a strong effort to reduce their impact on the environment. One good way you can do this is by “greening” your office cleaning routine. Being kind to the environment doesn’t have to mean settling for a less-than-pristine workplace. It just means being smart about the products and procedures you use to clean your office space.   How to keep your office clean while still being environmentally responsible 1. Use green cleansers. Cleaning products that use gentler cleansers, such as vinegar, borax, lemon juice and baking soda, can clean as well as more toxic chlorine bleach-based cleansers. Increasingly, cleaning services are offering “green” office cleaning packages. Make sure to ask what cleaning products they use. 2. Consider a track-off system for your entryway. The majority of dirt and dust in your office gets tracked in on visitors’ and employees’ shoes. An easy way to avoid this is to invest in a track-off entryway system that collects dirt from people’s shoes as they enter your building. If such a system is outside of your budget, then add a doormat and change it regularly. 3. Get rid of those anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers. Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than traditional soap and water (used correctly) and can actually be detrimental to your employees’ health. Anti-bacterial products kill off all but the more resistant strains of bacteria, leaving your office potentially filled with “super bugs.” 4. Add plants. Live plants help to naturally cleanse the air in your office. Plus, they are a lot less noisy, less expensive and more attractive than air-purifying equipment. Recent studies indicate that many plants, such as dracaena and ivy, can actually remove toxins from the air and convert them to harmless substances. 5. Reduce the use of paper cleaning products. Another good idea is to substitute cloth rags for paper towels or, at the very minimum, use paper products that are made from recycled materials. Office cleaning and environmental responsibility don’t have to be conflicting terms. All you need to do is use “green” cleaning products (or hire a “green” cleaning service), get rid of as much dirt as possible from your visitors’ shoes, and make sure to add plenty of live plants to your office space. Contact a local cleaning service, such as Springs Cleaning, for further...

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What You Don’t Know About Asbestos Could Hurt You

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Unfortunately, the things you do not know about asbestos exposure and removal could hurt you. If you suspect that asbestos, a mineral fiber often found in rock and soil, could be found in your home, you may have reason to be concerned about lung disease, which takes many years to develop. It is wise to start asking questions now, protecting your family before a problem can develop. The Disturbing Health Effects of Asbestos The hard truth is that asbestos is deadly. It can cause lung cancer, especially in smokers. It can also lead to mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer found in the lining of the heart, abdomen, chest or lungs. Asbestosis is another potential side effect, which is another long-term lung disease. Where Is Asbestos Found? Unfortunately, asbestos is very common, and it is not banned for its most popular uses. While it may be found in building construction (especially insulation), it is also used as a fire retardant or in shingles, paper products and car parts. Asbestos is also found in vinyl floor tiles, car brakes, furnaces and pipes. How Do People Get Exposed to Asbestos? It is common for people to come into contact with asbestos while using certain products or changing the home. Home demolitions, maintenance and remodels all come with the risk of asbestos exposure. For the most part, asbestos is only released in the air when materials are disturbed and particles release into the air. What Should You Do If You Have Asbestos at Home? This can be a tricky situation. If you think you might have asbestos in your home, you should not panic. If the asbestos has not been disturbed to stir up particles in the air, it is likely not a major risk. Leave it alone, never mess with it. Limit access to the area. If you are making changes to your home, it is definitely time to call in a trained and accredited professional. You should never try to clean up or remove asbestos on your own. This means that you should not vacuum, sweep, scrape, drill into or sand anything that might have asbestos in it. The Available Solutions Asbestos solutions are available. In some repairs, the asbestos remains in the home but it’s sealed or enclosed. This takes away the potential risk. Additionally, home remodels may lead to total removal of the substance. Either way, it is essential to hire professionals to take care of this. To learn more about asbestos removal, contact a company like Alm...

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2 Tips For Caring For Your Freshly Laid Sod

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Having a lush lawn is a major goal and point of pride for many homeowners. Unfortunately, there are many yards that may not have the type of soil needed to support a lush lawn. In these instances, it may be best to simply install sod as opposed to trying to grow the grass from seed. However, there are some homeowners that do not realize the type of care that sod can require to get it off to a good start. If this applies to you, learning these sod care tips should help you to get the most from your new lawn.  Avoid Mowing The Sod For A Couple Of Weeks One of the most obvious forms of maintenance that is required for your lawn is to mow the grass. However, it is important to avoid mowing the lawn too soon after laying it. Without a strong root bond to the ground, sod can be torn and ripped right out of the ground by a lawnmower. It is best to give the grass a couple of weeks to grow and develop roots before you subject it to a mowing. This will give allow the grass to divert most of its energy into to establishing its root network. After a couple of weeks, the grass should be ready for its first mowing, but you should leave the clippings in place to decompose because this will return nutrients to the soil to further spur the growth of your new sod.  Intensively Water The Grass For The First Week During the first week that you have your sod, you should make it a point to heavily water it on a daily basis for first week. The grass will need to expend a lot of energy and resources to lay down a root network, and without an ample amount of water it will be difficult for your grass to have the energy needed to do this.  When watering your grass, you should leave the sprinklers spraying water on the sod until you see standing water. Repeat this process each day, but make sure that you water during the events to prevent the hot water from damaging the growing root network.  Laying sod can be one of the best ways to quickly install a lush and beautiful lawn, but it is important for the lawn to be properly acclimated to the new environment to minimize the stress of this transition. By following these two tips, you can help ensure that your new sod is as beautiful and healthy as possible. If you’re looking to purchase sod,...

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Why Hiring a Private Firm to Trim Trees Beats Having the Utility Company Do It

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you have a tree with branches growing close to power or telephone lines? That’s something you don’t want, and that your local power company definitely doesn’t want. In most municipalities, the local utility companies have the right to trim back or spray any tree or vegetation that interferes with the wires. They are, in most cases, automatically granted an easement to manage any trees or vegetation that might interfere with the ability for the lines to properly transmit electricity or data. Here’s why you want to take care of the problem yourself, before the utility company gets to your tree. 1. Control the method. Most people would prefer that their trees be selectively and professionally trimmed rather than completely removed, or unattractively pruned using methods like topping, or cutting off the top of the tree that interferes with the transmission lines. Topping is a practice that can hurt the tree and cause it to grow in unsightly ways. Even when this is not commonly used, a practice called directional pruning, where all potential interfering tree limbs are cut away, can have similar results. The utility company generally has the right to remove any or all vegetation, or even to use herbicides on tall-growing trees or plants that might interfere with the lines. The herbicides that are generally used are supposed to be safe, but overspray could affect other plants nearby. When herbicides aren’t used, mowing might be, which can result in an unattractive appearance, ground erosion issues and problems with uneven ground or rutting due to the mowers used. 2. Work is done on your schedule. By employing a professional tree trimming service to maintain your trees and shrubs that are in the vicinity of power lines, you can keep them from growing too tall. Your utility company will have information about how much space they require around the lines; your local tree trimming professional should be well acquainted with the regulations in your area. In general, it’s a good idea to leave even more space than required to account for lines sagging in various weather conditions. You can also have the tree trimmers come when it is best for your family and best for your trees. The utility company contractors who trim trees don’t pay attention to what’s best for the health of the tree when they come around. 3. Clean up is easier. While in most areas, the utility company contractors make an effort to clean up cut branches, they may not do so according to your wishes. Perhaps you’d like the limbs chipped and be able to use the result as a garden mulch, or you have another use for them. When you hire your own professional tree service, you can control how the branches are collected and used after they are cut. You may also find that your professional service will take more care with underlying landscaping than a utility contractor. The wisest way to keep your trees at the proper height and prevent overgrowth into utility lines is to employ the services of a tree trimming professional to regularly maintain and treat your...

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How To Keep Your Kids Safe During Spring Cleaning

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As the warmer months are approaching, you’re probably looking forward to getting organized and doing a little bit of spring cleaning. One thing that you might be worried about, however, is keeping your little ones safe while you’re doing it. Luckily, following these steps will help you keep your kids safe and sound while you’re tackling this major once-a-year cleaning job. Rent a Dumpster As you’re doing your spring cleaning and organizing, you’re probably going to be getting rid of a lot of trash and unwanted items. Having these items all over your home throughout the cleaning process can be dangerous, however, because your kids can get into them or can trip over them while playing. Instead, consider renting a dumpster from a company like Tri-State Disposal while you’re tackling your project. Then, you can carry trash and unwanted items out while you’re organizing, and you won’t have to worry about them posing a problem for your family. Use Natural Cleaning Supplies Another thing to be worried about is your family being harmed by the ingredients in your cleaning supplies. As you probably already know, kids can tend to put a lot of things in their mouths or can lick and touch things that they shouldn’t. Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach or multi-purpose cleaning solution; instead, look for non-toxic cleaning solutions, or make your own. For example, many people don’t realize it, but you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing one part vinegar with one part water. You can add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh and pleasant smell, and you won’t have to worry about your kids getting hurt if they ingest any of your cleaning solution. Air it Out No matter what you’re cleaning with, the smell inside your home can get really strong. Plus, if you do decide to use harsh cleaners, the fumes can be very harmful. Open up your windows while cleaning to let your home air out; not only will this make it safer for your kids and the rest of your family — it will also help you get some fresh air while recovering from the cold winter months. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dangerous for your kids or the rest of your family. If you follow these tips, you should be able to get your spring cleaning done without having to worry about the health or safety of your little...

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How To Set Up A Neighborhood Recycling Program

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

More than 50 percent of the waste going into most municipal landfills is recyclable, especially if your city doesn’t have a recycling program in place. If you’re in a city with no program, set up your own neighborhood recycling group and deliver your items to the recycling center yourself. Step 1: Find a Recycling Center You need a reliable place to take your recycling before you can put a community plan into action. Your choices are either a city or private recycling service center like Quantum Resource Recovery. Check with the center to verify which items they can take. This varies at each center, but common recyclables include: Aluminum, steel and tin cans Paper and cardboard Glass jars and bottles Plastic (verify which numbers are acceptable. Numbers are printed or stamped on the bottom of the plastic item.) Bulbs and batteries Electronic E-waste Step 2: Talk to Your Neighbors Visit your neighbors and find out which ones are interested in a community recycling group. Take down names and addresses. Keep in mind that more people will want to contribute recyclables than will want to do any labor toward the program. Ask how much time they are willing to commit to the project, because you will need at least two or three helpers to keep the program successful. Give each participant a list of the acceptable recyclable materials, along with any instructions, such as keeping them separate or rinsing out jars and cans first. Step 3: Set Up a Collection Plan. Regular recycling center visits will make people more likely to recycle, because no one wants the recyclables to build up in their house. Set a collection schedule. It can be weekly, biweekly or monthly, depending on the amount of people involved and how much recyclable material they generate. Try and arrange it for the same day each week or month. Step 4: Create a Collection Site You have two options for collection – pick up everyone’s recycling on the collection day, or have them drop it off in a central location. If there is a spot in your yard or in a neighborhood gathering area for collection containers, you can set up a container for each recyclable. Clearly label the collection container for each recyclable group so nothing becomes mixed together before you bring it to the service center. Step 5: Organize Deliveries. Even if you plan to make all deliveries yourself, it’s a good idea to have at least one backup deliverer in case you are out of town or ill. Make sure every delivery volunteer knows the location and hours of the recycling center, along with any key details such as drop off protocol once on the center’s site. Recycling groups often have a slow start. It takes time for everyone to get into the habit of collecting their recyclables separately, and you will need to find out whom you can rely on for help. Give the new program time to become a habit, and you may find that doing your part for the environment has become second...

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What New California Residents Need To Know About The Smog Test

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although 33 states require smog checks in vehicles, it seems to be a bigger deal in California than any other state. If you have just moved to the great state of California, you have probably already heard about the smog test that your car will need to pass. While smog tests can often be a hassle for any car owner, it can seem especially daunting when you are unfamiliar with the rules. Understanding the expectations and how to prepare for the smog test can help make sure you pass the inspection the first time. Do You Have to Get a Smog Inspection? There are certain vehicles that do not require a smog test for registration. These are mostly vehicles that are environmentally-friendly and diesel trucks that have no hope of passing but are necessary to keep the country running.  The vehicles that do not need to have a smog test include: Motorcycles and trailers Hybrid and electric vehicles Natural gas vehicles that weigh more than 14,000 lbs Diesel vehicles manufactured before 1997 and/or weighing more than 14,000 lbs Gas vehicles manufactured before 1975 Also, new cars that are less than 6 years old can opt to pay a $20 smog abatement fee every year. How Long Do You Have? After you establish residency in California, you have 20 days to register your vehicle. If you fail to meet this deadline, you will have to pay late fees from $30 (less than a year) to $200 (more than 2 years) in addition to highway patrol fees if you happen to be pulled over and present an expired registration. However, before you can register your vehicle, you must pass the smog test. It is best to have the test conducted fairly quickly. This will give you time to fix any problems with your vehicle and have another test (or two) conducted before your registration time frame is up. Also, don’t think you’re sitting pretty if you already have a passing smog inspection certificate from another state. California requires your vehicle to pass in their state, with their standards. After you successfully pass your first test and register your vehicle, you will be required to pass the smog test every two years. What Happens During the Smog Test? The smog test consists of two portions. The inspector will look for any blue or black smoke coming from the tailpipe during the visual test. Then the inspector will attach your vehicle to a smog check machine. Your vehicle will be tested for the levels of CO, NOx, and HC it emits. If the levels of emissions are within state guidelines for each of these compounds, you will receive a smog inspection certificate. If any of the levels are above the limits, your car will fail the inspection. What Can You Do to Improve Your Car’s Chances of Passing? If you don’t own one of the lucky few vehicles listed above that are exempt from the smog test, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of passing. Repair Your Vehicle First – If you suspect there is something wrong with your car or truck, bring it to a mechanic to have it checked out and fixed before you bring it in for a smog test. In addition, the smog technician...

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Humane Mouse Removal

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mice may be small and cute animals, but they can become very unwelcome visitors in your home. Mice can cause damage to homes by gnawing holes into the walls and can possibly carry disease. Here are some tips to see if they are inside the house, how to trap them humanely, and then how to prevent them from sharing your home with you again. How Do I Know if Mice are Inside My House? From actually seeing them to seeing their small droppings, there are various ways to determine whether or not you actually have mice in your house. If you see holes in your food, you will know that mice have been getting into your food supply. To determine where they are, you may need to track down the small hole they chewed into your walls to get inside. One trick to see if mice come and go through that hole is to put flour in front of the suspicious hole. Check later to see if small mouse prints are in the flour. How Do I Humanely Trap Them? There are a variety of ways to trap them humanely and then release them back outside. You can purchase mouse traps, or try the arduous task of trying to watch their mouse hole and watch them come in and out until you find the perfect moment to try and trap them. Click here to see some common mouse traps. Most of these traps are reusable after they are cleaned. Some people use their pets to determine where the mouse has gone by watching their pets to see if they act interested in the walls. Be careful of this method because the mice have several holes they use to get inside. How To Prevent Mice From Coming Again In order to keep mice from coming inside again, you will need to take measures to fix the damage they have already caused. You will need to plug up the holes they made with much harder material so they can’t come through those openings again. Another key thing you will need to do is make it harder for mice to find food. Make sure you clean the kitchen and made sure that food is not lying around so they do not find easy places to scavenge for crumbs and leftovers. Also be careful about leaving pet food out at night or accidentally spilling seeds in the garage or house because mice will eat nearly anything. For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Environmental Services Pest Control or a similar...

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How To Identify A Brown Recluse Spider

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Winter weather means that basement workshops see a lot more use than during the warmer months. This is a time to catch up on forgotten projects. It’s also a great chance to disturb spiders and other tiny creatures that have settled among the clutter and the spare parts. In some areas, this includes the brown recluse spider. While these spiders are not aggressive, they can deliver a nasty bite and should be treated with respect. Here are some ways to find out if you have brown recluse spiders lurking in that scrap lumber. Step one: Check to see if you live in brown recluse territory. This spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is only known to live in the central United States. If you are outside of this region, you probably have a different kind of spider in your basement. Step two: Catch the spider. Never attempt to grab an unknown spider with your hands. Instead, scoop it up with a plastic container or a paper cup with a lid. Step three: Examine the spider. You’re going to be checking a number of things, so it’s important to take your time. If possible, put the spider in a clear glass jar so you can examine it without losing it or risking a bite. Remember to put holes in the lid. It may not be necessary to kill the spider. Use a magnifying glass and a strong light. There are many brownish spiders, but the brown recluse has some characteristics that make it easy to identify. If the creature you caught matches several of these, contact your university extension for proper identification.    What to look for Color. This will be a dusty brown, in some cases shading to a dark brown or orangish color. Size. Look for long, slender legs on a body about 3/8 of an inch long. Hairs. The legs will be covered with short, fine hairs. There will be no spines or other projections — if you see these, let the spider go. It’s harmless. Markings. Where insects have three body segments, the head, thorax and abdomen, spiders only have two. The head and thorax are combined into a segment called the cephalothorax. It can be identified by the fact that this is where the legs are attached to the spider’s body. The brown recluse has a violin-shaped marking on the back of the cephalothorax. The neck of the violin will point toward the spider’s abdomen. Eyes. Most spiders have eight eyes. The brown recluse has six, arranged in pairs. These can easily be seen with a magnifying glass. Look for a pattern that has two outer pairs of eyes, with the third pair between and below them. Not a brown recluse The spider is not a brown recluse if it has a violin on its abdomen, more than six eyes, shaggy legs, or short, stubby legs. In those cases, you’ve probably found the basement guardians that are keeping the crickets from taking over your house.  Still, this is probably a good time to clear out those old projects, and to contact a company like Killingsworth Pest Control, Inc. if you have an abundance of creepy creatures in your...

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3 Stress-Saving Steps To Take When Moving Into A New Home

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the most stressful aspects of life is moving into a new home. You may have a lot of personal items to organize, and may need to get things in order with your new home. To make this process go as smoothly as possible, these steps can be taken. Use a 2-1 Moving Truck Moving heavy objects by hand can be physically taxing and dangerous if you are not careful. You can move heavy items efficiently and safely when you use a 2-1 moving truck. These trucks start out as a dolly, which is ideal when moving boxes. Then, once you start moving heavier items, you can convert the truck into a 4-wheeled cart. Featuring a steel construction, these trucks can support a lot of weight without damaging. They also have large rubber wheels mounted on the side, which let you move this truck easily over rough surfaces. Get Help from a Waste Removal Company During your move, there may be a lot of things that are not going to be needed for the new home. Instead of removing these items yourself, you can get help from a waste removal company. These companies will bring dumpster trucks to your property, and they will remove any unwanted items you have. Some things that these companies can pick up include furniture, metal, electronics, appliances, and much more. They will recycle as many items as they can, helping you better the environment. You will not have to worry about doing any of the heavy lifting, or taking large items off your property. Rent Out a Moving Truck If you are not going to be getting help from a professional moving company, it’s smart to rent out your own moving truck. These trucks range in size, which go from 12-26ft. There’s ample space on the inside, allowing you to move all of your items in one trip. When looking for a moving truck, it’s important to get one that has non-slip wooden floors. These floors prevent your items from sliding around and damaging while the truck is moving. Also, if you are going to be moving at night, it’s smart to get a truck with lights on the inside. That way, you can see everything clearly when moving items in and out of the truck. Moving can be both mentally and physically taxing. It doesn’t have to be, though, when you take the steps above. They will help you actually enjoy moving into your new...

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