EquipSupply Blog

  • Safety and Sanitation: Pool and Beach Safety For The Summer

    During summer, water activities usually top the list of must-do activities. A typical day at the beach or pool can be anything but for families who are unprepared. Adults and children who can swim may have better control of their movements in the water, but that does not negate safety concerns associated with pools, lakes, and beaches. Here are several key safety guidelines to consider for summer days spent near the water:

    Choose an area manned by a trained lifeguard. If possible, take extra precaution by staying close to a lifeguard station. It’s unrealistic to expect parents to keep an eye on children 100% of the time, so setting up near a trained professional ensures that someone is scanning the waters and diligently paying attention.

    Consider access to the water. Families looking for hotels, cabins, or beach bungalows over the summer should ask about the ease of water access for children. If a pool is not gated or access to the beach does not have a reasonable level of protection, a different option may be best.Mother and Child at the Beach

    Life vests vs. a flotation device. It’s natural to feel a sense of security if you or a child utilize a flotation device, but items such as rafts and toys can lose air, slip out from under a person, or shift positions. A U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest is the best safety option.

    Consider water currents. Some of the greatest risks at beaches or lakes are rip tides, currents, or channels. Anyone caught in a rip tide should swim parallel to the shore or tread water, but should not fight the current. These precautions are best taught to kids in a hypothetical scenario so they understand how to react if they are caught in water currents.

    Sun safety. Apart from caution in and around the water, overheating and dehydration can occur quickly. Avoid the dangers of high temperatures and humidity by taking a few sips of water every 15-20 minutes.

    Skin safety. Protect skin by choosing a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) that has a physical blocker such as zinc oxide or titanium. Reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes, or immediately after going into the water if the sunscreen is not water-resistant. Use child-specific sunscreens for youngsters.

  • Handyman Help: Easy Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

    The intense heat and humidity of summer can be unbearable. It may be impossible to sit comfortably, sleep through the night, or keep the electricity bills at bay. While living through a scorching summer without AC seems impossible, there are things you can do to reduce reliance on them.

    Some of these ideas are creative so the kids can get in the act to help plan:Woman Using an Electric Fan

    • Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist. Be sure to keep fans out of the reach of young children.
    • When you just need an instant cool down, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points on the wrists, neck, elbows, ankles, and behind the knees.
    • Turn off lights when they are not in use. Though it may seem obvious, bulbs give off heat. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can.
    • Disconnect electronics at night. Gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. Reduce total heat in the house by keeping plugs out of sockets when appliances are not in use.
    • Take a cool shower, and don’t towel off. Dry yourself in front of a fan instead. The evaporation will cool you down.
    • Keep the curtains drawn during the day and keep the blinds down. This prevents sunlight from getting in and heating up the house.
    • Keep bottles of water in your freezer at all times. You’ll have an instant cool-down apparatus, and you’ll stay hydrated, too.
    • Plant large, shady trees around the house – not only will they block some of the sunlight from heating up the house, they will add character to your curb appeal.
    • Turn off the AC when leaving the house for more than an hour.
    • Cotton is your best friend. Sleep in light, cotton PJs and choose cotton bedding. Cotton is a breathable fiber that allows air to circulate.
  • Safety & Sanitation: Prevent Common Summer Accidents

    Summer is an active season for kids, and that means more risk. As outdoor activity increases, so do accidents and injuries. Protect yourself and your little ones this summer by keeping the following safety tips in mind:Kid Wearing Sunscreen

    Sun safety –10am-4pm are the peak hours when it comes to dangerous UV rays. Wearing protective clothing such as a hat with a broad rim and sunglasses allows individuals to stay cool and keep their skin safe. Sunscreen should be applied to the body to avoid sunburn, and reapplied every 2 hours – especially at the playground, the beach, or any other environment with little shade.

    Water safety – When children are swimming in the pool with a noodle or even a life vest, an adult should still monitor them at all times. This will reduce the risk of drowning and ensure safety in the event the noodle gets away from a child, or the life vest comes off while playing with other children. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.

    Bug bites – Stings by a bee, wasp, or hornet should be washed with soap and water. The stinger should try to be removed. When playing near trees or flowers, kids should wear pants and long-sleeved shirts if possible. To reduce the chance to a bug bite, guardians may purchase a bug-resistant armband or a child-safe bug lotion.

    Hydration – When exposed to high temperatures for a long period, adults may keep water bottles handy so kids can stay refreshed and hydrated. Consider freezing a few water bottles so the water remains cold throughout a long day of outdoor play.

    Stretching – Children should warm up properly when engaging in sporting activities. Stretching helps release muscle tension and can help prevent muscle tears and sprains.

  • Arts & Crafts: Creative Outdoor Projects for Kids This Summer

    The one thing kids anticipate all year long is summer vacation! Gone are the days of being stuck indoor gazing longingly out the window – at least for a few months. Parents can keep their children active with many outdoorsy projects that are both fun and creative. Just because they are not in school doesn’t mean they can’t be expanding their horizons.

    Here are some arts and crafts ideas for kids. Parents may feel free to adjust projects based on personal preferences:Paint For Kids Crafts

    1. 4th of July paintings will bring out the creativity in your little ones. Set them up with an easel, paint, and allow them to create their own interpretations of 4th of July fireworks. Parents can participate, too!
    2. Allow youngsters to pick a handful of flowers from the garden to create a beautiful summer necklace. Little girls will feel as though they have stepped into their very own fairytale.
    3. Create garden art by tying an extra-large sheet of kraft paper around the bark of a tree. Secure it with string and tape. Allow the little ones to color, draw, or paint their own version of a garden on the kraft paper. Connecting so directly with nature is great for their energy.
    4. Use those seashells. Chances are, your family has seashells around the house from previous summers. There are several craft projects the kids can do – from painting them, or even using the leftover Easter egg dye to create a rainbow of seashells. Once the kids have colored them, parents can arrange them around candles in the dining table for a family-created centerpiece.
    5. Turn regular rocks into a garden rock caterpillar – though parents may want to do this project once or twice with the kids for safety reasons. Use 7 large rocks for the body, 12 small rocks for the feet, and 2 small sticks for antennae. Once the large rocks have been painted in various colors and patterns, attach the “feet” with Goop or waterproof landscaping glue. Arrange the rocks like that of a caterpillar body, paint a face on the first rock, and glue the 2 sticks on top of the head. You’ve now got an artistic caterpillar piece as garden décor.

    Learn about more summer arts and crafts projects for kids.

  • Weekend Warrior: How to Install a Picket Fence

    Picket fences beautify a property, add a layer of security, and define property lines. While building a fence from scratch may take a bit of time and tools, it can be done over the course of a weekend for our Weekend Warriors.

    The most challenging part of fence installation is usually digging the postholes. Before digging, call your local utility company to ensure there are no buried lines in your way.Boy Walking Along a Picket Fence

    Step one: at the first post location, dig a 10-inch-diameter hole as deep as possible using a shovel. Try to get down to about 32 inches.

    Next, set a post in the hole. Add about 8 inches of soil to the hole. When the post is plumb, compact the soil tightly around it with a tamping bar. Add another 8 inches of soil to the hole and repeat process until the hole is filled.

    Attach a mason’s line to the posts outside face, about 5 inches above the ground. Measure from the post to where the fence’s first corner will be and place a stake in the ground. Wrap the line around it 5 inches above ground level, and pull tight. Measure out from the post the length of the first panel and mark the spot with a screw. Dig a 10-inch diameter posthole at the mark.

    The next step is to set the fence panel by sliding the panel’s rails into the post’s mortises. Adjust to panel’s far end until the top rail is level. With the panel propped in place, put the next post into its hole so its front face touches the mason’s line.

    Adjust the post side to side so that the picket-to-post gap equals picket spacing. Fill the hole as previously described. Check the post and pickets for plumb.

    Next, set the gate posts by installing the first gate post at end of panel, and then measuring the width of the gate with an additional 1.5 inches. Set the 2nd gate post, fill, tamp, and check for plumb.

    Finally, add the gate by using wedges to prop up and level the gate between the posts.

  • Handyman Help: Small Apartment Fixes Before Moving Out

    Moving out of an apartment can be bittersweet – especially once you remove artwork and realize there are massive holes in the wall. While some wear and tear is natural – you don’t want to leave the apartment in a bad state. Fixing some minor damage may ensure getting back a full security deposit. Here are some of the most common damage issues, and methods to fix them:

    • Scruff marks – While they should not cause major deductions from the security deposit, numerous (and sizable) scruff marks on the wall can make the overall appearance seem dirtier than it really is. Remove the large marks with a magic eraser and bask in the glory of white walls.
    • Small holes – Small holes are one of the most prevalent issues because renters tend to put pins in walls to hang frames. Patch small holes with some spackling paste, a putty knife, and sandpaper. Squeeze some spackle into each hole, use the putty knife to spread and blend it over the hole and wall. Once dry, sand the wall slightly until the surface is smooth.Cleaning Carpet in an Apartment
    • Carpet stains – From coffee spills to wine accidents, the best way to address stains is to tackle them before they have a chance to set. If there are still marks on the carpet when it’s time to move out, use baking soda or a carpet cleaner to scrub away the spot. If those options are not strong enough, rent a carpet cleaner.
    • Scratches on Hardwood floors – They look beautiful and are easy to maintain, unless of course they have noticeable scratches on the surface. First try the walnut method. Rub a raw walnut along the scrape until the scratch blends into the rest of the floor. If the scratch is too deep, use a wood-colored marker or pencil to reduce the damaged look.

    General Cleaning – Before leaving for good, be sure to wipe down all surfaces. Sweep and dust as well, but be diligent when cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. The microwave, stove, oven, and refrigerator should all be as clean as possible, along with the toilet, shower, tub, and sink.

  • Weekend Warrior: Create a Camping Atmosphere in your Backyard

    Camping with the family during the summer may be a memorable, but chaotic affair. Packing, driving, and basking in the wilderness is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Parents looking for a positive way to give their kids a good time during summer vacation can take advantage of the backyard to create a camping experience, with the added advantage of clean bathrooms and a full fridge!

    Here are a few ways to create a camping atmosphere in your backyard:Backyard Camping

    Make your yard feel like a real campsite by using real camping gear. Set up tents and mimic a campsite kitchen. That may include using an outdoor tarp, tents, overhead umbrellas, and a fire pit. Be sure to have the items needed to “battle the elements” such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and flashlights. Parents can unplug from phones and electronics to fully experience the joys of nature with the kids.

    Once the backyard is set up like real camping grounds, play games and prepare treats to keep the youngsters entertained:

    Set up the grill and make grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and the campsite classic – s’mores.

    Create a mini beverage station for drinks such as strawberry lemonade. With the adult controlling the blender, have the kids add 2 cups of frozen strawberries inside the pitcher. Once pureed, they can assist with adding 2 cups of lemon juice, 2 cups of water, and stirring. Add simple syrup to taste.

    Get the whole group involved in a sing-along session. Whether that means traditional camp songs such as “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” or modern pop tunes, go around the circle and allow everyone to choose their favorite song.

    Storytelling is another classic camping activity. Either have each camper tell his or her own story, or have one person start with a few lines of a tale, and then have other participants take over. This is bound to create an entertaining evening.

  • The Realities of Building a Home During Winter

    Building a home during winter may seem counterintuitive. Dealing with sub-freezing temperatures, in addition to snow and ice can wreak havoc on a home construction project. While building a home during winter may be challenging, there are several myths to be cleared up.

    It is widely believed that concrete poured in the winter contains additives that make it weaker than when poured during the summer. While calcium chloride is added to concrete mix to accelerate the curing process in cold weather conditions, the reality is that there is no major difference in strength when both are fully cured. Concrete walls with additives in the mixture meet building code requirements. While there are low temperature limits that make pouring concrete unrealistic, protecting newly poured concrete with blankets or straw may help. However, it may be best to wait until the cold front has passed before pouring concrete.Building Homes in the Winter

    Cold weather is often seen as a hindrance to exposed lumber in the framing stage. However, the lumber industry has developed (and continue to develop) procedures that are employed in the milling process that reduce the effects of winter weather. Framing lumber is kiln dried at 19% moisture content. This is also the case during the summer when humidity becomes a moisture factor.

    Crews are happy and willing to work on home construction projects, even during the winter. Workers face challenges throughout the year, and many see winter as a normal part of their building schedule that simply involves different elements. In the summer, they are challenged with sweltering heat and humidity and in the winter they are faced with numbing cold and high winds. Just as some workers prefer working in the summer, there are others that actually prefer to work in the winter. Crew managers and homeowners may also address extreme temperatures during winter by using a forced air kerosene heater.

    Homes built in the winter are not necessarily priced higher than homes built in the summer. While there will be additional expenses to account for getting the project completed in the winter, it is a relatively small figure when compared to the overall cost of the project. Additionally, homebuilders should take the price of materials and labor into account – which are usually higher in early spring. These price increases can easily exceed the additional expenses related to cold weather construction.

  • Common Winter Roofing Problems

    Snow, rain, ice, and wind may cause major damage to roofs during the winter. Common roofing problems include ice damming, structural water damage, and leaks. Keeping an eye out to catch these issues early may enable individuals to complete DIY fixes, or at least determine if a professional should handle the matter.

    Ice damming occurs when snow and ice accumulate in gutters and along roof ridges, preventing meltingSnow on Roof water from draining properly. As the water builds up, it can penetrate the roof shingles, ceilings, and walls causing major water damage. To prevent ice damming on the roof, safely remove snow buildup using a roof rake. Those working during the winter to address this problem may consider using a DeWALT electric heater to keep warm in low temperatures. Seal air leaks between the roof and attic to increase insulation and ensure the ceiling is airtight.

    Structural water damage may occur in the wake of heavy snowstorms and ice buildup, which prevents the home from heating efficiently. It may also cause damage to the roof shingles and trusses. Consider installing an attic ventilation system if your region is susceptible to consistent severe winter weather. This system circulates air in and out of the attic, therefore reducing interior condensation and preventing snow and ice from settling on the roof for long periods. A good roofing ventilation system can also save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their utility bills each year.

    Roof leaks occur in several main locations. First, those with sloped roofs may notice post-storm roof leaks at areas where aluminum is installed to protect roof edges and corners, otherwise known as flashing areas. High winds or bad installation can loosen flashing in the face of high winds and heavy rain, causing it to pull away. Monitoring flashing and taking care of any updates or repairs before a major storm may save individuals hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    Secondly, those who own property with a flat roof may notice leaks at drain locations, due to improper maintenance. Drains are easily clogged by debris and conducting inspections on drain locations about twice a month can help thwart clogs from causing major problems.

  • Safety and Sanitation – What You Need to Know about Shoveling Snow this Winter

    As frigid winter weather continues to pound some parts of the nation, safety concerns are important to consider. While seeking shelter in rain and shoveling snow may seem obvious, individuals must ensure they are doing everything possible to stay safe from extreme cold and winter accidents. As more snowfall blankets various regions, here are some guidelines for staying safe when it comes to shoveling snow.

    First, unless you live in an extremely busy part of town, do not rush out to start moving snow. AsShoveling Snow counterintuitive as it seems, take the time to stretch your muscles – your hamstrings, back, and shoulders. These areas will be hard at work and in order to prevent unwanted injuries, treat shoveling as any other physical exercise.

    Next, do not overdress. Wear a few layers that will enable you to stay warm initially, but resist multiple bulky sweaters, as you will start sweating after a few minutes. Wear loose-fitting layers that can be removed easily as you start warming up. Consider keeping a DeWALT kerosene heater powered on to minimize some of the shock to your body.

    Before picking up your shovel, determine where you are going to pile up the snow. Move the first shovelful farther away from where you are standing, and then dump the rest of the snow closer to where you are. This means you will move the last batch a short distance away.

    Clear around cars first by removing accumulation on all sides. Clean all windows until visibility is undeterred.

    Keep hydrated and rest regularly to prevent burnout. If possible, seek help from family members, neighbors, or even hire someone to assist you with shoveling. The more hands, the quicker you can get back inside.

    Once you are finished, stretch your muscles again to warm them down.

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