Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • Intro to Environmental Safety

    Your home is your haven and as such, making the environment as safe as possible is important. There are easy ways to safeguard your home in cases ranging from accidents to burglary. Here are some recommendations you can implement right away: Intro Environmental Safety

    • Do not leave electrical problems unattended. If you notice slight fluctuations, address their cause right away. Switch off electrical appliances, such as a stove or hotplate, right after use.
    • When it comes to safety, there are many easy-to-install surveillance camera options. These are especially useful in a household with young children.
    • To avoid slips and falls in your home, keep all areas well lit. Areas such as stairs, foyers, and the backyard can be tricky for anyone to maneuver through in the dark.
    • Test out your smoke alarms on a monthly basis. Although it sounds extreme, you may even want to create and practice an emergency fire escape plan with your roommates or family.
    • If you have children in your household, keep all medications out of their reach – perhaps in a locked cabinet.
    • Invest in double glazed or toughed glass windows. They are harder to break through in the case of potential burglaries.
    • Use motion-activated lighting around your home to scare off burglars who may try to get in from your garage or backyard.
    • Lock your doors when you are inside or doing chores around the house.
    • When working in the yard, patio, or near the pool, remove all power tools and other potentially dangerous equipment.
    • Get to know your neighbors and exchange numbers. They may be the key to a safer home should they notice any strangers lingering while you are out.
    • Even if you don’t have a dog, you may want to post a sign that says “Beware of Dog.” It will make anyone think twice about entering into your property!
  • Advanced: Treating Rodent Infestations

    Rodents may be cute in pictures, but having to confront them in your home and on your property can be a nuisance. Mice and squirrels are the two most common types of rodents that invade personal and yard space. Mice chew through insulation and wiring, carry fleas and diseases, and contaminate food with their feces. Because they breed so easily, one mouse today may mean a dozen within a few weeks. Squirrels are a garden’s worse nightmare. They snack on seedlings, berries, fruits, vegetables, and will dig up flowers just for the heck of it! Treating Rodent Infestations

    Though traps have been the common method for catching and getting ride of mice in the past, animal-rights proponents have raised objections. If you do not want to use traps, another method for treating mice is poisonous baits. These are usually sold in the form of pellets, making it easy for mice to chew up when they come across it. Poisonous baits are not the best solution if you have cats or dogs in the house, as they can be susceptible to the harmful chemicals.

    Speaking of cats, if you’ve ever considered getting one, now might be the best time. Cats are the traditional adversaries of mice. Additionally, you can set up a live trap for mice with a cage. This will allow you to capture the mice alive and unharmed. You can then release them or take them to a pet store that can use them as food for other animals. If you release mice back into your yard, be sure all entry points into your house are sealed as they may find their way back in! This can easily be done by inserting steel wool into small holes or patch holes in inside or outside walls.

    PETA suggests treating mice with a natural deterrent such as mixing together salad oil with horseradish, garlic, and a big dose of cayenne pepper. Let it sit for several days, then put it in a spray bottle to use in mice-infested areas.

    Squirrels that attack the garden and bird feeders can be dealt with in a number of ways, as well. Bury orange and lemon rinds just under the surface of the soil – they will discourage the squirrels from digging.

    Sprinkle garlic power or cayenne pepper around your spring flowers to keep them away. If you notice success, you may want to plant several cloves of garlic in and around various parts of your garden. And like the live traps for mice, you can also try to set up a squirrel trap and then release them in the wild or take it to your nearest ASPCA.

    As a precaution, keep a first aid kit near any traps related to rodents in case you accidentally scratch yourself on wires or when chasing after them!

  • Intermediates: Why Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care is So Important, and Strategies

    A beautiful lawn gives any home a wonderful first impression. But perfectly green, clean, and manicured lawns can do substantial harm to the environment with all the water, fertilizer and mowing that is required. Some figures show that the average American lawn can use more than 20,000 gallons of water each summer. And with 50 million homeowners mowing their lawn each week, it can contribute up to 5% of the country’s air pollution.Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care

    Giving lawns the love and attention they deserve does not have to be harmful to the environment. There are friendly lawn care strategies that will reduce or even eliminate risks to Mother Nature. Here are some ideas you can start implementing this season:

    • When it comes to watering the lawn, use rainwater. It’s simple because all you need to do is catch the rainwater as it’s flowing out of your gutter downspouts. You can use food-grade plastic barrels for this. To water the lawn, you’ll need an electric pump to create enough water pressure to power your “irrigation system.”
    • If you’re new to setting up your rainwater system, or your city has had a lack of rain, do not over-water your lawn. Stick your fingers six inches down into the soil. If there is moisture, your lawn does not need to be watered.
    • Disposing of lawn waste properly is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to help the environment. This can be done via mulching and composting – breaking down yard waste organically. You’ll need to help in the process by doing one of three things with your lawn clippings. First, mulch while you mow with the mulching blade on your mower. Second, bag clippings for disposal. Third, create a compost pile, which allows the waste to be organically recycled back into the earth for nutritional purposes that benefit plants. (Kitchen waste can also go into your compost bin.)
    • Use organic fertilizer as it does a better job in helping create the greenest grass and healthiest soil. It’s also safer for kids and pets, whose health may be threatened by common lawn chemicals.
    • Use environment-friendly grass on your lawn, as they require less watering, less mowing, and less fertilizer. These types include ecolawn, buffalograss, and seashore paspalum.
  • Beginners: Garden Safety

    It may sound unbelievable to hear that injuries while gardening are quite common! Most injuries are not too serious, but putting out your back, sunburn, and bug bites can be a pain when all you want to do in enjoy your time in your garden.

    To avoid injury, you can make your garden space safer. If you are in the early stages of plotting out your garden, design it so that it reduces the need for high maintenance and heavy lifting. Be sure there are no tripping hazards such as loose pebbles or stone, hosepipes, or uneven pathways.

    Another way you can remain safe and happy in your garden iGarden Safety For Beginnerss by wearing appropriate attire to protect yourself from thorns, sharp sticks, poison ivy, ticks, etc. Protective clothing includes long pants, sturdy shoes or boots, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat of some sort to keep the sun from beating down on your face and neck. Even with a hat, the use of sunscreen is a good idea, as well as sunglasses. Gloves are a must to protect your hands from scratches, cuts, and bites.

    In order to avoid dehydration or a heatstroke, take a water bottle with you that have ice water. You can use it to rest on your forehead or neck in case you need to cool down quickly. If possible, stick to gardening in the morning or evening hours, and avoid the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – when the heat is at its peak.

    While you wouldn’t normally associate gardening as a hobby you have to warm up for, gardening does exercise the muscles in your body. Before getting into your work, do some slow and sustained stretches for your arms, legs, and back.

    Gardening posture tends to put a lot of pressure on the back and hands. It’s also likely your face is close to the ground. Squatting the entire time will cause discomfort and also put stress on your knees. The best way to get close to the ground comfortably is to cushion your keens with a waterproof kneeling pad or individual kneepads.

    You may also want to consider getting a small seat that has a soft cushion. Another handy option is to use a plastic bucket with a handle to carry around your seed packets and tools, which can then be used as a seat when you are doing your gardening chores.

    Keep your portable home phone or mobile device handy when in the garden. You never know when you’ll need it. Better to be safe upfront.

  • Intro to Lawn and Garden Safety

    Garden Safety

    Working on the lawn and in the garden is wonderful exercise and can also be a way to relax from the hustle and bustle of a busy week. Lawn and garden projects often require the use of sharp tools, mowers, string trimmers, and potentially hazardous chemicals. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, each year about 400,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries related to the use of lawn and garden tools. Let’s look at specific tools and review the safety measures associated with each. But first, here are some general safety tips when working in the yard:

    • Keep pesticides and herbicides locked in cabinets when you are finished using them. As an extra precaution, place them on higher shelves.
    • Before using any equipment, make sure they are in good working condition. If you notice any irregularities in your tools, it’s better to try to clean them off or purchase new ones.
    • Never allow children to operate power lawn or garden equipment.
    • Place ladders on their sides, horizontally – never vertically. A ladder that accidentally falls when vertical has the potential to seriously injure and damage people and property.
    • Use earplugs when working with loud power equipment, as well as protective glasses and sturdy slip-resistant shoes.

    Follow these rules for specific equipment:

    Power Lawn Mowers – These machines require the user to walk behind and push. When inspecting underneath the mower to ensure all parts are clean and working, always turn it so that the air-filter side of the mower is faced upwards. If not, the engine will not start, as oil will likely have drained out into the air filter.

    Check the air filters regularly, and use the oil and gasoline recommended by the manufacturer. Excess vibration indicates a damaged blade, mounting, or crankshaft. You should tighten the blade and engine mounting bolts often. After each use, clean the underside of the mower to prevent rust.

    Riding Mowers – Unfortunately, fatal accidents from riding lawn mowers are not unheard of. The probability of an accident with this type of mower is twice as likely compared with the walk-behind mower. To ensure your safety, never carry passengers on the mower when you are operating it. Clear the yard of people before starting the machine and stop if anyone enters the area.

    When turning, slow down and proceed with extreme caution. Before getting off the machine, turn off the blades, set the parking brake, stop the engine, and take the keys with you. Do not mow wet grass as the moisture can cause sliding and decrease traction.

    Chain Saws – Before using this machine for the first time, read the operating manual. Before cutting anything, clear the work area, secure your footing, and keep your body away from the line of cut. If you think the chain saw is damaged, improperly adjusted or not assembled correctly, do not operate the machine.

    Service your chain saw regularly. Before letting the chain saw touch the wood, bring it up to speed and when contact is made, cut at a steady speed. Never cut when standing on a ladder and never operate a chain saw when fatigued or medicated.

  • Party And Event Supplies

    Today’s concession machines are not the concession machines your parents might remember. These modern marvels far surpass Party and Event Supplies of the past. What’s more, creating a dynamic table display that spotlights a simple chocolate fountain enlivens it, making it even more tempting. Consequently, when ordering Event Supplies for your next theme-driven event, we invite you to create exciting table displays to compliment each food or beverage item you will be serving. After all, dynamic displays can not only attract attention to delicious food and beverages. They can also generate a “wow” factor that outlives the party itself, keeping guests talking for days. Continue reading

  • Keep Yourself And Others Safe

    When working on any construction project, large or small, it is critical to protect yourself and your workers with certified Personal Safety Equipment. Examples include appropriate head protection such as hard hats, safety glasses, and dust masks. In addition, many jobs require insulated or reinforced gloves, stabilizing ladders, and slip-resistant work boots with steel-plated toes, among other items. On certain building projects additional construction equipment may require reinforced scaffolding and/or body harnesses for further protection to prevent a mishap or fall. In this blog we will discuss basic personal safety equipment, devoting later blogs to construction projects that necessitate restraining gear for more specific circumstances. Continue reading

  • Weatherproofing The Home

    Poorly sealed windows and doors are the biggest culprits allowing cold air in during the winter months and cool, conditioned air out during the summer. Yet there are some basic steps the home handyman can take to seal leaks properly just by using simple Construction Supplies. All you need are some construction tools such as a caulking gun and caulk to seal up any leaks that may be compromising your efforts to heat or cool your home efficiently. Additional areas that may need leak prevention strategies include base molding, floorboards, electrical outlets, and plumbing areas. In this blog we will share best practices and some effective construction supplies to weatherproof your home and reduce your heating and cooling bills as a result. Continue reading

  • Let There Be Light!

    Replacing light fixtures that are outdated, broken, or supply insufficient light in a room is easier than one might think. The intermediate to advanced Weekend Warrior can install new light fixtures in a day or more, depending on how many fixtures need to be replaced. All it takes are certain Electrical Parts such as the light fixtures themselves, outlet boxes, 14-2 wiring, electrical pliers, and a voltage meter. Additional items you will need when installing electric equipment may include a saber saw, a knife or stripping tool, a telescoping ladder, mounting screws, and a screwdriver. Continue reading

  • Building A Coat Rack Bench

    Having already cut your teeth on building a simple coat rack, you may want to put your Electric Tools to further use building a coat rack bench. There are many fine design plans available on the market, some with a flat bench and back wall holding hooks. There are also design kits incorporating a bench seat with a newel post on either bench for hooks, as well as benches that double as storage containers. Select the coat rack bench style that best suits your needs and room design. With basic construction tools, you will be able to build and finish your new coat rack bench in a weekend.

    Items Required To Build Your Coat Rack Bench

    Man Sanding Wood | EquipSupplyWhen buying a coat rack kit, some come with all required items as well as the plans. The included items can vary from all required lumber to fasteners and plans or just plans only. Review the list below for additional products you may need to buy if your kit is not all-inclusive.

    Electric Tools: Most kits require basic electric tools to put the coat rack bench together. These will likely include a power drill, table saw, and a handheld electric sander. See the Tools Section of our website to upgrade your construction tools inventory if desired.

    Lumber: If your kit does not include lumber, you will have to purchase the required sizes of unfinished lumber the plans ask for. Choose whichever wood species you prefer.

    Fasteners: You may need to buy fasteners if not included in your kit, fasteners such as brackets, nails, and screws. Wood glue may also be required or preferred.

    Finishing Products: Most benches are stained although you may wish to paint yours instead. If staining, you will need to purchase wood stain, lacquer or polyurethane to protect the wood. Regardless of finish, you will also need coarse, medium, and fine grand sandpaper.

    Lumber Prep and Assembly

    Check all wood pieces for blemishes. Some knots and grain patterns can enhance the attractiveness of the bench seat. Cut the seat to capitalize on unique grain features. Alternatively, if there are blemishes that are unattractive, avoid them when cutting your wood.

    When the wood is cut, put the bench together using either included kit fasteners or whatever fasteners work best to reinforce the bench. We always recommend pre-drilling holes with your power drill so screws don’t split the wood when driving them. Once fully constructed, you are ready to finish the bench and posts.

    Finishing the Coat Rack Bench

    Use coarse to medium sandpaper on your power sander to smooth out any rough spots on the wood. Next, attach fine grain sand paper to achieve a completely smooth surface. When brushed clean of dust, stain (or paint) your new coat rack bench using a clean cloth or brush. Allow the wood to dry for 48 to 72 hours. If required by your stain, varnish the wood with a clear polyurethane sealant for protection. Attach hooks to newel posts or back wall as desired.

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