Why You Should Not Be Skimping on Business Printing and Logo Design

You will hear it many times as you begin to work on your start up business “You need to build a brand” and/or “you need a logo” Less often though will someone take the time to explain why you should be investing money into creating such things when money is already tight anyway. Here are a few good reasons why you should be setting aside a portion of your available funds to get some professionally created printed business materials and a great logo. 

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To prove you are serious – Whether you are dealing with potential clients and customers or possible investors you need to show that you are serious about your start up business and that you intend to be around for a long time to come. Handing out homemade business cards and brochures is not a very good way to start. Those kinds of things were OK when you were a 14 year old offering to mow lawns or babysit kids but they just don’t fly in the grown up business world. 

Fishing Logo

To stand out and be memorable – Forty percent of people are more likely to remember what they see rather than what they read or hear. Having a logo that is consistent across all your business efforts (your business cards, your stationary, your Twitter account) helps people build a visual reference to your company that they are far more likely to remember than a page full of wordy copy.

To Look Bigger then you are – You may just be a one or two person concern right now but a good brand image can help you “fake” that you are so much more than that. No one is suggesting that you defraud your customers and contacts by making up employees or telling wild tales, just that a great brand image, together with a well-designed and executed web site and marketing materials can help you keep up with the bigger fish in your niche.

 

Company Logo Designers – How To Find One With A Tight Budget?

A logo is a symbol that represents, distinguishes and promotes a company’s image; it is effective branding vehicles that can help a company stand out from the rest. Think, if there was no Swoosh, where would the Nike be? It has turned into a branding identity from a simple logo, now; you know the power of a business logo. Therefore, you have to think twice before handing over the responsibility of logo to custom logo designers. 

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Internet can be the best and the worst medium for searching and hiring company logo designers, let me tell you why? The best because you can find so many custom logo designers just a click away and worst because you can also end up with an inexperienced and unprofessional company out of so many. 

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Most of the business owners especially working on a small scale generally have a low budget. This is the reason they have to be really wary and careful while looking out for company logo making professionals in the online market because small companies offering their services at low prices are sometimes not very professional and experienced.

But, even with a low budget you can get the best one, the only thing which requires is a common sense and carefulness. You can also deal with this problem by getting some advice on the recommended custom logo designers from your friends and colleagues or have a little search in the market to find out the affordable yet experienced logo making experts or agencies.

The above told two ways work best when it comes to searching for a logo making company, another important thing that you should do is to check the portfolio, if they have provided it on t heir website and if not, then no need to spend one minute more there.

Thus, a logo is considered a vital part of the branding and marketing strategies of a company, therefore; it should be given great importance and time. It should be made in such a way that it exhibits professionalism, experience, creativity and a company’s image which is only possible professional services are hired.

 

 

The Major Health Benefits Of Garcinia Cambogia – It’s Not Just About Weight Loss!

The Garcinia Cambogia fruit resembles a pumpkin but it is much smaller in size. It’s mainly grown in India and in various parts of Asia. The Garcinia Cambogia extract, also called hydroxycitric acid, which is extracted from the rind and fruit, happens to be a common component in various products used for weight loss. This HCA extract is very common since it helps to burn fats as well as suppress our appetite, hence contributing to efficient weight loss. 

Garcinia Cambogia – Maigrissez maintenant !

This fruit is also known by some other names like brindle berry, garcinia, brindall berry, citrin, malabar tamarind, uppagi, gambooge, magosteen oil tree, garcinia kola, and girkapuli. There are several health benefits associated with this herb. Here are the major Garcinia Cambogia health benefits:

Appetite suppressant:

The Garcinia Cambogia herb is known to work efficiently as an appetite suppressant. It helps to accelerate the body’s metabolism rate and works effectively in diets for weight-loss. HCA, Hydroxycitric Acid suppresses one’s appetite and improves burning of fat in our body by reducing the cravings for food. The HCA also activates citrate lyase enzyme which converts carbohydrates to fats, thereby blocking the production of more fats in our body.

Boosts energy:

The Garcinia Cambogia herb can also aid to increase the levels of energy. The herb is known to deflect calorie intake away from the production of fats to glycogen, thereby boosting energy.

Low carbohydrate diets:

Garcinia Cambogia may also aid dieters who wish to follow a diet with reduced carbohydrate content. It functions by hindering one’s craving for carbohydrates. The herb works by causing augmentation of serotonin levels in our brain, which reduces the craving for carbohydrates.

Immune system:

This herb can also assist to boost an individual’s immune system. With the natural components, the fruit can aid to fight flu and colds and also prevent further body infections. With regular intake of HCA supplements, one’s immune system can be greatly enhanced. It protects the body against many infections such as rheumatism, bowel complaints, swelling and colic. It can also help in relieving liver disorders, colds and sore throats.

Ulcers:

Garcinia Cambogia can also improve mucosal defense within our stomach. This herb can also aid with gastric ulcers and help to lower stomach acidity as well as enhancing other gastric juices defensive properties.

Skin:

Another health benefit associated with this herb is its ability to cleanse the skin. Those who use the supplement tend to have a beautiful, good looking and spotless natural skin, since it eliminates toxins from the skin and body that lead to unhealthy skin and rashes.

Hepatoprotective ability:

This implies that the herb can be employed against any external toxins for instance alcohol. Such property is very critical and certain manufacturers use the fruit to manufacture antitoxins and some other important substances. The herb is also strict, hence is used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and even duodenal ulcers. In the past, this exceptional fruit was used in the treatment of stomach ailments and diarrhea.

In Indian Medicine, this herb is used to delay menstruation, edema, intestinal parasites and constipation. It’s also effective on tumors, bronchitis, throat infections, bowel complaints, coughing and dysentery among others.

 

The Church in the Haywire

Most people may find having a church on the internet ridiculous. This is probably because they are used to seeing nothing more than jobs, relationships, education and everything about life survival. But thinking over the fact that the internet has opened its doors to various services, why close it for a holy purpose? Building your church online is not only widening your reach for those who are starving in faith but also establishing a more accessible connection with those who have found their faith congruent with yours. Opting for the best church website design is beyond advertising. It is having all the services of the real church available for your church members to enjoy. 

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Most people nowadays spend their time trying to find more ways to earn given the advent of the global financial crisis. They rarely spend an hour or two attending their church services because they have been tired of week-long work. Having your church online will provide a chance for those who have gone inactive for quite sometime. By clicking on the features set by custom church website designs, your members will be able to utilize church services online. Examples of these useful features include online prayer, online Bible search, blogs, online donations and volunteer forums. Anyone who would wish to become a part of any church undertakings will be welcomed to use these services. This is what you call reaching out maximized to the fullest.  

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With every distinct feature, you open the doors for more enhanced relationship for your church members. Those who have no time to dress up and go to church for updates could visit your website anytime and avail of information they need. The Online Bible Search is a feature that makes verses and messages available for your visitor. No need to browse book pages. By typing the keywords, Bible verses and other passages will be provided online. This is gospel learning made easy for everyone to enjoy.

Addressing the problem of time is what made online donations existing in your site. Your church members might not have enough moment to share in their blessings that online donations are means to fulfill their tithes and offerings the easy way. Online transfer is made conducive by all church web designs. Having your account compatible to online money transfer schemes is a rewarding aspect of the online church.

Regarding communication, online blog is a means for the church leaders including bishops and ministers to share their holy messages for everyone to ponder on. Same is true with online prayers where your parishioners will be able to post their messages to Him. Often times, most people find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings in face-to-face conversations. Blogs and prayers done online will allow everyone to communicate.

The church in the haywire is a breakthrough in technology and religion. As the church finds advantages from the trendiest mode of communication, the internet goes beyond its role as medium of communication. It also serves as an avenue to renew yopur vows to the Lord and perform your roles as children of God.

 

 

Church Marketing Through On-Page Optimization

Are the pages of your website optimized for the search engines? On-page optimization is the essence of search engine optimization and the key to targeting the keywords that can make your website a success. 

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What is On-Page Optimization?
On-page optimization refers to all the optimization done on the actual pages of your website. This includes both visible elements, like optimizing text, and behind-the-scenes work, like optimizing META tags. Search Engine Optimization has essentially three main parts, keyword research, on-page optimization, and track/reporting. (You could also technically include link building). These elements of SEO could also be described as research, implementation, and tracking the results. On-page optimization is the implementation stage of search engine optimization. With on-page optimization, you target specific keywords and help the search engines to rank you well for these keywords. (If you’re not sure what keywords to target, read our article on Keyword Research). 

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On-page optimization can be one of the cheapest and more rewarding forms of church marketing you can do.

On-Page Optimization Elements:
The optimization of a web page involves several different elements of the page. Below I’ll go through these elements and discuss a little about them:

Title Tag: This is one of the most important elements in on-page optimization. The Title tag is an element found in the head of the page. Look for the title and /title tags. What comes between these tags is the Title tag. The Title tag is visible to visitors, but not in the body of the page, rather it is displayed in the top bar of the web browser. The Title tag should be a short description of the page and should contain the keywords you want to target for that page.

Description META Tag: The description tag is not as heavily weighted as the Title tag, but it should still be optimized. It is located in the head of the page, usually just below the title tag. The coding for the description tag is meta name=”description” content=””. The text used between the quotes after content= is the description META tag. The description tag is not seen on the web page, but some search engines do use the description tag in the search listings. The description tag can be longer than the title tag, but should still be relatively short and should contain each of the keywords you are targeting.

Keyword META Tag: The keyword tag is honestly all but ignored by the search engines at this point, but it should still be optimized. Every little bit helps. It is located in the header of the page, usually just below the title tag. The coding for the description tag is meta name=” keywords” content=””. The text used between the quotes after content= is the keyword META tag. The keyword tag is not seen on the web page or anywhere else. Keyword should be separated by a comma and a space, and keywords should not be repeated (i.e. “church, Lutheran church, youth group”). Notice that “church” and “Lutheran church” are considered two different keywords even though they both contain the word “church”.

File Name: It’s never too early to start thinking about SEO. When you are creating the page, consider your keywords when you name the page file (if you have that option). Instead of using a file name like “directions.html”, use a file name like “directions-to-Atlanta-church.html”. If you use more than one word in the file name, it is best to separate the words by hyphens as search engines see hyphens as word breaks.

Alt Tags: Alt tags are attributes that can be added to images. Search engines can’t read pictures, but they do read alt tags. So, alt tags allow you to get some SEO value from those pictures on your site. Generally, the alt tag should describe the picture, but you can usually do that in a way that includes a keyword or two. You can add an alt tag to an images by adding alt=”” in the img tag. If you are using a web builder, their may be an alt option or possibly a description or title option. Alt tags are viewable by visitors. If someone mouse over a picture, a text box will show the alt tag.

On-Page Links: Incoming links are great for helping websites in the search engines, but your internal linking structure (the way each page in your website links to other pages in the site) can help as well (though not as much). Use keywords in the link text. So, instead of “Homepage” use “Grace Baptist Church Homepage” or if you want it shorter, just “Church Home”. In addition to using keywords in the link text, you can also add title attributes. Title attributes are to links what alt tags are to pictures. Just add title=”” in the a tag. Like the alt tag, title attributes are visible to visitors if they mouse over the link.

Tip: If you have graphical link, you can use both an alt and a title tag.

Text: Using keywords in the text on your page is probably the most important element of on-page optimization, though the Title tag is nearly as important. Search engines read the text on a page to determine what the page is about. The key is what’s called keyword density, how many times a word or phrase is used on a page compared to how much text there is. The more times a word or phrase is used, the more important that word or phrase is (except for words like “and” and “the”). The trick with optimizing text is getting the right balance. You want to use keywords multiple times on a page, but not over-do it. It’s difficult to say how many times you should use your keywords, as it will depend on how much text you have on your page, but I’d suggest using the keywords at least three times.

H tags: H tags are used for paragraph headings and titles. There are 6 H tags, H1 through H6 (creative huh?). In HTML these tags include several characteristics, including size, weight (boldness), and a line break. An H1 tag will be very large and bold, while an H6 tag is small. Because these tags are used for headings and titles, the search engines place extra weight on words used in H tags. The weight they give also depends on which H tag is used. H1 is given more weight than H3 and H3 more weight than H4. Be sure to use your keywords in H tags. If you do not like the appearance of the text when it’s placed in an H tag, then you can use CSS or HTML to change the font attributes, though there is some debate as to whether that effects the amount of weight the search engines give the H tag.

Baby Steps
Optimization is a comprised of several small elements that work together to get the result of higher rankings for targeted keywords. Each element adds to the affect. You may find, however, that you cannot or do not want to optimize every element of your page. That can affect the results, but just because you can’t do everything, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything. Every element you optimize is another step towards that #1 ranking.

Make It Natural:
One of the most difficult aspects of on-page optimization is balancing the optimization and the experience of the visitors. You should always design for your visitors. The search engines should always be second. After all, does it matter if you get thousands of visitors if they all leave after 3 seconds because they can’t stand being on your site. So, it’s a balance. Choose keywords wisely so they naturally fit into the topic of the page and then work them into the text in way that is natural to the visitor.

Don’t Leave Your Net in the Boat!
Whether you do it yourself or hire an expert SEO, Optimize Your Website; not just your homepage, all your web pages. Each page is like a fishing net. Not optimizing a page is like leaving that net in your boat instead of using it to catch fish (or visitors). This is something to consider even before you create your website when you are choosing your web host. Many hosts include web builders that either make it very difficult to fully optimize a website or completely impossible. Make sure you choose a web host that allows you to fully optimize your website and then make sure you take the time to optimize. It will be well worth it.

 

 

How to Win at Poker – Online Tournament Strategy

Winning at poker is more than just knowing how to play the game, you must have a solid online tournament strategy plan in order to be successful long term. Adding some good poker tips and advice to your game can help take you to the next level. 

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Online Poker is quite different than live poker, as the cards, the people you play against and the relative action is under the control of a computer-generated code. Therefore, to become a success to play poker online, you must implement online tournament strategy that is different from live poker.

Your Dealer Is A Computer

First and foremost, realize that the cards are being dealt by a computer program and that in large part, the job of this program is to simply induce action for the pokersites. It is in your best interest not to get taken in by the ‘play every hand to suckout mentality’ that so many online players thrive upon.

You should pay attention to your opponents and understand that the majority of players online are weaker than you and likely will attempt amateur moves like bluffing, calling to hit a draw and check raising to get you to fold the best hand.

Considering you are unable to actually see your opponents, what is the best online tournament strategy to counteract their moves? Simple, you can not rely on the body language or actions, however you can rely on the hidden algorithms in the poker software.

Since software and poker algorithms control the entire poker client, it is possible that you are able to spot some of the patterns and anomalies created by the software. Once you have educated yourself on these patterns, you will be able to control more of your table, minimize your losses, and maximize your winning at poker.

The Best Poker Strategy

The best online poker tournament strategy is to learn how the software works and how you can work that software to your advantage. It is a common complaint that online poker is rigged, mainly perpetrated by people who experience bad beats. However, the reality is that poker sites online use algorithms to induce action and move games along to encourage their own agenda of making money.

If you truly want to win at poker, you should take a different approach towards the online game as opposed to a live poker game. The software is in charge of the games online, and in order for you to become successful, you need to learn specific online tournament strategy.

 

Where and How to Play Poker Online for Free

If you want to play poker but cannot go out of your house, or you are at your office, now there is an easy way to play the game. All you need is a connection through the internet and you are on the go! 

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There are lots of websites in the internet that you can play poker for free. Even social networking sites offer the game for free but of course the competition is still there even if it is a virtual game. But you need to be careful, you need to know the top poker sites on the web if you want to play the game. 

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If you have already chosen your poker site, you need to choose which tournament you would want to join. You can choose from Ring Games, Texas Hold ém, Omaha Varieties, 7 Card Stud or 5 Card Draw; which you will be able to find in lots of poker sites! It is implied that you need to be exact in your search so you do not find yourself going through every web page of no use information.

Thefreepokerroom.com is an exceptional internet resource for someone looking for good online poker world. Through this site, you would be able to find a list of other poker sites that you can join in for free. You will also see the full details of each site on its site ratings and reviews on how they work. This site also suggests direct links to top online poker sites with extra offers. You can also check out NoPayPOKER.com for free online poker games.

All top poker sites are great to play at because they all give you good games, great gambling opportunities and a lot of action. But not all the sites are the same, you need to search on your own whichever you think will be appropriate for you. Initially, when you enter a poker site for free, lounge out there for a while and do not join the game yet. You have to get accustomed on how the game works and how the players act together.

That is how poker is accomplished and from time to time even the best cards will be declared powerless by certain situations, so keep this information in mind and when you get good cards that turn bad just agree to take it as part of the game and intend to lose as little as possible.

As long as you are playing hard on good poker then luck will come out on you in the longer term.

The best way to better understand poker online is in worthy but low stake games, learning by your errors is the way of things in poker. Small stakes and no pay poker games are the way to go for beginners, so be sure to read up on free poker lessons too for you to learn about things like pot odds and playable pockets. You also need to have a clear understanding regarding risk vs. Reward for strategies.

 

Home Based Business Ideas For Moms – 4 Important Reasons Why Moms Should Consider a Career at Home

For the time being, most women do not feel secure in their chosen career. This article provides some reasons why women should consider making money at home as a career. 

home based business ideas for moms

Another important reason why women should consider making money at home as a career is that they don’t have the time to devote to their current career and can use the extra income from home. A woman’s lifestyle and requirements will vary according to the position she chooses.

The best way to choose a lucrative home business is to look at the types of jobs that are currently being performed by people who you might consider working with. These types of positions would include home-based professionals, freelancers, and even the mommy business.

Having a website is the least expensive method for a person to establish a career because there is no need for high-cost equipment, no high-cost software, and the least amount of internet resources. Web designing, graphic design, web hosting, and affiliate marketing are just a few of the things a person with a website can do.

If a person has children or they are adults, or if a person wants to continue working after they have their own business, it is easier to start a home business than a regular job. Not only will there be less paperwork to keep track of, but the business owner will also not have to drive to work.

Being the business owner-operator is what makes the difference between a successful home-based business and a failed business. In the former case, the business owner has to be responsible for keeping everything running smoothly and properly, but on the other hand, a home business doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance.

Even if a business owner does have enough time to devote to the upkeep of his or her home business, he or she can still conduct the business without doing much if any maintenance. There is no need to take care of the details such as advertising or selling products.

The business owner also doesn’t have to exert effort to get the word out about his or her business. An owner of a home-based business can find many opportunities for advertising and promotion on the internet.

A family-based home based business can allow people with children to balance both their careers and the needs of their families. For those moms who have their children in daycare, there is no need to work and take care of two jobs.

Those parents who have busy careers can often find ways to spend more time with their children without having to sacrifice their careers. With their children in daycare, moms can have some free time for themselves while at the same time spending time with their children.

Money can be an issue for many mothers. When there is not enough money to go around, moms must try to juggle their careers and their families.

When a woman looks for home based business ideas for moms, she should focus on the fact that she doesn’t have to leave her family to make a good living. A home business allows women to earn a decent income while still keeping up with their families.

Role of Business Brokers in Selling Your Business

There is a role for a business broker in selling your business. Basically they will make it happen quicker and often at a better price than you could have received on your own. 

Singapore Business Broker

There are many reasons to use a business broker when selling your business. The most basic reason is they are in the business of selling businesses. They will market your business and help to get prospective buyers to look at your deal. They will help in setting an asking price based on their knowledge and experience. If they have gone through the certification program their price would be considered expert testimony and therefore is given a great deal of creditability. Keeping the owner from underselling their business or over pricing their company is part of their legitimate function to their client. Since they know how to find buyers who are qualified and ready to deal on a business of their liking, they can help to cut down the time a business has to be on the market. Consistently a business broker will move a business quicker and usually at a very fair price.

What does a business broker do

They can help the seller get the information needed by the buyer to make a decision on buying the business. This role is critical as nothing happens until a price is established and the business facts are known. Presenting the facts in a professional form is another common service that a business broker will give a client. This service can be the difference between a seller making a deal and the deal going south. Professional presentation of pertinent facts about a business is necessary in order to attract potential buyers. It is this factual information that helps buyers make intelligent decisions about such a purchase. Since the business broker does this type of work year round, the information is shown in its most positive form. Practice does make perfect in this case.

The business broker is also the go-between for passage of information between the buyer and the seller. This enables better communication and cooperation between the buyer and the seller. The role of a disinterested third party is effective in letting the business broker move the dealing along on the sale of the business. The business broker must treat both sides fairly as his next clients are given existing clients as references for his work. It is imperative that the fairness issue is communicated to the next client. Since all aspects of the sale pass through the broker, this neutrality is important and also the advice given to both sides of the deal.

Marketing the business

Without a broker, the seller would have to market the property and would not have access to a pool of potential buyers. The buyer would not have access to the pool of sellers the broker has available. This need by both parties is the reason that most businesses are sold with the help of a business broker. Their expertise in helping to set the selling price cannot be overstated. A busy broker over time helps to sell many types of businesses and this real time experience is invaluable to the process coming to completion. A competent broker will also know the legal requirements for many types of businesses that the brokers in a geographical area. This prevents problems that can be prevented from taking place and decisions being made without all of the facts.

If he is not a certified broker as to setting a selling price, he will have referrals to brokers or CPAs that do have this credential. The advantage to the seller is the business will be set at a selling price that can be logically defended when questioned about how the price was set. It is not just a price that the seller picked from thin air of a wish list price.

Broker assisted negotiation

Since the broker will usually know what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept, the broker can lead both sides to a price that is somewhere in the area that both are willing to live with. Without this outside force, either party may never approach this price.

A broker has another ability to deliver that makes their service worth the cost. Maybe the business is a one of a kind business and not one that comes to market every day. Businesses like this are hard to evaluate as to their market value and even more importantly there may be a need to come up with a unique marketing plan to sell the business. A good brokerage firm can do both and solve the problem with a greater chance of success than the owners of the business could do by themselves. They have access to a network of brokers who handle all types of businesses that are for sale.

The business may be unique in the geographic area it is located in, but there could well be one in another part of the country that was successfully marketed by a broker in that area. Use of the network is exclusive to the broker community and private individuals will not have access to the information that can be obtained from the network. Information is power, and this kind of help may be the only way the business could be successfully marketed. How other brokers sold a similar business can lead the broker in question to come up with a plan that has a good chance to work. This service to the seller is priceless and could make the difference between no-sale and sold. The seller could have wasted a great deal of time and money on an approach that would not work. Ferreting out potential buyers is the name of the game. The wrong approach could easily come up empty. All of this is sufficient reason to employ and expert when selling a business.

Conclusions

The fact that they will actively market your business is plus. The current owner does not have the time or knowledge to find buyers and set a fair price. They will usually set their price too high or too low. If they have a hard time coming up with any buyers, this can bring on frustration and an unneeded reduction of the selling price. It the wrong buyers are seeing the ad for your business, then only a bargain will attract their attention. A buyer who understood your business would readily see the value in a fairly priced offer. This is tricky and the result can be dramatically influenced by hiring a pro to help with the sale.

Another reason for the use of a pro is they can talk the language of professional people the buyers bring into the sale negotiation. If the terms that they communicate in are not understood, the buyer’s advisors will not be impressed and may kill the sale. Hiring the professional business broker can prevent lack of intelligent conversation. He will know the terms and their meanings and be able to give the needed answers to move the sale along. This knowledge and expertise is the reason that such a person should be hired to help you make the sale of your business. Their ability to use previous sales and how they were completed is a facet of their knowledge base. There is no way the current owner could bring that to the negotiating table.

And now I would like to offer you free access to information on a powerful integrated system of marketing, sales & advertising so you can thrive instead of survive in today’s economic environment.

Henthorn is president of Spiral Marketers, a marketing firm which includes a number of partnerships that range from cutting-edge software development, business and personal improvement coaching, online e-commerce businesses, and more

 

Don’t Let It Happen To You – Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

This week, we’re continuing our two-part series on fire safety tips for the home. Did you know that the kitchen is the leading area of origin for home structure fires, and cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires (per the NFPA)? Home structure fires tend to peak around the dinner hour, between 5pm and 8pm. So–all seriousness aside, one can logically conclude that we must all stay out of our kitchens and eat out as often as we possibly can, especially in the evenings! What a boost to the economy that would be! Now for the real important stuff that may help save your home and your life… 

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Establish a fire safety and escape plan for your home. Develop it with your family so that everyone understands the importance of it. Make sure you have two exits out of every room. Run practice drills from time to time to keep the plan fresh in everyone’s mind, particularly if you add a new family member to your home.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, whether you use it seldom or often, you would be wise to install a spark arrestor on your chimney to prevent embers from landing on your roof. It ranges in price from $30-$75, and is a small price to pay to prevent a house fire. Your chimney top should have at least a 10-foot clearance from trees, so stay on top of your tree-trimming.

And while you’re trimming those trees away from your roof and chimney, also remember to keep branches trimmed back and away from electrical lines which can spark from time-to-time. You will also want to keep brush, weeds, grass and debris away from all of your structures. Clean leaves and debris off your roof and out of your rain gutters. All of this dry material makes excellent kindling for starting a fire.

Space heaters work well in small spaces, but don’t use them in TOO small and cramped of a space. These heaters require a 3-foot perimeter, so give them room to work safely and efficiently. Keep them away from bedding, mattresses, clothing, upholstery, and draperies, all of which can go up in flames rather quickly.

Never overload your electrical sockets, or they could overheat and burn. If you notice black marks or scorch marks around a socket, unplug the cords from it and have it checked out. When using extension cords, don’t run them under rugs or carpets, which can catch fire due to overheating, or due to a frayed or loose wire in the cord.

Garages and sheds have their own set of hazards. If you regularly store gasoline, make sure it is stored in approved, spill-proof safety cans. For you painters and refinishers, always keep the lid on containers of paint or flammable solvents. Because we tend to reuse rags that get oily and don’t wish to discard them immediately, metal cans with lids are the perfect container for oily, combustible rags.

Smokers can use a few simple reminders, too. While it seems like a complete no-brainer–never, ever smoke in bed. Choose deep ashtrays that will not tip over, and be sure to wet the contents before dumping. Most importantly, keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

Fire safety tips could indeed provide endless material for an article, but hopefully, in these two issues, you have identified a few tips that you can zero in on. If you stay alert and are conscious of your indoor and outdoor living space, use common sense, and do regular maintenance, you will be ahead of most people in keeping your home safe.

The Fix-It Professionals is a team of professionals working together to make your environment functional, beautiful and FIXED. John is the licensed electrician and fix-it guy who helps busy, professional women fix their homes & offices, making their environments be exactly as they wish them to be.