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Migrating To VoIP? Make Sure Your Fire Alarm System Can Handle The Transition

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Fire alarm systems play a pivotal role in saving lives and, in many cases, limiting property damage. Transitioning your building from traditional phone service to Voice over IP (VoIP) can cause some unexpected problems, including how to handle fire alarm monitoring in a reliable manner. When dealing with older protocols, older equipment, and tight timetables, it’s important to understand how the switchover can affect fire systems communications and learn ways to mitigate the various issues posed by VoIP networking. The Problem with Leaving POTS Behind For decades, Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was the undisputed standard for most communications, including fire warning equipment. Nearly every building is wired for POTS, and older National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes required buildings to maintain at least one dedicated POTS line. These days, POTS usage is quickly falling by the wayside in favor of other technologies that are making use of improved Internet protocol (IP) communications. But leaving POTS in the dust poses plenty of challenges for anyone making the switch to VoIP. Unlike analog networks that are optimized for voice communication, IP networks are optimized for data. Data compatibility issues stemming from the conversion of analog signals into digital format can prevent analog dialers on older fire alarm panels from successfully sending the correct signals to a monitoring station. Power outages can also pose a problem for fire alarm panels reliant on VoIP. A POTS line supplies its own power and fails only when a line at the interface box is cut or when there’s an outage originating with the phone company. In contrast, a power outage can interrupt modem and router equipment, taking the VoIP line with it until power is restored. Weaknesses in VoIP Attempts to integrate older fire alarm systems into a VoIP network often reveal weaknesses in VoIP itself: Errors in sampling can occur when converting analog signals into usable digital data, resulting in portions of the alarm tone information being lost. Hardware or software failures that prevent certain VoIP accessory devices from working can also prevent the fire alarm system from transmitting its signals. Internet connection instability problems caused by heavy traffic, cyber-attacks, or other uncontrollable issues can disrupt fire alarm monitoring service. Cellular to the Rescue Upgrading your fire alarm panel may be the easiest way to mitigate issues surrounding older panels and VoIP, but budgetary concerns may rule out such a drastic move. In the meantime, there are a number of alternatives available that resolve the above issues with VoIP. One such alternative involves the use of cellular communications for fire alarm signal transmission. GSM communicators allow fire alarm panels to transmit signals over GSM cellular networks — the same networks used for cell phones worldwide. This feature completely bypasses VoIP, giving you an alternative that isn’t affected by the limitations of VoIP systems. GSM communicators can be easily integrated into existing fire alarm panels, making them an inexpensive alternative when compared to a complete systems upgrade. GSM communicators are also able to transfer more data to the monitoring station, allowing fire alarm panels to communicate not only the existence of an alarm, but also detailed information on where the alarm is located. This detailed information can help firefighters mount a more effective response to fires. According to Rodger Reiswig, Director of Industry Relations...

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Plumbing a Wet Bar in Your Oft-Flooded Basement? What Precautions Should You Take?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve always dreamed of spending time in your own basement bar, you may already be outlining construction plans in your head. Although building a wet bar from scratch can take more than a few weekends of work (not to mention some do-it-yourself blog reading and viewing of online videos), the project is achievable for the handy homeowner. However, if your basement tends to take on water after your area has received rain for more than a few days in a row, successfully plumbing a wet bar can become more complicated, and failing to control the flow of floodwater into your basement while generating outflow through the drains and dishwasher can result in more than wet socks. Read on for some of the factors you’ll want to consider and preliminary steps you should take before undertaking construction of a basement wet bar.  What should you do to eliminate flooding issues before building a bar? Building and plumbing a basement bar becomes much less complex when you’ve already undertaken efforts to eliminate flooding issues in your basement once and for all. Your first steps will likely vary somewhat depending upon the source of your flooding. In some cases, a house is simply constructed on or near a floodplain so that some seepage is unavoidable. However, by insulating the interior walls of your home with a moisture-retardant barrier and then installing an additional layer of drywall on top of this barrier, you’ll be able to prevent much of the floodwater from seeping directly through your walls. A moisture barrier on the outside of your foundation (for partially-submerged basements) can also help.  You’ll also want to ensure that your sump pump is up to the task of constant pumping through floods—and if you don’t already have a sump pump, a heavy-duty one should be your next home investment. This pump will be submerged beneath the floor surface in your basement, where it can pump out any rising groundwater and ensure that it doesn’t breach the underside of your home’s foundation.  Finally, you’ll want to check—and perhaps update—the backflow valves on each of the drainage pipes running from your basement. These valves are crucial in preventing floodwater or backed-up sewage from returning into your home through its drainage pipes, and a failed or broken backflow valve can cause major plumbing problems during heavy rain. You may need to enlist the services of a plumber to survey your sump pump and backflow valves to ensure they’re in good working condition and up to the task of the additional water and waste needs of a wet bar.  What types of plumbing are best for basements that tend to flood?  In some cases, you may be better off simply constructing a holding tank (like a miniature septic tank that can be pumped more easily) rather than connecting your basement’s wet bar to your home’s drainage pipes. You’ll still be able to take advantage of your home’s water supply without risking clogs, backed-up pipes, or other plumbing issues often inherent with waste pipes that need to flow upward.  However, if you’re planning heavy or frequent usage of your basement bar, you’ll likely be best served by hooking up with the rest of your home’s plumbing. You may need to invest in a sewage pump that will help force...

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5 Reasons Why Dry Cellulose Is The Best Insulation Material For Your Detached Garage

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Dry cellulose has replaced fiberglass as the insulation of choice when it comes to retrofitting detached garages. The dry cellulose material provides excellent noise cancellation, moisture control, heat transfer prevention and fire resistance. Furthermore, cellulose is made from two environmentally friendly, renewable materials: recycled newspaper material and borate powder products. When you select dry cellulose insulation for your detached garage renovation, you can rest assured the material will greatly benefit both the condition of your building and the environment. Read on to learn more about the five main benefits of choosing dry cellulose insulation. Noise Cancellation Dry cellulose insulation is densely packed into the garage walls through small openings made between the framing lumber. The densely packed material dramatically reduces noise from traveling through the walls by absorbing the sound vibrations. In fact, up to 80% of noise is canceled as it attempts to travel through the cellulose material. The insulation will muffle sound coming from next door or down the street, so you can think about your next project in peace without having to leave your garage or wear earplugs. Your neighbors will also be safe from the racket caused by your air and power tool usage as you forge ahead with your garage tasks. Moisture Control Dry cellulose actually keeps moisture from accumulating inside your walls by allowing it to migrate through the fibers. As the moisture migrates, it quickly evaporates, leaving the inside of your walls clean and dry. With such a quick evaporation rate, mold and mildew do not have a chance to build up in your walls. Your insulation contractor will likely not need to install a vapor barrier with the dense pack, dry cellulose due to its supreme moisture dissipation abilities. Heat Transfer Prevention The resistance to heat flow, or R-value, of dry cellulose insulation is approximately four per inch, which is double the rating of low density fiberglass. As a result, cellulose dramatically decreases heat transfer through the garage’s exterior walls. The material also prevents air leakage from affecting the temperature in the garage as caulk, windows seals and other barrier materials start to wear out over time. Fire Resistance Dry cellulose insulation contains up to 20% boric acid, ammonium sulfate or other flame retardant substances. The flame retardant minerals are added to the cellulose material after it goes through the hammer milling process. These natural minerals keep the cellulose fibers from smoldering, smoking or fully combusting when exposed to extreme heat. As an added benefit, these substances act as an insecticide by abrading the exoskeleton of insects, like ants, cockroaches and beetles, and causing them to dehydrate and die.   Environmentally Friendly Although it can last a long time, fiberglass is largely made out of nonrenewable materials. Dry cellulose insulation, on the other hand, is primarily constructed out of recycled newspaper placed in community bins. The waste paper is shredded into tiny fragments in a single step process performed by the hammermill tumbler. The flame retardant minerals added to the finished paper shreds are naturally found in the environment and only pose a real threat to insects that come in close proximity to the insulation. The minerals are not toxic to humans or animals, especially when used as a confined element in your cellulose insulation. Insulating Your Garage Build When you...

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Listing Your Home For Sale? What Improvements Can Fetch You The Highest Purchase Price?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re planning to sell the home in which you’ve spent most of your adult life and downsize to a smaller place with less upkeep, you may be looking at your surroundings with a newly critical eye. The imperfections inherent in a home that has been well-used over the years can be endearing and even bring back memories for homeowners, but they will likely just look like chipped paint or stained carpet to prospective buyers. What can you do to quickly get your home into showroom shape without cutting into your sales profit? Read on to learn more about the most effective pre-listing improvements you can do yourself, as well as some for which you may want to enlist professional assistance.   What pre-listing improvements can you perform yourself? Much of what you’ll need to do to make your home “show” better is purely cosmetic. Repainting your home in a neutral color can help you mask many imperfections and give buyers more of a blank slate within which to imagine their own furniture and decor. Before repainting, you’ll be able to patch any holes you’ve accumulated in the drywall over the years, from the dents and dings caused by furniture to pinpricks and nail holes from where you’ve hung artwork. After your paint job has been completed, you’ll be left with a fresh-smelling and immaculate series of walls that can help your home appear brand new again. You should be able to do this repainting yourself by purchasing a few gallons of neutral paint (high gloss or semi-gloss is usually the best choice to repel handprints and surface dirt), some paint rollers, painting tape, and a plastic or canvas tarp to protect your floors. After taping off any areas that aren’t to be painted (like baseboards, crown molding, or door jambs), you’ll want to fill in holes or other imperfections with drywall putty and level the surface with a putty knife. Once the putty has dried in place, you’ll use the paint roller to fully cover the surface of the wall with a thin layer of paint. Depending upon the color of the paint you’re covering, you may be able to get by with a single layer of high-quality paint; for darker paint, several layers may be necessary. By that same token, replacing older or worn flooring can be a cost-effective way to give your home a facelift. Just as neutral, newly-painted walls can encourage buyers to imagine their own artwork or family photos hanging in your home, new floors can rejuvenate a room and eliminate any lingering odors or stains (particularly if you’re replacing carpet in a home with pets).   While you may be willing to give your prospective buyers a generous allowance to purchase and install their own floors after closing, many buyers are unable or unwilling to look this far ahead, and may simply write your home off as an option due to the worn or dirty-looking carpets or damaged laminate or hardwood floors.  Many household flooring options once required professional installation for a seamless look. However, many brands of laminate, engineered hardwood, and even carpet are now designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. These solid-surface flooring panels often snap together to create a “floating floor,” rather than requiring installation with nails and glue; meanwhile,...

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4 Garden Design Ideas You Can Create Using Topsoil And Gravel

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Landscaping with gardens is an excellent way to improve curb appeal, increase your overall property value, and provide your household with free food throughout the year. Produce such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash are sure to add lots of color to your landscape design and offer you access to plenty of fresh ingredients for your meals on a regular basis. As long as your gardens are well designed and easily accessible, it should be fairly easy to care for them throughout the year. Here are four garden design ideas that may meet your specific needs and preferences: Perimeter Gardens You can effectively create a privacy hedge by planting gardens along the entire perimeter of your property. Install lattice of two or three inch height along the edge of your property line and plant vine veggies in front of the lattice so they’ll grow up and along it to create extra privacy for your yard. Fill in the garden with topsoil for a clean look, and add a walkway in front of the gardens along the entirety of your property’s perimeter. It’s a good idea to make a small wall between the garden and gravel walkway using larger rocks about the size of your hand. Simply place a line of larger rocks where the topsoil of your gardens and the gravel walkway meet. This will keep the soil from spilling over into the walkway and minimize maintenance needs as time goes on. Orchard Gardens Create an orchard look in your yard by planting your gardens in multiple rows and leaving space to walk between each one. Start by preparing garden plots of about 12 inches wide and four to six feet in length, and about two feet apart from one another so there’s room to walk between them. Plant produce such as green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant along the prepared plots, and add a layer of topsoil to make the garden plots look uniform in size. Between each plot, put layers of gravel down to create paths that you can use to easily and quickly care for your plants. Gardens with Water Features If you want to create an upscale look, consider adding water features to your gardens. This can be done with the help of a couple solar water fountains and garden hoses. Create a simple water feature by making a flat space in your garden with gravel that your water fountain can sit on. The gravel will slow down any water that falls on it and help ensure that the fountain doesn’t drown nearby plants. For a more dramatic look and feel, place a small black pond liner in the middle of your garden and pile gravel along the edges of it to make it look like it’s built into the ground. Fill the pond liner with water and place a waterproof stand in the middle to put your fountain on top of. When turned on, the fountain will spray water into the pond liner and create a waterfall effect to enjoy. Centerpiece Gardens If you’re not interested in spending a lot of time caring for your gardens to ensure that they thrive, you can create a centerpiece garden or two that look impressive but don’t require a lot of work. To make a centerpiece garden, place...

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Insulate Your Garage Door with These Three Ideas

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you use your garage as a workshop, an art studio, an office, a laundry room, or any other space where you spend a lot of time, you may want to insulate your garage door. Insulation reduces the heat loss from your garage and helps keep it warm. There are several different DIY insulating ideas to consider, such as these three: 1. Polyethylene Film If you don’t use your garage for your car any longer and you don’t care whether or not you can open the door, you can use polyethylene film to insulate it. A single layer of polyethylene film provides some insulation, and thick double-layered film provides even more. To install it, you simply need to roll out several pieces of film and pull them over the inside of your door. Then, secure the film to the walls around your door using staples, u-nails, or adhesive. Make sure that the film extends above and below the door as well to prevent cool air from seeping through those openings. The drawback of poly film is that, again, it blocks your door from opening and closing, and it doesn’t insulate as well as foam or other types of installation. 2. Foam Insulation Boards To insulate with foam boards, measure the panels of your garage door. Then, cut foam insulation boards to size with a sharp knife. Use silicone or another type of strong adhesive to glue the boards to the inside of your garage door. If you like, you can add extra insulation to your door by leaving an air gap between the insulating board and the garage door. To do this, cut heavy-duty strips of cardboard the same width as your garage door panels. Glue a piece of cardboard on the top and bottom of each panel. Then, adhere the insulating boards to the strips of cardboard. The cardboard makes the insulation jut out a bit, creating a space for air. Before adding the insulation to your garage door, weigh all of your materials. Then, check how much weight your garage door opening mechanisms are designed to hold—this information should be in the user’s manual that came with your garage door opener. If you overweight the door, the springs will be under too much tension, and they could snap and come loose from the door. If you are not sure whether or not your garage door opener can handle the extra weight, consult with a repair person. They can assess the situation and adjust the springs as needed. Similarly, if you know how much extra weight the door can handle and you plan to add more than that, call a repair person to address the spring tension. 3. Low-Density Spray Foam If you want an easier application process, consider using low-density spray foam to insulate your garage door. There are several types of spray insulation, but if you don’t want to add lots of extra weight to your garage door, you should use low-density spray foam. This is the lightest weight spray foam on the market—unfortunately, however, it doesn’t offer as much insulation as high- and medium-density spray foam. To install it, grab the can of spray foam and spray it over the back of your garage door. Use a back-and-forth motion to cover the panels of your...

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Backups And Overflows And Plugged Drains, Oh My! A Guide To Preventing Common Plumbing Issues

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Nobody wants to call the plumber at midnight when the toilet is overflowing onto the floor or sewage is spewing out of the bathroom sink. Even having to call for a plugged sink drain in the middle of the day is annoying and costly! Instead of sitting and hoping you never have to make that emergency call to the plumber, why not be proactive? There are five simple habits you can adopt that will greatly reduce your chances of common plumbing issues including backups, overflows and plugged drains. Human Waste and Toilet Paper; Nothing Else Gets Flushed If it’s not number one, number two, or toilet paper, it has no business getting flushed down your toilet. If a little toilet paper gets stuck in a pipe, it will break down and free itself within a period of several hours. However, personal wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, and other items take much longer to break down — months in many cases. If one of these items becomes stuck in your toilet drain pipe, it will be there until someone physically frees it. Even if the products says “flushable,” you should avoid flushing it down the toilet. Following this rule will greatly reduce your chances of a backed up or overflowing toilet. Wipe Your Plates Before Washing Them Hopefully you already know not to pour grease, like cooking oil or bacon fat, down your drain. But did you know that the smaller amounts of grease you rinse off of plates and into the kitchen sink can also be harmful? These little amounts of grease can slowly build up in a drain over time, grabbing onto other little food particles that flow past them and eventually leading to a clog. Scrape your plates with a spatula before rinsing them in the sink, and if they are notably greasy, wipe them down with a paper towel that you place in the trash before washing them, too. You should suffer fewer clogs in your kitchen sink as a result. Keep Hair From Going Down the Drain One of the most common contributors to clogged and backed up bathroom drains is human hair. Even if you don’t realize it, you shed hair every time you take a shower. That hair goes down the drain, where its unique texture makes for some remarkably stubborn clogs. Put hair traps in each of your shower and tub drains to catch this hair, and empty them regularly. Plastic hair traps are only a few dollars at home improvement stores, and for just a little more, you can buy some very nice looking metal ones. If you ever wash your hair (or a pet’s hair) in the sink, you should put a hair trap in that sink, too. Put a Screen On Your Washing Machine’s Drain Hose You know how much lint comes off of your clothes and gets stuck in your dryer’s lint trap? Well, lint comes off of your clothes in the washer, too, and it ends up in the drains where it can cause clogs. Place a metal screen over the end of your washer’s drain hose to catch this debris, and change the screen regularly. Metal screens that fit over the end of washer hoses and can be secured with zip ties are sold regularly in...

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Protecting Your Roof From Ice Damage

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you live in an area of the country that becomes cold and snowy during the winter, you must take measures to protect your home from the effects of the harsh weather. Ice dams are among the threats to the structural integrity of your roof during the winter. While a snow-covered  roof with hanging icicles can make your property look like a winter wonderland, the formation of ice on your home spells trouble. There are ways to prevent the ice damage to your roof and melt icicles safely. Prevention Instead of waiting for the onset of winter to deal with ice dams and icicles, take preventative action during the late summer and fall. Ice dams occur when the heat in your attic warms the upper part of your house—except for the eaves. As snow begins to melt, it runs down the roof and freezes when it reaches the cool eaves. This causes ice dams that can damage shingles. Dams also cause water to infiltrate your home and possibly damage your walls and ceilings. Making sure that your attic has proper ventilation can help to prevent these issues. Roofing contractors can install vents on your roof so warm air can circulate properly and not become trapped. You can choose a variety of vent styles to match the architecture of your home and blend in to your home’s design. You can also purchase vents that double as solar panels and ventilate your attic with fans. Solar vents will also help you save money on your energy bills. If you choose to install vents on your own you will need to measure your roof properly, purchase the correct number of vents and avoid punching holes in the wrong places in the roof so you do not damage ductwork and other structures. Removing Ice and Snow You can remove the ice and snow from eaves and gutters without damaging the structures. Use a roof rake to remove snow right after snowfall. When ice develops, DIY solutions include creating salt tubes using a pair of old pantyhose. After you cut off the top of the hosiery, fill the legs with salt made from melting ice. Tie a knot on the open end of each pantyhose leg. Place the salt tubes across gutters with frozen ice. You can also spread salt in gutters and at your roof line. If you feel it is too dangerous to place a ladder on snow-covered or icy ground to complete these tasks, hire a contractor to de-ice your gutters and eaves. To avoid damaging your roof and injuring yourself, do not chip at the ice with sharp objects like chisels and hammers. In addition, never walk on a roof with snow or ice. Post-winter Tasks When spring arrives and the snow and ice are gone, you will have the chance to inspect your roof for damage. If your attic is properly ventilated and you do not let ice accumulate, you will not have to spend an exorbitant about of money to repair your roof. It is much less expensive to repair a few shingles than deal with leaks and other serious problems from water seepage including mold, warped lumber, sagging ceilings and water stains. If you do not feel that improved attic ventilation helped to prevent ice dams, you...

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3 Ways To Increase Your Garage Door Safety For Children

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In 2007, there were 13,325 injuries and deaths relating to garage doors. Injuries were caused by falling garage doors, pinched fingers, entrapment and children riding the garage door as it retracted, among other issues. If you have small children in your home or who visit your home often, optimizing your garage door safety is key to preventing serious injuries and deaths. Here are three ways to increase your garage door safety for children.  1. Install a Controlled Descent Device The most dangerous and deadly injuries that are related to garage doors occur when a garage door free falls and crushes or pins a victim underneath it. Most garage doors weigh over 400 pounds, and in a free fall, can exert considerable pressure on an individual. Children who play in a garage and a driveway with the garage door open are especially at risk for injuries that result from a falling garage door.  You can prevent your garage door from free falling by installing a controlled descent device, or having a garage door service assist you with the installation. A controlled descent device “catches” the door as it descends, preventing it from falling quickly.  2. Purchase a Garage Door With Finger Protection & Low Profile Hinges  Other problematic garage door injuries occur when a child attempts to “ride” the garage door as it opens. A child may grab on to the top of a garage door section or a hinge, and attempt to let go just before the garage door fully retracts. When a child fails to let go soon enough, his or her fingers, hands and arms can become trapped in the top of the garage door opening, causing serious injuries.  Prevent garage door riding by purchasing a garage door with finger protection and low profile hinges. The space between each section on these doors isn’t enough for a child to hang on to, and the low profile hinges are much more flush against the garage door. This type of door is designed to prevent “riding” and can help keep older children safer around your garage door. 3. Test the Reversing Mechanism on Your Garage Door Regularly  Every garage door is designed to reverse if it comes into contact with anything while it is descending. For example, your garage door should automatically reverse if it touches a toy or other object that is between the door and your driveway. When a garage door doesn’t properly reverse, it could cause serious crush injuries and even death if a child were to get stuck underneath the door.  Check the reversing mechanism on your door frequently by inserting an object, such as a 2 x 4, underneath the garage door while it’s closing. Ensure that the door automatically reverses when it touches the object. If it doesn’t, contact a garage door repair company as soon as possible and do not allow children to play near the door until the issue has been fully corrected.  Garage door injuries and deaths happen unexpectedly, even when your garage door has been operating perfectly. Check your garage door for problems on a regular basis, and have any issues fixed by a professional from a company like The Garage Doctor immediately. Additionally, by taking an active role to ensure that your garage door is as safe as possible...

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Four Heating Solutions For Garages In The Winter

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Garages are a great extension of the home used as a place to work, repair cars, and hang out with friends. If you get a lot of use out of your garage, then you will likely want to keep it warm for the winter months. Even if the garage is attached to the home, there may not be vents or proper heating installed in the area. Instead of using dangerous space heaters or electric heating options, you can save a lot of money and have plenty of heat with four garage heating options. Each heating solution usually involves some sort of furnace that can be installed and kept running for several years. Garage Tube Heaters Without proper areas for ventilation, many home owners choose to install a garage tube heater. A tube heater hangs off the ceiling of the garage much like a florescent light fixture. Heat is dispersed through the tube so it can spread throughout the garage. Furnaces located on the outside of the garage can feed the heat inside. This type of structure can be installed as a natural gas or propane heater. The size of the tube heater will determine the amount of space it can cover. Typically, the smallest heater is ideal for heating a one or two car garage. Mounted Garage Heaters Save space and provide a continuous amount of heat into your garage with a mounted combustion heater. Since a mounted heater can be connected to an exterior furnace unit, it does not take up much room in the garage and can be installed almost anywhere. One of the main benefits of a combustion heater is the efficiency that the device supplies. These types of heaters can reach up to 80% efficiency on either natural gas or propane. The more money you invest into the heater, the better the efficiency is. Timers, temperature controls, and advanced thermostats allow you to warm your garage as accurately as possible. Waste Oil Heaters Mechanics that work on or rebuild a lot of cars can save even more money by purchasing a waste oil heater. Instead of operating on new orders of propane or gas, the waste oil heaters can use recycled products produced in your own garage. This means that when you have an oil change, the oil you drain can be saved for burning in a waste oil heater. The heater uses special technology to properly burn the oils, vent out fumes, and provide heat in your garage. The heaters can use a number of different oils including vegetable oils recycled from the kitchen. Another benefit from choosing waste oil heaters are possible tax rebates. By upgrading a heating system, you may be eligible for the rebates depending on the state you live in. Discuss the possible credits and rebates with a furnace professional. Geothermal Heating Installing a geothermal heating system may require a lot of upgrades in the home, but these upgrades are a lot easier for the heating in a garage. The main parts of a geothermal system are installed on the outside of your garage. The pipes from the system are fed into the ground to help pump up natural hot air. The geothermal furnace then filters the air and feeds it through vents that are installed in a garage. When...

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Staying Safe During A Flood: What To Do If You’re Home Or Trapped In Your Car

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

From making sure your flood insurance policy is up-to-date to quizzing your kids on your emergency preparedness plan, you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to ensure your family and finances aren’t affected by a flood. Unfortunately, chances are you’ll forget what you “should” do during a flood and instead, resort to drastic measures to keep your family safe. If you’re trapped inside your home or car during a flood, here are a few simple things you can do to survive this harrowing experience: If You’re In Your Home The waters begin to rise faster than you anticipated and although you’ve concocted an emergency plan and maybe even practiced it, you’re paralyzed and don’t know what to do next. In this situation you have two options: Stay in your home or evacuate to a designated public shelter. If you’ve been vigilantly listening to the radio and advised to evacuate, it’s best to do so immediately: Begin by listening and following the advised evacuation route. Move carefully, but quickly and only secure your home and belongings if the waters haven’t reached your home. Find an alternate route if the recommended route is already flooded or there are downed power lines. Ready.gov strongly advises against walking or driving through any moving water. Instead, look for water that is still and to be safe, carefully make sure the ground in front of you is steady before proceeding. If leaving your home isn’t an option because the flood waters are rising too quickly, there are several things you can do to remain safe: Fill as many bottles, bowls and pitchers you can find with clean water. Only drink this water, not the flood water, as it could be contaminated. Continue listening to the radio and be prepared to shut off the main electricity source to your home, if advised to do so. Move to the second floor, your attic or even your roof if necessary. Be prepared to move quickly and to the highest point of your home instead of attempting to evacuate. If you’re home and the flood waters stop rising, don’t attempt to evacuate, and instead, wait for help. Staying Safe While Driving Attempting to leave your home immediately after a flood warning has been issued is a wise decision, but what happens if you become stuck in your car and the water is quickly rising? If possible, the National Weather Service recommends sticking to the route recommended by your local authorities. It’s only advisable to find a different route first instead if the main route isn’t passable. While driving, look for dry ground or water that isn’t moving and proceed cautiously until you reach the shelter or higher ground. If you must abandon your car, once again it’s best to look for a dry ground or water that isn’t moving. Continue until you find higher ground and stay where you are until the water stops moving or you are rescued. However, if the water is moving all around you, Ready.gov instead recommends staying put inside your car, if possible. If the water begins filling the cab and it’s no longer safe, it’s time to carefully climb to the roof. Never attempt to swim through the water. Stay put for help, instead. Whether you’re prepared or the flood completely caught you off-guard,...

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