Reasons To Use A House Cleaning Checklist Every Time You Clean

How do cleaning companies ensure that they do a quality job?

So you’ve taken the leap and hired a cleaning service to clean your home. How will your new cleaning crew ensure that they’ve done a great job and that you are happy with their service?

The number one reason people drop their cleaning company or switch to a new one is due to a decrease in the quality of their house cleaning they receive over time. Customers love that first cleaning; it was spectacular! But then they feel that the quality went downhill from there. An experienced, professional cleaning company will give a lot of attention to doing a good job for you and will verify your satisfaction over and over because they don’t want to lose your business. When you ask your cleaning company about their quality control program, you should expect to hear something similar to ours.

Here are some specific steps we take:

  • Train all yours cleaners to clean your home following our proven method to consistently deliver a high quality cleaning. We never assume that a new employee can clean well. Our new hires study our cleaning techniques and practice them in different scenarios, working closely with one of our certified trainers. Residential cleaning business all over the U.S. and Canada come to us to learn our Perfect Maintenance Cleaning methods so that they can improve their quality and efficiency. Our owner literally wrote the Perfect Maintenance Cleaning book that professional services use to train their cleaners.
  • Do house checks. Members of our management team perform random house inspections after a home has been cleaned so that every cleaner’s work is checked periodically. We’ll provide feedback or recommend additional training, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for customers to tell us how we’re doing. We encourage comments and offer three ways to reach us: text, phone call, and email. We also leave behind a quality score sheet or comment card at every cleaning. All feedback is reviewed by our Operations Manager who shares it with our cleaners directly—both the compliments and the opportunities for improvement. We believe that it’s our job—not the customers’—to give employee feedback caringly and constructively.
  • Act on any complaints we receive. Any complaints we get will guide the steps we take to re-train our cleaners or to remove them from our business if re-training fails.

Hiring: What Traits to Look For

In the beginning of your business, “the right people” are most likely to be you and any business partners you start your company with. It’s harder to hand off the cleaning work to someone else when you’re starting out. We really had to do it ourselves in the beginning while we got the hang of our business and worked out our hiring process.

If you’re busy enough that you need to hire staff, here are the traits you should look for when hiring.

Previous Cleaning Experience

You can lose a lot of time and money training people who are new to cleaning and who might quit after a few months. It’s very physical, and it’s just hard for some people. Although you’ll probably need to hire some people who don’t have a lot of experience, try to look for people who do have cleaning experience and even want to make a career out of it. They already know how to do the job, they already understand what hard work it is, and they already know they like cleaning.

Independent, Self-Motivated and Hard-Working

Cleaners go out into the field on their own, so housecleaning is a job for people who are highly independent and self-motivated. You definitely need people who like to work on their own, because you are working alone most of the time. You might have a partner, but you’re not working side by side. So your staff need to be comfortable working alone and able to do their work without a supervisor standing over their shoulder. They also need to be able to work hard physically, because the job is physically demanding.

Friendliness

Although your ideal cleaners are the kind of people who are comfortable working alone, it’s still important that they’re friendly too, as quite often they will communicate with clients on your behalf. In many ways, your cleaners are the face of your company—to your clients, they are the company. It’s essential that they make a good impression.

Commitment to the Job and Loyalty to the Clients

Your staff must be able to commit to showing up every day without the other commitments in their lives getting in the way. You have to be committed to serving your clientele,” says Katie. “If you don’t show up, there’s nobody else who can step in. I had a few staff with such a high level of commitment that they would genuinely be upset if they got sick. They felt bad that their clients that day weren’t going to get their houses cleaned.

Training Tips to Get Your Cleaning Service Employees on the Right Track

Now that they’re hired, it’s likely that the majority of applicants for entry-level cleaning jobs will need training. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage; in fact, you may prefer to handle this yourself since hiring individuals without professional cleaning experience lets you train them to clean your way.

If you think you can’t afford to spend time on training, think again–can you afford not to adequately train your employees? Do you really want them interacting with customers or cleaning homes and offices when you haven’t told them how you want things done?

These tips will help you maximize your training efforts:

  • Find out how people learn best. Delivering training isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. People absorb and process information differently, and your training method needs to be compatible with their individual preferences. Some people can read a manual, others prefer a verbal explanation, and still others need to see a demonstration. In a group training situation, your best strategy is to use a combination of methods; when you’re working one-on-one, tailor your delivery to fit the needs of the person you’re training.
  • Use simulation and role-playing to train, practice and reinforce. One of the most effective training techniques is simulation, which involves showing an employee how to do something and then allowing them to practice it in a safe, controlled environment. If the task includes interpersonal skills, let the employee role play with a co-worker to practice what they should say and do in various situations.
  • Be a strong role model. Don’t expect more from your employees than you’re willing to do. You’re a good role model when you do things the way they should be done all the time. Don’t take shortcuts you don’t want your employees to take or behave in any way that you don’t want them to behave. On the other hand, don’t assume that simply doing things the right way is enough to teach others how to do things. Role modeling is not a substitute for training. It reinforces training. If you only role model but never train, employees aren’t likely to get the message.
  • Look for training opportunities. Once you get beyond basic orientation and job skills training, you need to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to enhance the skills and performance levels of your people.
  • Make it real. Whenever possible, use real-life situations to train–but avoid letting customers know they’ve become a training experience for employees.
  • Anticipate questions. Don’t assume that employees know what to ask. In a new situation, people often don’t understand enough to formulate questions. Anticipate questions and answer them in advance.

Give Your Employees the Power to Upgrade Customer Service

Although ensuring a thorough cleaning job is the best way to provide excellent customer service, your employees should feel confident in going above and beyond. By allowing your staff to give your clients “extras,” such as a complimentary carpet deep clean or a ten percent discount, you are increasing their ability to deliver amazing service.

Your cleaning business training should also include tactics for providing great customer service, such as:

– Taking notes on client preferences and passing those along to team members.

– Having answers to client questions.

– Returning phone calls, emails, and other correspondence promptly.

– Allowing time gaps between jobs to minimize arriving late to a task or needing to leave early to be on time elsewhere.

– Showing up to the job in uniform and with all the necessary tools and equipment (plus backups as necessary.)

How to prepare for your first professional house cleaning experience

From a couple of must-dos, to treating your house cleaner with respect; here is everything you need to know about being fully prepared for your first house cleaning service by a professional maid.

Don’t Let Anything Get in Your Cleaner’s Way

You can’t expect your cleaning professional to do a satisfactory job if they haven’t been given a fair chance to do so. In other words, it is your responsibility to ensure that there is no clutter or untidiness around the house that will hinder their cleaning process. This means picking up stuff from the floor and tidying up surfaces so that they can be cleaned efficiently.

It should be noted that some cleaning services include tasks that go beyond basic tidying up; however, for those that do not, it conveys a certain level of respect when you do your bit to make the cleaner’s job a little easier. Moreover, the help you hire should not feel like they are being taken advantage of when doing things that aren’t part of their job description become a habit.

Give Clear and Concise Instructions

A professional maid understands that their job is to clean your house; however, every home and family is unique and therefore, the requirements differ. Along with this, you may have a set of rules or boundaries that you would like the cleaner to follow such as knocking before entering a bedroom or bathroom.

Along with this, some homeowners have specific preferences where home cleaning is concerned; for example, you can request for the use of eco-friendly cleaning products or simply supply the hired professional with your choice of cleaners. This, of course, is something that should be discussed with the professional prior to their arrival. If you have any other instructions, be clear and concise when politely explaining them to the cleaner.

Put Valuables Away

Firstly, it pays to hire a maid from a reputable cleaning agency wherein employees are thoroughly vetted, as well as insured and bonded. On the other hand, from a cleaner’s perspective, they are not always comfortable working in a house where money or valuables are left lying around. This is because if you were to misplace something of value, they are likely to be the first ones to get blamed.

This is particularly true when a homeowner is hiring help for the first time, or dealing with a new maid. In other cases where clients and cleaners have formed a strong bond or close relationship over a long period of time, this doesn’t become a problem. Having said that, when hiring the services of a professional maid, it is your responsibility to make the cleaner feel comfortable on every occasion, and this includes securing valuables.

Choosing A Veterinarian For Your Pet

Common Myths about Surgery and Dogs

1. Myth: “My dog is too old for anesthesia”

Please do not let your neighbor, your friend or the internet tell you that your dog is too old or sick for anesthesia. And don’t be afraid to seek out an expert on the topic. Keep in mind, if your dog is that old, surgery is probably not being recommended for merely cosmetic reasons. Your veterinarian is probably talking about it because of a life or death situation, or a serious quality of life issue.

A thorough physical exam and blood work should always be performed before anesthesia. In older dogs, it may be wise to also take chest and belly radiographs, as well as an ECG to be safe. Some dogs may need to be stabilized prior to anesthesia, which may mean fixing blood work abnormalities, giving IV fluids, or giving a blood transfusion prior to anesthesia and surgery.

2. Myth: “Surgery is painful”

This is actually a true statement. However, surgical pain should not be ignored in 2015. We have many safe pain medications to choose from to treat pain before, during and after surgery. We should also remember that depending on what dogs’ conditions are, they are most likely already in pain, which will continue to stay the same or worsen without surgery. The goal of surgery is often to decrease pain.

3. Myth: “There is no point if there is no cure”

This mostly relates to dogs with a tumor. It is a matter of opinion and expectations. And it’s a very personal decision. Without the benefit of a biopsy, we don’t know whether a mass is cancerous or benign until it is removed and analyzed. Even when a mass is cancerous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the road. Ultimately, your decision should not be based only on quantity of life (survival), but mostly on quality of life.

Ironically, sometimes, the situation doesn’t depend on whether a mass is benign or cancerous, but on where it is located. A perfectly benign mass blocking the windpipe, the esophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach) or the urethra (the tube between the bladder and the outside world) will have life-threatening consequences.

4. Myth: “My dog will not survive confinement”

Confinement is often required after surgery. The time required depends on the procedure. Confinement may be in a crate, an upside down baby/puppy play pen, a small room, or part of a room. The larger the dog, the larger the area can be – within reason of course. It may seem cruel to some, but preventing jumping and running is critical to allow proper healing. Outdoors, dogs in recovery need to be under supervision and on a leash for just enough time to eliminate. Dogs don’t know what is best for them. You should.

Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia in Dogs

Anesthesia is like any medical procedure—there are benefits and risks, and death can occur under anesthesia. Approximately one in 1,000 healthy cats and one in 2,000 healthy dogs die under anesthesia each year. While any anesthetic-related deaths are unacceptable, these incidence rates are actually quite low. But of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One of the reasons we still see deaths related to anesthetic procedures is because not all practices are actively taking all of the steps necessary to reduce anesthetic risk.

The Anesthetic Process

Anesthesia occurs in several steps, with opportunities at each step to minimize risks for your pet.  Below I present a simple outline of the steps involved in anesthesia. 

  • Assessment.  Anesthesia starts with an assessment of your pet’s health.  The veterinary medical team will assemble any needed medical history and lab results, and perform a physical exam.  Here is where they could be assigning an anesthetic risk factor and determining if any specific interventions might be helpful to reduce anesthetic risk for your pet.  Complications such as low blood pressure, shallow breathing, low body temperature, slow heart rate, and delayed recovery from anesthesia can all be anticipated and planned for during the assessment stage.  An anesthesia plan can provide guidance for prevention, recognition and treatment of anesthetic complications.
  • Pre-anesthetic medications.  “Pre-meds”, as they’re referred to in the hospital, have many benefits. Amongst other functions, they provide preventive pain management, reduce stress, and minimize the necessary dose of other anesthetic drugs.  Pre-meds are specifically chosen for your pet, based on his or her unique anesthesia profile.
  • IV catheter.  This allows for the administration of IV drugs and fluids, as well as the IV induction of anesthesia, which is safer and less stressful than mask induction.  Presence of an IV catheter is especially important if an emergency drug is needed to treat a complication.
  • Pre-oxygenation and IV induction.  Pre-oxygenation charges the lungs with oxygen and it, along with the IV induction step, promotes a smooth, controlled transition to unconsciousness.
  • Endotracheal intubation.  Placing an endotracheal, or “breathing”, tube protects the airway and lungs from accidental inhalation of foreign material such as stomach contents, saliva, blood, water, cleaning paste, or tartar. Such a tube is also necessary to maintain anesthesia with inhalant gases.
  • Maintenance of anesthesia with patient monitoring and support.  At this point the patient is unconscious and the procedure is underway.  Isoflurane or sevoflurane anesthetic gases are the most appropriate agents for maintenance of anesthesia.  Clinical research indicates they both are equally safe and effective.  Monitoring of your pet is crucial to assess vital signs and enable recognition and prevention of complications, or timely treatment of them should they arise.  Patient support might include administration of IV fluids and drugs to prevent or treat complications and warming of the patient to prevent loss of body temperature.

Considering surgery for your dog? Take these 4 steps

If your veterinarian is recommending a procedure for your senior dog, it’s because she or he believes that it will help your dog feel better. (And maybe live longer too!)

Here are specific steps to take to help you determine what’s best for your dog:

  • Have a frank discussion with your vet about the procedure and share any concerns you have.
  • Ask your vet to lay out the pros and cons of the surgery.
  • If you or your veterinarian feels uncomfortable about proceeding, you can ask for a referral to a specialty facility (usually a large, 24-hour hospital with specialty doctors and advanced equipment).
  • Please don’t write off the procedure because of the myth that your dog is “too old for surgery or anesthesia.”

Before Anesthesia

Prior to receiving anesthesia, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, review your pet’s medical history and discuss any risk factors. Your veterinarian may also perform blood tests on your pet to check for any indications of a developing medical problem or anesthetic risk. If you have any questions about your pet’s health or his or her anesthetic risk, ask your veterinarian for an explanation that will help you make an educated decision.

Prior to anesthesia, your pet will likely be given a pre-anesthetic sedative to reduce his or her stress and ease the process. An intravenous catheter is usually placed to allow administration of fluids and medications. The anesthetic may be delivered by gas inhalation (using a gas anesthesia machine), intravenous infusion, or a combination of the two.

During Anesthesia

While under anesthesia, your pet will receive monitoring and care comparable to what you’d receive if you underwent anesthesia. This may include intravenous fluids and/or medications to support your pet’s circulation and blood pressure; an endotracheal tube inserted into your pet’s trachea (windpipe) to deliver the anesthetic gas and provide oxygen to your pet’s lungs; pulse oximetry to measure the oxygenation of your pet’s blood; blood pressure monitoring; temperature monitoring and warming blankets to prevent hypothermia (low body temperature); and electrocardiography (ECG, also called EKG) to monitor your pet’s heart.

After Anesthesia

Once the procedure is done and it’s time for your pet to wake up from the anesthesia, your pet will likely be placed in a quiet, semi-dark cage or kennel to recover. Pets are closely monitored during this time to make sure that they are recovering normally and that care is provided quickly if there are any problems. Pads and blankets are used to keep your pet warm during the recovery, but it’s not uncommon to see a pet shivering while they recover from anesthesia; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is cold. Some pets may also vocalize (whine, bark or meow) during recovery. The endotracheal tube is removed when your pet is awake enough to swallow normally. Fluids and/or medications may be continued through recovery, depending on your pet’s condition.

Preparing for surgery

Before the procedure, ask your veterinarian if you can give medications in the morning — some may be needed, but some can be skipped. Also ask if you should drop off your pet’s medications or food the day of surgery. It’s always betterDog preparing for surgeryfor your pet to eat his normal food, whether it’s generic food or a special diet. You may have been told how much confinement your pet will need after surgery, and what that entails; please make sure you have a room, a play pen or a crate prepared for the day your pet comes home.

The morning of surgery

You will need to drop your pet off early in the morning, even though surgery may not occur until late morning or the afternoon. Why is that?  There are multiple reasons, depending on your pet’s specific situation. Your veterinarian may wish to:

  • Run a physical exam
  • Run blood work
  • Place an IV catheter
  • Administer IV fluids
  • Start specific medications
  • Take X-rays
  • Perform an EKG
  • Calculate anesthesia drug doses

Things To Remember When Installing Ceiling Fans Installation

Ceiling Fan Installation and Usage Tips

Ceiling fan performance and energy savings rely heavily on the proper installation and use of the ceiling fan. Here are a few tips to ensure quality and product performance.

Choosing the Appropriate UL-Rated Electrical Box

Make sure that you use the appropriate UL-listed metal box, marked “For Use With Ceiling Fans.” This outlet box is mounted above the ceiling and also is the point where the fan is attached. This box houses all wiring needed to operate and connect the ceiling fan. If you are replacing a ceiling fixture, most likely you will need to replace the electrical box.

Mounting the Ceiling Fan

If possible, the ceiling fan should be anchored to a ceiling joist. In the case that the joist is not located in the center of the room, a special ceiling fan mounting bracket with spiked ends should be installed between joists. Keep in mind that ceiling fans can weigh as much as 50 pounds!

Balancing a Wobbly Fan

All fan blades should be balanced prior to shipment; however, if the fan is wobbly after installation, there are ways to fix it. First, make sure that all connections are properly aligned and tightly fastened. Check the alignment of the blades by holding a yardstick vertically along the edges; you may be able to gently bend a misaligned blade holder back into proper place. If all blades are aligned, a balancing kit can then be used to pinpoint the culprit. These kits are either provided within product packaging (e.g., balancing clips and blade weights) or can be sent by the manufacturer free of charge. View(link is external) a video with tips on fixing a wobbly fan.

Turn Off When not in the Room

Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling fan to save energy.

How to Install a Ceiling Fan

Installing a ceiling fan is a good project for the do-it-yourselfer, as you can simply replace a traditional lighting fixture with a fan or fan-and-light kit. You can wire the fan’s light to be controlled by the light switch on the wall and allow the fan to be turned on manually by pulling a cord, install a second switch to control the fan, or purchase a unit operated by remote control.

You’ll need to ensure that the junction box to which you will connect your fan can support its weight (it should say “suitable for fan support”), that you have enough clearance between the fan blades and the ground (at least 7 feet), and that your fan is the appropriate size for your room. For more, see Sizing & Locating a Ceiling Fan.

Remove the old light fixture. (See How to Replace a Light Fixture for information about how to do so.)

Install a ceiling fan mounting bar. If the ceiling box is connected at its center to a bar hanger attached to two joists

If it is not, you will have to install a ceiling fan box with a mounting bar. Take out the old ceiling box, and insert the hanger bar for the mounting box into the ceiling hole. Ram the edges (or “feet”) of the bar toward the two ceiling joists by turning the center of the bar, and use a wrench to tighten the bar and embed the sides into the joists. Attach the ceiling box to the hanger.

Ceiling Fan Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to ceiling fans I find my clients have a lot of questions, and are unsure about the many types of ceiling fans, installation techniques and what it all means for them. Here I have compiled FAQ’s that I get asked often, as well as some information that you will find informative.

How much do ceiling fans cost to run? A Ceiling Fan is cheap to run at about 2-3 cents per hour. Here’s a great link for calculating any appliance costs in Adelaide Calculate Appliance Running Costs. A Ceiling Fan will also aid in saving cooling costs when used in conjunction with home air conditioners.

What does the Summer/Winter switch do? This switch is found above the motor on the ceiling fan and sometimes labelled S and W. In the Summer position, the fan will blow cooling air down that you can feel. In the Winter position, the fan will turn in reverse. This blows warm air over the ceiling and down the walls.

What does the number of blades mean? The most common are 3, 4 or 5 blade fans. There’s not a lot of difference in air flow. A 5 blade fan has more drag and will require more power to run the fan. A 3 blade fan is usually a metal blade fan designed to push a lot of air for its size and thus can be a little noisy. A 4 blade fan tends to be a good compromise for air flow and efficiency. Very large fans may have more blades due to design and aesthetics.

Metal or Timber Blade Fan? A metal blade fan in most cases will push more air than a timber blade fan due to the blade angle and design. As a result they are a little noisier but work well in living areas and outside areas. A timber blade fan is quieter to run and well suited to sleeping areas, however they do not push as much air as a metal blade fan.

WHICH WAY SHOULD YOUR CEILING FAN SPIN AND OTHER HELPFUL COOLING TIPS

Summer is coming, and we can feel the sweat and see the high electric bills already! One way to lower the cost of running your air conditioning unit is also to use your ceiling fan. Ceiling fans circulate cooled air in a room to make people feel cooler. That means you can increase your thermostat by several degrees without causing a noticeable difference in comfort.

Many people don’t realize that you can save money in the summer by running your ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner. With a ceiling fan running, you can feel about 5 degrees cooler. This means you can turn down your AC and lessen its running load. Before you turn your AC on in the shoulder seasons, try running your fan first and see if you can save even more money by avoiding AC for a couple more weeks or most waking hours. A typical central air conditioning unit uses about 3,500 watts of energy when running, while an average ceiling fan running on high uses only about 60 watts.

Which Direction Should Your Ceiling Fan Spin in Summer?

Most fans have a clockwise and counterclockwise setting, usually controlled by a small button or switch near the fan base. Each direction is appropriate for different seasons. However, because fan blades are also angled, we cannot tell you which direction works for which season, on your specific fan. You’ll have to do a small experiment.

Stand beneath your fan and turn it on. If you immediately feel a breeze, that is the summer setting. If you do not immediately feel a breeze, turn off the fan, and look for the small button to run the fan in the opposite direction. Take this opportunity to dust your fan. It’s often an overlooked task, but removing any particulates from the air in your home helps keep the air quality high while also cutting down on internal cleaning of the air ducts.

Ceiling Fans Keep People Cool, Not Rooms

What do we mean? Unlike a central AC unit that is cooling your home, a fan is creating a cooling effect. Fans will not lower the temperature; they make you feel cooler by circulating the air. A fan is like a gentle breeze, but if you think about it, your furniture doesn’t benefit from that feeling, only you do. That means when you leave a room, turn off the fan to save on your electric bill.

Helpful Tips For Purchasing A Ceiling Fan

That thing hanging from the ceiling that provides a cool breeze is an often overlooked part of most rooms of a house. However, if used correctly it can shave some serious dollars off of your energy bill each month, especially during the spring and summer months. So, when it’s time to purchase a new ceiling fan, we highly recommend spending a bit of time doing some research and finding one that checks off all of the following considerations

Airflow

This may sound obvious, but a ceiling fan that really provides adequate airflow and circulation is a must. What you may not know however, is that a ceiling fan’s airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute and the fan’s maximum airflow will be listed on the box.

Light Combos

Lots of ceiling fans on the market today incorporate some sort of lighting, if that’s something you prefer. While shopping, it’s important to think about the room the ceiling fan will be installed in and determine whether or not you need some extra overhead lighting.

Efficiency

As we mentioned above, a ceiling fan can really help you save on energy bills if you use it correctly, especially if you use it in conjunction with your air conditioning system. With that said, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking at ceiling fans that are Energy Star rated if it comes with a lighting kit, so be on the lookout for the little blue label.

Location

Did you know there are three main types of fans when it comes to the location where it will be installed? If you’re going to be installing the fan outside, you’ll want to look for one that is wet-rated as opposed to a dry-rated fan if it will only be used indoors. If it’s going to be installed somewhere in between or a room of the house with high humidity (like the bathroom or the laundry room), your best best is a damp-rated ceiling fan.

Types Of Electrical Wiring For Different Wiring Applications

Electrical Safety: Safety & Health for Electrical Trades

How Do You Control Hazards?

In order to control hazards, you must first create a safe work environment, then work in a safe manner. Generally, it is best to remove the hazards altogether and create an environment that is truly safe.

How Do You Create a Safe Work Environment?

A safe work environment is created by controlling contact with electrical voltages and the currents they can cause. Electrical currents need to be controlled so they do not pass through the body. In addition to preventing shocks, a safe work environment reduces the chance of fires, burns, and falls. You need to guard against contact with electrical voltages and control electrical currents in order to create a safe work environment

Make your environment safer by doing the following:

Treat all conductors—even “de-energized” ones—as if they are energized until they are locked out and tagged.

Lock out and tag out circuits and machines.

Prevent overloaded wiring by using the right size and type of wire.

Prevent exposure to live electrical parts by isolating them.

Prevent exposure to live wires and parts by using insulation.

Prevent shocking currents from electrical systems and tools by grounding them.

Prevent too much current in circuits by using overcurrent protection devices.

Lock out and tag out circuits and equipment

Create a safe work environment by locking out and tagging out circuits and machines. Before working on a circuit, you must turn off the power supply. Once the circuit has been shut off and de-energized, lock out the switchgear to the circuit so the power cannot be turned back on inadvertently. Then, tag out the circuit with an easy-to-see sign or label that lets everyone know that you are working on the circuit. If you are working on or near machinery, you must lock out and tag out the machinery to prevent startup. Before you begin work, you must test the circuit to make sure it is de-energized.

Lock-Out/Tag-Out Checklist

Lock-out/tag-out is an essential safety procedure that protects workers from injury while working on or near electrical circuits and equipment. Lock-out involves applying a physical lock to the power source(s) of circuits and equipment after they have been shut off and de-energized. The source is then tagged out with an easy-to-read tag that alerts other workers in the area that a lock has been applied.

Electrical Wire Size Required for Receptacles

What size electrical wire should you use when hooking up an electrical receptacle (wall plug or electrical outlet)? Here we explain the choice of No. 14 or No. 12 copper wire for 15A and 20A electrical circuits where receptacles are being wired.

This article series describes how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. Electrical receptacles (also called electrical outlets or “plugs” or “sockets”) are simple devices that are easy to install, but there are details to get right if you want to be safe.

What Size Electrical Wire Should I Use When Wiring an Electrical Outlet (Receptacle)?

The electrical wire used for the receptacle circuit must be the proper type in size (thickness or gauge) and number of conductors for the ampacity of the electrical circuit

The electrical circuit must be properly protected by the right fuse or circuit breaker

For a 15-Amp circuit use #14 copper wire (or #12 copper-clad aluminum wire). The fuse or circuit breaker feeding this circuit is rated for 15 amps.

For a 20-Amp circuit use #12 copper wire (or #10 copper-clad aluminum wire).The fuse or circuit breaker feeding this circuit is rated for 20 amps.

For a 30-Amp circuit use #10 copper wire and a fuse or circuit breaker rated for 30 Amps.

For other wire sizes and a complete wire size table see SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS – separate article

Note1: it’s safe and OK to use a smaller (lower ampacity) fuse or circuit breaker, such as a 15-amp fuse protecting a circuit wired with #12 copper wire

Note2: it’s generally safe and OK to use a larger size electrical wire, and a larger wire size may in fact be required for longer wiring runs. Generally you want a 3% or less voltage drop across the wire from source to point of use. For the U.S., electrical wire sizes vs. circuit ampacity are given in National Electric Code Table 310-16

All You Need To Know About Electric Wiring and Rewiring

Electric wiring and rewiring is an important aspect of consideration when you are renovating your old home or building a new one. It is a complex and time-consuming process which ideally should be done by trained professionals. When you make the decision of wiring or rewiring your home or office, you can come across a number of choices to make.

You can select from the different types of wiring materials which are available and the different wiring installation processes. Here, we will discuss some of the most common aspects of wiring/rewiring starting from the signs through which you can tell whether rewiring is required or not along with the different types of electrical wirings and their corresponding installation processes.

Signs That Your House or Office Needs Rewiring

Before the electrical system in your house or office collapses or causes any serious problems because of bad wiring, there are certain signs for which you can look out to determine if the electrical wiring needs to be repaired or replaced.

These signs are listed below:

Damaged or frayed wires are the first thing that you should keep a look-out for. This kind of damage may be caused by rodents, heat, corrosion, or simply because of being old. The frayed wires can not only lead to further electrical problems like short circuiting but can also pose a serious threat of electrocution.

If your electrical switches or plugs become warm or hot during usage, it can indicate a problem with the wiring. Improper wiring can cause overheating and result in serious electrical problems.

If your circuit breaker keep tripping, it can also indicate a problem with the wiring of the house.

If you notice smoke coming out from any power socket or an electrical appliance, it can be due to faulty wiring of the house.

If you notice that some of your lights flicker or dim when certain high-power appliances are plugged in, this can also indicate a problem with the wiring. The wiring may not be able to handle the load of the high-power device resulting in flickering or dimming of lights.

If you notice any loose connections near the power sockets, switches, and wires, try tightening them to not let the wiring get damaged any further.

Different Types of Electrical Wirings

When you want to change the wiring of your home, you will have the choice of selecting from several kinds of wirings available

Non-Metallic Cables (NM Cables)

NM cables are the most common types of wires which are used in houses and residential buildings. They contain three types of wires distinguished by different colors.

Electricians

Finding a home electrician

Most homeowners call electricians in an emergency or if they’re building or remodeling. It’s important to research a contractor and find a skilled electrician before you need one. By building a rapport with an electrician, you can be sure that they will be there to help when you need their services. So, you’ll want to hire an electrician for regular inspections before an emergency takes place. A good electrical contractor will become familiar with your home’s systems and possibly discover emerging problems before they become major situations.

Hiring an electrician is an important decision because they work with critical home systems that affect nearly every aspect of the building and can cause significant inconvenience, damage or even house fires if the work goes wrong.

Up-to-date education: A reputable company will require staff to attend regular training courses and stay current on the National Electrical Code, which is amended every three years.

Pulling permits: A permit is usually required in most counties and from the power company any time you’re replacing a home’s main electrical equipment or doing a significant amount of rewiring. The cost of the permit is often included in your electrician’s bill, but be sure to ask. With the permit comes an inspection to ensure the work meets code.

Legitimate licensing: If your state requires electricians to be licensed, check that the license is current. Poor wire connections, overloaded circuits, improper grounding and broken safety elements on an electrical panel are just a few of the problems that can arise from bad workmanship. To check an electrician’s licensing. You should also protect yourself by verifying the hold the appropriate bonding and insurance, including general liability and workers’ compensation coverage.

Electrical Rough-in Tips

Whether your project is finishing a garage or a basement or building an addition, it’s important to get the rough-in wiring done right the first time. We talked with several pros and got advice on drilling holes, installing boxes and pulling cable. With these tips in hand, you’ll work faster, avoid disasters down the road and put a smile on the face of your electrical inspector.

Which electrical box works best?

Either plastic or fiberglass boxes will do the job, and each is completely code compliant. Some electricians prefer fiberglass models because they’re tougher, but others prefer the plastic models because they’re cheaper.

Special cable staples

Staples (and drilled holes) need to be at least 1-1/4 in. away from the edge of a framing member. In some cases, that means stacking wires on top of one another and using one staple to secure them. Most standard staples can handle two wires. Never install staples over multiple wires unless the staple is approved for it. The staple package should list how many wires it’s rated for. The staple shown here is good for up to four wires.

Auger nits and angle drills work best

A 3/4-in. spade bit will work OK for drilling the holes, but auger bits drill faster and require less effort. Choose a bit like this Milwaukee ship auger bit that will chew through nails. It’s easier to drill straight holes through the studs with a right-angle drill. You can rent right-angle drills by the day, or you could buy an angle attachment for your own drill.

Install plates before pulling wire

Electrical cables need to be set back 1-1/4 in. or more from the edge of a stud or wood-framing member to protect cables from wayward nails and screws. Install steel cable-protection plates over holes drilled closer to the edge. Keep several plates in your pouch while you’re drilling and install them right away so you don’t forget.

How To Evaluate The Event Videographer

Avoid These 4 Common Wedding Videography Service Pricing Mistakes

Wedding videography, but on a budget! Before your beautiful love story can be filmed like a movie, let’s make sure that you don’t fall into these costly traps. The overall wedding videography cost in will fluctuate, of course, depending on factors such as timelines and extra features. However, there is no need to remain blindsided or feel that a video package will break your bank! At Enchanted Celebrations, we completely tailor our package options to fit your budget and perfectly align with your vision. We’ll show you simple ways to avoid common videography service pricing mistakes through the following four instances, so you can still have the wedding video you’re dreaming about!

BEWARE OF THE HIDDEN CHARGES

Travel fees? Footage hours? Timelines? Oh my! To beware of hidden costs, remember first off that the location of your wedding venue, far or near, can play a role in the final wedding videography cost. In addition to travel, the length of time that your videographer will actually shoot for will make all the difference in the footage that you will be receiving. (We’re talking full day versus just a few hours!).

GOING OVERBOARD WITH THE ADD-ONS

Is your heart set on having drone footage? How about an additional edit or mini teaser? As you are deciding on the perfect video package, go easy on the add-ons if you are looking for a more simple video!

NEGLECTING THOSE WINTER WEDDING DISCOUNTS

Although the weather may be a little frightful, a winter wedding can be so delightful! Choosing to celebrate your special day in the off-season months like January or February will save you extra cash on many aspects of your wedding, not just video!

NOT UTILIZING YOUR EDITING AND DOWNLOADING OPTIONS

Hoping to get bride and groom preparations from the early morning into that final edit? From raw footage to the real deal, make the most out of the videography package you decide on and all that it can offer for you.

Too Much Zooming

No matter if you’re filming with a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, a smartphone, or a dedicated video camera, constantly zooming in and out is a big no-no. Like any other feature, use of the zoom should be relegated to situations in when it’s absolutely necessary. Just because you can zoom doesn’t mean you should! Before zooming, consider if you really need a close-up sequence of your subject. And if you determine that you do, why not create that sequence separately without a zoom in between? Doing so will get you a much cleaner-looking sequence which is why many film directors seldom, if ever, utilize the zoom.

Too Many Miniature Pans and Tilts to Recompose the Frame

After each zoom the frame wouldn’t be just right, so the videographer would do a quick small pan to the left or right, or a slight tilt up or down, to get a nice composition. All of these little adjustments were visible, distracting, and frustrating.All the camera movement added up to too much visual chaos: panning, tilting, zooming in, zooming out, always behind the action.

Videos Have no Clear Objective

Having a clear objective is an essential part of creating a quality video. One of the most costly mistakes that we see with businesses is not outlining the overall message of the video before shooting it. Reshooting scenes because something was left out can be very expensive. Furthermore, finalized videos must have a clear message and tell viewers what you want them to do. So make sure that you write your script before you even think about trying to shoot it. 

Videos that are Too Long

Don’t take this the wrong way. Videos that are long and engaging are going to convert at a high rate in some cases. The key word there is “engaging.” The problem is that a lot of beginners create long, boring videos that use a monotonous voice to describe the product or service. If a video does not hook an audience within the first few seconds, then you’ll lose viewers. In most cases, you should keep your videos short and engaging so that viewers will stick around for the whole thing. 

Wedding Video – 4 Mistakes to avoid

Weddings are a joyous occasion but, without sounding like a broken record, are stressful to plan. It is also a day you should want to relive. Choosing who will film your wedding video is an important decision to make. While it is our job to provide the magic behind the camera, there are a few things couples can do to make it less stressful.

We have curated a list of mistakes that couples make and how to avoid them.

Not hiring a wedding video agency

There are lots of reasons you may decide to not hire a wedding videographer. One of the biggest regrets couples have however is not having a video of their wedding day. Some couples are afraid that their wedding video will look cheap, but with the equipment we have, they can look as cinematic as any film. Photographers are great but are unable to capture speeches or the first dance in the same fashion as video.

Not finalising your wedding day schedule.

Touching on a previous post we wrote about commitments, dialogue between you and your videographer is essential. If everyone is on the same page it makes the day run so much smoother. If you have special moments that can’t be missed, discuss these with your videographer.

Researching your videographer

Settling for the first wedding videographer you come across can be a costly mistake. You should take time to research at least a few different wedding video producers. This way you’ll build an idea of what you can afford. A good wedding videographer should always be willing to meet for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Having a friend or family film your wedding video.

I’ve seen it time and time again. Couples who have asked a friend or family member to provide a service for their wedding only to be left feeling underwhelmed by the results. Scenarios like these can take a toll on the relationship you have with these people. Avoid these situations and hire a wedding video agency

Termite Control Tips

Termite Control

As spring kicks into high gear, it’s time for all of us to start thinking more about pest control. In particular, we know that many customers are worried about termite control. There are many steps you can take to ensure that your home or commercial property is safe from termites and other wood destroying insects. However, we think they can be broken down into three main categories: prevention, vigilance, and action.

Prevention

The best way to recover from a termite problem is to never have one in the first place.

While sometimes even the most responsible homeowner ends up with termites, there are several steps you can take to keep the termites at bay:

Minimize wood-to-soil contact. This means not storing firewood or other wood debris close to your home, not affixing wooden trellises for plants directly to your walls, etc.

Keep your home as dry as possible. Fix leaky faucets, leaky roofs, and other problems that might lead to moisture where you don’t want it to be.

Install vapor barriers and automatic ventilators to keep the places of your home you can’t see dry and inhospitable to termites.

Contact us for a termite prevention plan. We can work on both existing structures and new construction projects.

Constant Vigilance

Even if you’ve taken preventive measures, it’s important to keep an eye out for possible termites or termite damage

While it can be hard to catch termites early, it’s certainly not impossible. Here is what you should watch out for:

Wood damage: The easiest way to tell if you have termites is to see if they have already damaged your wood. Test wooden surfaces like windowsills by gently tapping them with the handle of a screwdriver or other lightweight tool. If the wood sounds hollow, you could have termite damage.

Mud tubes: Termites use tubes made of wood and soil to protect themselves. Look for these tubes (about the size of a straw) around your baseboards, pipes, chimney, etc.

Dead insects: You may not be able to tell the difference between a dead termite and a dead ant or other insect. However, seeing large numbers of dead insects is never a good sign.

Best pest control company

The right company should have reliable, professional technicians:

Pest technicians are the core of a pest control company. They perform any treatment that occurs in and around your home. Pest control operators understand this, so if a company’s technicians seem unprofessional, sloppy, or rude, odds are the rest of the company is not being held to a high standard. Beyond this, remember that these technicians would be treating your home with chemicals, so you will want to choose someone who is correctly trained.

The right company should have good reviews:

Pest control is a service industry, and most of a pest company’s revenue comes from long-term customers. Because of this, a good company that cares about its public image and strives to keep customers satisfied. When considering a pest control company, ask your friends and neighbors who they use for their service

You can also check online for Google Reviews and testimonials about the company. These will give you a good idea of how a typical customer feels about the service. Since Google reviews can be left by anyone, you will also get a better idea of how the company treats customers across its entire service range.`

The right company should have certification and documentation:

For a pest control company to operate legally, most states require some form of training and certification. Unfortunately, some less honest companies will choose to operate illegally without any licensing, and thus their training and treatment methods are not audited in any way. Homeowners should we wary of companies that are hesitant to show proper certification.

The right company should have correct service procedures:

There is a lot more to pest control than just spraying chemicals. A technician should be a pest expert with extensive knowledge about the treatment products and procedures that he employs. While a technician cannot be expected to know the answer to all of your questions, they should be friendly and willing to find out for you.

How To Choose Termite Exterminator

An investment as precious as your home is one that you certainly want to protect. You may or may not be aware of the costly damages that termite infestations can cause. Each year there is an estimated $5 billion in property damages from termites alone.

Look for a long-standing reputation – See how long they have been in business. Generally, a longer standing reputation is an indication of a pest control company who likes to build long-term relationships with local home and business owners.

Find values that align with you – Read about the company and learn their story. You want a company that is passionate about what they do. It’s also nice if they are locals, this means they have a good grasp of the pest threats in the area.

Choosing a Pest Management Company to Protect Your Home Against Termites

Termites are severe wood-destroying insect pests present in all Oklahoma counties. They cause hundreds-of-millions of dollars of damage annually to wooden structures and homes across the United States. Termite pressure (risk) may range from very heavy in southeastern counties to moderate-to-heavy in the rest of the state

Termites are soft-bodied, measuring approximately one-quarter-inch to one-half-inch long, creamy colored pale insects that consist of several different forms (castes). The different castes in a termite colony consist of the founding king and queen (primary reproductives that start a new colony), the wood-destroying form – workers, soldiers that defend the colony, and young, winged kings and queens (Figures 2 and 3). The winged forms (alates or swarmers; kings and queens) have two pair of wings that are nearly equal in length. When termites are swarming, this easily visible form is what homeowners call pest management professionals about. The wood-damaging workers are not usually visible unless their mud tubes or tunnels are broken open to expose crawling termites.

With termites, the thorax and abdomen are broadly connected, both about the same width, with a wide waist. That is, there is no narrowing or constricted waistline between these two body regions like that seen with ants. Bodies of termites are oval-tubular, not flattened. Figure 2 illustrates two castes, a worker and a soldier, showing body characteristics that are useful for identification. Figure 3 shows a top and side view of a winged termite swarmer (new reproductive).

Generally, subterranean termites must maintain contact with soil to survive. However, there are occasions where native subterranean termites can live above ground in structures and be completely cut off from soil contact, although this is not common. The probability that termites will attack a wooden structure within a few years after construction is high in Oklahoma. Termite attack could even begin within a year after construction because termites are everywhere in Oklahoma soils. Proper treatment of the soil with a liquid termiticide (insecticide formulated for termite control) before construction (pre-construction application) significantly reduces the threat from subterranean termites. If you know or suspect that your home is infested with termites, it is recommended the building owner retain the services of a professional pest control company. Termite management and termiticide applications require expensive specialized equipment, professional knowledge, and experience and training. This fact sheet reviews decision-making steps that will help you select a pest control company.

Do not become overly alarmed.

There is no need to become unduly alarmed if you learn that your home has a termite infestation. Termites work slowly so your house will not be quickly destroyed or collapse overnight. The termites have been present for several months or perhaps a few years, so taking a few days to determine your best termite management options is acceptable.

Tips for Choosing a Pest Control Company

When you have a pest problem, you want to know that you are going to get the professional service that you need. You expect the best, and you need it taken care of as quickly and efficiently as possible.

There are so many pest control companies to choose from, how do you pick the best one?

How long has the firm been in business? Longevity and experience are two keys to providing superior pest service.

Find out if they have experience with your type of pest problem. Sometimes, pest control companies specialize, but you will want one with expertise with your specific pest problem.

Get references. There really is no substitute for this, so go with one that comes with referrals from your friends or relatives that have used the company.

Find out if they are trained and licensed and if ongoing education of their field personnel is important to them.

Look to see if there are any guarantees. If they are dealing with termites, you also want to know if they have liability insurance just in case your termite problem is not resolved.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints against the company. Your state will also have a similar list.

Get at least 2 or 3 estimates before you buy, then compare services offered and price before you choose one.

Find out how long the service is good for. There will be a contract, and it will state how many months they will service your home or business.

Ensure that the company you hire follows Integrated Pest Management protocols. Learn what chemicals they use and how they are distributed in your home or business. In most cases, you want to go for limited amounts and limited distribution. Note that warmer climates may require a wider usage.

Understand how often treatments are repeated and how many treatments are covered in the contract.

For termite contracts, find out if the damaged wood will be replaced, and when re-inspections will be performed. Also learn about where treatment stations will be placed and the types of chemicals used, ask for a copy of the labels.

Find out what the company will do in the way of prevention, how long it will take, and how often they need to return for inspections, cleanup, etc

Depending on the particular pest, your service professional should always perform the services as covered in the Agreement. Do not expect anything to be done for you if it is not in print. Make sure that you understand all aspects of the Agreement, too, before you sign anything. Ask questions if you need to

Plastic Surgery Preparation

The Smart Guide To Choosing A Plastic Surgeon

For anyone considering cosmetic surgery, it can be an exciting but also intimidating time. How do you choose a surgeon that will meet all your expectations?

There are several key factors to consider when choosing a surgeon. This article will detail what to look for specifically. Having a good plastic surgeon can make all the difference

The show centers on surgery-gone-wrong. Some of the botched jobs can be nightmarish. There are uniboobs from out-of-proportion implants, and many individuals who have had too many bad procedures (even individuals who have tried to make themselves into living-dolls).

Through the show, it’s up to the surgeon to fix these botched jobs and give these individuals quality work that will save their appearance. The end results are always rewarding to watch, but honestly, no one wants to be featured on Botched. Everyone wants their first-time surgery to go smoothly and result in a beautiful improvement.

Make sure the surgeon is board-certified

For plastic surgery, you want a doctor who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It’s simple: The American Board of Medical Specialties’ website will tell you if a doctor is board-certified in plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery

When you hear of plastic surgery, what do you think of? A Hollywood star trying to delay the effects of aging? People who want to change the size of their stomachs, breasts, or other body parts because they see it done so easily on TV?

Those are common images of plastic surgery, but what about the 4-year-old boy who has his chin rebuilt after a dog bit him? Or the young woman who has the birthmark on her forehead lightened with a laser?

What Is Plastic Surgery?

Just because the name includes the word “plastic” doesn’t mean patients who have this surgery end up with a face full of fake stuff. The name isn’t taken from the synthetic substance but from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold (and which gives the material plastic its name as well).

Plastic surgery is a special type of surgery that can change a person’s appearance and ability to function.

Reconstructive procedures correct defects on the face or body. These include physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from dog bites or burns, or the aftermath of disease treatments like rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer.

Cosmetic (also called aesthetic) procedures alter a part of the body that the person is not satisfied with. Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction). Some cosmetic procedures aren’t even surgical in the way that most people think of surgery — that is, cutting and stitching. For example, the use of special lasers to remove unwanted hair and sanding skin to improve severe scarring are two such treatments.

Why Do Teens Get Plastic Surgery?

Most teens don’t, of course. But some do. Interestingly, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports a difference in the reasons teens give for having plastic surgery and the reasons adults do: Teens view plastic surgery as a way to fit in and look acceptable to friends and peers. Adults, on the other hand, frequently see plastic surgery as a way to stand out from the crowd.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROCEDURE

Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

Here you will find a list of common and popular cosmetic procedures, both invasive and non-invasive. Learn the basics about each procedure, who ideal candidates are, intended results, recovery details, and alternative options.

Body Procedures

Upper Body Lift – Lower Body Lift – Back Lift – Belt Lipectomy

When a person loses a significant amount of weight, through gastric bypass, lap band surgery, post-pregnancy, or diet and exercise, they can be left with an abundance of excess skin that cannot possibly conform to the new contours of their body. The lose skin makes it difficult to feel confident, fit into clothing, and or it may get in the way of maintaining personal hygiene and cause rashes and skin infections.

Arm Lift – Upper Arm Lift – Brachioplasty

An Arm Lift, or brachioplasty, reshapes drooping, sagging skin and fat deposits underneath the arm from the underarm to the elbow. While diet and exercise can help to improve body contours, they cannot reshape sagging skin. An upper arm lift may be combined with liposuction to create a sculpted upper arm that complements the rest of your figure.

Autologous fat transfer – Gluteal augmentation surgery – Buttock augmentation with fat grafting

It has become increasingly popular to have fuller, rounded buttocks. This look is achieved by the Brazilian Butt Lift, which uses excess fat, harvested from other parts of the body, to reshape the contour of the buttocks

How to Choose a Surgeon

In the process of selecting a plastic surgeon, you may choose to have multiple consultations or receive referrals from friends and family. If you have located a surgeon using Smart Beauty Guide’s Select a Surgeon search tool, then you have already started the process of finding a qualified plastic surgeon. If you get a referral from a friend or doctor, be sure to find out if they have the right qualifications before the consultation.

Board Certification

A doctor’s board-certification is the best indicator of his or her training in a particular medical or surgical specialty. In the USA, look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery. In Canada, look for certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCSC). International plastic surgeons should be board certified in their country of origin and a member of ISAPS and IPRAS.

ASAPS Membership

ASAPS membership ensures that in addition to certification by the ABPS or RCSC, a doctor also has significant experience in cosmetic surgery. ASAPS membership is by invitation only. Plastic surgeons who are not citizens of the United States or Canada who meet the high professional and ethical standards required for ASAPS membership may become ASAPS international active members. To ensure that your doctor is a member of ASAPS, search for them with our Select a Surgeon tool.

Experience

Experienced aesthetic plastic surgeons generally perform a wide range of cosmetic surgeries on a regular basis. Patients should ask about the surgeon’s experience with the particular procedure being considered. If considering a “new” technique or technology, patients should inquire whether results that substantiate safety and effectiveness have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Facility Accreditation

Cosmetic surgery can safely be performed in a hospital, a surgicenter or an office-based surgical facility: Current published data show that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. However, the majority of office-based surgical facilities are not accredited. Another advantage of selecting an ASAPS member is that all ASAPS surgeons operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.

Smart woman’s guide to choosing the right surgeon

It seems like there has been a tsunami of media recently highlighting the dangers of making a bad choice when it comes to cosmetic surgery or other aesthetic procedures.

Ask your GP, local nurse or other medical professional

Many of our patients come with a referral from a doctor or medical professional. Those professionals have generally seen many results and want to avoid some of the issues associated with unqualified surgeons. In many cases, nurses also come to us as patients or refer their friends because they also see a range of results. But even GPs get it wrong, so refer to the next point to make certain some is a genuine Plastic Surgeon.

Choose a REAL Plastic Surgeon – unfortunately anyone with a basic medical degree can call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’. The government has promised to regulate this, but hasn’t yet which leads many women to believe those doctors have special training in in surgery, when the vast majority have not.

Then really research that Plastic Surgeon. Here are some things to think about:

Being able to see many proper before and after photos (not just selfies in underwear) says a lot about the skill of the surgeon and the satisfaction levels of their patients. So make sure you see lots of results on patients with similar body types to your own with results that match your goals.

Ask how many of that procedure they have performed. Obviously we specialise only in breast and body surgery, so we have performed thousands of those operations. Other surgeons may do a little bit of everything but we think being a specialist in just a few operations is better for mastery.

See if you like the vibe of their clinic, their team and the connection with the Surgeon themselves. If the fit doesn’t feel natural, then it is best to look elsewhere because surgery is a journey and you want to feel comfortable with the crew you are on that journey with.

Remember that cost is definitely a factor, but so to is your safety and the quality of the outcome. As we say, “we don’t do $6,000 breast augmentations, we fix $6,000 breast augmentations.”

Hiring A Party Bus For Kids Birthday Parties

Tips for Choosing Luxury Tour Bus Rental Services

If you’re planning a relaxing trip, tour, or business travel for a large group, trying to find the right transportation can be a challenge. You can experience a wide variety of hurdles if you don’t look in the right place–namely, you can find your group clamoring to have all of their many needs met. Before you travel, find a luxury shuttle service that can transport your group in a relaxing, comfortable, and air conditioned environment full of amenities to satisfy your travelers.

Can I see your insurance certificates? If a luxury charter bus rental service is legitimate, they’ll have the marks of a professional company, which includes liability coverage for their buses and drivers. This prevents you from having to pay in the event of driver injury, an accident, etc.

Has your motorcoach been inspected recently? Any rental company should be willing to answer this question. Their buses should have all been serviced within the past year. This prevents a bus breakdown from interrupting your travels.

Do your drivers have valid commercial driver’s licenses? A commercial license, unlike a regular citizen’s license, requires further education and expertise.

Will additional drivers accompany us? This is in case of long-distance travel. Drivers shouldn’t operate a charter bus for more than 10 hours a day. Any more would exhaust them to the point that you and your fellow travelers will be in danger. Keep in mind that this driving time not only includes one-way travel to a destination, but also tours and other travel miles accrued within the destination.

How To Choose A Good Party Bus Rental

Planning to go to an event during the night is a common thing to most young adults. This is because night parties tend to be very exciting compared to the ones held during the day. When you are planning to go out at night, you should look for transportation that will take you to all the places you need to go. This may not be possible with public transportation

Every event should be planned for in advance for it to be successful. Thus, you should make sure that you have found the right coach early. Do not think that you will be the only one renting the buses. So many people like going to parties at night.

Do not hire the vehicle without knowing the number of people you will be traveling with. This is important because it will dictate the size of the coach that you will hire. If you fail to consider the size of your group, you may end up picking a small or large vehicle. This can be very inconveniencing because you will have to go back to the drawing board.

Make sure you are sure of the places you want to visit and the stops you wish to make on the way. So many people fail on this because they do not think it is important. Also, the driver has to know the stops you wish to make in advance so that he can drive directly to them. This will save a lot of time and resources for everyone.

Typically, night trips tend to be so exciting but are costlier than the day trips. Thus, if you wish to go attend a concert during the night, be ready to pay some extra fees. Therefore, if you plan to travel during the night, make sure that you have enough money to pay for the coach.

LIMO BUS OR PARTY BUS

The type of vehicle you rent depends on what you’re hiring it for.  Headed to prom and then to a house party?  Depending on the size of your group, a limo bus might be just the ticket.  Larger parties with more distant destinations may prefer the comfort and luxury of a party bus

Horse of a different color.

The limo bus and the party bus are two entirely different vehicles.  For one, a limo bus may be a place to have fun on the way to your event or party, but it’s not specifically designed for that purpose.  While it provides you with comfort and luxurious styling, it’s not set up to accommodate as many people as a party bus can.

The seating in limo buses faces forward, which isn’t all that conducive to group interactions.  The party bus, on the other hand, features perimeter seat which allows guests to face an open space in the middle of the interior.

Some people call that a dance floor! Indeed, when you’re deciding between a limo bus and a party bus, much depends on what you expect from the experience and what your itinerary looks like, as well as the size of your group.  Keep in mind that the party bus is a horse of a different color, featuring the kind of premium amenities party people love, to get the festivities started.

Enjoy the 50” flat screen television, or groove to your favorite jams on our state-of-the-art sound system.  Enjoy the mini-bar, stocked with ice and water, while you and your posse kick back in elegantly-detailed, Blue Streak splendor.

HOW TO CHOOSE A PARTY BUS FOR YOUR HEN NIGHT

Maybe you are a first-time bridesmaid. Maybe you are getting married and want to have an unforgettable last night as a single person. When it comes to a hen night, you have figured the games, the drinking, maybe even the strip club. But, did you think of transportation? You totally did because you are reading this, but still. When it comes to a hen party, most people think of a limo. However, a Party Bus is just as good of an option but there are a lot of things you need to consider before deciding.

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A LIMO AND A PARTY BUS

•See how big of a crowd you are – A limo obviously holds fewer people than a bus. If the bride aimed to have a full-on high school reunion, go for the bus.

•The music – They can both get your playlist sounding and blasting. But, on a bus, you can totally stand and dance to it.

•The mood of the party – if you are going more for a classy feeling, the limo might be a good option. It feels luxurious after all. The bus can help you with an all-out kind of night.

To pick a size, you need to consider the following:

•How many guests – Well, duh. Chances are the bus company will help you out on this one. They’ll either provide charts or how many seats every bus has, etc…

•Consider the clothes and things you carry – To a hen party, chances are you are not very formally dressed. However, maybe you are carrying a lot of stuff or wearing dresses, or the bride is in a costume. These are all things you want to consider because people should be comfortable. Usually, take it like this, if there are 15 people going, pick the 20-seat bus, and so.

•Party on-wheels – If you are renting a bus, you probably want some on-wheels dancing and drinking involved. Make sure the bus you are renting has enough space for the people to dance, mingle, and avoid accidents. Especially food/drinks related accidents. Let everyone enjoy themselves!

•Hello stranger – This happens, especially on a hen party. Everyone is a little drunk, celebrating, inevitably you get a gate crasher. So, consider there might be some extra people and you don’t want them all stacked.

•The plus 3 rule – After you took all the previous considerations, add 3 to your final number. It will act as a cushion and will let you all breathe a little.

You need to check 4 things when you are picking your bus

•The size – As mentioned above, follow all the steps and you should have no problem. A bus is usually able to carry between 14 and 35 people.

•The price – Every company has its own price policy. Some rent by the hour and some have flat rate prices. Check if there are fuel additional charges or anything similar. Before picking a bus, ask about this so you don’t ruin the end of your night with surprise payments.

•The electronics – Once you have seen the bus you like, go inside and check EVERYTHING. Every light, every electronic device, every seat, the stereo, even the floors if you wish. If the bus is not perfect, then report it. If you don’t report them, you might be charged for them, also, you might be able to negotiate a better price once they are considered.

•The license – Make sure the company has a license and an insurance company. In case of an accident, the company should be able to answer it. Insist on checking both and make sure they are legit.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

•Decide if you are moving around – many bus companies don’t let you hit a lot of spots in one night. Some ask for a map before the night begins. Some don’t care and will take you wherever you want. But you need to know if you are only going to one place or too many.

•If you are moving around, make an itinerary – Make hours, pick-ups, stops, everything on schedule. You’ll probably not follow it at face value but it’ll help the bus company have an idea.

Essential Prom Party Bus & Limo Rental Tips

Check for Insurance & Permits. All of our drivers goes through rigorous safety courses and require a Class B driver’s license to operate our party buses and limousines. However, don’t assume other companies do this! Ask to see proof of insurance as well as permits.

Request Booking Confirmation. Any professional party bus or limousine company should supply whoever ordered the limo with a confirmation notice that lists booking date/s, cost, type of party bus or limo, pick-up and drop-off locations and other crucial information.

Understand the Cancellation Policy. We understand that plans change at the last minute, so it’s best to be up front from the beginning and ask your limo rental company what their cancellation policy is. Ask about cancellation fees and how much notice you need to give the company in order to get a full refund

Ask About the Food Situation. We works hard to keep our party buses and limousines clean, so it’s always a good idea to ask whether or not the company allows you to bring your own food and beverages on board.

Who Can Be DJ? All of our luxury limousines and party buses are equipped with luxury amenities including surround sound throughout. Our drivers can certainly provide you and your group with music, but why not take advantage of the iPod connectors we have?

Commercial Vinyl Flooring Can Be Used For Homes Too

Choosing the Best Vinyl Flooring for Families with Children

With kids come messes. It’s an unavoidable fact of life. They track in dirt, they spill juice, they drop food. It’s amazing that such tiny, adorable, innocent beings can leave such disaster in their wake. When choosing flooring for a home with children, you need a product that can keep up with daily—if not hourly—soiling and cleaning while still managing to look good. Vinyl flooring offers a practical, affordable and even stylish solution.

Easy to clean. First and foremost for families with children, flooring must be easy to clean, and quality vinyl is one of the best performing categories of flooring when it comes to cleanability. Most dirt, grime and food wipes off easily, and bigger messes clean thoroughly with just soap and water

Water resistant. Since children are prone to spills, you also need flooring to stand up to liquid. All vinyl flooring is water resistant. And some vinyl flooring is even 100% waterproof, trapping liquid on the surface to protect your subfloor from damage and mildew

Comfortable underfoot. Many flooring options are hard and unforgiving. Vinyl flooring is resilient, meaning it absorbs impact. Not only will it ease your children’s falls, it will also provide comfort underfoot in areas like the kitchen where you stand for long periods of time.

Sound dampening. Not only are children messy, but let’s face it, they can also be incredibly loud. The harder your floors, the more sound will reverberate through the house, amplifying all your children’s squeals, shrieks and general noises. There is no magic mute button for your children, but vinyl flooring absorbs sound, making their outbursts a little less deafening. The addition of a quality underlayment will enhance the sound dampening attributes of your floor as well

VINYL FLOORING

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), the fastest growing category in flooring, is possibly the most eco-friendly flooring in the world. It can be endlessly recycled. It has no heavy metals, no solvent based inks, no formaldehydes, and no PCP and components considered carcinogenic in it at all. It’s fire resistant and doesn’t release toxic gases. And importantly, it looks good.

Vinyl flooring and vinyl tiles are trendy, easy to maintain and perfect for nearly every room in your home. Interior designers have worked to provide ranges with some of the best colours and flooring designs in the world. Stone, slate, wood, and tile; vinyl tiles come in all of these clean and modern looks. If your home has real wood floors in some areas and you want to continue the theme throughout, then vinyl in a wood finish is a good option for the wet or high traffic areas where real wood would stain easily and possibly warp

The reason most people go for carpet is that it’s got warmth, comfort and it’s quiet. It makes your toes feel nice. You want all that – but you don’t want carpet. Thankfully today’s sophisticated vinyl floors can give you all the warmth, comfort and quiet you require. The soft, absorbent backing reduces noise and provides insulation against the cold. And it’s easy to maintain

Tips to help you choose the right luxury vinyl floors

The fastest growing segment in hard surface flooring is luxury vinyl tile. LVT comes in a multitude of options which is giving it its popularity. You can customize color, pattern, design and so much more with ease of installation and maintenance

Consider its purpose

You need to know about the product’s wear layer. If you are choosing a floor for a high traffic area, you’ll need a thicker wear layer to protect the image layer underneath.

Know what the core is made of

Recycled floors are environmentally friendly; many LVT floors are made from raw, pure materials such as virgin PVC. It reduces the possibility of shrinking which makes it more durable. It also stops the risk of recycling toxic or harmful chemicals into LVT that is found most present in post-consumer material. Virgin PVC produces a constant, quality product that is durable and is equipped with a durable core.

Consider the environmental impact

The nature of high-performance luxury vinyl does not provide itself to using recycled material. You can still choose to purchase your products from suppliers, manufacturers, and companies that meet industry standards for sustainability and environmental stewardship. 

Vinyl flooring & luxury vinyl tiles

Brighten up your home with Quick-Step Vinyl flooring’s natural looks and characteristic warmth. Quick-Step Vinyl is perfectly compatible with underfloor heating. Choose from a wide range of vinyl floors suitable for all needs and circumstances. All are equipped with a protective top layer that ensures your floor will keep its good looks for years to come.

Quick-Step luxury vinyl flooring are more than just beautiful and comfortable floors: they’re the result of decades of research and expertise-building to create flooring that stands the test of time. Discover how we ensure that your vinyl floor can take the hustle and bustle of daily life – day in and day out, for years to come.

A pleasure to walk on

Treading on a Quick-Step vinyl floor is a pleasant experience in every way: their natural designs catch the eye, they feel soft and warm, and their acoustic performance gets rid of any unwanted noise from heels, boots, trainers or paws.

Irregular subfloor?

Working on an irregular subfloor? (i.e. with an old tile floor with grouts of 5mm width and 2mm deep) Then, Quick-Step Rigid vinyl is your floor of choice. On top of that, it’s easy to install and extremely silent.

evelled subfloor?

If your subfloor is smooth or if you will level it, our Glue+ vinyl floors are the way to go. Suitable for all areas, including sunrooms. You can even install them on walls.

VINYL CLICK FLOORING OR LAMINATE FLOORING : WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?

Laminate flooring or vinyl click flooring? At first glance, these two floors, the first consisting mainly of a HDF panel combined with a decorative sheet, the other vinyl, seem relatively similar. In particular, they share the click installation system (floating installation) which allows them to be laid easily and quickly. We compare the two flooring options in 5 points. Which is the most suitable for your application?

The performance of both flooring solutions are measured different. Vinyl flooring is usually coated with a protective layer called the wear layer which varies in thickness depending on the intended area of use, which thus ensure an increased resistance to wear, scratches and abrasions. Laminate flooring is also protected by several finishes, but its strength will be determined by its AC classification (Criteria of Resistance to Abrasion) ranging from 1 (very low) to 6 (very intense).

Laminate is the most sensitive to shocks and scratches and thus has a shorter life span than vinyl flooring; unless you choose a laminate flooring of excellent quality, this flooring is preferred for applications with lighter use. Both laminate and LVT flooring nevertheless highlight models suitable for residential as well as commercial applications, whilst luxury vinyl flooring is also suitable for industrial uses too.

For conservatories, it is strongly discouraged to install laminate floor as it is much more likely to be deformed from the high temperature fluctuations. In conservatories, glue down vinyl flooring is the better option, but the most superior choice would be rigid vinyl flooring, because of its superior rigid core, it is particularly resistant to temperature changes.

Due to its vinyl composition, luxury vinyl flooring is impervious and therefore perfectly adapted to a bathroom or kitchen installation. This is not the case for most laminates! Their wood fiber panel does not mix well with moisture: it is therefore strongly discouraged to choose laminate for the renovation of damp rooms, at the risk of your floor swelling and warping.

How To Find The Perfect Personal Injury Lawyer

Things to Look for When You Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Select an Attorney with a Focused Practice

Some lawyers and law firms try to do it all.  It is important to choose an attorney who focuses on certain areas of the law.  You need to find out how much of that attorney’s practice is in the area of personal injury for victims

Select an Attorney with Trial Experience

Many lawyers claim to handle personal injury cases.  Just look at the ads in the yellow pages or on TV.  It is important to choose an attorney that has actual experience taking cases to trial.  Insurance companies know which lawyers will take a case to trial and which lawyers just want to settle a case fast.  Without an experienced trial lawyer on your side, it puts you and your case at a disadvantage

Select an Attorney with a Track Record

Your personal injury case is important to you because it affects you and your family.  Your case is the opportunity for you to get fully compensated for your damages.  It is important to choose an attorney that has a record of accomplishment and can deliver a full and fair trial verdict or settlement.

Select an Attorney with the Necessary Resources

Many personal injury cases require serious investigation and are expensive to prepare.  Your attorney will need to devote not only time to your case but the resources to hire medical experts, accident reconstruction experts or vocational rehabilitation experts, if necessary.  The lawyer should have staff dedicated to your case.  It is important to choose an attorney that has the resources to fully prepare your case.

Select an Attorney that Represents only Accident Victims

Many law firms try to have it both ways.  They have some lawyers that represent accident victims and other lawyers representing insurance companies.  It is important to choose an attorney whose loyalty is easy to read – one that only represents accident victims

The Secrets to Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents can be terrible and frightening. But after the shock subsides, there may be serious repercussions you have to face. Injuries resulting from car accidents are quite common, with millions of people sustaining injuries in accidents every year.

These injuries can be quite damaging to a person’s life. Outside of the pain and suffering, injuries can prevent victims from going to work and can make it difficult for a family to pay their bills.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

It can be frightening to see your future affected so severely in an instant, but that’s what a car accident can do. A personal injury lawyer can help you get back on the track.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident it is essential to have legal aid on your side. An attorney can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for the issues that have resulted from the accident.

Injuries and effects of an accident may take days or even weeks to reveal themselves after an accident. Adrenaline can block pain or problems out for long periods of time. These problems can range from irritating to debilitating. They can prevent you from working and cause serious damage to your family’s financial security.

Reasons to Choose Law Firm

There are many personal injury lawyers in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. Trying to pick the right one can seem overwhelming, particularly when your life has just been turned upside down by a serious accident or other traumatic event.

80 years of experience – on your side.

The personal injury lawyers at the Law Firm have more than eight decades of combined legal experience helping regular people in South Carolina get the justice they deserve from our legal system. Our experience can work to your advantage.

We put clients first.

At the Law Firm, our focus is on you, our client. We are committed to treating each of our clients with courtesy, respect and compassion – regardless of the size of their case. This dedication to client service is spelled out in our Client Bill of Rights.

When life goes wrong, we fight for what’s right.

If you are seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, it is almost certainly because you are facing the aftermath of a traumatic life event. Our role as attorneys is to take away your worries about dealing with the legal issues related to your accident. Let our experienced legal professionals handle your case while you focus on what is most important – your health, your family and your life.

Reasoned advice from seasoned professionals.

Sound advice is one of the most valuable benefits an attorney can provide. In fact, that’s why the term “counselor” is often applied to lawyers. At the Law Firm, our attorneys have accumulated decades of experience in the legal field, giving us the perspective necessary to provide you with the guidance needed to help you make prudent decisions.

How To Pick The Right Lawyer

Whether you are drafting a will or a trust, buying or selling real estate or getting a divorce, it is important to select the best attorney possible. Read on to find out what tips you can use to make sure that you are picking the right lawyer for you. They often have asymmetric information compared to you, as they are experts with a specific skillset.

Where to Look

In addition to the phone book, internet search, and a friend that might recommend a lawyer, there are several other sources for finding a qualified attorney. Some unions offer representation as does the AARP (sometimes at a discount to its members).

Retain an Honest Lawyer

Many attorneys offer an initial consultation free of charge. Take advantage of this. Use the meeting to determine whether the attorney is honest and forthcoming. Instinctively, some people have the ability to determine an individual’s character within a few minutes of interacting with the person; however, there are a few personality traits that can also tip you off.

For example, is the lawyer looking you in the eye when speaking with you, or is he or she looking at the ground? Also, ask what kind of cases have they litigated in the past. If you are looking for a settlement, they should be able to give you award amounts for cases similar to yours.

They Must be Thorough

The initial meeting or conversation with the attorney can also help you to determine whether they are oriented and will be responsive to your needs. Be sure to ask the attorney if it’s OK to call them throughout the case to discuss any concerns you may have. If they balk at the idea, it may indicate that you’ll have trouble relaying your thoughts and obtaining answers to your questions once the case is up and running.

Tips for Selecting the Best Injury Lawyer

After a car accident injury, it’s essential to select the best injury lawyer in Vancouver for your needs.  It is important to select a representative who is knowledgeable, professional, and highly regarded. You should also select someone who puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable.

Identifying the Best Injury Lawyer for You

If the firm/lawyer seems reputable, then it’s time to schedule a consultation. Many will offer free consultations to determine if you’re a good fit. The best personal injury lawyer is someone who inspires trust and confidence. After all, you’ll be entrusting this individual with personal details about your health and finances.

When you’ve narrowed the field and are ready to reach out, preparedness is key. Some important questions to ask include:

What is the firm’s experience with ICBC cases and do they have experience with cases similar to your own?

What are the fees?

Who will pay the disbursements (expenses) to handle the claim, you or the firm?

Does the firm have the resources, manpower, and willingness to spend what is necessary to fully develop the case?