How Safe Are Your Holidays Lights?

Amazing Christmas lightsIn a recent study, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) revealed that holiday lights are responsible for 15 home fires annually. The fires caused injuries, death, and property damage. Improper holiday lights installation can turn a joyful time with friends and family into a nightmare.

To prevent your holiday lights from causing fires during the next holiday season, holiday lighting service providers advise you to watch out for these three common mistakes.

Using Indoor Lights for Outdoor Lighting

You will be wrong to assume all holiday lights are the same. They are either outdoor rated or indoor rated. The difference between these two types of holiday lighting is that outdoor rated lighting can maintain safe electrical connections and withstand the harsh weather conditions in the open air while indoor rated lighting only functions within safe standards if you use it in indoor spaces.

It is easy to cause an electrical fire when you use lights meant for indoor use for outdoor purposes. Besides using the appropriate holiday lights, ensure you use holiday lights that are suitable for your environment.

Improper Storage

Once you are done with the holidays, store your lights appropriately to avoid causing a fire when you use them next. First, never store your lights when they are wet; always ensure they are completely dry before storing. Second, avoid storing your lights in the basement or attic. These two spaces are susceptible to heat, which can affect the electrical connections.

Incorrect Installation

It goes without saying that installing holiday lights increases the risk of fire. People increase their risk when they place light cords in a high traffic area; overload extension cords; staple light strands; and use multiple light strands on a single outlet.

Ignorance shouldn’t be your excuse when it comes to fire safety.  Install your holiday lights and avoid these three lighting mistakes to protect your home and family. Alternatively, you could hire experienced holiday lighting service providers who could choose the right kind of lights and install them in the right areas. You will eliminate any chance of an accidental fire ruining your holidays.

Unbreakable: Top 3 Reasons Glass is Currently the Best Balustrading Material

Glass Balustrades

Through the years, wood has been the most preferred balustrading material for interior parts of traditional houses. When it comes to outdoor decks, though, concrete balustrades compete with wooden ones as the most popular option. But these days, a new balustrading material steals the spotlight, and that is glass.

Auckland Glass Ltd notes that you have three options when it comes to glass balustrades. Fully and partially framed balustrades are ideal for those who find frameless glass balustrades a risky choice. Whichever option you pick, you are going to gain the following benefits from having glass balustrades.

Minimalism

Out of all the materials used for balustrading, glass is undoubtedly the thinnest of all. Its thickness doesn’t even go beyond one inch. This makes it the most space-saving balustrading material out there.

Wood and concrete balustrades tend to feature intricate designs which might be too much for minimalist homes. Unlike those two, glass balustrades lack sophisticated designs which make them ideal for such homes. Their see-through nature also creates the illusion that there are no barriers in the room.

Ease of Maintenance

One of the best things about glass balustrades is the minimal maintenance they need. It only takes a few minutes to clean them. You can even just do it once or twice a month.

Their maintenance is also cheaper than the maintenance for concrete and wood balustrades. You don’t have to repaint them like you would do for concrete balustrades. All you need is a cloth and mild detergent to clean glass balustrades. If you want to simplify the maintenance further, you can apply a wax coating which boosts the glass balustrades’ resistance against scratches and stains.

Futuristic Look

Glass is often associated with technological advancements. Take a look at your smartphone. You might be more familiar with the LCD screen, but this part has glass.

Remember those superhero and futuristic movies as well. The buildings where the main characters usually convene feature a lot of parts made from glass and metal. These materials are common in laboratory equipment as well.

There is no doubt that glass has a futuristic look. This extends to glass balustrades, too. To complement it, you might also want to place metallic furniture and accents in your house.

Right now, the only thing you need to do is decide between framed and frameless glass balustrade. You can ask help from your chosen contractor to know more about the advantages of each type of glass balustrade. Glass balustrades may be the most expensive, but they offer benefits that other balustrades don’t have.

Convert Your Garage into a Functional Home Office

Home Office RenovationA home office is the perfect place to start your own business, work from home (telecommute) and master your own time and schedule. From small delivery businesses to freelance writing, home offices are extremely effective alternatives to the usual business setups.

Whether you’re tired of driving or being stuck in traffic, losing hours you’d rather spend with your family, a home office will give you what you need: a lot less stress and more work done.

Here’s how to convert an area of your house to an office. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on the garage.

Starting the Project

Your garage was not meant to be inhabited by people for more than a few minutes. So now it needs some major adjustments as it is no longer a place to park your car. List down everything it needs for the conversion to begin. Do you need heating and cooling? Does it have windows? Do you have to change the door?

Insulation

Insulation is a major part of the work, as you can’t be sharing your space with ants and vermin. You have to protect it from rain and snow, and control the indoor temperature. Seal the parts that are likely to cause problems. If you have to, install a ceiling. Buy an air conditioner and a heater that are just the right size and power.

Windows and Doors

If you can’t change the garage door, just see to it that there are no leaks. Have a professional work on it if need be. As for windows, your garage may not have one so you’ll need work done there too. To save on costs, industry professional Joinery For All Seasons suggests buying DIY windows and ask a friend to help you install them.

Office Equipment

A desk and a comfortable chair are a must so you can spend hours in your new office without the risk of back pains. Get a fast Internet connection, a computer, a printer and the other items a usual office has. Get a separate table for entertaining guests if this is part of your setup.

A home office may cost you a bit during the renovation/construction, but it will save you lots more in the long term on fuel and other expenses. It will free you from the stress and let you have more time with your family.

Safe and Secure: Rules for Storage of Firearms at Home

Firearms at HomeYour main responsibility as a firearm owner is to make sure that your guns at home are safely stored and kept unloaded. By following firearm responsibilities and rules for safe storage, you can prevent accidents in the home and motivate other members of the household to do the same.

If you are aiming for responsible gun ownership, you need to acquire firearms trusts and exercise full control and supervision of the weapon. 2A Trusts shares the rules for safe and secure storage of firearms in your home.

Out of Children’s Reach

Home accidents can happen when kids discover firearms that you thought were safely hidden. This is why you need to make sure that they are securely stored out of reach of children. It is best to store guns in a safe, locked cabinet, storage case, or firearm vault.

Store it Carefully

Re-inspect and re-check the firearm carefully to be sure that it is unloaded when you remove it from storage. Accidents can happen when one family member borrows a firearm and returns it to the storage still loaded.

Lock the Firearm

Use a firearm locking device to deter access by children and other unauthorized persons. Keep in mind, however, that a locking device is not designed to withstand forced entry by a person determined to break the lock. Consider it as only one element of safe storage for firearms.

Keep it Unloaded

Always keep your gun unloaded until it is ready to use. This practice will prevent accidents and injuries, particularly if the firearm accidentally falls into the wrong hands. It is always best to store your bullets separately from the firearms.

Educate Kids

As a gun owner, you should instill a mindset of safety in all members of the family, particularly kids. It is also important to explain to them that a real gun, unlike toys or those they see on TV, can injure or kill a person. Teach them to act in a safe and responsible way.

Your decision to keep or maintain a firearm in the home for whatever purpose is a personal matter. Just make sure to keep your home safe by having appropriate training and a clear understanding of storage rules and handling.

Must-Remember Qualities to Look for in External Cladding

External Cladding QualitiesExternal cladding materials can be very beneficial to home owners, as they can both be functional and aesthetic. However, it is a must that, when making a selection, you know what qualities to look for.

To ensure you get the best value for your money, consider the following:

Water Resistance

One of the main reasons you would want to clad your home is to protect your wall from environmental elements, specifically rain and snow, aside from its obvious aesthetic factor. So choose a cladding material with a good water-proof rating.

Examples of materials rated to have high water-proof material are timber, fibre cement, and plywood sheeting. Steel and aluminium top these, though, as these materials have some of the highest rating in this aspect. Palliside is one of the highest, though, as it is a combination of various technologies and materials, specifically made for cladding.

Durability

Since the cladding material would endure most of the impact of external factors, it needs to be durable so it can perform this task and give you great value.

Among the most durable external cladding materials are steel and aluminium. Fibre cement and certain types of timber cladding are also rated highly in terms of durability.

Resistance to Fire

Fire resistance is also important when choosing a cladding material for your home. Fibre cement and aluminium are good choices, while steel once again tops the list.

Toxicity

Be careful when selecting a cladding material, as there are some that contain toxic constituents. Fortunately, aluminium, steel, treated timber, and fibre cement are non-toxic.

Aesthetic Benefits

Your home’s external cladding does not have to be just functional; it can also improve the overall aesthetics of your property, when the right material is chosen.

The good news is that, these non-load bearing protective layers come in a plethora of designs, colours, styles, textures, and profiles, so you’re not going to have a problem choosing one that best suits not only your home’s motif, but also your personal preferences.

Stormproofing Your Home: Weak Points You Should Consider Reinforcing

Stormproofing Your HomeA storm is one of the most dangerous natural occurrences that Mother Nature can whip up. Heavy rains combined with strong winds mean that anything that isn’t bolted down is at risk of being blown away or carried off by the waters.

Our natural reaction is to flee to the safety of our homes, and while this does keep you safe, your house is also at risk to the elements. Trend Construction Inc. notes that even houses made of concrete or reinforced with steel are susceptible to strong winds, and combined with heavy rain and flying debris, even their strength can falter.

Knowing your home’s weak points is the best way to begin stormproofing it, and it will save you a lot of trouble when the tempest does strike.

Doors and Windows

Your home’s doors and windows are at the greatest risk when a storm decides to visit your neighborhood; not just due to the sheer power of the wind, but what it carries around in its wake. Like its more powerful cousins, the tornadoes, a huge thunderstorm can sweep away a lot of debris and can cause surprisingly a lot of damage to your doors and windows. A piece of metal or a rock flying at high speeds hits with about the same force as a missile, and the aftermath isn’t pretty.

If you are expecting a huge storm, it may be a smart decision to start replacing your windows with ones that have a higher impact resistance. If this isn’t possible, reinforcing it with 2x4s works well for the meantime, and this also applies to your doors. If you have a garage, then its door should be your priority. Garage doors are surprisingly flimsy and a strong wind can literally tear it apart. A simple metal brace is a good way to reinforce these doors and prevent the wind from getting inside your home.

Check Your Roof

Your roof is equally susceptible to storm damage, especially if the winds are powerful enough to carry objects. Rocks, tree branches, and debris are the least of your worries, though; the rain itself can cause more widespread yet subtle damage to your roof, specifically if it’s strong enough to puncture a hole and cause a leak to form.

It is important to check your home’s roof for existing damage no matter how small and insignificant they are. If your house has tiled roofing, make sure to check for any loose tiles and have them reinforced. When a storm hits, these can get blown away and strike other houses and people, while also exposing the more vulnerable part of your roof to the rain.

Storms may not incite the same horror as a tornado or a full blown hurricane, but you should never underestimate its power. Before a storm comes rolling down your neighborhood, make sure to check your house’s weak points and reinforce them to avoid incurring massive damage.

Keep Calm and Cool: Why Do You Need an Air Conditioning System?

Air ConditionAir conditioning systems play a major role when it comes to the comfort levels of a certain place. Nonetheless, comfort is not the only benefit of using these cooling devices. Apart from keeping your space well ventilated, these help ensure that your body maintains the right temperature.

What Happens When the Body’s Temperature Becomes Abnormal?

The ideal body temperature ranges from 97.7° Fahrenheit to nearly 99.5° Fahrenheit. If your body temperature goes below or beyond this range, it is already considered abnormal. When it does, your risks of experiencing health issues are likely to increase.

It is within this ideal temperature range that the body functions efficiently. The body receives enough supply of oxygen, while maintaining the appropriate carbon dioxide levels. So, where do AR air conditioning services fit in all these?

How Air Conditioning Can Help

The key function of an air conditioning system is to provide you with a cooler environment. It helps maintain the optimal body temperature and prevents it from going higher. It provides comfort during hot summer days, which in turn, prevents you from experiencing heat exhaustion. In serious cases, air conditioning systems protect you from the risks of heat stroke.

Choosing the Right Air Conditioning System

Due to the product improvements in the air conditioning industry, several kinds of systems are now available on the market. The key to choosing the right system lies in your specific needs and space requirements. The size of the area, the specific location for the installation, and the safety components of the unit are just some of the things you need to keep in mind.

It is important that you talk to experienced air conditioning service providers before choosing a unit. This way, you won’t have any regret with your AC system when you install it.

Why You Should Spend Your Next Trip in Utah

Spend Your Next Trip in UtahTo the untrained eye, “Utah” brings to mind visions of long weekends at the Canyons, skiing and nothing but skiing. While hitting its famous slopes is one of the most entertaining things about the Beehive state, it offers so much more.

With incredible opportunities for recreation and formal conventions, Utah offers an excellent scene for mixing business and pleasure. Fellow business travelers and fun-seekers, huddle up, you may want to pencil in Utah for your next trip.

Excellence in accommodation

StGeorgeClarionSuites.com says the best hotels in Utah are those that cater to an extensive range of clientele. Families, singles, business execs, students on spring break, short term, long term – accommodations should offer services that answer to the need of each and every one of this varied group. That’s what marks a good hotel; that it’s versatile enough to satisfy anyone. As it happens, Utah has some of the best accommodations any state has to offer.

Pro-business culture

Cities like St. George and Utah are the perfect locations for meetings and conventions. Airports are only a few miles from the metro areas, so tourists and visitors can access hotels and convention centers easily. They also place great value on business organizations that choose them as destination for seminars and meetings.

In 2014, Forbes ranked Utah as the top state for business, with organizations and corporations benefiting from some of the lowest energy costs in the country. Not to mention that the tech industry is flourishing. The place is now a techno hub of giant companies like Microsoft, Twitter, Oracle, and Adobe.

Outdoor wonders

To their credit, people who say Utah is best known of its ski resorts are not wrong at all. Utah prides itself for having “The Best Snow on Earth”. In winter, it gets twelve inches of snow or even more within 24 hours, making it the best place for your snow escapades. With Deer Valley, the Canyons and the Park City Valley, you’ll never run out of slopes.

Likewise, in the summer, it offers a great location for hiking, biking and camping. The Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park are just some of its landmark wonders.

As if that’s not enough, Utah is known as the happiest state in the country. For your next trip, whether it’s for business or for leisure – or both – you know where to go.

Are Your Windows Secure? Proper Installation Makes a Difference

Securing your windowAs reports show, intruders or burglars often use windows to gain unauthorized access in a home. These risks are greater if you have old and worn out windows and frames. This is why you need to get quality window installation if some of your windows are starting to show signs of damage.

New windows can increase the level of security in your home through the following:

1. Use of More Advanced Materials and Construction Methods for Increased Strength

Most of today’s new windows make use of more advanced materials. Suppliers are constructing these through innovative methodologies. Thanks to these improvements, you can find products that are stronger and more durable. Intruders will have a hard time getting into your home with your newly reinforced windows.

2. Extremely Difficult to Tamper With

PricesWindows.com explains Salt Lake City window installation services often include glazing components that are strong enough to make this part of the home tamper-resistant. These will ensure your home remains secured at all times, especially when you’re away.

3. Reinforced to Withstand Possible Break-Ins

There are also new windows that come with sophisticated technologies, such as tamper-proof locking mechanisms. While you would need to spend a bit more for these products, the extra costs will be worth the added security – especially with the rising incidences of home invasions and burglaries.

4. Weather Protection

With professional window installation services, you can reduce the risks of potential damages caused by severe weather. Modern glass windows and frames are more durable and less likely to break—no need to worry about branches and other debris hitting and easily breaking your windows easily.

You can never be too sure when it comes to your home’s security. Before the worse happens, have those broken windows replaced. You’ll be thanking yourself later on for taking immediate action.

The Secrets Every Wine Enthusiast Wish They Knew

Red wineThe world of wine-drinking can be intimidating. With all the hard-to-pronounce names and a wide range of wine varieties to choose from, beginners may find it overwhelming to choose what is best to match their food. Often, they reach for the closest bottle available and hope it goes well with whatever they are having.

Matching food and wine is not rocket science, however. Any dish can taste even more heavenly when paired with the right glass of wine. Unleash the oenophile in you by taking a look at these pointers:

Drink wine as a treat in itself

Do not drink wine just because the food lacks flavour. Choose a bottle that you could enjoy by itself. If you do not find your food satisfying, at least you have a good glass of wine to make the dining experience better. Trusted wine companies say Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir are good choices for new wine enthusiasts.

Do not pair bitter with bitter

High tannin wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon taste bitter and make a poor match to bitter food. If you want a dish to pair with your Petit Verdot or Montepulciano, make sure it has a lot of fat or season it with salt for a balance palate.

Red meat-red wine is not always true

The rule is not universal. The truth is it depends on your preferences. Just make sure your wine has higher acidity than the food, or else the pairing may taste bland. So, if you are craving for sour dish, a glass of Champagne is the perfect drink for it. On the other hand, a hearty feast needs a hearty wine like Napa Cabernet.

It is okay to feel intimidated with wines at first. With these pointers, you can enjoy a glass of white or red, and see why so many others have this immense appreciation for drinking wine. lambast

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