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Installing and Maintaining Smoke Alarms in Your Home

Protecting your family and your property from the danger of fire is vital. Installing a system of smoke alarms in your house is one of the most effective ways of ensuring you and your family are alerted if a fire breaks out in your home. Below is a brief guide to installing and maintaining smoke alarms in your home.

The Types of Smoke Alarm

There are two types of smoke alarm which are commonly used in residential properties:

  • Photoelectric smoke alarms are designed to detect visible particles which are created during the combustion of flammable materials. There is a light source contained within the alarm and a sensor. When smoke enters the alarm, it scatters the light and triggers the sensor which in turn activates the alarm. These alarms are good at detecting slow-burning or smouldering fires.
  • Ionisation smoke alarms are designed to detect invisible particles which are created during the combustion process. The alarm contains two metal plates. An electrical current is run between these two plates, which is disrupted when smoke enters the alarm. The advantage of these alarms is that they are often triggered before the smoke generated by the fire has become too thick. They are best used for detecting fast burning fires.

The Location of the Smoke Alarm

Fires can break out anywhere in your home, so ideally you should install a smoke alarm on every floor of your property. You should also consider installing additional smoke alarms in rooms which contain large appliances such as televisions, washing machines, freezers and ovens, in case these appliances fail and catch fire. You should position alarms near doors and in hallways so when triggered they can be heard all over the house. Avoid placing smoke alarms near to your bathroom, as the moisture and steam could falsely trigger the alarm. 

Testing the Smoke Alarm

A smoke alarm can save your life but only if it is in good working order. You should test your smoke alarms on a regular basis to make sure that they are fully operational. The majority of smoke alarms will have a test button which you can press. This should trigger the alarm. If the alarm does not trigger you should check the batteries in the alarm.

If you have any questions about how to best install or maintain fire safety equipment in your home, you should contact a professional fire equipment contractor who will be able to offer help and advice.

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Types of Window Films You Should Consider For Your Home

Window films are primarily used to enhance the privacy of a residence. They work toward making the windowpanes opaque, hence limiting the view of prying eyes into the home. However, these window films can provide additional functionality, such as reducing sun glare, heat transmission, the penetration of ultraviolet rays and more. As such, these window films come in an array of types with a variety of features. Here are some of the window films that you can consider for your home.

Decorative films

As the name suggests, the primary function of these window films is to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your windowpanes. Some of the styles that these films come in include etched window films and sparkle window films. Decorative films are great for installation on the front-facing windows of your home, as they will contribute to the overall curb appeal of your residence.

Frosted films

These types of window films make the windowpanes opaque, without compromising the amount of natural light that can filter through the glass. As such, frosted films are best suited for individuals who are looking to enhance privacy in a room. For example, these are often used on bathroom windows. These are also a good option if you do not want to install window treatments on the various windows in your home; instead, you can opt for frosted film to ensure that your privacy is maintained.

Energy-efficient films

Energy-efficient window films primarily reduce the amount of sun rays that penetrate into your home. They are especially great for homeowners who live in locations prone to frequent sunny weather all year round. There are two main things that energy efficient films will protect your home from. The first is ultraviolet rays, which have can age and fade both flooring and upholstery. Additionally, energy-efficient films will also reduce the amount of heat transmitted through your windows, which helps keep the temperature of your home comfortable year-round.

Security films

Security window films safeguard the glass of windowpanes against breaking. They enhance the structural integrity of your window glass, thus making it harder for burglars or vandals to break through.  However, in the event that your windows are broken forcefully, the security window film ensures that your windows will not shatter into tiny pieces. Instead, the security film holds it in place, thus making the glass shatter in large shards that can easily be collected and disposed of.

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Making the Choice between a Carport or a Garage

If you own a vehicle, chances are you would not want it parked on the sidewalk exposed to the elements. As such, homeowners find themselves having to make a choice between opting for carport and constructing a garage in their home. If you need to make this decision, here are some of the benefits that each option can afford you.

Advantages of choosing a carport

  • Carports are an affordable alternative: If you were looking for a low-cost way of ensuring that your vehicle is protected from the elements, then a carport would be your best bet. Professional contractors can easily erect carports, or you could opt to purchase an all-inclusive kit and put it together on your own. Since they come pre-constructed, it also takes a shorter time to put up as compared to constructing a new garage. Additionally, carports can also work as an entertainment area outdoors if you have guests and need additional space to accommodate them.
  • Carports afford you flexibility in placement: When you opt for a carport, you are free to place it wherever you would like as long as it does not hinder the movement of your neighbours. You can choose to have this structure attached directly to your home or have it free standing on your driveway. This gives you more options when it comes to making the most of the space that is available to you. Additionally, you can opt for a portable carport that can easily be disassembled in the event that you would like to use the space it is taking up or if you no longer have use for it and would like to put it in storage.

Advantages of constructing a garage

  • Garages offer you full enclosure: one of the biggest benefits of opting to construct a garage is that is provides full enclosure for your vehicle. Since this becomes an extension of your home, you do not have to worry about your vehicle being compromised by the weather elements. Additionally, parking your car in the garage provides you with privacy. You can unload your groceries right into the home or come in with guests without having to worry about prying neighbours swing who or what was in your vehicle.
  • Garages offer you storage space: Typically, garages tend to have more space than carports. This provides you with additional storage solutions for your belongings. Unlike carports that are designed to house only vehicle, you can have cabinets, shelves and more incorporated into the design out of your garage. This would be ideal for homeowners who require additional storage for their home. 
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Maintenance tips for your cooling tower

A cooling tower is a vital piece of equipment for many industries. As it is so important, it’s a very hard piece of equipment to compromise with to save electricity. However, to save electricity with your cooling tower, you should be aware of the appropriate maintenance procedures. Performing regular, proper maintenance on your cooling towers will increase the life length of the cooling equipment of the tower, as well as saving you money on electricity.

Check the temperature

To know if your cooling tower should be a subject of maintenance, you should check the temperature of the leaving water of the cooling tower. If it seems warmer than usual, it probably demands some sort of maintenance. Make sure you check the temperature also after you’ve performed maintenance on it to make sure that it’s back to normal temperature. If it’s not, there might be something malfunctioning within it and then it needs to be looked at by a repair man.

Clean dirt and debris

A first step to cooling tower maintenance is to clear it of dirt and debris. Turn off the power and check the strainers for anything that is not supposed to be there. Then flush any debris from the cold water basin through the tower drain. By flushing it out rather than picking it up, you’re maintaining the circulation of the water and won’t disturb the process of water cooling more than necessary.

Look out for dry areas

Check for dry areas in all parts of the cooling system. Remove any build-up or dirt that might cause any area to be dry. If you can’t find any prevalent reason to why some parts of the cooling system are dry, then carefully examine the nozzles. There might be cracks in them that is causing the water to leak out elsewhere, or you might have gotten a clog in them that needs to be removed for the water to run freely.

Check the water

Examine the make-up water supply to determine what level it is at. If it’s over or under the appropriate level, you should control the system for leaks and restore the water level to the determined level. This increases air circulation, which can help with preserving water so that you don’t have to concern yourself with checking it too often. If you notice that water is sinking unusually much without any leakage, you should evaluate the water quality. Make sure you have all the settings for bleeding and evaporation correct for the type of water the cooling system is operating with as this can save you a lot of water. 

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Timber Floors | 4 Actionable Steps To Polish Your Living Room Timber Floors Before A Party

Timber floors produce elegant aesthetic appeal in any living room, but they start to look timeworn and dull over prolonged use. If you’re hosting a party at your home, chances are you’re worried about the look of your timber floors. You certainly don’t want your guests to judge the way you maintain your home, do you? This actionable guide aims to help you polish your living room timber floors in preparation for a party in your home.

Get Your Supplies Ready

You will need a floor sander, an edge sander, heavy grit sandpaper, soft-grit sandpaper, medium-grit sandpaper, timber filler or putty, a paintbrush and polyurethane coating. These supplies are easily available at any local home improvement store. You can hire the floor and edge sander from a hardware store instead of paying for new equipment.

Start Sanding the Timber Floors

Sanding is usually undertaken to remove the oil from your timber floors. A floor sander will sand your timber floors, while the edge sander tackles hard-to-reach corner spots. For a smooth finish, floor sanding requires a few steps. Start with heavy-grit sandpaper for heavier sanding and gradually move to medium-grit sandpaper to remove smaller imperfections. End with soft-grit sandpaper to finish off the surface smoothly. Remember to sand in the same direction as the grain to emphasise the natural beauty of timber.

Fill Up Exposed Holes

Check for exposed holes before you finish sanding with soft-grit paper. If you notice any exposed holes in your timber floors, be sure to fill it up using timber filler or putty in the same colour as the floor wood. Let this sit for a few hours before the final sanding process. Keep in mind that any exposed holes should be filled after the coarse sanding and before the smooth sanding. Mop the floors with liquid detergent and warm water before polishing.  

Polish Your Timber Floors

A water-based polyurethane floor sealant is highly popular for timber floor polishing because of its quick drying, non-toxic and stench-free features. You can choose between matte, glossy and semi-gloss finishes. Keep in mind that high gloss finishes look good, but they are not conducive to high-traffic floors because they highlight imperfections and scratches easily. Apply the coat of polyurethane with a paintbrush or roller by following the grain. The first coat will raise the wood grain. Let it dry for a few hours before using medium-grit sandpaper to eliminate the roughness caused by the raised grain. Clean residue and apply the second coat. Let this dry overnight and apply the last coat.

Timber floor sanding and polishing typically takes a few days, so you’ll want to undertake this task a few weeks before your party. Once you finish, your timber floors will look good as new –– just in time for your get-together. For more information, contact companies like Parquetry Flooring Co Pty Ltd.

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Tips for Choosing a New Staircase for Your Home

When building a new home or when you need to have a new staircase installed, you want to take the time to ensure you choose the right design style. The look and feel of your home’s staircase may be more important than you realize, as a staircase is often a prominent feature in a home. You also want everyone to be safe when walking up and down the stairs, and its overall size will affect that safety. Note a few tips before you talk to your contractor about the staircase you’ll have installed.

1. Shape

A rounded staircase can more readily fit into a tight spot in your home, whereas a square staircase with a turn or landing can give it a more traditional look. When choosing the shape, be sure you note the price of the railing, as a rounded railing may be more costly simply because it can be more difficult to shape wood or metal into a rounded design, versus simply cutting straight pieces.

2. Width and depth

The opening in your home for your staircase will affect its width and depth, but be sure you invest in a design that will be comfortable and safe. A narrow staircase might be cheaper for you, and you may appreciate a minimalist look, but can you easily bring laundry baskets, furniture, and other such items up and down a very narrow staircase?

Deep stairs may also be safer for you and especially for someone who may need to use a cane or walking aid. When walking on very shallow stairs, the back of your foot may tend to slip off the stair, and this can be dangerous. Opt for something that fits the space, but don’t skimp on the size of your staircase just to save money; invest in something that is convenient and safe.

3. Railing

The railing is an important part of your staircase; if you choose something with thick slats, this can make the space seem very enclosed. For tighter spaces, consider glass panels or a railing with the minimal amount of slats needed for building codes and safety. Get creative with the railing; for a modern home, opt for a stainless steel rail with wires for slats, or metal panels. For a fun touch of color, paint the railing a fire engine red or apple green color. For a traditional look, opt for crisp white slats with a darker stain or paint color on the handrail itself.

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Tips for Choosing Road Marking Paint

When you own or manage a commercial facility of any sort, you may need to refresh the markings and lines in your parking lot or shipping area, either after you’ve made repairs to the surface or simply because the current lines have faded. It’s good to note that road marking paint is not all the same, and you need to ensure you choose the right type for the surface, your typical weather conditions and even the tools you’ll be using to apply the paint. Note a few tips before you begin shopping for your road line marking paint.

1. Water-based paints

Water-based paints have the advantage of being less harmful to the environment than paints made with solvents. As the paint eventually chips or fades away, the water based paint will release far fewer toxins into the soil and groundwater than paints with solvents. If you’re concerned about the environment, this can be the right choice.

One thing to remember is that many fast drying paints are water based, and while choosing fast drying paints can mean having your parking lot or other area ready for traffic within hours if not minutes, you need to consider the type of equipment you use. Some fast drying paints will dry so quickly that they actually dry on a paint roller and clog up tubes and hoses. When using a fast drying paint, you may need to use a sprayer only, in order to keep it from drying before it’s even applied.

2. Solvent-based paints

A solvent-based paint will usually be made with a type of oil; in some cases, it may be a form of vegetable oil. This offers the advantage of repelling water. If your facility is in a location with lots of rain or snow, you might opt for a solvent-based paint so the water drips away from the paint lines and markings. The solvent-based paint also won’t freeze, so it’s a good choice for areas with very cold winters as the paint is less likely to get brittle and chip in freezing temperatures.

3. Hybrid paints

Hybrid paints are those that may have different types of solvents added; some will be oils that are stronger than plain vegetable oil and will stand up to aggressive wear. Glass beads can also be added to make the lines more light reflective; this is the right choice for a facility that operates at night so the lines are still visible. 

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