Switching From Public School to Private: When Is the Best Age?

Many middle class and upper middle class families feel that private school offers important advantages even though they may only be able to afford private education as a “surgical strike.” These parents may wonder when is the best age to send children to private school? Should this be in high school or grade school? Over several years, we have heard the question many times: when is the best age to switch from public school to private? The most helpful advice is that it is best to do this at a time when your child is changing schools anyway.

Depending on what state or province you live in, this can mean the period between grade school and junior high or between grade school and high school, to name two examples. Given that many families already see the advantage of this strategy, many choose high school as the period during which they will choose private school. This seems the most cost effective solution as this is a shorter period of than elementary school. Many parents also feel that this is the best time to transition away from public school as private schools ostensibly do a better job of preparing children for university or college than public schools. However, there are other considerations to bear in mind. Most parenting experts recognize that younger years are formative, providing children with future relationship-building skills, early confidence development, seminal social interactions and a wealth of skills that can be propagated in later years.

The Society for Quality Education also notes that students who develop strong reading skills early on are 95% certain to succeed in later studies. That does not mean that this is the right time for your child or any other child. The most important consideration in making any education choice is finding the right fit for your child. Investigate all your school choices deeply. For example, if the school you are considering has students who have been there from grade one through grade twelve, a transition into this school at any age may entail difficulty breaking into cliques.

No matter what school you are transitioning your child into, find out from teachers and students there how welcoming the particular class is, for new students. Base your decision as specifically as possible; many teachers will tell you that each class has a distinct personality with some being more accommodating than others. In some cases, you may not have as much choice as you assume. For instance there are many schools that have a waiting list. Make sure you understand the attendance policies of the school before you make any family decisions. These are just a few of the considerations that parents can make.

Parents need to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to switch from public school to private. Barbara Coloroso – perhaps today’s most highly regarded parenting and education expert – says, “There is no magic age in general. But there may be a magic age for your child. You need to look at your child’s gifts and their needs. Where are they now? What is their situation? “At any time, if your child is experiencing ongoing and unresolved problems, with issues like bullying for example, parents should consider another schooling option.

If your child’s needs are not being fulfilled you should look elsewhere.” The best time to switch schools varies widely from one child to another and from one family to another. Even with some of the guidelines above, it’s best for parents to not look for an easy answer but to listen to as much difference advice as they can.

Subgaleal Hematomas

Skull fractures are serious complications that have a few tell-tale signs, one of which is what is known as a subgaleal hematoma. This injury is the result of blood pooling below the surface of the skin, below the lower section of the scalp and the top layer of tissue of the skull. While it does not appear as drastic as a caput succedaneum injury, considering that those types of hematomas occur directly below the skin itself, this injury is often visible without the assistance of medical instruments.

From the appearance of this type of bruise, the pooling blood may appear as a bump or deformity on the head. The swelling may spread across much of the skull, covering more space than similar injuries such as cephalohematomas.

Generally, subgaleal hematomas occur during childbirth when physicians determine that a vacuum birth is necessary. The vacuum may put extreme forces on the infant’s skull, leading to ruptured blood vessels in several areas, potentially leading to a number of different bruises along the scalp. This bruise may also be a clue for spotting a possible fracture in the skull, which can cause local blood vessels to rupture due to the forces of the trauma.

Treatment may become necessary if the blood loss becomes significant both for adults and infants. The situation may become more serious for children, as the space in between their skull and scalp is capable of retaining up to half of their body’s blood.

If you have more questions concerning head injuries, the consequences of untreated hematomas, and how negligence may have a role to play in these injuries, contact a personal injury attorney.

Maximizing Your Profits Through Rental Properties – Part I

Many people today are so inundated in the world of ‘Flip This House’ and ‘Property Ladder’ that they never get a truly strong grounding in the basics of owning investment property. Yes, ‘flipping’ houses is a type of real estate investing, to be sure – but ‘flipping’ homes provides you, if successful, with a one – time full taxable lump sum of cash. It fails to provide you with any of the long term wealth – building benefits that rental homes offer, and when done properly, rental property can be a relatively headache free form of real estate investing.

When considering the purchase of an investment home, consider the following guidelines to help keep you on target:

1) It takes more than one home to build truly passive income and garner substantial tax benefits – so plan on making subsequent purchases. Don’t be the guy who says ‘yes, I bought a rental home once’ – you have to make a commitment to having a portfolio.

2) Your location is paramount to having a headache – free investing experience. Only buy in areas where you would feel comfortable sending your spouse(teenage daughter, etc.) to pick up the rent. Not that you would do that, but use that idea as an emotional gauge. If you wouldn’t send your family there, DON’T BUY THERE!

3) Look for properties that have a minimum of rehab. When we have inexperienced clients looking for their first investment home, we encourage them to look at simple cosmetic renovations only at first. If a house needs more than that, STAY AWAY.

4) Get an estimate of the average rents in your subject home’s area by calling other ‘for rent’ signs. Make sure you have enough rent to cover your monthly debt service(Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance). Avoid negative cash flow at all costs.

5) Properties that have better road frontage tend to rent more quickly than homes that are isolated on coves and out of the way places. Consider finding an investment home within sight of a local elementary school – when parents are waiting in line each day to pick up their children, believe me your phone will ring!!! And the more calls you get, the more easily you can screen and place a qualified tenant.

Remember, owning rental properties is not as dreadful as it is made out to be by failed landlords, and you don’t have to ‘play landlord’ to be successful. Investment homes offer four attractive streams of income that are often overlooked by inexperienced or young investors, as follows:

1) Positive Cash Flow: created when you have money leftover from the rent after you pay your monthly debt service.

2) Tax Benefits: created from the tax shelters that exist within investment real estate, including depreciation and expense write offs.

3) Appreciation: Historically, the value of homes have gone up over time.

4) Equity Pay Down: Your loan is paid off slowly by your tenants.

Don’t neglect these important factors when looking for alternatives to your day job. Join me next time in part 2, where we explore factors that make an investment house successful.

3 Common Types of Sunburst Wall Decor and Its Variations

Since various sunburst wall decors proliferate in the market, you need to learn more about them including its uses, types and forms. The following are the usual types available namely: Tobacco finish, Cherry sunburst, Three-color sunburst, and its variations.

Sunburst wall decors are found in excess in various decor shops. However, not all have a clear picture of what sunburst is all about. Below is a quick overview about this unique wall decor including its variety.

Definition

Sunburst is a design patterned from the sun along with its radiating sunrays. It is a sun representation whose rays extend to the periphery that is put into life through decorative pieces. It is popularly used in designing for decorations and even building structures. Some are carved directly on the woods, cements, or steel while, others are attached into it.

Application

Sunburst designs are not limited to wall decors only since you can find lots of them on the building, door, and stairs as well. Some practical usage of sunburst designs are stained glass, interior of a dome, top carvings, facade, porthole, insignia, and church pillars.

Forms of sunburst design

The usual forms of this type of decor are semi-circular and semi-elliptical. A semi-circular design assumes the shape of a circle that is divided into two equal halves. A semi-ellipse on the other hand closely resembles an oval shape that has been split into two. These two are the common shapes of sunburst ornament available in the market. However, more and more ingenious configuration appeared as a product of imagination.

Tobacco finish

The best way to describe a tobacco finish is a golden yellow at the focal point while, extending outwards as black edges. It’s like starting from a subtle color and gradually changes into a more intense tint.

Cherry sunburst

In contrast to tobacco finish, cherry sunburst has a golden yellow polish at the midpoint that slowly progresses to a cherry red hue as it spreads outwards.

Three-color sunburst

This is a combination of tobacco and cherry red gilt where golden yellow shade is at the center that slowly becomes paler until it turns into red and then to black towards the border. This kind of blending results to a more vibrant color because each stands out despite its fusion.

However, with the emergence of technology and the influence of creativity, several types of sunburst came into the scene. These are a mixture of more bold and playful shades, which are as follows:

* Sienna sunburst * Blue burst * Aged cherry burst * Fireburst * Lightburst * Antique tobacco sunburst

Regardless of the type of sunburst decor you prefer, the most important thing to consider is its symbolism, which means brightness, energetic, and most of all happiness.

7 Spiritual Weapons Needed for War: Being a Soldier for God

“I may never march in the infantry

Ride in the cavalry

Shoot the artillery

I may never fly o’er the enemy

But I’m in the Lord’s army!

Yes Sir!”

I’m in the Lord’s Army is a children’s Sunday school song. I highly doubt that most children know the true relevance of such a song considering that many Christian adults don’t have a clue about what it takes to be a soldier in the Lord’s army.

Some find it hard enough to stay on the straight and narrow path because they may not realize that simply being a devout follower of Jesus Christ puts you in the direct line of enemy fire. There is a 24/7 battle that rages against Christians. For all intent and purposes, Christians are soldiers standing on the front lines of the Lord’s army-especially while living in a world that goes out of its way to constantly search for methods to repudiate and personally attack Christians. According to Webster’s dictionary, a soldier is one engaged in military service and especially in the army-a skilled warrior. In the Bible, Apostle Paul examines the qualifications of a good soldier for Jesus Christ:

  • The ability to endure hardships.
  • Does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life, so that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
  • Like an athlete realizes that he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules (2nd Tim 2:3-5).

When facing increased pressure from the world to compromise, Christians must remain steadfastly strong in faith and be wisely prepared for the intensified hostile attacks on our faith in Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul warned believers, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)” Christians who compromise their beliefs lose the opportunity to impact the world with the true teachings of Jesus Christ, which should be our foremost purpose.

It’s challenging for Christians not to be influenced by the world’s “morals”; one can easily go with the majority vs. calling attention to oneself by pointing out the blatant sin that society deems acceptable. Lately, the message of the world to Christians appears to be “Shut-up and conform!” And when Christians refuse to do so, a target is placed immediately on their backs. Before you think about caving into the world’s pressure, remember Apostle Paul’s warning, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NKJV)

It is critical that Christians do not compromise, for the moment they do, they are taking the beginning steps to opposing God and His commandments. Not to mention, Christians are faced with the task of standing on the battlefield in this world as proud representatives of Jesus Christ. More so, during the Last Days they must equip themselves with the necessary armor and weapons for war in order to survive the constant spiritual attacks from Satan, the ruler of this world. In order to triumph in battle, Christians must have the following:

  • A waist girded by the truth.
  • The breastplate of righteousness.
  • Shoes covered with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
  • The shield of faith.
  • The helmet of salvation.
  • The sword of the Spirit (Word of God).
  • Most importantly, having done all, just STAND (Ephesians 6:13-17).

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1st Peter 5:8-9 NKJV)”

Unequivocally, we are living in the Last Days. The prophet Daniel warned that one of Satan’s main objectives is to wear out the saints serving the Lord (Daniel 7:25). All though pressure will be coming from all directions, Christians must remember Apostle Paul’s words and just STAND!

  • Stand your ground for righteousness and against accepted sin.
  • Stand firmly in the commandments of the Word of God,
  • Stand strong in faith- for without it, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)

As you stand, know that although you may never “ride in the cavalry or shoot the artillery,” you are in the Lord’s army proudly standing up for Truth and righteousness. Don’t violate your values to please the world; nothing spiritually can be gained from doing so. Believers must be comforted in knowing that we are not of this world. Our true citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20)

Changing the LED Lights in Either Xbox 360 or PS3 Controllers

Changing the LED lights inside your favorite controller is quite simple. For each controller you will need a low wattage soldering iron, 60/40 rosin, a sponge, a pair of pointed tweezers, and your new LEDs. You can use a higher wattage iron, but it is safer to start with a low watt so you avoid possibly destroying your motherboard. To open a 360 controller, you will need a t8 screwdriver. A small Phillips head screwdriver is used for the ps3. When taking the screws out of the 360 controller there is a hidden screw found inside the battery pack terminal behind the rectangular shaped bar code sticker.

To start you will need to tin the soldering iron. This simply means to melt rosin on the iron and then clean it off with your sponge. When cleaning the iron, I found it works best to get the sponge slightly wet on one side. I like to clean the iron after each step to increase contact.

Once you have the screws taken out there are a few steps you will want to avoid breaking your controller case. To disassemble the xbox 360 controller, you will need to push in the thumbsticks and gently pry the controller apart. To prevent losing any of your buttons, I recommend applying a strip of tape to the front of the controller to hold everything in place. After you have done this, you will need to pull the rubber thumb sticks off their mechanism, pull out the motherboard, and set everything aside so you don’t lose anything.

The PS3 controller is somewhat easier to disassemble. Once you have the screws removed, you will just pull the two halves apart. Next, you will pull the rubber joysticks off, and pull the tab that connects the R’s and L’s off their clip. You are now ready to remove the old lights from the motherboard.

To remove the LEDs, I like to use a technique called floating. To do this, you will need to melt some rosin on the iron until it makes a little bubble on the iron itself. It might look like it is going to fall off, but do not worry, it will stay on the iron. Once you have this done, you will float the bubble back and forth across the LED to remove it. This will most likely take just a few seconds and the LED will stick to the rosin. Then you will just clean the iron off and repeat the process for each light.

Applying the new LEDs is a little more difficult than taking them off. First, you will need to look at the bottom of the new LED and determine which side the arrow on the bottom is pointing. You will need to point the arrow toward the negative side of the motherboard. If you cannot figure this out, turn the power to the controller on and the LED will light up if you have correctly lined it up. I like to leave the battery pack and the back half of the controller connected. This is so I can use the contact pad to turn the controller on. For the ps3, you can just plug in the charging cable. Once you have aligned them correctly, you will use your tweezers to hold the LED in place and just add a little rosin to both side and you are done. It might take some time but a little practice will make things a lot easier. Now you are ready to show off your newly light controller with your favorite color lights!

4 Ways To Get Rid of Hyper-Flashing With LED Turn Signal Bulbs!

Hyper-flashing, also known as rapid flash or hyper flash, it’s the most common phenomenon that occurs when you change your turn signals to LED lights. Since LED turn signal bulbs draw much less power than the original factory bulbs, this will cause a sudden drop in the circuit’s resistance causing the hyper-flash or rapid blinking of the turn signals. This type of event also occurs when you have a turn signal bulb blown or not working since that also causes a drop in resistance in the circuit. This lens will show you four ways to tackle this problem once and for all.

1) The first solution is also the most common out of all four and will be a sure-fix to the hyper-flashing issue. Load resistors are resistors that are put between the positive wire and negative wire of the LED turn signal wiring, bridging the two wires together raising the load (hence load resistors) for the entire circuit. The specifications for most load resistors have 50W capacity with a 6 ohm resistance. Although these will fix the issue for nearly 100% of cases, the requirement of tapping wires discourages some people from purchasing these. Along with the wire tapping, these also get very hot once they are operating due to the electrical resistance created within the resistor so these must be mounted to a metal surface.

2) The next solution is a plug and play (PnP) load resistor harness. In theory, it is the same exact design as the load resistors previously mentioned, however, these are pre-wired to a specific socket size such as 3157, 7443, 1156, and more. Since the load resistors are pre-wired, they can be easily installed without needing to tap any wires. These are perfect for those who want a PnP style solution to their hyper-flashing woes. Unfortunately, the only downside is that the socket plugs are universally designed and may not fit all housings. In addition to that, most of these are designed using a 3 ohm resistor instead since they will be in direct proximity to the pre-wired wires to prevent overheating and melting. Mounting to metal is still required.

3) The third solution is a thermal flasher relay. Most vehicles come equipped with a relay that coordinates the flashing speed of the turn signals. These factory flasher relays are designed to operate using a regular incandescent filament bulb, not an LED bulb that has a lower power draw. To fix this, aftermarket thermal flasher relays are designed to operate with aftermarket LED replacement bulbs. The flasher relay does not get hot and is a PnP solution. The only downside with this fix is that some of the newer vehicles do not use a flasher relay to coordinate the LED corner lights, instead it uses the vehicle’s ECU (Electronic Control Unit). This brings us to our last solution to the hyper-flashing issue…

4) Many European vehicles and some newer vehicles have the ECU to control the flashing of the blinker lights. In addition to controlling it, European vehicles also have a system that monitors the draw and resistance of the exterior bulbs and warns the driver when they are not functioning. These are known as fault or error messages and can be quite annoying. To alleviate this, some vehicles have the ability to change the resistance and draw requirements of the turn signal circuit to use an LED turn signal using aftermarket car computer software. This not only gets rid of the error message, but it also fixes the hyper-flashing issue at the same time. As with all these fixes, there will be a “pro” and there will be a “con” to each solution; the con for this is that this type of fix may not be available for all vehicles.

All in all, having the choice of four distinct hyper-flash fixes will allow the user to choose what is best for their vehicle. While one solution may not work for the vehicle, another solution may work it instead. While these fixes are not rocket science and is not difficult to accomplish, these all require some type of electrical knowledge of the vehicle, it is still recommended that only a professional with experience install these fixes.

How to Open a Bank Account in the Dominican Republic

One of the most important parts of re-locating anywhere is having a bank account, somewhere you are able to deposit, send and withdraw money from.

In the Dominican Republic there are numerous banking institutions, all of which are backed by the central bank, which means that your money will always be safe.

In the Dominican Republic you can open an account in the local currency, Dominican Peso (RD$), American Dollars (US$) or Euros (EUR).

These are the names of some of the banks in the Dominican Republic.

Banco Popular

Banco De Reservas

Banco Leon

Banco Del Progresso

Banco Santa Cruz

Banco BHD

Scotiabank

Citibank

To open an account in any of the above institutions you will be required to provide a reference letter from a bank where you have an existing account, a personal/commercial reference, a copy of your passport and currency – the usual minimum amounts for opening an account are US$200, EUR200 and RD$5,000.

There are also some banks which now offer online banking services, which means you don’t have to wait in line to be served, yay!

For more information on opening a bank account in the DR talk to Tay, he will be able to assist you with bank accounts, certificates, credit cards and other bank related matters in the Dominican Republic. Considered a safe banking system, the DR banks are all backed by the central bank, where you can obtain high interest rates for your pesos. When considering a life changing move, think about the DR, still the cheapest in the Caribbean yet still one of the least discovered places to visit.

Blackjack Odds: Does the Dealer Always Have a 10 in the Hole?

The value of the dealer’s hole card is very important in the game of blackjack. If players can only accurately predict the value of this card, then they’ll have a 10 percent advantage over the dealer on every hand. The truth is, there are no accurate means of telling what the value of the hole card is, and the sad part is that many blackjack players assume that the dealer’s hole card has a 10 value and will base their strategies on this belief.

This is one of the biggest myths in blackjack that will often lead to players losing all their money. When a dealer has an up card showing a value of 4, many players will automatically assume that there is a 10 in the hole and that the dealer has a total of 14. But players have no way of knowing or anticipating what the dealer has which is anything from 5 to 15. And assuming what the dealer has is a foolish strategy that will end up with you losing all your money.

The House Edge in Blackjack

One of the things that make blackjack an exciting game among casino players is its relatively low percentage of games that most likely will be won by the house, or what is more commonly referred to as the house edge. This advantage stems from the fact that all player should act first on their hand before the dealer acts on his. Players can bust first, or go over 21, and lose their bet and will continue to do so even if the dealer busts his hand later.

To a player who diligently applies basic blackjack strategy, this house edge can be as little as 0.18 to 0.5 percent on every hand, but this value can zoom up to 2 percent, or losing four times more, if little mental strategy is applied. This is a poor strategy and players will most likely just throw away all their money.

Casinos would naturally want to increase their house edge and would do this by offering side bets called “insurance” or “even money”, particularly in cases where the dealer’s up card is an ace. Insurance is offered to players as a wager on whether the dealer has a “natural” or a 10-valued card in the hole. This will increase the house edge to an even higher 6 percent advantage.

However, this house edge can continue to go even higher if the player will always assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. Such assume-a-ten strategies will work against the player and will give the house an advantage as high as 10.03 percent – and lose more hands in the game as well as their money.

Should You Be Worried About the Dealer Getting a 10 in the Hole?

This myth have probably stemmed from the fact that there are 4 times more card in a deck with a value of ten than any other cards. However, cards that have 10-values only account for 30% of the total number of cards, which in statistical terms is a 3:7 chance that the dealer actually has a 10 in the hole. There is a 70% chance, a much bigger value, that the dealer will have other cards not valued as 10 in the hole.

Players should have this understanding and get past the belief that there is always a 10 in the hole. Doing so would make the player start playing wisely and more strategically and increase their chances of winning their hand than ever before. Basic strategies are based on proven mathematical principles and have been simulated in computer programs to work, as well as proven effective during real-life black jack games.

However, only a small percentage of blackjack players will heed this advice and commit to studying basic blackjack strategies and avoid throwing away their money on each hand. Playing wisely and using basic blackjack strategies will reduce the house edge to the minimal level as compared to scenarios where players always assume that the hole card has a value of 10.

In summary, the dealer does not always have a 10 in the hole and there is a greater mathematical probability that the hole card has a value other than 10. Assuming that the dealers always have a 10 card is one of the worst strategies a blackjack player can make, preventing them from making wise judgment based on proven basic strategies – and lose all their money in the long run.

Solar Outdoor Lighting – Wireless, Sun-Powered Lighting Gadgets

Solar outdoor lighting is one of the alternative energy gadgets that work toward the preservation of the health of our environment. Not only that, outdoor solar lights are effective in helping consumers enjoy immense savings in the form of money that would otherwise have been used for electrical bills. Usage of these sun-powered gadgets is certainly a way to decrease electrical power expenses of the home owner who decides to purchase and install for himself some solar outdoor lights gadgets.

What makes solar outdoor light illuminate and provide bright lights to our home exteriors? Every unit actually possesses a solar panel, much like the devices that you see on top of houses and buildings. This panel gathers solar energy from the sun and storing it for latter use in the evening. All this happen without being connected to any electric power source. Therefore, no potentially dangerous electrical wires or cords are attached to your solar gadget.

And because solar outdoor light gadgets are cordless, home owners can install them just about anywhere in the garden, yard, patio or other home exterior areas. However, installers must make sure that the location where the gadgets are placed is an open area where there are no shades or shadows, and that the solar lighting can receive the maximum amount of sunshine.

Because it is cordless and compact built, solar outdoor lighting is the perfect illumination device for those who stay in remote areas. All one needs is a sunny day and great outdoor areas in his residence on which to place his outdoor solar lights. These sun-powered lights are definitely of high technology. They are efficient, energy-wise yet inexpensive compared to other lighting gadgets.

Aircraft Carrier Lighting

Catapulting off the deck at military power streaks an F-18 Hornet, the roar so loud it will break your ear drum if you removed the plug. The flight deck is nowhere for wimps and that water is a long way down if you get blown off the side from hot jet fighter exhaust. The loud crashes of aircraft hitting the arresting wires can go on for hours as the pilots maneuver their jets to the postage stamp sized deck below. You got to love the United States Navy, the largest and strongest military powerhouse in the world.

Now then with all this commotion during flight operations, why not turn that vibrational energy into the lighting needed to help the team stay heads up and prevent them from being sucked into an intake jet engine meat grinder or being blown 90 feet blow into the unforgiving and icy waters of the aircraft carriers wake. How can you turn noise and vibrations into light? By placing groupings of large sandwich sheets with a taunt film on the vibrational side and small copper lined tubes, hundreds of them running perpendicular to the sheets, with magnets inside bouncing back and forth. These magnets will charge a capacitor and be hooked up to an LED lighting system using fiber optics or reflectors, each one hooked up to a .2 to .5 watt light. With hundreds of thousands of lights hooked up in a composite, insect eye, format it will light up the entire deck and landing guidance system and since the lights can shine down on the deck in the direction of aircraft movement it would be like daylight without the light pollution associated with such operations.

Currently this technology is being used in those little flashlights you see advertised on television that you shake and they light, but you never need batteries. This idea of lighting up the aircraft carrier’s deck is using that technology on a larger scale with miniaturized parts making up the guts between the sandwich sheets. Let there be light, through vibrational energy and there was and it sailed the seven seas. Think on it.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Radiant Barrier, Fiberglass and Foam Insulations

If you are building a new house, there are a lot of important decisions to be made about the types of materials you use. Some of these decisions will affect the costs of heating and cooling for the life of the home. One of the most important decisions you have to make is choosing the right insulation. You will need to take into account the climate in which you are building your new home. You will also need to take into consideration the materials used to build the home. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to radiant barrier, fiberglass and foam insulations.

Radiant barrier comes in foil rolls and can by applied to unfinished walls, ceilings, floors and attics. It’s the most effective at preventing downward heat flow and can be considered a do-it-yourself project. It’s affordable to install and does not require any special tools or safety precautions to do so. Its effectiveness often depends on the spacing and framing of your home. If you live in a colder climate in which the summers do not get overly hot, it may not be as important to have the heat reflection properties.

Fiberglass insulation typically comes in blankets. While you can install it yourself, it can very easily irritate skin and eyes if you are not careful. It is more suited for standard stud and joist spacing that is free of obstructions. It can require special tools to fit and cut. Unlike radiant barrier, it merely slows the transfer of hot and cold air rather than reflecting it. On the other hand, foam insulation often offers a better insulating value for less thickness. It is typically installed by a professional and can fill irregular areas. It must be covered with gypsum board or other approved material for fire safety.

Which will you choose? Radiant barrier or fiberglass?

Data Fire Safes – Are They Really Worth the Price?

Data Fire Safes Offer the Best in Fire Protection

By definition, for a safe to be listed as a genuine data fire safe, it must meet the following standard, and bear a UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) logo and specific label testifying that it is a class 150 or 125 fire proof data safe. The UL site has more specific information on it, but the classification basically means that the internal temperatures won’t reach beyond 125 or 150 F, or 52 or 66 C, approximately. Data fire safes that protect magnetic storage devices such as magnetic tapes (VCR or audio tapes) and photographic film, need the 150 Class rating from UL. If the contents are the more sensitive floppy disks, CDs or even USB and hard drives, then the fire rating class has to be 125 to be effective.

The other fire Class is 350, which is only effective for paper products and non-data storage. The reason for the class distinction is that the electronic media has a lower “flash point” than paper. At temperatures greater than 125, the data could become corrupt and the media could melt.

On top of these classifications, the UL also will test for impact resistance and the duration that the safe can withstand the fire, with temperatures ranging from 1700 F on up to 2200 F. This “endurance” classification of the fire-proof data safe is denoted as ” ½, 1, 2, or 3.” It simply gives a suggested time in which the contents of the safe are indeed safe from the flames, with ½ being 30 minutes, or half an hour, the 1-3 referring to the number of hours the contents will be safe from the flames.

Other Features To Be On The Lookout For

Your Fire-Proof Data Safe Must Be Water-Proof!

To keep your data safe in storage, you need to be sure the fire-proof data safe you invest in is also water proof. Why do data fire safes need to be water-proof as well as fire-proof? Simple: in the event of a fire, the emergency responders or automatic sprinklers will douse the flames with water. Unless a safe is specifically designated as water-proof, then the data protected from the flames will be susceptible to the damage caused by the firemen’s blast of water. The data could easily be lost at that point.

Keep Thieves From Your Data Storage Safe

On top of the data fire safe being fire and water-proof, it also needs to be theft-proof. The term “theft-proof” is a bit of a subjective term, actually. The UL classifications for theft or security-grade protection are as follows: Residential Security Containers, and Tool-Resistant Safes ranging in Class from “TL-15” and “TL-15X” through “TL-30” and “TL30-X6.”

The “residential security containers” are the average jewelry box or other similar device: it wouldn’t prevent theft from anyone determined to get to the contents. The “TL-15” Class refers to a break-in attempt, with tools, from an equipped thief, for the duration of about 15 minutes. In other words, a thief with 16 minutes can break into the contents of the safe. The “TL-15X6” refers to the fact that this protection is 6-sided, and not only referring to the vault door.

Given these parameters, it may seem as if there is no such thing as a “theft-proof” data storage safe, but in actuality, most thieves aren’t planning on attacking a safe so heavily guarded. Most burglaries are thwarted by a serious-looking safe, especially considering the criminal will want to move on rapidly.

Some of the best anti-theft devices cost quite a bit more, and include things such as silent alarms and remote monitoring, bolt-down capabilities to keep the data storage safe on your premises, tempered glass plate re-lockers in the event of an attempted break-in, and of course a UL certified lock of choice (electronic, combination/manual, key, or biometric). Again, it’s important to verify that the lock itself is UL certified.

Impact Resistance – Why It Matters

One last feature to beware of: impact-resistance. It may seem that impact resistance isn’t as important to a data fire safe as, say, fire-proof walls and a tight seal, but impact ratings are very important for a simple reason. Besides the fact that the safe must maintain a certain temperature and must remain closed to the abuse of a theft attempt, in the case of an actual fire, the safe may fall through several floors. Impact-resistant safes are tested to withstand 30-foot falls, and remain in tact.

Your Data Fire Safe May Not Be As Protected As You Think! A Few Buyer’s Tips

It is key to understand, however, that most data fire safes are not geared to also be used as burglary or security-grade safes. They are designed to resist fire, not theft, and not necessarily water, either. To be sure you are investing in the level of protection you need, make sure the data fire safe you purchase reflects an independently tested standard.

Your best investment is to buy a fire proof data safe that is stamped with the UL approval. This is one investment you don’t necessarily want to “go cheap” on – by all means make your investment count. Get the water-resistance, theft and fire-resistance that you need, and make sure the ratings are from an independent lab.

Unfortunately, you don’t want to find out too late that the “manufacturer’s guarantee” or “lab test” done by the manufacturer was nothing more than a sales tactic. It may sound paranoid, but it’s all too true. Unless a manufacturer were to conform to UL testing or a similar industry-proven, independent lab, then the safe isn’t worth your dime.

Another problem you may run into is if the UL stamp is only for a certain part of the overall safe. This means that the rest of the safe isn’t approved. It isn’t illegal to sell these safes, but it is underhanded nonetheless. Stick with trustworthy manufacturers. You don’t want to risk your investments and property, thinking you have more protection than you purchased.

Other options you may be interested in laying hold of on your data fire safes are: glass plate re-lockers, USB port directly to hard drive in the safe, de-humidifying devices and anti-electrostatic properties, fire cladding (added protection and sealed environment), silent alarm capability with remote monitoring services, biometric locks or multi-modal locks (e.g.: uses both a fingerprint identifier and a key), and a lifetime warranty.

Data fire safes with these features in place will cost significantly more than the bare-bones data fire safe, but the added protection is commensurate with the sensitivity of the data stored within. Be sure that your data fire safe offers you the protection against humidity, water, fire, theft, explosion and impact – and is made from a manufacturer that is in good standing with the UL.

How To Decorate With Wallpaper Borders

Wallpaper borders are some of the most popular wall coverings in home decor. Comprised of only a narrow strip of decorative paper, they are frequently used to complement or accent the design of a room. There are many ways wallpaper borders can be used. This article will look at three of the most common applications for wallpaper borders, and explain how these techniques can be used to beautify your home or office.

Floral

Wallpaper borders come in a variety of styles, colors, patterns and sizes. But perhaps the most popular of all the styles is the floral pattern. These borders are common in modern, contemporary homes as well as in rustic country estates. The floral design evokes feelings of Spring, rebirth and all the pleasant things in life. It works best in traditional design, but the right floral patterned border can fit almost any existing decor.

Accent

Using a wallpaper border to accent an existing design is a common technique among professionals and do-it-yourselfers. It’s tempting to add a touch more style to what you’ve already put together, and the border is the right tool for the job. There are just a couple of things you need to watch out for. First, understand your colors. Get yourself a simple color wheel or download one onto your tablet so it is easy to access. This will let you know which colors will complement and which ones will clash. The study of color can get pretty complex, but just keep in mind that the primary colors yellow and blue are considered opposites. That does not mean they clash; in fact, these colors work very well together. But they are on opposite sides of the color spectrum. It’s important to understand where colors lie in relation to one another to understand which colors will go together. Borders are often made up of several colors of varying shades, but their will be a dominant color in all of them and that is what you will need to match with your existing wall, ceiling, accessories and floor.

Inside Molding

This is a technique that can have a great effect on the style of a room. It requires more work and investment than just simply applying the wallpaper border, but it pays off in dividends when it comes to style. First, the room will need a crown molding. This is a decorative strip of narrow wood fastened to the seam where the walls and ceiling meet. Another, more narrow strip of molding is then fastened beneath the crown molding. The wallpaper border is applied between the two strips of molding, producing a framed effect.

There are many styles of wallpaper borders available, and many ways in which to apply them to improve the beauty of your home. I hope these three suggestions inspired you.

Fireproof Home Security Safes – Protect Your Valuable Possessions

Despite the fact the there are an average of 386,000 home fires every year in the U.S., a lot of us still believe that accidents, home fires, floods or burglary will not happen to us. So when such incidences do happen, we are taken by surprise and unprepared. While it is good to assume that bad things do not happen to us, but such is often not the eventual outcome. And when home fires happen, no amount of home or fire insurance can replace the lost memories and precious possessions. Indeed, protecting your valuables with fireproof home security safes is the smart thing to do.

In the event of a house fire, you will have to deal with the lost of your home, and material things like furniture, appliances and clothes. In addition, you will also have to account for the safety of all your family members and may even have to also deal with the pain of losing a family member in unfortunate situations. When you finally have the time to account for your loss, your precious possessions could have literally have gone down with the fire too. While material things like clothes and furniture can easily be replaced, pictures, heirlooms, handed down jewellery and more are priceless and non replaceable.

Of course you could also keep your precious items in a safe deposit box at your local bank, but if the nearest one is thirty miles away, you might wish to thing twice. Some of us who prefer to keep their valuables close at hand would prefer own a fireproof home safe instead for convenience. That way, you can take the items out to reminisce as and when you wish. After all, they can invoke precious memories close to heart. An even safer alternative is to keep the photographs at home, but the negatives in the safe deposit box thereby getting the best of both worlds. And if you have digital photos to safe keep, you can duplicate a set of the photos and keep the originals in flash drives at the safe deposit box too.

And the best part of it is that your fireproof home safe can also protect your precious valuables from burglar as well. They are designed and made to be as fire proof as they are burglar safe. That said, you need to understand that there is no truly fireproof home security safes but fire resistant instead. They are made with specific time frame within which they will maintain a lower temperature than specified.