November, 2013

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5 Bushfire Safety Tips for your Backyard

Bushfires can be tragic, destroying property and lives. But bushfires are a part of Australian life, so we need to take the necessary steps to protect our properties. While we cannot remove the threat of bushfires, we can work to minimise its effects.

Bushfire Safety

Be Prepared
It is important to be prepared before fire season hits. There are many things you can do to minimise risks to your home.

Clear the Property
Many times a home does not burn down from the main fire but from embers or burning debris, so the less flammable material you have around your property the better.

Prune trees that are close to the house and saw off any branches that are overhanging the roof. You should also clean out all gutters regularly. Leaves are highly flammable. If you have wood stacked in the yard, keep it as far away from the house as possible.

Keep your lawn cut short, rake up any leaves and use a brush cutter to clear away weeds, vines and other plant matter. In short, keep the yard well-trimmed. It is a worthwhile investment to buy a range of Stihl power tools , things like a chainsaw, leaf blower and brush cutter, to facilitate the easy clearing of your yard.

The more attention you pay to keeping the yard cleared, the lower the fire risk at your property, so keep at it.

Storage Safety
Don’t store cardboard boxes or papers in or near your home. If you collect these to recycle, keep them away from your home or keep your stocks limited. Also ensure that all flammable liquid is stored away from your house, this includes paint, thinners, petrol and oils. These can easily explode and create a fire ball under intense heat. If you have LPG gas, make sure the valve faces away from the house.

Water
Have at least one good garden hose that will reach right to the permitter of your property. If you are in a fire prone area, it is good to have other water sources in case of fire, a water tank, dam or swimming pool for example. You will also need a portable pump to pump the water to fight fires.

An Evacuation Plan
If you are warned to evacuate you must follow orders. No property is worth your life. The greatest risk to life is when occupants stay too long at their property. Have an evacuation plan and make sure the whole family is clear on what that is. Have any treasured possessions and household pets close at hand and ready to grab if you need to evacuate.
For Renters

If you happen to rent a home in an area at risk of bushfire, you should make a point of talking to your landlord about fire safety. If the property does not meet fire safety standards and the landlord will not cooperate, you should speak to your local fire service.

Finally, make sure you are adequately insured for loss in the event of fire.

Reasons to Install a Pool in your Backyard

Many properties in Australia have pools for a variety of reasons. They can provide cool relief in the summer, provide a great looking outdoor setting and offer a location for regular exercise. In addition to this, a pool can dramatically increase the value of your property both in terms of the monetary resale value and the value gained by the occupant.

Health and Fitness

Swimming Pool for FitnessPools are extremely convenient ways to cool off and exercise at the same time. You can use the pool without having to leave your home or pay to go the beach, gym or a public swimming pool. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular excessive, and the addition of a pool can change your lifestyle to a more health and active one. So if you plan on using the pool for exercise ensure you build a swimming pool that large enough to swim lengths. Pools can help you create a more regular exercising routine in the comfort of your own home.

Aesthetic Value
A pool can be a great design feature to a home. With the addition of tropical vegetation, artistic rock arrangements and tiles, gravel or pavers to surround the pool, the pool area can become an aesthetically pleasing outdoor area. With an outdoor dining set, a barbeque, and or a gazebo, the pool can become a social gathering point, where you can entertain family and friends. It’s easy to create an outdoor pool area that is both beautiful to look at, and relaxing to spend time in.

Family Fun
In the midst of the summer heat, there are few things that are as nice as taking a dip in the pool. If you have children, pools are great way of getting your kids outside to exercise, socialise and have fun. Pools are great spaces to hold water balloon or water pistols fights or to play a variety of pool games. Adults too can enjoy relaxing in the pool, sunbathing around the pool or having friends over to entertain around the pool. The addition of a pool can be great fun for the whole family or a place to hold parties and social gatherings.

Property Value
In Australia’s hot climate, homebuyers tend to gravitate towards properties with pools. Many people see the addition of a pool to a property as a sign of luxury. Buyers see pools as a great lifestyle amenity, which is both aesthetically appealing and practical. The addition of a pool to your property will boost its property value and give your house an added selling point. The extra money you make on the sale of a house with a pool has the potential to be significantly more than the initial cost of the pool.

If you are considering installing a pool in your backyard you will need earth moving and construction machinery. With the right equipment for the job, you can have a pool installed in no time and enjoy all the benefits a pool has to offer.

Water Heater Installation: Approximate Cost of Water Heater Installation and Repair

In our modernized world, it’s easy to take for granted all of the wonderful things that make our lifestyles what they are.  That is of course, until those wonderful things such as plumbing, electricity, air conditioning and the various other utilities we use stops working.  Categorizing which circumstances are worse is up to subjective opinion.  And although nothing ever lasts forever, this is especially true for your hot water heater, which is one of the most common utilities that breaks down in America homes.  Hot water heaters are pretty general, and pricing is pretty competitive and affordable for homeowners.  However, how much should you pay to have it installed?  There are many variables to determine the price of your installation and chances are it may be considerably more or less than it costs your buddy who just had a new water heater installed.

Just like any large utility installation, a reasonable estimate will not be reliable without first examining the installation site of the water heater.  There are several variables that arise as the installation site is examined including; the physical setting i.e.: closet, garage, utility room, etc…the model of the new water heater they wish to install; the plumbing connections the home offers, plus updating the plumbing and setting the water heater to the updated county code.

If you are pretty handy and comfortable at performing many trades, then installing a water heater yourself should be a pretty fun and slightly time consuming task.  However, if you are not comfortable with plumbing, electricity, gas, and in some instances carpentry and drywall, then it is highly recommended to hire a licensed and insured contractor to install your new water heater.  A professional contractor will make sure that any modifications to the home’s plumbing, electricity, or gas lines are done safely and correctly.  If a lack of hot water is your dilemma, I guarantee an incorrectly installed hot water heater will bring on much greater issues to you and your family including flooding fire, or gas poisoning.  An electric hot water heater is one of 3 utilities in a home that requires 240 volts of electricity making it fire prone.  And gas water heater is capable of producing poisonous carbon monoxide gas due to combusted fuel.  If not professionally ventilated, you run the risk of gassing you and your family.

As for how much you should expect to pay for installing a new water heater?  The only real way to know is to get estimates and get lots of them.  As for a dollar figure, the range is generally between a couple hundred bucks, however in some instances it can range as high as $2,000-$3,000 dollars.

Live in the Arizona metro area and need water heater repair?  Service Star is one of the top water heater repair specialists in Mesa AZ. Contact them for a quote on this installation if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.

How To Mop Effectively

One of the most important things that you should learn is how to mop the floor effectively. Since the floor often gets dirt due to shoes walking on it and or pets walking on it, it is necessary that you are able to clean this properly.

Step 1: The first thing that you have to do is to clear everything in the area where you are planning to mop. You will not be able to mop when there are various forms of obstruction scattered. Just keep in mind that if you plan to clean these furniture or obstructions, make sure that you clean them first so that any dirt or debris which falls on the floor can be cleaned when you start mopping it. Also make sure that no one walks on the area where you plan to clean, the same with pets. 

Step 2: Once everything is cleared, you can sweep or vacuum the floor. This is important because mopping the floor alone is not enough to clear any solid particles such as hair, dirt, crumbs, and other similar objects. 

Step 3: If you have a cleaner then you can use it and then put it on a bucket and fill it with sufficient warm water, enough to cover the head of the mop. Keep a portion of the bucket empty so that you have space where to dip the mop into and be able to keep the wringer out of the water. It should be built along with the bucket. Also make sure that you are familiar in using the cleaner, if not, it will not take much time to check the instruction manual for details. You also have the option of using an ordinary dish-washing detergent and pouring it on the water. 

Step 4: Dip the mop inside the bucket with the cleaning solution and allow it to absorb enough of it until it loosens up and then wring the excess solution from the mop so that it will not be that wet when you start mopping the floor. You should start in one corner of the room and clean the area surrounding it rather than jumping from one area to a farther area. Make sure that you exert a bit of effort and pressure in it when you are already mopping. If you see the mop looking dirty then it is about time that you dip and wring the mop again inside the bucket with the solution. If an area has persistent dirt in it, then mop it again as necessary. 

Step 5: Avoid stepping in areas that you had just recently mopped. Also keep in mind that dirt clinging in your shoes will cause the parts where you are stepping on to be muddy so it is necessary for you to mop them again. Give the areas which have been recently mopped enough time to dry thoroughly. It would be more effective if you are to open the windows or increase ventilation within that area. Once everything is done, you can now return those furniture or items back to where they were originally.

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