Fire Hydrant Inspection and Maintenance

On a walk through your neighborhood, you may have come upon a few individuals hovering over or near a fire hydrant. Most likely, they are not there for the purposes of mischief. Rather, they are testing the fire hydrant to ensure its proper operation.

Regular Fire Hydrant Testing

In many communities, the testing of hydrants is a quarterly or annual task organized between the local water utility and fire department. The goal is to ensure there’s a proper flow from the fire hydrant. In turn, this provides the correct water pressure to a firehose during normal operations.

The Testing Process

First, testing equipment is hooked to the hydrant to measure the flow of water. Normally, this is purchased through companies like Hurco Technologies. Next, the water is released from the hydrant in stages. The tester records the pounds per square inch (psi) as the flow increases. When done, the results are examined by all the parties involved.


If the flow isn’t at the desired psi, they move to the next steps in maintenance.

• Another test is run and compared with the first to determine if there is a true issue.

• The hydrant is flushed to remove any debris which may be lodged in the hydrant or the line. Another test is done after the flush.

• If it still fails, both the hydrant and line are checked for corrosion or potential damage.

• Repairs are made to either the hydrant or line. Another test is made to ensure everything now works.

Advantages to fire hydrant testing

There are no disadvantages to testing fire hydrants. By performing this examination on a regular basis, utilities and fire departments ensure proper operations. For the water department, a clean line means no buildup in other pipes. For the fire department, it means a working hydrant to save property and people the next time there’s a fire.

In conclusion, if you see a test in process, thank the people who are out there. They are ensuring everyone’s safety.…

The New Versatility of the Storage Shed

The longer you live in your home, it seems the more “stuff” you accumulate. Some of these possessions, like kitchen gadgets, are used on a regular basis. But others like large tools and toys need to be stored and most homes simply do not have the space necessary to keep everything you own in a convenient place. To solve the storage space problem, many homeowners build or purchase pre-fabricated sheds.

Types of Sheds

Storage sheds are actually very common. They are generally placed in the back garden of a home or on some other portion of the lot. Sheds are great for large items or for those that you only need at certain times of year. Things like lawn mowers, snow blowers, bicycles, sports’ equipment, lawn furniture, pool supplies, or even paint can be stored in these structures. Even if you have an attic or basement, you may not want to store these items inside of your home.

Sheds are as different as the types of items they hold. They come in different sizes and are made from a variety of materials. Some of the more common, are tarp buildings that are used primarily for equipment storage and to protect vehicles from damaging weather. The advantage of a tarp shed is that it is durable but portable, so it will last but can be easily moved or repurposed for a different type of storage. Larger, more permanent sheds are generally found on farms or in industry. They may be insulated depending on the type of material being stored. But the most typical shed is a one-story enclosed structure with walls, a door, and a shingled roof. It may be plastic or metal but is most often made of vinyl or wood which are the most durable materials.

No Longer Just for Storage

Not all sheds are simply for storage. For many years in countries like Australia and New Zealand sheds were defined as any structure that was not a residence and they were often built by those looking for a private place to relax. These structures may actually have been the first “man caves” equipped with windows and electrical outlets. It may be hard to imagine but these countries have an entire culture of shed enthusiasts with books and magazines dedicated to the subject of sheds and their use. This idea has recently begun to creep into the United States and State Farm Insurance has jumped on the bandwagon with their She Shed TV commercial. The She Shed is the new female getaway and probably has curtains on the windows.

Building or buying a shed is no longer just a necessary evil. These structures can now actually impact a family’s entire lifestyle. Yes, they can provide a convenient storage area, but now they also give mom, dad, or even the kids a private place to play. They create an increased living space as the attic can be converted into a bedroom and the basement can be furnished to use …

Danger Lurks in the Laundry

Red lights bounce off my bedroom walls and wake me. Two fire trucks are parked in front of my house—my neighbor’s house is on fire! Outside the house, a fireman wrestles the dryer through the side door. “It’s another dryer!” he shouts. My neighbor suffers smoke inhalation and, sadly, the house is a total loss.

A 4-year legal battle ensues with the insurance company. My neighbor is a responsible homeowner; she cleans the lint trap after each load, vacuums behind the dryer once a week and cleans the dryer vent hose every Spring. But, without a receipt for the work, she cannot prove it. Because a recipe from a dryer vent cleaning Dallas is not produced, the insurance company claims the fire is due to her negligence.

The Stats

It is a wake-up call for me. My house sustained damage from smoke and a tree which caught fire and fell on my privacy fence. I had to file a claim through my homeowner’s insurance.

Online there are many articles about house and apartment fires caused by dryers. The National Fire Protection Association keeps statistics on washer and dryer fires. Dryer fires caused 13 deaths, 444 injuries and $238 million in property damage between 2010 and 2014.

Those numbers do not include injuries or deaths to first responders or residual damages like those sustained by my home. Of all major appliance fires, 92% are dryer fires with 26% of those caused by lint ignition in the vent pipe. Equipment failure is responsible for 24% of dryer fires and the top cause of equipment failure is improper dryer vent cleaning.

What to Do

Located in the basement, my dryer is vented with a metal pipe out the window. It was hooked-up less than 5 years ago by a professional installer. I inspected it the night of the neighbor’s fire and discovered the vent pipe was detached from the vent exhaust opening in the window and my dryer wasn’t venting at all. It could have been me.

Emptying the lint trap after each load, vacuuming behind the dryer and inspecting the outside of the vent for bird or rodent nests, need to be done; but, it’s not enough. I called a dryer vent cleaning service and they cleaned the dryer and fixed the disconnected pipe. The amount of lint removed past the lint trap gave me nightmares. Going forward, I will have them out each Spring.

At the End of the Day

Your home is where your life happens. One fire can destroy more than possessions. Have the dryer vents professionally serviced at least once a year; more if you have a large family or have pets. Clean the lint trap after each use because it decreases the amount of lint in the dryer. Keep a fire extinguisher in your laundry area. Landlords and owners of multiple family dwellings also need to be vigilant. It’s cheaper to clean the dryer vent than to clean-up after a fire.…

Desert Cooler& Room Coolers

A desert cooler is an air cooler that requires to be fitted onto a window. Room coolers on the other hand are portable machines provided with a trolley or castor wheels for easy movement across the house or office. The running mechanism of both these is same as that of the air cooler.

The basic difference then between the desert and the room cooler is that the former suck s the outside air overhauls it with the water and throws the moisture laden air into the room and the latter pulls in the indoor air and re-circulates it back after cooling it. The portability factor and the body of the room coolers generally make it easy to store them when not in use.

With summers already in, buy the best air coolers in India from one of the online e-commerce sites. You will take home not only a device to help your family live through the excruciating heat but also certain other benefits that will make you smile. The benefits of buying online are:-

  1. Options of various deals that the sites offer. The final outcome is that you spend much less than what you had budgeted for. Deals like cash back offers, discounts of using cards of certain banks, EMI options if buying on credit and cash on delivery option
  2. Good discounts on the market price thereby making the cooler price even more reasonable and affordable.
  3. Free delivery service at the address provided. No need to call and follow-up regularly. Track your shipment online after logging in to the site.
  4. Full information of the product is available online to read and understand the functioning with detailed technical specifications and descriptions. The procedure for handling the device – the to-do’s and not-to-do’s are clearly specified out.
  5. Views and ratings of other customers who have bought the product and are using it.
  6. The product package consists of the warranty card. Option of extending the warranties is also available online
  7. All online sites offer a specified period of time for returning the product if not as per your desire. Refund of money or buying another product at the same price are also easy options provided by these online portals.
  8. Lastly, the bills are emailed to your email id thereby making it easy for you to track later when required in case of a repair or any other service covered by the manufacturer within the warranty period.

After all this, who would want to visit an electronics shop at the market physically and waste valuable time and energy? Remember that after buying the air cooler, adequate steps are taken from your end to take care of the device. Even if it comes at low cooler price, it’s still an investment from your end. Electrical gadgets work well for years without any failures when timely and properly maintained. Read through the manufacturers’ manual well before using the air cooler especially specifications regarding running the air cooler without water or cleaning the cooling pads or servicing …

Our Plantation Shutters Look So Good in Our Offices That I Think They Help Get Us Clients

I remember when miniblinds became the go-to solution for office windows. I have seen a lot of office buildings and offices since I work in an industry where every client and associate has an office somewhere. It might be an attorney in a high rise building or a client with offices in a converted home in a neighborhood. One recurring theme is miniblinds on the windows. Those or the vertical slat blinds. In our office my wife renovated using plantation shutters. They make the windows look classy. Everyone that comes in remarks about how good our windows look.

I think the style of the look of our office cinches the deal with a lot of our clients. It is like how when you go into a bank you expect to see some granite or marble and high ceilings. Oh, and lots of real wood.…

Taking Preventative Steps to Keep Your House Comfortable

Regardless of the season, you want your house to be as comfortable and cozy as possible.  Whether it is the coldest months of winter or the hottest months of summer, you do not want to feel the effects of the weather elements outside.

However, when your air conditioner and heater no longer work as they should, you may not be able to help feeling too cold or too hot.  You need to get these systems back up and working again soon.  With professional inspection, repair, and ductwork cleaning Yorktown VA homeowners like you can take preventative steps to keep these systems functional all year long.


Seasonal Attention to the System

Many homeowners never think to call for inspection and repair services until their AC or heater has stopped working.  It is only at that point that they realize that they may have been able to head off these troubles if they had their systems inspected and cleaned regularly.

Repairs to the central heating and air conditioner can be expensive as well.  You may not be able to afford the repair bill right now.  Instead of spending a lot of money out of your tight budget, you can save your cash and pay a smaller bill by hiring the company for inspection and cleaning.

The contractor can come to your house and look over the outside of the unit to make sure it is free from debris like dirt and dust.  He or she can then inspect the ducts outside of the house to make sure they are clear of debris that could cause them to blow out hot air.

After inspecting the outside of the house, the contractor can then move inside and inspect and clean out the vents inside each room.  He or she can vacuum out cobwebs, dirt, dust, and other elements that could cause your allergies to flare up and prevent the vents from blowing out air like normal during the summer.

Your home’s central heating and AC system is crucial to your year-round comfort.  You can keep it in good working order by having it inspected and cleaned out regularly.…

Three Ideas That Can Help Improve Your Home’s Landscape

If you have a home that you care about, you probably also want to make sure that the landscaping that surrounds the home is as attractive as possible. After all, the landscaping that is around your home is generally the first thing that any guests see when they arrive at your house, and it is the main sight that you see out of your own windows every day. However, some homeowners can be intimidated by taking on their landscaping projects, either because they don’t know enough about the subject or because they are overwhelmed by all of the decisions that they have to make. Here are three ideas that can help you improve your home’s landscape right now.

Consider Going With the Pros

If you’re totally over your head and want a gorgeous landscape fast, consider going to a local pro. Look for a landscape design company that has experience and the equipment that you need to help to take the best care of your space possible. Look for a company with state-of-the-art equipment like Jacobsen turf equipment from a reputable dealer like US Turf Equipment. This will make it more likely that they will get the job done right the first time.

Stick With the Classics

For people who want to do their own landscaping, if you’re not comfortable with a lot of complicated plans, stick with the classics. Use mulch to keep down weeds around perennials that are easy to take care of. Ask at your local garden center for ideas about the things that are easiest to take care of it your area. Even just a single tree in front of your home is more attractive than a plain lawn.

Add Annuals

Celebrate the different seasons by adding colorful annual plants for a pop of color around your home. You can make the planting of annuals a part of your seasonal habits. Or, you can plant bulbs that will come up throughout the season. Your home will look amazing when you take care of it with good landscaping.


Improve some Home Furnishings

No matter how much you love your home, the fact is, there are always going to be a few areas that you’d love to improve. Over time, the reality is that every home starts to get that “lived in” look, as walls start to show marks, carpeting gets worn, and tiles and flooring get gouged and chipped. It’s all signs of a home that’s had a lot of lives coming in and out, but at a certain point, it’s good to have all those areas in need of improvement fixed up and given a little extra polish. What’s the answer? How about a remodel?

Planning a Remodel

A home remodeling project can range from a major makeover that includes a kitchen or bathroom redo, or just a cosmetic fix up that involves new paint, curtains, flooring and carpeting. The key to deciding what needs to be done is to look around and see what it will take to make over your home, and take a look at your budget to see what’s possible. This is where the advice of an experienced contractor, someone who knows all about installing new fixtures in a bathroom and doing window tinting for homes, comes in.

Finding a Contractor

Finding a great contractor isn’t as hard as it used to be. Today it’s not necessary to get a few leads from friends and then hope for the best. Today there are many websites that offer listings for quality contractors, and these sites also show samples of past work, and referrals from clients. All of this can give you extra assurance that you are signing up to work with someone who knows how to get the job done.

Once you’ve contacted a local contractor you want to work with, discuss your ideas for the remodel and talk about your budget. They can give you a free estimate and also make suggestions on ways to pull off a remodel without spending money unnecessarily. The contractor can start creating an overall plan that will give you a sense of the work and how it will look when the remodel is finished.

Yes, a home remodeling project is quite involved, but done well, it can be a very exciting way to finally get the home of your dreams. So why wait? Start planning the home you’ve always wanted today.…

Spare Room Solutions


When it comes to home renovation, there are a number of factors that come into play when designing your dream home. After all, home is where the heart is, so you’re not really home until you have a living space your heart can be invested in. But, what is perfect, and how does that translate into interior design? There are a number of challenges you’ll face when designing your dream home, but there just might be none more daunting that deciding on what to do with a spare room. That’s where I come in. Here are some ideas of how to use some newly discovered extra space.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the potential of a home office and/or studio. The advantages of a home office or studio are many. For one thing, they give you a nice quiet place to catch up on work, be it professional or passionate, and that’s valuable, especially if you have younger kids. However, the true value of a home office or studio that the isolation of it can help you fight the temptation of various distractions. I know from experience that working from home can be a real slog in a one room apartment (and I mean one room, not even a bedroom) because my fiancee is somehow able to work with the TV going and actually prefers it. However, I had to convert our walk in closet into an office to find the solitude I needed to work at a good pace. If you’re bringing work home with you, work from home, or just picked up an instrument from Guitar Center, then a home office or studio is for you.

Another idea of what to do with your extra space is to simply use it as just that: extra space. By that I mean you could turn it into a guest bedroom. We all have the occasional need to accommodate guests, but we’re not always prepared. If you find yourself with extra space on hand, why not prepare in advance by preparing an extra crash pad for friends and family?

How to Choose Window Treatments for Irregular Windows

Finding the right window treatment for strangely or distinctively shaped windows can be a huge challenge. But if you’re determined enough to make it work, designing treatments for your unique home windows can be a snap. Whether you’re trying to make the most out of an oddly-shaped opening or hoping to make a stylish statement with the irregular windows in your home, here are a few ideas to get you on the right track.

Use Patterns

Even if you’ve inherited your oddly-shaped windows and you’re not a huge fan of their shape, there’s something distinctive to be done with every awkward window under the sun. Sometimes it’s not about the shape of the blinds, panels, or shades you use. It’s about complimenting the irregularity of your window by hanging a vibrant, exciting drape to set off your window’s unique angles and striking strangeness. Dealing with a high-up irregular skylight? Try to hang a few festive curtains to let the light funnel down softly into the room. Hoping to make an impression by showing off your geometric loft window? Choose a brightly-colored custom shape and pattern for your blind to show off your window to its best advantage.

Dome Blinds Let in the Light

If you’re thinking about installing windows with intriguing geometric patterns, let the style of your Renewal NC inform your treatment. Irregularly-shaped windows like dome-shaped or half-moon arches at doorway openings don’t need much to look stunning. However, when you pair them with a beautiful, custom style of blinds, you can control the amount of light that travels into your cloakroom. Choose blinds that are custom-made to fit your irregular windows rather than trying to find something that will fit.

Don’t Obscure: Reveal

If you’re looking for a way to use the power of suggestion to change the shape of your irregular windows, all you need to do is get a little creative in the window dressing department. If you’re not a huge fan of your windows as-is, use blinds that mute your window’s awkwardness while revealing its beauty. Using panels and sectioned drapes is a great way to hide certain parts of your window while revealing others. You’ll be creating a type of optical illusion while using your window to its best advantage.

Shutters, Shades, and Sheers

If you’re working with a tight budget, opting for easily customizable materials like shutters, which can be custom-cut to fit any dimension, gauzy sheers, which add a sense of luxury at a low price, and simple shades to mask your window’s flaws. Mixing and matching materials to create a multi-layered treatment is also a great way to call attention to your window’s striking beauty without making it stand out. If you opt for custom-cut shades or multiple layers of rich, sumptuous sheer fabrics, you can also use interesting patterns to set your window treatment apart. No matter how you design your window treatment, you’ll be able to raise your irregularly-shaped window to the level of art.