Why Big Brother Is Important

8With the country the way it is at the moment, most of us are extremely thankful of the presence of CCTV shops, pubs, car parks and other public places. Now, thanks to easier installation and falling prices, it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for security-conscious homeowners. It’s not for everyone though as although cameras can be bought on their own, they can be pricey! Cameras can be bought as part of a whole security package.

Costs can range from low to high for a vandal proof camera with a great night vision range. You of course also have to purchase equipment to accompany the camera, depending on which type you choose, such as connectors and a digital video recorder to store and view the footage. You can also buy dummy cameras quite cheaply as deterrents. CCTV is just one line of defence against crime and works best when combined with other measures, such as a burglar alarm, door and window locks, and gravel around the property and security lights.

Bear in mind that the measure you take have to be legal: there’s no requirement for Home Alone style prank set ups! Wired home CCTV systems are the most common and cheapest type of camera, where a wire plugs directly from the camera to the monitor. The downside is that the wires which includes the extension cables and connectors, can be difficult to install. With wireless systems, images can be transmitted using analogue or digital technology to your computer, tablet or mobile smartphone. Many smart security cameras link to an app that you can use to monitor your home while you’re out and about. Digital cameras are generally higher quality but more expensive.

Wireless systems can suffer a bit of interference from devices such as routers, cordless phones and microwaves and can be blocked by heavy masonry or metal objects. Your filming may also be interrupted if you lose your internet connection. Companies such as afass.co.uk can advise on the right systems you should use for your home and if you are choosing to use CCTV cameras outside the home, make sure they are weatherproof – an international protection (IP) rating of six is recommended here. Wireless cameras are available but you’ll still have to run a cable to a power source. Position cameras where they cannot be tampered with, but can be accessed for maintenance and cleaning. You can buy vandal-proof cameras but these tend to cost more.

Indoor CCTV cameras come in three types: wired, wireless and power-line networked and these plug into your electrical sockets and transmit images to a storage device. Wireless cameras are not recommended inside the home unless the signal can be encrypted as anyone within range and using a suitable receiver would be able to view the images. CCTV image quality is linked to the size of the chip is uses and cameras with tiny chips also tend to be able to pick up less light, and therefore produce lower quality image so make sure you choose a camera with bigger chips for better image quality.

Read More

Concrete Driveway Repair Scams & How To Avoid Them

In life, there are always people who will try it on to take advantage of you. Karma will take care of them, but in the mean time you have to be vigilant about those who seem genuine but are actually the worst kinds of scammers. When your concrete driveway starts to crack, you have two options. You can wait for the damage to spread or you can call a concrete driveway contractor. There are fantastic and genuine companies out there like southeastgroundworks.co.uk but then there are others that could be ‘rogue’ traders. If all you have is a hairline crack in the concrete, then your driveway is likely the victim of time and weather and an immediate fix may not be needed. If your crack in concrete changes widths along its length, and has high and low points, though you should call a professional in.4193335584_8fd3e492e4_o

There are unfortunately some unscrupulous contractors that count on homeowners’ desperation to fix their concrete. There are some things you should know before you go ahead with someone who approaches you for a fix so never agree to any kind of concrete work before getting at least three estimates from different companies. A company like southeastgroundworks.co.uk would be a genuine company to help but others out there need to be compared against as you just never know. Get references and referrals and if you can see some of the work a contractor has done before you go ahead and book them, then all the better. For many homeowners, you’ll be enjoying a properly repaired driveway while someone less diligent has to search for a second repair contractor in as many months.

Getting a good quote for your concrete issues means setting up a system. So call a company like southeastgroundworks.co.uk and ask when they can take a look – never accept an over the phone quote as they haven’t seen the job. When they arrive, ask what the quote covers and how they budget for any extras. If the contractor becomes defensive or says anything along the lines of ‘that’s just how it is’ get another quote immediately. Second opinions are invaluable in the business so if you ensure you get that extra opinion you can have a better idea of how a company works.

Companies uses a mix of cement and chemical binding agents to fill the cracks in your driveway or patio and minimise the chance of further breakage. Your concrete will never look as perfect as it did the day it was poured, and any company that tries to sell you otherwise is lying. It’s easy for the lie to come off as professional as you yourself will likely not be an expert! Real concrete professionals should be able to tell you what kind of crack you have – shrinkage, expansion, heaving, settling, overloading and premature drying are all common causes. A reputable contractor will also be able to tell you if your cement cracks are necessary and whether they occur along purposeful joints in the slab.

Read More

Preparing Your Medical Instruments

Cleaning with precision is necessary for medical equipment but you have to follow the right steps before they can get to a place where they are cleaned en masse. You can find that solvents can be used from larger companies like envirotech-europe.com for critical cleaning, but if you need a step by step guide to get you to the point of sterilisation, you’re in the right place!

Until recently, the most advanced sterilization technology was found only in large hospital sterilizers. There is now a growing demand for more sophisticated sterilization technologies in a variety of professions. By following a few simple steps, you can have clean, sterilized instruments that can be used in any medical situation. In this article, we are going to list for you how to prepare medical instruments for autoclave.3063516728_6e78d3d13e_b

  • Sort the instruments. Inspect every instrument as you sort to make sure it’s clean. Arrange the instruments based on what they’re used for and where they need to end up. Keeping them organised is essential because each instrument has a purpose. Make sure you know what your instruments are going to be used for next before you sort them.
  • Organise and wrap the instruments for distribution before the autoclaving process. If you wait until afterwards and open them, they won’t be sterile. Place instruments in pouches. Once you have your instruments sorted, you need to place them in sterilized pouches that can go into the autoclave. You should use special autoclave pouches designed to withstand the high temperatures of the autoclaves. The pouches have a strip of test tape that changes colour when the autoclave process is effective. Take each pile of instruments you sorted and place them in as many bags as necessary.
  • You shouldn’t have too many in a bag because it might hinder the sterilization process. Make sure that any instrument that can open, such as scissors, is left open when you put it into a pouch. The inside of the instruments need to be sterilized as well
  • Autoclaving in pouches is convenient because you can see the instruments you need when finished
  • Label the pouches. Once you have them locked in a pouch, you need to label each one so you and others will know what the instruments are needed for. Write the instrument names, the date, and your initials on the pouches. Seal each bag securely. If the bag doesn’t already have a test strip, attach one. This will show whether the sterilization was successful. You can now place the pouches in the autoclave.

Now you know how to autoclave your equipment, you can be ready for sterilisation. Medical instruments need to be meticulously counted and looked after, which will enable you to be able to track the equipment you use. Use the right solvents from companies like envirotech-europe.com and you can’t go wrong. Operations cannot be performed with subpar equipment anymore – while that may have been okay when surgery was born, it’s definitely not okay now!

Read More

Preparation of Medical Equipment and Instruments

Until recently, the most advanced sterilisation technology was found only in large hospital sterilisers. There is now a growing demand for more sophisticated sterilisation technologies in a variety of professions. By following a few simple steps, you can have clean, sterilised instruments that can be used in any medical situation. In this article, we are going to list for you how to prepare medical instruments for autoclave. Cleaning with precision is necessary for medical equipment but you have to follow the right steps before they can get to a place where they are cleaned en masse. You can find that solvents can be used from larger companies like envirotech-europe.com for critical cleaning, but if you need a step by step guide to get you to the point of sterilisation, you’re in the right place!20780035240_2216dda01f_k

  • Sort the instruments. Inspect every instrument as you sort to make sure it’s clean. Arrange the instruments based on what they’re used for and where they need to end up. Keeping them organised is essential because each instrument has a purpose. Make sure you know what your instruments are going to be used for next before you sort them.
  • Organise and wrap the instruments for distribution before the autoclaving process. If you wait until afterwards and open them, they won’t be sterile. Place instruments in pouches. Once you have your instruments sorted, you need to place them in sterilized pouches that can go into the autoclave. You should use special autoclave pouches designed to withstand the high temperatures of the autoclaves. The pouches have a strip of test tape that changes colour when the autoclave process is effective. Take each pile of instruments you sorted and place them in as many bags as necessary.
  • You shouldn’t have too many in a bag because it might hinder the sterilization process. Make sure that any instrument that can open, such as scissors, is left open when you put it into a pouch. The inside of the instruments need to be sterilized as well
  • Autoclaving in pouches is convenient because you can see the instruments you need when finished
  • Label the pouches. Once you have them locked in a pouch, you need to label each one so you and others will know what the instruments are needed for. Write the instrument names, the date, and your initials on the pouches. Seal each bag securely. If the bag doesn’t already have a test strip, attach one. This will show whether the sterilisation was successful. You can now place the pouches in the autoclave.

Now you know how to autoclave your equipment, you can be ready for sterilisation. Medical instruments need to be meticulously counted and looked after, which will enable you to be able to track the equipment you use. Operations cannot be performed with subpar equipment anymore – while that may have been okay when surgery was born, it’s definitely not okay now!

Read More

How To Get Style In Your Kitchen

As a very rough guide, it is sensible to spend a maximum of five per cent of the overall value of your house on a new kitchen, to avoid losing money if you sell. Fitting a cheap and cheerful kitchen can have a negative impact on value, which makes your choice of cabinets and finishes so vital. You will have to invest carefully to get a beautiful finish on a limited budget.

On any budget it is wise to first factor in the cost of any known quantities. These include appliances, decorative finishes and necessary electrical works to add extra sockets and lights etc; deduct these from your total budget before choosing how much to spend on the units and fitting. You could save over £1,000 by installing the kitchen yourself, but you will compromise the finish if your DIY skills are not up to scratch.

If you have a total budget of between £5,000-10,000, you may be surprised at the quality of cabinets you can afford. The majority of kitchens within this price bracket will consist of flat-pack carcasses with doors mounted on to the front using hinges screwed into the chipboard. The units are generally all the same on the inside – although some are made sturdier than others with an 18mm frame – with the look dictated by the style and colour of doors and decor panels.

The cheapest way of getting a kitchen with a solid wood finish is to buy affordable off-the-shelf carcasses, such as from Ikea, and then get a joiner to make solid wood door fronts. You can even order them online – try diyluxurykitchens.co.uk.

The beauty of this type of kitchen is that it can recreate the look of a more expensive in-frame design for less, which can then be dressed up with luxurious fixtures and finishes, such as a beautiful Belfast sink and bridge tap. Smart storage solutions, such as pull-out carousels, can also be installed into the units at a fairly low cost.

It is possible to purchase a bespoke solid wood, traditionally jointed in-frame kitchen, where the doors sit within the frame, for about £5,000. The style of sink you choose will be dictated by how much space you have available and what will work with the look of your kitchen. Most sinks are inset into a hole cut in the worktop, so they are easier to fit and tend to be cheaper. Sinks can also be under-mounted (fixed to the underside of the worktop) which creates a cleaner finish and works well if you choose to have draining channels cut into the adjoining work surface.

Also look at British Standard Cupboards from Plain English (which sells bespoke kitchens with an average price of £50,000-60,000), launched in recent years to offer a more affordable range of quality cabinets – from £5,000 for a complete setup. These have solid wood doors and carcasses made from white melamine faced European birch ply, with beech shelf lippings and traditionally dovetailed drawers.

When it comes to finishes, premium worktops will lift the look of the whole kitchen. Granite and quartz surfaces are a real investment, at several hundred pounds per 3m run, but durable composites, which replicate their intrinsic character and sparkle, are much more cost-effective.

Solid oak work surfaces can be ordered online for as little as £100-120 per 3m run. If opting for a high-quality laminate, choose a good depth with a squared edge, and overhang it slightly at the end of unit runs.

Mix and match worktop materials, for example a granite island against timber topped units, for a bespoke finish. This also allows you to use a cheaper and more durable material where you do most of your work and prep, then inject a bit of luxury with a breakfast bar or plinth in something more high-end such as quartz.

Read More

Things You Should Know About Becoming An Interior Designer

modern blue interior

If you’re a bit of a buff when it comes to designing or arranging your interiors at home, then you may well be thinking about becoming a professional interior designer. If you enjoy decorating or rearranging your house regularly then you may have a knack for matching colours of Feng Shui. There are definitely some things that should be known before going down that route as like with any career, there are highs and lows.

There is a definite difference between decorating and designing. Anyone, literally anyone can be a decorator. A person with a good eye for colour and a natural flair for mixing textures can become a decorator all you need is to print out a batch of business cards and market yourself online. An interior designer needs a degree as a requirement for working in the field. Companies like capitalinteriors.co.uk supply different types of bespoke glass to companies who are interior designers and architects and as the direct supplier you can even contact them yourself from home.

Interior designers need to have a knack for design itself. Sounds really obvious doesn’t it but designers can really project their passion for their craft if they know what they’re doing. It’s not all fabrics and fun textures it’s a hard job and the education behind it is difficult. Interior designers need to know the history of structures and structural designs, building codes, spatial concepts and a lot of the time designers need to have a qualification in computer-aided design. Designers work with a broad range of people and having an eye for detail is extremely crucial. However we don’t just mean an eye for which colour matches with which fabrics, we mean having an eye for detail so that they can deal with builders, architects and business owners.

Being a people person is always a good idea as you can then engage easily with those you’re working with or working for. The companies that are dealt with on a daily basis for materials by builders and architects filter down to the interior designers and they then use the information they have to make the best decision for the job available. Logging online to a website with types of designs available for bathrooms and kitchens and why stop there? Being able to design the concept of an entire house or office building shows flair and excellence in creative ideas. Competition is fierce in interior design so using the best companies and the best materials is imperative and the more you know the better off you will be. Staying abreast of current designs and trends is extremely important for an interior designer who wishes to be successful in their field. Learning the local laws and building codes may seem tedious but as mentioned, the more you know, the more education and qualifications you have and are able to apply to your work the better off you’ll be and the more renowned you can become in your field.

Read More

Warning Signs Your Roof Is On The Way Out

6182923188_f85ceb4fbf_z1Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement? The roof is responsible for protecting the home and its occupants from the elements, and as a result, it endures substantial wear and tear. Severe weather, like high winds and hail storms, can cause considerable damage to the roof and put its structural integrity in jeopardy. Companies like roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can assist with your roofing needs.

Replacing a roof is an expensive process, and it’s not something most homeowners will have to do more than once or twice in their lifetimes. The best way to ensure a long life for your roof and to minimize costly repairs is to perform regular, routine maintenance.

Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:

1. Roof age

How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. It also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof.

2. Shingles curling and buckling

Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.

3. Roof valleys

If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks and companies like roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can help.

4. Missing shingles

These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the shingle “tabs” are intact.

5. Chimney flashing

This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.

6. Shingle granules in the gutters

Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker colour on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.

7. Daylight through the roof boards

You notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, which means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

Read More

Upgrading Your Windows: A Guide

The windows are the eyes of the home. Not only can you see out of them but people can see in and there a lot of window types out there to choose for your house. Windows let in light primarily and they also can have the ability to heat a home and make it very cold if you haven’t double glazed. There are companies out there like jpglass.co.uk that will install double glazing in place of single pane windows. Windows play a huge role in the efficiency of your home, but that’s not all they do; if you’re planning on selling your house in the next few years, new windows are a huge selling feature.

They’re one of the top five things potential buyers ask about a home, so the investment can add considerable value. If your house has only got single pane windows you’ll be very aware of creeping cold and damp specifically in the winter months of the year. New windows also instantly create curb appeal and can make a dated exterior look fresh and modern. If they’re doing their job properly, you shouldn’t notice the windows in your house. But if you’re in the market for an upgrade, there are tons of options that can add value to your home and make a stylish statement. Bay windows supplied by jpglass.co.uk can dramatically improve the value of the house as they’re designed specifically for home improvement.

There are some very telling signs that your windows need replacing and to make sure that you recognise the signs you have to be aware of what can happen to your windows. You should make a point of inspecting them regularly for drafts, condensation or fogging, rot and mould. There are different types of windows you can choose from and have installed and companies like jpglass.co.uk can offer a variety of choices. We’ve put together a list of the types of window you can have installed to your home:
1) Casement: Swinging in and out like a door and operating with a crank, they offer a high level of ventilation and have a tight seal when closed. This is a great choice for hard-to-reach or awkward places because they’re easier to open and mean less condensation.

2) Double-hung: One of the most common types of windows through the home and popular with builders, they consist of two sashes that move up and down. They are great for ventilation and complement any style of house.

3) Picture: Large and fixed and usually flanked by two casements or double-hung windows, their big, dramatic shape allows for lots of natural light and unobstructed views. They can be pricey because of their size, and keep in mind that they offer no ventilation. Beautiful though they may be they’re not practical!

4) Bay: Made up of one large fixed window in the middle and a casement on either side, they project from an exterior wall and are a staple in many Victorian-style homes. Take caution when installing – they’re large and heavy, meaning they need adequate structural support.

Read More