12. May 2014 05:49
Dust is a common problem on most construction sites created from moving equipment and people. It is not only an annoyance but a risk to machinery, nearby neighborhoods and workers health. Many local governments have codes in place that mandate dust is kept to a minimum standard and violators face steep fines for not obeying.
A dusty work environment can wreak havoc on power tools and motorized equipment such as loaders and skid steers increasing expenses immensely. Replacing air filters on heavy equipment adds up quickly and the dust can cause permanent damage shortening the equipment’s useful life. Dust made up of dirt and construction debris can cause serious medical problems with prolonged exposure. It is critical that your workers be safe from this exposure and eliminating the dust is the safest solution.
Controlling dust on a work site can be a difficult task depending on the climate and soil type. Water is often the solution but is tricky since too much causes muddy condition. Water alone also dissipates from the surface quickly leaving the soil vulnerable to erosion. There is a solution to construction site dust control with Soil2O by GelTech. This product mixed with water penetrates the soil and helps retain moisture. It prohibits the dirt and ground materials from becoming airborne therefore reducing dust. The particles pull moisture from the air during the nighttime and minimize evaporation during periods of sun. Soil2O can greatly reduce the amount of water to control your dust problem saving you time and money.
If you would like more information on dust control products for your construction site, please contact us.
12. May 2014 05:48
Wildfires are an unpredictable phenomenon that a large percentage of homeowners could face sometime in their lifetime. In many instances homeowners have little or no time to prepare their personal items or property so it is imperative they have a plan in place. To protect yourself from a wildfire you must first analyze the potential risks within your local area and what ways you can protect your property.
Wildfires are caused by a host of factors including manmade and natural with the majority coming from lightning strikes and accidental manmade fires. Homeowners who live in or around natural woodlands are the highest risk factor, but area on the edge of suburbia are at risk as well. Wild fires don’t know boundaries and will spread wherever there is fuel and the wind pushes it. Weather patterns make wildfires so unpredictable that they can change course several times an hour leaving homeowner will little time to react.
There are steps homeowners can take to be prepared if they are faced with sudden wild fire risk. Assess the fuel available for fires on and near your property and work to reduce it as much as possible. Create a fire break on the edge of your property with a non-fuel material such as rocks or dirt. Having your property in prepared condition allows you more time for other measures such as applying a fire retardant to your structure. Protect your home from wildfire with FireIce a flame retardant that is easily applied to your home within a short time period and ideal for sudden fire risks. FireIce, a product that when mixed with water creates a fire retardant gel is quickly applied to all vulnerable surfaces. A homeowner can leave with confidence that their preparation and fire retardant gives them the best chance at avoiding a loss.
If you would like more information on products that could save your house from a wildfire, please contact us.
22. April 2014 06:36
Spring is a time for new growth and warmer temperatures as well as increased rainfall across America. These heavy rains can erode and damage soils creating an unstable and washed out landscape. It is critical to proactively assess your landscaping to find vulnerable areas.
Water is very powerful even in small amounts when it comes to soil erosion. Sandy, loose and loamy soil types are extremely vulnerable to erosion by both wind and rain when exposed. Many find it hard to remedy an area that has been affected by erosion due to problems growing grass or plants to sturdy the weak soil. Weather patterns often don’t give a long enough time frame to germinate grass due to periods of too much or little rainfall. Rain that does fall drains through the soil before germination can take place.
A solution for erosion control is with Soil2O, a product by Geltech that can cure these vulnerable areas that plague homeowners. It is a granular product that creates a gel when mixed with water. This is applied to your soil which strengthens the soils structure as well as retains water to help germinate plants quickly. It is designed to combat erosion from both wind and heavy rainfall. The product helps sandy and loamy soil types retain moisture which prevents it from washing away as dry soil would. The moisture retention properties help alleviate the stress of drought allowing your grass and plants to thrive in any conditions. This is critical in stopping erosion as healthy grass and plants prevent water from eroding the top soil.
If you would like more information on how to protect your vulnerable land from erosion, please contact us.
22. April 2014 06:12
The new home market over the last two decades has turned to new outlying areas for building locations to take advantage of the privacy and scenery. These wildland-urban areas, as they are referred to by fire professionals, have a significantly increased fire threat. The threat not only comes from direct fire, but from wind-carried embers.
According to Ready, Set, Go!, a national fire prevention program managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Wildland Urban Interface fire threat is steep due to continued development and exposure. These areas are found throughout the country and are not recognized by how they look, but by the conditions they contain. A wildland urban interface is often where cities meet rural areas which are typically state or federally owned lands. These areas contain multiple fuel sources for wildfires, such as dead trees and decaying materials that are not typically managed properly.
Homeowners in these areas are at an elevated risk due to the wildfire threat in the landscape adjacent to their home. Many of these areas prohibit landowners from altering the this land because of state and federal land use restrictions. Homes within these areas are typically damaged by the wind-blown embers from nearby fires. These embers can ignite the structure or local area on fire, which then reach the home. Homeowners can protect their home from wildfire with FireIce; when applied, it protects structures such as home and outbuildings from embers. When mixed with water, FireIce creates a gel that adheres to almost any surface--creating a fire-retardant barrier. This is critical in preventing the wind-blown embers from igniting flammable, exposed surfaces such as roofing, siding and deck materials.
If you would like more information on products to protect your home from wildfire, please contact us.
17. March 2014 05:58
Wildfires have become a common addition to most news outlets over the past few years as the frequency of these disasters continue to increase. According to a recent article by USA Today “Western lawmakers push legislation to prevent wildfires” wildfires in the last decade have burned more land than the previous four combined. This increased threat means all homeowners in fire threat areas need to be prepared.
Western legislators are rallying to change the way designated fire suppression funds are used. In recent years, large fires or “mega-fires”, eat a large percentage of this budget which is meant for forest maintenance to reduce the risk of fires. As more and more of this budget gets used for fighting fires the more forests are becoming even more at-risk of a fire. This poses a great risk for homeowners, especially those at the edge of the wilderness.
Homeowners need to have a fire plan, perform property fire prevention maintenance and have fire protection products on-hand to fully protect their property from being decimated from a fire. It is critical that homeowners and families have a plan in place so they can evacuate quickly. Preventative maintenance on landscaping and all structures such as preventing debris buildup, removing dead branches from trees and creating a fire buffer greatly reduces the spread of fire. An often overlooked piece of the puzzle is a flame retardant product to protect structures in case fire does reach them. Protecting your home from wildfire with FireIce
by Geltech is an ideal solution that can be quickly applied to your home before you evacuate. The flame retardant gel creates a fire-proof barrier on your home that can withstand the high temperatures of a wildfire. If you would like more information on products to help save your home in case of a wild fire, please contact us.
9. November 2012 08:11
By: Eliza Osborn
Sometimes, we focus so much on the flowers in our garden, we forget to notice the foliage. The variety of shapes, sizes and colors that leaves come in, is amazing. If you plan it right, you can have a very beautiful and colorful garden using plants that have no, or insignificant, blooms.
The foliage has always been important as a backdrop for the flowers. Can you picture a garden with just stems and flowers and no leaves? Leaves have always played an important part in the design of the garden, but I’m just saying that they don’t have to be just in the background.
By placing plants with contrasting leaves, whether is size, texture or color, near each other, it creates interest. In some shady gardens, it is really hard to get light and color in with blossoms, but some plants, such as coleus, can add color to the shady garden, and by using the light colored coleus, can add light to a darkened area. Coleus do bloom, but the blooms are incidental and usually pinched off to help the plant.
Thanks and Happy Planting!
28. September 2012 10:15
One of the tasks assigned to your fire company is the annual inspection of fire hydrants in your district. All the hydrants that you have tested are dry-barrel hydrants. You replace all the hydrant caps except one. As you are closing the stem on one hydrant, you shut it completely, open it a quarter turn, and place the palm of your hand over an open discharge. You feel a slight suction on your hand. You close the hydrant stem completely, replace the discharge cap, and complete the inspection.
What is the purpose of dry-barrel hydrants?
Answer: Dry-barrel hydrants are used in areas that experience prolonged periods of subfreezing weather. The control valve is located below the frost line underground and prevents water from entering the hydrant barrel and freezing, making the hydrant inoperable.
What causes the slight suction on your hand?
Answer: It is an indication that the water is draining out of the dry barrel through the drain hole at the bottom of the hydrant.
What conditions should you look for during a hydrant inspection?
Among the items listed in the text, you should inspect the hydrants for:
Obstructions, such as sign posts, utility poles, weeds, bushes, or fences that might interfere with pumper-to-hydrant connections or with opening the hydrant valve.
Outlets that face the wrong direction for pumper-to-hydrant connections.
Insufficient clearance between outlets and the ground.
Damage to the hydrant.
Rusting or corrosion.
Outlet caps missing or stuck in place with paint.
Stem nut that cannot be turned or turns feely with no visible result.
Obstructions (bottles, cans, rocks) inside the hydrant outlets.
Damp ground surrounding the hydrant or erosion indicating a drain valve leak.
Hydrants painted by property owners (caps adhered to threads by paint).
By Rob Rosovich, Fire Protection Engineer
28. September 2012 09:24
By: Eliza Osborn
I’ve recently heard about a new concept in fertilizing and it sounds exciting. There is a company making liquid fertilizer that contains some rich substance which is rare and found in very few places. This substance, leonardia… or something like that. It works inside the plants and helps them to take up nutrients faster and more efficiently.That means less fertilizer is needed, which is great, because fertilizers can get expensive.
Anyway, I’m excited about all I’ve heard and wish I could try some. Unfortunately, it isn’t sold retail and is only sold in huge quantities to the agricultural community, here and in other countries. I’ve heard there are amazing results from it though. I’ve used fertilizers before and not only does it take a lot for all of our plants, but I worry about how much to use and am I burning the plants, not to mention the residue left in the soil.
I’m checking further into it because I want my plants to be as healthy and robust as possible. I want them to thrive!
Thanks and happy planting!
14. September 2012 08:25
Your company responds to a fire in a one story, single family residential structure. It is a ranch style structure. The time is 6:00 am on a Sunday morning. While responding, you hear the first arriving officer report that there is fire coming from a bedroom window on the B-C corner of the house with smoke also coming from the open front door.
When you arrive, the incident commander directs your officer to perform a primary search of the structure. Other companies have been directed to ventilate the structure and to do an interior attack on the fire.
What other operations, if any, must be coordinated with your primary search?
Answer: There are several other operations that must be conducted nearly simultaneously with the beginning of the primary search. Of course, it may be necessary to force entry into the structure. In this case it appears the front door is open and that is the most appropriate point to enter the structure. Also, ventilation must occur prior to entering the structure to reduce the heat and improve visibility. Finally, fire attack will also begin immediately following ventilation. Your search team may actually follow the attack team into the structure.
What fire conditions can be expected inside the structure?
Answer: It is apparent from the conditions observed outside of the structure that at least the bedroom is involved in fire. Smoke is moving throughout the structure as evidenced by the smoke coming from the open front door. The quantity of fire and smoke indicates that the fire is intense which means it is going to be hot. Also, the fire may have extended to other rooms and areas. In this type of scenario it is crucial that you maintain situational awareness - both individually and as a team. Even after ventilation has been completed fire conditions may remain extreme until the fire is extinguished. Flashover may be possible in other rooms until the hot smoke and gases have been ventilated and the fire is extinguished.
How should the primary search be conducted?
Answer: The primary search is a rapid but thorough search of the house. The search should begin in an area most likely to have someone needing rescue. At this time of day that would be the bedroom area. The search would start with the bedrooms closest to the room of origin and then work away from the fire area. If the fire is controlled quickly, the primary search may actually begin in that room. During the search common hiding places should be checked. As a room is searched the door should be marked indicating the primary search has been completed. When the primary search has been completed the officer will give an 'All Clear' to the incident commander.
By Rob Rosovich, Fire Protection Engineer
14. September 2012 07:09
By: Eliza Osborn
When the freezes of the last few nights were predicted, I (even though I was sick at the time), knew I’d better get the tomatoes that were left in the garden
in to safety. While I was out there I realized I hadn’t gotten the last of the green beans and the basil. I found quite a few more grapes hiding under the vines and dying leaves as well. While picking the grapes, I saw the beets looking so beautiful, and even though they would have been fine left out in the cold, I decided to go ahead and bring them in. I had been feeling better and thought that the next day I would be up to doing something with all of this produce.
It was getting late as I worked, and then it began to rain, but I couldn’t quit because the freeze was imminent, and all would be lost. So I kept working till I had gathered every green tomato that was of any size at all, and picked all the beans and basil and beets.
Well, the cold and the rain was a double punch and I was down for the count. Here I was, with a kitchen full of produce, and I’m sick in bed. Yesterday I got the beans washed and snapped and the beets cooked but not canned. Oh my goodness they smell like dirt when they’re cooking. And today I was finally able to get them pickled and canned. Never done that before, so we’ll see how they turn out. We both love pickled beets, so I’m sure they’ll get eaten even if they’re less than perfect.
The tomatoes are still waiting. Maybe I’ll make the Green Tomato Raspberry Jam and Green Tomato Salsa tomorrow.
The end of the growing season is so sad…but it’s here, and it is a very long time till next May, when we can plant again here in zone 6.
Thanks and happy planting!