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3 Things Your Children Need To Know About Using Fire Extinguishers

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Fire safety is an important topic to discuss with your children. Statistics show that seven people die in house fires across the United States each day. In order to ensure that your children have the best possible chance of surviving an accidental fire, teaching them how to properly use a fire extinguisher is essential. Here are three things your children need to know to ensure they can effectively wield a fire extinguisher in the future. 1. When extinguishing a fire, aim for the base of the flames. Your child’s initial reaction might be to aim the fire extinguisher directly at the flames when a fire occurs, This is not an effective way to put out a fire, since the chemical extinguishing agent (which may be pressurized nitrogen or powdered potassium bicarbonate depending on the model of extinguisher you purchase) within the fire extinguisher will simply pass right through the flames without stopping them. By teaching your children to aim for the base of the flame instead, they will be able to extinguish the fuel source feeding the fire. As you practice putting out imaginary fires, be sure that your children know to aim low when using a fire extinguisher. 2. Stand a safe distance from the fire when using a fire extinguisher. It’s important for your children to know that they need to maintain a safe distance when using a fire extinguisher to put out dangerous flames. Be sure that you check the manufacturer’s label on your fire extinguisher to identify the discharge range of that particular extinguisher. Most units have a discharge range between 6 and 20 feet. Help your children identify the maximum discharge range for the fire extinguishers in your home, then have them practice standing within that range to extinguish imaginary fires. This will allow your children to more safely extinguish real fires in the future. 3. Identify when a fire extinguisher will not be effective. The safe use of a fire extinguisher includes knowing when using an extinguisher will not work. Teaching your children about the four stages of a fire will help them better identify when grabbing a fire extinguisher is not an option. Most extinguishers (click here for more information) are effective for use on fires in the incipient, or ignition, stage of a fire. If the flames of the fire are still relatively small, then it’s likely still in the incipient stage. Larger flames signal an increase in fuel, and you should instruct your children to immediately vacate the home and contact the fire department to deal with these larger fires. By teaching your children how to safely use a fire extinguisher, you can prevent fire-related injuries in the...

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Honoring Military Veteran Employees: Things You Can Do

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

There are over 19 million military veterans living in the United States, and many of these people are employed in the same civilian jobs as their neighbors and friends. Veterans bag groceries, fix cars, answer phones, and work in the medical field. If your business has a military veteran in its employ and you want to honor your employee in a very special way, here are things you can do to say you appreciate all the work they’ve done to keep your freedom intact today. Plaques or awards On holidays where honoring veterans is especially appropriate, such as Flag Day and Veteran’s Day, you can display a plaque or award in your employee’s honor. This plaque can feature a military symbol of the branch your employee has served in or simply be a plaque that expresses your company’s gratitude for your employee’s years of service. You can display these plaques and awards on special days in the main office, and place them in a break room or other discreet area during the rest of the year so you can still honor your military employee without always making them center stage. If you are concerned about your other employees being jealous of the “special attention” your military employee gets, you can get a plaque with all your other employees’ names on it that you can display next to the military veteran’s plaque or award. The other plaque can say something along the lines of, “These valued employees thank our veterans” so all your employees feel recognized when honoring their veteran employee. Honoring holidays Your company may be open every day of the week or may only close during the major holidays, such as Christmas or New Year’s Day. If this is the case, make sure your military veteran employees can still take off the national holidays that pertain most to them, such as Independence Day. If the rest of your employees still have to work on these days while your military employee takes time off, you can remedy this situation by giving your other employees overtime or holiday bonus pay for their hard work. You may also want to begin closing your business on military holidays in honor of your veteran employees and allow all your employees to have this special time off with or without holiday pay. Discuss with your employees whether they would like to have this extra time off, or if they would be willing to work a half or even full day with compensation. Honoring military veterans in the workplace is a great way to say you are grateful for their hard work to protect your freedom. In placing out plaques and awards and giving time off for appropriate holidays, your veteran employees can feel like they are appreciated in many ways. For personalized plaques and other awards, contact a company such as Hometown...

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4 Ways To Protect Your Confidential Information In Storage

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you maintain any form of confidential information, such as personally identifiable information or customer credit card information, you need to keep it safe. That includes when you put it in your storage unit. In general, a storage company will not be considered liable for damages related to confidential information breaches if that information was stored negligently or unnecessarily. 1. Always Shred Excess, Old, and Used Documents You should only have multiple copies of a document if they are currently necessary. Any documents that you no longer need should always be shredded. This includes documents that have already been used for their intended purpose. As an example, credit card application forms should be shredded following the application, not stored indefinitely. Most businesses are allowed to shred their documentation seven to nine years after their date of origination. 2. Label and Separate Your Storage Items  You need to be able to distinguish easily between standard business operations documents and confidential information. Your storage items should be marked with a thorough inventory of contents, and equally importantly, confidential information should never be mixed with other more mundane documents. Keeping your documents separate will make it much easier to track them.  3. Limit Access to the Unit Only those who have clearance to view confidential information should ever have access to the unit. To avoid confusion, the unit should not be accessible to multiple parties at the same time — this could lead to a situation in which no one is certain who pulled specific files. There should also be a procedure in place for these individuals to check out files as needed so that there is a log maintained. 4. Increase Your Physical Security There are certain things you can do to increase the physical security of your storage unit. You can have a small safe within the unit itself to protect particularly important information, such as legal documents, intellectual property, and digital files. You can purchase new, more effective locks, and utilize more than one lock at a time — you can even have keys with separate individual people, so that they must both unlock the unit at once. Finally, you can get a unit that is protected by fencing, security cameras, and other lot security services. If you are governed by specific regulatory compliance laws — such as those that apply to financial, legal, and medical industries — you should check with your industry association to find out more about any necessary storage procedures. In general, confidential information should only be stored as absolutely necessary for the performance of a service and as disclosed to the individual. If you’re looking for a storage facility in your area, visit Capitol City Mini...

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Four Home Office Moving Tips

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

It’s an exciting time—your business is growing and you are moving out of the home office and into your first outside office space. Making sure everything is packed up properly and safely can help you finish the move with as little stress as possible. The following tips can help. Tip #1: Secure Your Data Your records and work data are often one of the most vital components of your business. Any time you move computer hardware there is the chance that data could be lost. Take the time to back up everything to either a cloud service or a separate thumb drive. This way you can quickly regain anything if there are any issues during the move. This goes for paper data, as well. Client files and important paperwork should be housed in a secure spot for the move. Remove drawers from filing cabinets to simplify moving them, but place each drawer into a bag and seal it closed. This ensures that no files are lost or damaged during the move. If materials contain sensitive information, then you may need to leave the drawers in a locked cabinet and utilize a dolly to move the entire cabinet. Tip #2: Take a Picture The mishmash of cords and plugs emerging from the back of many computers and office peripherals can be confusing, even if you are relatively tech savvy. Take a picture of the back of your devices before disassembling the setup so that you know how to plug everything back in when you arrive at your new office. You may also want to take a photo of any office furniture before you disassemble it for the move. Then, place all screws and hardware into a plastic bag that is labeled so you know what it belongs to. Keep all the bags in one area so you can find them quickly later. Tip #3: Box Wisely You are boxing things up with two end goals in mind—easy carrying and easy loading in the moving truck. On this note, heavy things like books should go in small boxes that one person can handle easily. Opt for boxes of a uniform size so it is easier to load them into a truck without fear of them shifting during the move. Most moving trucks also have tie downs inside, so you can stretch rope across the space to keep your stacks of boxes from sliding around. Tip #4: Organize Your Moving Day Finally, make sure you have your entire moving day organized in a way that makes the most sense. For example, most moving trucks are rented by the day or hour, so you will want to make sure your office is completely packed before picking up the truck. A sample moving day plan is as follows: Finalize any remaining packing at the home office and make sure there is a clear path from the office to the exit. Do a final inspection of the new office. Make sure everything is clean and dusted before moving in items. Also, check for hazards like loose carpet or rugs, and remove them or tape them down before you begin to move. Pick up the rental truck. Allow time to perform a quick inspection to ensure that the truck is running correctly and that all safety...

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4 Reasons Sleep Is The Weakest Link

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you’re not getting enough sleep, or the sleep you’re getting is of poor quality, you’re likely to feel some immediate effects. Grogginess, clumsiness, and just generally feeling blah are some of the first effects you’re likely to experience. What few people realize, however, is that there are bigger problems that lack of sleep can introduce into your life. Memory Issues When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your brain isn’t able to process information the same way that it can when it’s well rested. So your brain can’t grab the facts that it needs, when it needs them. You may find that you have to have several nights of poor sleep in order to start having memory trouble, but others find that even one night of interrupted sleep is enough to cause problems. Decreased Alertness According to the Centers for Disease Control, driving after too little sleep is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of .05 percent or more. As the time without sleep increases, the equivalent blood alcohol level rises exponentially. What this means is that even a small amount of sleep can affect your reflexes and your ability to remain alert. Driving after extreme sleep deprivation is not a good idea, but many people don’t understand the danger. Strained Relationships If you’re not sleeping well at night, chances are that your partner is all too aware of the fact and is experiencing sleep troubles along with you. When your sleep problems affect your partner as well, your relationship may become a bit strained. Also, as you each deal with less sleep than you want and need, your tempers are likely to get shorter. That adds to the strain, potentially adding further problems along with lack of sleep. Weight Gain Getting too little sleep can affect your waistline, as if it weren’t affecting enough other areas of your life. Not enough sleep interferes with hormone levels in your body, specifically ghrelin, which is responsible for turning on and off the hunger reflex. Improper amounts of sleep also throw leptin levels out of whack. Leptin is the hormone that lets your body know that it’s time to stop eating because you’re full. With all of those hormones and reflexes out of alignment, you’re likely to gain weight without realizing how it’s happening. If you’re ready to get better sleep, contact a Serta iComfort expert today like Sleep-N-Aire. You’ll find out firsthand what you’ve been missing by getting far less sleep than you...

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3 Tips to Prevent Fights at Your Bar

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Running a bar can be a fantastic way to bring in a living, and you might have a lot of fun running your operation as well. However, one thing that you might worry about is dealing with patrons who might become violent, particularly after they have had a few drinks. Although it might be impossible to stop someone from starting a bar fight if they are really itching for a fight, there are a lot of things that you can do to help prevent keep these fights to a minimum. These are some of the ways that you can help prevent fights at your bar. 1. Hire a Security Company A good security company — particularly one that is accustomed to helping those who run bars and nightclubs — can help you prevent bar fights, underage drinking, and more. They can advise you about putting in ample security cameras, which can help you both monitor for potential problems and prevent people from wanting to fight in the first place, since they will be worried about getting caught on camera. The company can also provide you with on-site security, which can help with checking IDs, escorting troublemakers out the door, and breaking up fights if they do happen. 2. Take Fights Seriously If your bar is known for letting people get away with fighting, then you will only have more problems in the future. It is important to take fights very seriously and to take action against those who participate in violence, such as by escorting them off the premises or even calling the police when necessary. Once your patrons realize that you aren’t going to put up with this kind of violence, they might just decide to take it elsewhere. 3. Control Alcohol Consumption One of the best ways to prevent violence and to otherwise prevent things from getting out of control is to control alcohol consumption in your bar. Avoid mixing your drinks too strong, and teach your bar tenders to keep an eye out for the signs of inebriation. Once patrons have had too much to drink and are showing signs of possibly getting out of control, it is smart to stop serving them alcohol. Along with helping to prevent fights on your premises, controlling alcohol consumption can also help you comply with local laws and keep everyone in your bar safe. Dealing with fights in your bar can be a big problem, but following these three tips can help prevent this issue. Talk to a security company like Security Services Northwest, Inc for more...

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Common Questions ABout Protecting And Restoring Wood Furniture

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The wooden furniture that is in your home or business is a major investment, and it is important for you to understand the steps that you can take to help ensure that your furniture is always looking its best. Unfortunately, this is a topic that many people are not particularly experienced with, and this can cause them to make some errors that can severely degrade the appearance of their pieces of furniture. After understanding these two answers to common questions about furniture care, you should be better able to avoid or correct some routine forms of damage. What Can Be Done For Discolored Tables? Tables are often subjected to substantial amounts of abuse over the course of time. Whether it is a dining room table or simple a coffee stand, it is possible for spills to permanently discolor sections of the table. Sadly, there are some people that make the mistake of assuming that there is nothing that can be done for these stains. Luckily, it is often possible for a specialty furniture restoration professional to repair this type of cosmetic damage. This can be done by either coloring over the stain to match the rest of the wood or actually removing the discolored portion and filling it in with a special resin. Is It Possible To Protect Furniture From Excessive Humidity? Another common source of damage to wood furniture comes from excessive humidity. When the humidity is high, it is possible for condensation to form on the wood, and this can contribute to the development of rot and mold growth. Additionally, it can cause the wood to warp, which can ruin the piece of furniture. Due to these concerns, it is important for you to take some steps to protect your furniture from this threat. For most people, simply sealing the furniture once every few years will be sufficient protection. However, if you live somewhere with extremely high humidity, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier to further reduce the chances of this type of damage occurring. Keeping your furniture safe from some common sources of damage is important for getting the most from this sizable investment in  your home. Understanding that discolored spots on tables can be repaired and steps for protecting your furniture from humidity damage will help you keep your furniture safe and in good condition. In addition to keeping your home’s interior looking great, this will also help you save money on expensive furniture...

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Three Questions To Ask When Planning Your Cremation

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are interested in being cremated when you pass away, there is some planning that needs to take place in order to ensure that the process is taken care of with as little hassle for your family as possible. They will want to grieve your loss and having to take care of all of the decisions that come along with planning a funeral can be quite difficult. It is important to have an open and honest discussion with your loved ones about the cremation process to find out if there is anything you can do to make the process easier for them. The following guide walks you through a few topics to discuss with your family during the cremation conversation. How Does Your Family Want to Say Goodbye? The first thing you need to discuss with your family is if they want to be able to see you in a casket at a wake before you are cremated or if they would rather just put up a picture of you next to your urn. Many funeral homes have caskets available that can be rented for wakes where the person who has passed away is going to be cremated, but their family wants to be able to say goodbye to them in a more traditional way. What Does Your Family Want to Do With Your Ashes? You need to determine if you want to have your ashes spread in a specific location, have them split between the family members, or simply kept in an urn and have one family member keep your ashes at their home. There are some families who choose to wear the ashes in jewelry, bury them in a biodegradable urn, or simply spread them at their loved one’s favorite location. What Steps Need to Be Taken to Spread The Ashes at a Location? If you choose that you want to have your ashes spread, you need to determine who you want to spread them and where you want them spread. You then need to determine what steps need to be taken in that particular locality to spread the ashes where you want to spread them. Some jurisdictions prohibit people from spreading ashes in a specific location. The local branch of the Environmental Protection Agency should be able to tell you where you can and cannot spread ashes and what to do to get approval for spreading your ashes. Once you know the options that will make your family feel as comfortable as possible with the cremation process, you can make the arrangements ahead of time with a funeral home. Everything can be paid for in full before you pass away so that the only thing your family has to worry about is mourning your loss. To find out more, speak with a business like Peninsula Funeral...

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Troubleshooting And Reducing Department Printer Queue Problems

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Like many other devices on computer networks, the printer handles a large number of requests from entire departments. Unlike many devices designed for network use, the technology behind handling multiple print requests still hasn’t been perfected to the point of avoiding slow performance when there are too many people needing too many pages. Although every network is different, consider a few techniques that can digitally unjam the printer queue and reduce future failures. Why Does The Printer Queue Fail? Although there are some slight differences depending on the operating systems used in your business, printing is a process of building a package of text for the printer and slowly feeding it across the network. Printers are computers with a limited amount of memory, which keeps costs down in a market that is constantly replacing, upgrading and adding to printer networks. Unfortunately, a lot of the lengthy or graphically complex printouts needed by workers may be a bit much for the printer to understand–especially if there’s a lot of people trying to print at once. To combat the print job overload, a process called spooling was developed. Instead of sending the entire file to the printer at once, the data is sent in small packets that can be fed to the printer while keeping resource usage low. Like many processes in the computer world, spooling is an amalgam of different projects and programming mindsets that usually works well, but critically fails often enough to frustrate people who aren’t into the more high-tech side of things. It’s important to understand this before buying multiple wide format printers or other high-performance printers. It isn’t the printer’s fault that spooling errors occur; spooling is just a problematic process that hasn’t been perfected yet. Most spooling errors can be solved by shutting down the printer and every computer trying to print to that printer, then starting everything up again. If the process seems like a lot of work, don’t worry; seasoned technicians can help. You May Need A Physical Print Server Although you’ll need a technician with some system administration skills as well as printer repair experience (which isn’t a rare combination), spooling can be configured to send the entire file at once. Instead of relying on spooling to break up information, a print server can be built to handle the requests. A printer server performs like any other server, and can even be made from a cheaper, old computer. The print server simply accepts all of the print jobs from the network, then manages the printing data itself. Customized print management configurations can be made to keep all of the printing jobs associated with the computer it came from, and the printer only has one customer to deal with. If you’d like a print server configured or suspect physical problems with your printer capabilities contact a printer repair...

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Introverted Website? 3 Ways To Prevent Your Online Presence From Hindering SEO

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Introverted and extroverted personalities have their own benefits and pitfalls. However, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), an introverted online presence will make it harder to reach your goals. There are ways to become more extroverted and stand out among the crowd in the online space. Implement Full Disclosure If you have a physical business, one of the first pieces of information viewers will see in major search engines is your directory listing. Make sure this information is updated and error-free. You should have accurate contact information, a link to your website and customer reviews whenever possible. Internet viewers can make quick decisions based on directory information. A comparable business with a wealth of information in their directory listing is likely to catch the eye of a potential customer. Don’t Be A Wallflower No matter how beautiful and interesting your website is, it means little without social interaction. Websites with a nice social life on various social media platforms typically improve their SEO. Your website does not need a strong presence on every social media platform. The quality of your social interactions is what matters. Stick to a few platforms where you can interact with your followers beyond simply posting pictures or updates. Socializing is not limited to social media platforms. Your website will perform better in SEO if you can create social engagement directly on your website. Make space for a blog on your website. A regularly updated blog will show search engines your website is not stagnant. Furthermore, if you keep the comments enabled, you encourage socialization on your blog. By sharing the same posts on your social media accounts, you can easily double your social engagement factor. Share Your Knowledge Whether your website is for a business or niche, you want viewers and search engines to recognize your authority on a subject. For example, if you have a plumbing business, it is not enough to discuss your services. You want to go in-depth on a few services to show how your business is an expert on different plumbing issues. Linking to a few authoritative websites is also helpful, just be sure they are not competitors. Innocently linking to a major store to show an example of toilet parts could lure customers to buy their parts elsewhere and call you for the installation. Making your website more extroverted can pay off when considering your SEO strategy. Websites that succeed in their SEO strategy do so by mingling in the online space and creating a strong online presence. If you need help with strengthening your online presence, contact local SEO services for...

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How To Find a Creative Release (While Keeping Your Day Job)

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Full-time jobs can be a drag for the creative type. You need to eat and have a steady income, but at the heart of it, you wish you had more time to be creative. Well, there are ways that you can do both. Here are some ideas on how to get more creativity into your workweek, without setting aside a lot of time.  Start a Journal If you think of pouring out your innermost feelings when you think of journals, then you’re missing out. Journaling is also an easy way to collect your creative thoughts in one place, with minimal effort. If you are a busy professional, you can carry your journal with you and write down those stray creative thoughts that you don’t have time to elaborate on during your workday. A creative journal can contain clippings, prose, drawings, and anything else you can think of.  Writing Groups Even if you are not a seasoned writer, writing groups can offer you a look at what other creative types are doing in your area. You may make some friends and also delve into writing something of your own. At any rate, joining a writing group will get you thinking creatively every week. Check your area to see if there are any after-work writing groups; you may also find their schedules at local bars or coffee shops.  Learn to Dance Dance is a great way to release your creative energy, but it is also a great way to get some exercise and nourish your whole body. Jazz dance classes can be ideal for beginners of all ages, while twenty-somethings may be more interested in a hip-hop or modern dance class. The best part is that many studios will let you try a class for free, and others have an introductory class rate that gives you a significant discount on your first round at the studio. These classes are sometimes offered in that sweet spot when work gets out but it’s not time for dinner yet, making them easy to fit into your busy schedule. Check out a dance studio like Debbie’s Dance Studio, to learn more.  Conclusion If you are busy as a bee, there’s no reason you still can’t nourish your creative side. Each of these ideas will have you thinking and acting creatively on a regular basis. With this as a starting point, you may become motivated to clear your schedule and make time for an even bigger project. If not, you still can have a bit of daily satisfaction in your creative life. ...

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