Why is it important to learn about gas safety?

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Gas powered appliances or pipes can leak and emit gases which are a highly poisonous to both humans and animals as well. In addition, the gases are highly flammable and explosive in high concentrations. These gases can cause significant damage not only to your property but to human life as well. Therefore, it does not matter whether you are a tenant, or a home owner, you should learn the basics of gas safety.

Gas safety tips

1. Understand the type of gas appliances present in your home

It’s important to find out if there have been recent changes to your gas system so you know if there are past problems with the system. This way you will be able to tell if they were repaired. If the gas has been exposed to flooding or any external factor, this can be dangerous if not rectified.
2. Learn how your gas system works

Be aware of all your gas system components, how it is protected and its condition. Also, be aware of the underground pipe placement, fitting and tubing in your property. Be conscious of the location of gas relief valve and how it works.

3. Maximize property protection against gas leak accidents

There are several things that you can do to protect yourself and your whole family:
· Record an inventory of all gas appliances and pipes. With this you will be able to detect leaks with ease in case of an emergency.
· Learn how to turn off all gas inlets and outlets.
· If you use natural gas, be familiar with gas smell for it smells like a rotten egg.
· Purchase and install carbon monoxide alarm.
· Carryout gas leak checks regularly with the help of a reliable plumbing or gas company.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Top 10 Gas Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit www.groundreport.com.

Hiring A Contractor: Types of Home Improvement Professionals

Whether you’re planning an addition for a growing family or simply getting new storm windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project. Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That’s why it’s important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement and repair and maintenance contractors often advertise online, in newspapers, magazines and the Yellow Pages, and on radio and TV. However, don’t consider an ad an indication of the quality of a contractor’s work.

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Your best bet is a reality check from those in the know: friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have had improvement work done. Get written estimates from several firms. Ask for explanations for price variations. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.

Home Improvement Professionals Depending on the size and complexity of your project, you may choose to work with a number of different professionals:

  •  General Contractors manage all aspects of your project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits, and scheduling inspections. They also work with architects and designers.
  •  Specialty Contractors install particular products, such as cabinets and bathroom fixtures.
  •  Architects design homes, additions, and major renovations. If your project includes structural changes, you may want to hire an architect who specializes in home remodeling.
  •   Designers have expertise in specific areas of the home, such as kitchens and baths.
  •   Design/Build Contractors provide one-stop service. They see your project through from start to finish. Some firms have architects on staff; others use certified designers.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Hiring A Contractor” For more information, please visit www.ftc.gov.

 

What Are the Health Concerns With Regards to Painting Indoors?

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Most paints contain chemicals that evaporate in the air. The ability of these chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly. As with any chemical, the likelihood of a reaction and the extent and type of health effect will depend on many factors. These factors include the amount of chemical in the indoor air, the length of time a person is exposed to the chemical, and a person’s age, preexisting medical conditions, and individual susceptibility. Eye and throat or lung irritation, headaches, dizziness, and vision problems are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some chemicals. In professional painters who are exposed to high levels of paint vapors for long periods of time, some chemicals in paints have damaged the nervous system, liver and kidneys. Some chemicals cause cancer or reproductive and developmental effects in laboratory animals. Because of these concerns, susceptible people, such as young children and individuals with breathing problems, should avoid paint vapors. To avoid any health risks for themselves and their unborn babies, pregnant women should avoid undertaking painting projects and should limit their time in freshly painted rooms, especially when oil-based paints are being used.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Healthy Indoor Painting Practices” For more information, please visit www.epa.gov.

Write for Humans, Not Search Engines.

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Write for Humans, Not Search Engines.

Your headline shouldn’t sound like a robot wrote it. It should appeal to people first and foremost. That being said, whenever possible you should naturally work in a keyword or keyphrase into your headline. That way people searching for a topic can find your content in search engines.

However, there’s a difference between working in a keyword in a natural way in an interesting headline, and headlines that read like keyword searches (“Video for small business”). Headlines that read like keyword searches you’d plug into Google are boring. Today’s reader expects more and is not likely to click on a dull title like that. Make it more interesting than that.

Use the Right Tools and Resources.

If you’re not feeling creative, use tools to come up with a strong headline. Give the tool a noun or verb, and the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator provides dozens of headline possibilities. They will at least get your creative juices flowing, even if you don’t use any of the suggested headlines.

Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines is an 11-part series that will give you headline formulas and templates for your content.

To see if these eight tips work for you, be sure to experiment. Every industry and every audience is different. Not everything may appeal. Once you see which headlines YOUR readers are responding to, you can apply the same techniques to develop new headlines and increase traffic to your blog.

The above is an excerpt from the article “8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

What Are the Special Issues for Apartment Dwellers When Painting?

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Vapors from paints are a special issue in apartment buildings because the vapor moves as “shared air” between units. Painters should be aware that harmful gases can move through common walls through gaps around pipes and electrical outlets. Apartment managers should consider giving advance notice to neighbors that a unit is to be painted. They should consider inspecting painted units to ensure that ventilation is maintained during painting and, as a rule of thumb, for at least 2 to 3 days afterwards, and they should consider loaning box fans to residents who are painting their apartments. Problems may be reduced if all apartments being painted, as well as neighboring apartments, are vented to the outdoors with box fans.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Healthy Indoor Painting Practices” For more information, please visit www.epa.gov.

Ask a Question & Stand Out by Sounding a Bit Over the Top

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Ask a Question.

Consider Chris Brogan’s post, “Do Local Businesses Deserve Your Money?”  It’s a good question.

The reader is forced to ask himself the question, and if he doesn’t have the answer, he’ll be inclined to click. Whether the article answers the question to his satisfaction is a different matter – but the headline at least gets him to click.

Stand Out by Sounding a Bit Over the Top.

Tabloid magazines have mastered the art of the outrageous, but that doesn’t mean your business blog can’t apply the same technique – in moderation. Use words like:

●     Secrets

●     Revealed

●     Superlatives like biggest, the ultimate, best

Just be careful because you don’t want to lose credibility by creating headlines like this all the time or by being too outrageous.

Also, make sure the article delivers on what the headline promises. Don’t claim to bring the reader the “ultimate” guide to whatever or the “best advice” on some topic, only to offer up a mere 150 words stating the obvious. If you’re going to deliver the ultimate guide, then it had better live up to it.

The above is an excerpt from the article “8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

How Do I Select The Proper Paint?

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First, make sure you select paints that are for indoor use. Do not use exterior paints indoors. There are two categories of interior paints, water-based and oil-based. Water-based paints are referred to as “latex” paints. The oil-based paints are referred to as “alkyd” paints. In general, water-based paints will emit fewer chemicals and lower levels of chemical vapors. Short-term exposure to solvents from alkyd paints can be significantly higher than from latex paints. When selecting paint or contracting for painting services, read the label for information about the potential health effects of the paints or ask the contractor or paint supplier.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Healthy Indoor Painting Practices” For more information, please visit www.epa.gov.

Play on Emotions & Use Numbers

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Play on Emotions.

Humans are emotional beings, and we want to feel something. Evoke emotions in the headline, and you can get more clicks. Here’s an example from TheChive.com:

“Homeless Man Tells Heartbreaking Story”

We’re ready for an emotional response to that story.

Use Numbers.

When you use a number in your headline, you’re letting readers know exactly what to expect. When you read the headline to this post, you knew there would be eight tips on improving headlines. No more, no less. Today’s readers are impatient and want to quickly skim content, and numbers let them do so.

Here’s a related point: generally speaking, the bigger the number, the more likely people are to bookmark and save an article. Two tips might not be bookmarkable. But 8, 10 or 12 tips – well, that’s a different story.

The above is an excerpt from the article “8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.

5 Guidelines for Healthy Indoor Painting

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  1. Try to schedule painting for dry periods in the fall or spring, when windows are more easily left open for ventilation.
  2. Keep windows wide-open, as weather permits, for about 2 to 3 days after painting to avoid unwanted exposure to paint vapors (and to return to acceptable indoor air quality).
  3. Use window-mounted box fans to exhaust vapors from the work area. Make sure they cannot fall out of the window. If fans cannot be used, make sure that rooms being painted have adequate cross-ventilation.
  4. Provide advance notice to neighbors in adjacent units that painting is to begin.
  5. Take frequent fresh air breaks while painting. Avoid freshly painted rooms for 2 to 3 days, whenever possible. Keep young children and individuals with breathing problems from freshly painted rooms. Leave painted areas if you experience eye watering, headaches, dizziness, or breathing problems.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Healthy Indoor Painting Practices” For more information, please visit www.epa.gov.

Read Other Headlines & Create Mystery and Curiosity

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Read Other Headlines.

The best places for inspiration are popular sites that have many readers. Alltop, BusinessInsider.com, BuzzFeed.com and BizSugar are good places to go to find headlines that get lots of clicks, so take notes.

If you pay attention, you’ll see that the headlines aren’t stuffy, and that they entice you to learn more in the actual post.

Create Mystery and Curiosity.

A good headline leaves the reader wanting more. Take this example from social content site, BuzzFeed:

“Let’s Hope This Trend Does Not Catch On”

You’re probably at least a little curious about that, aren’t you? It’s hard to resist finding out just which trend they are talking about.

The above is an excerpt from the article “8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines.” For more info, please visit www.sba.gov.