Aviod Carbon Monoxide Poisioning

The Puget Sound area was hit by hurricane force winds that knocked out power to over 1 million people. Because of the power outages, people are trying to keep warm by any means available, including charcoal and propane stoves being used indoors without proper ventilation. So far, 100 people have been hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisioning. Emergency planners suggest that you need to be able to survive for three days without basic utilities. Do not be one of the tragic statistics.

It is critical to recognize symptoms of poisioning early, because you can get sick with flu-like symptoms. Prolonged exposure has sadly lead to some deaths locally. To avoid CO poisoning, the Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these tips:

– Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.

– Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.

– Never service fuel-burning appliances without proper knowledge, skills, and tools. Always refer to the owner's manual when performing minor adjustments or servicing fuel-burning appliances.

– Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers for heating your home.

– Never operate unintented fuel-burning appliances in any room with closed doors or windows or in any room where people are sleeping.

But, what can you do in the interim, when temperatures are dropping and there is no hope of power coming on soon? If your house has a fireplace, start a fire. Obviously, of course, and unless you have an insert or a wood burning stove, you will not heat up the house to standard temperatures. However, any additional heat you can create will help you manage during the outage.

Next, make use of the natural light that you may have at your house. If you have lots of windows, lift any curtains during the sunny times of the day. Let the sun heat what it can before it goes away for the evening. Close your curtains at night to retain any extra heat generated.

If your fireplace is upstairs, have a campout with your family in the house. We all have hazy memories from High School Science that heat rises. Get the family in a main room, preferably upstairs, with lots of pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags. Between the body heat of all the family members and the fire in your fireplace, you might be able to tough out the night. Make sure any candles are blown out before you go to sleep, and the adults of the family must manage the fire.

Last, if you have to leave the house, do not feel bad for doing so. Cities that are "known" for their money have set up emergency Shelters at churches and high schools. The heat will be on, they will have food, and television to keep you informed and entertained. If you have the money, rent a hotel room. If you do not, see if you can combine resources with family members or neighbors. You do not know who might have a space blanket, or a portable stove or grill. You may actually get to know someone and make new friends, or have a family experience you will not soon forget.

The Best Kitchen Tools

Who wants to spend all day over a hot stove? You have too many chores to attend to. The slow cooker takes indefinitely to long. You can definitely set it but you'll literally forget about what it's cooking since it takes so long. The drive through send your stomach into a deep and long tumble. You can not bare the salty taste any more. It's not hard to make scrumptious home cooked meals that the entire family will love. Instead of breaking out the cookbook or calling mom for the ingredients to her favorite recipe, use a tool that will actually put the fun back into cooking. You just need a Tefal Actifry to make all those wonderful creations that you love to have.

These are the perfect options for the busy college student. You're probably already sick of the roman noodles and junk foods that fill up your apartment. Use the Tefal Actifry to make your favorite meats, chips and many other tasty items in a few minutes. The cool designs helps catch all the unhealthy ingredients towards the bottom of the pan which makes it extremely easy to separate the tasty foods from the high level of fats that they may contain.

You will not find these items at your local retail store. These exclusive pieces are found online. Find great deals on many other kitchenware items online as well. The kitchen is arguably the best spot in the home. Bring the home family together by using these tools to make all your favorite scrumptious meals.

Basic Telecommunications Signaling

The demands put on telecommunications signaling system keep changing. Signaling is a very vital part of telecommunications and has a number of characteristics that it needs to exhibit. A signaling system must be able to cope with large numbers of calls or requests at one time without becoming noticeably slower. At the same time, the cost of running the signaling system must not detract from a carrier's ability to make money.

The system must be reliable and always be available for use. As components or individual messages can fail, the system as a whole must contain devices and procedures for recovering from problem areas.

One deficiency of early signaling systems based on tones was that it was very hard to adapt them to new requirements. This problem ran on into Signaling System # 6 which was also a computer protocol but designed for absolute bandwidth efficiency; it was not easily capable of extension. Thus Signaling System # 7 was born.

Between PABXs we often use DPNSS which stands for Digital Private Network Signaling System. This protocol is used on digital trunk lines for connecting two PABXs. It supports a limited set of inter-networking facilities based on the ISDN protocol. This protocol has been defined by BT

A subscriber and telephone company notify each other of call status with audible tones and an exchange of electrical current. This exchange of information is called supervisor signaling. There are three different types of supervision signaling:

On Hook – When the handset rests on the cradle, the circuit is on hook. The switch prevents current from flowing through the telephone. Regardless of the signaling type, a circuit goes on hook when the handset is placed on the telephone cradle and the switch hook is toggled to an open state. This results the current from flowing through the telephone. Only the ringer is active when the telephone is in this position.

On Hook – When the handset is removed from the telephone cradle, the circuit is off hook. The switch hook toggles to a closed state, causing circuit current to flow through the electrical loop. The current notifies the telephone company equipment that someone is requesting to place a telephone call. When the telephone network senses the off-hook connection by the flow of current, it provides a signal in the form of a dial tone to indicate that it is ready.

Ringing – When a subscriber makes a call, the telephone sends voltage to the ringer to notify the other subscriber of an inbound call. The telephone company also sends a ringback tone to the caller alerting the caller that it is sending ringing voltage to the recipient telephone. Although the ringback tone sounds similar to ringing, it is a call-progress tone and not part of supervision signaling.

The Digital Subscriber Signaling System No.1 (DSS1) is a suite of protocols that provides the means for users to invoke the full range of services and capabilities available from the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).

The Q.931 standard defines a protocol that takes care of these services. This protocol is located at the third, that is, at the network layer of the OSI protocol stack. All the above mentioned signaling is achieved through the D-channel defined by the ISDN standard. Q.931 will use this channel for setting up the wanted connection. As stated in the OSI reference model, higher protocol layers depend on the services provided by lower layers. Thus Q.931 is requesting services from the data-link layer which resides at layer two. The Q.921 standard defines a protocol that can be called a Data-Link Service Provider (DLSP). Q.931 is thus the data-link service user (DLSU). Q.921 is also better known as LAPD, as in Link Access Protocol D-channel. Service requests that come from the above layers are packed in LAPD frames and are sent through the network. All Q.931 messages are built up by a certain message body.

Signaling System Number 7 (SS7) is a set of signaling protocols developed for telephony in 1975, which is used to set up, maintain and tear down telephone calls. It is also used for a number of other functions and features such as:

Local Number Portability

Number Translation

SMS (Short Message Service)

Prepaid Billing

It is referred to by a number of abbreviations such as CCSS7 (Common Channel Signaling System 7) and C7 (CCITT number 7), The International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee.

The SS # 7 model uses the concept of layers to separate the different functions, however, the structure predates the adoption of the OSI model and there are only 4 layers. Circuit and Non-circuit components are shown, including the overlap where ISUP uses both. There are other non-circuit related top protocols such as MAP (Mobile application Part) By being open ended, SS # 7 can be extended for new requirements.

Celtic Cross Stitch Embroidery, Designs, Patterns And Instructions To Get Started

We all have interests in life, from music to painting – there's an artist in all of us. Out of that a large chunk are to busy or inhibited to find time for such activities while a small group are able to fulfill their passion.

An artist usually connects his hobbies into full time activity. Hobbies range from painting to music, from writing to antiques and even embroidery. Embroidery is very much an art form, one that enables you to use a broad range of colors.

Embroidery is like doing a painting or learning the dance steps of your favorite music score. Embroidery takes you a step closer to a finer art form. With the use of a needle you create life by stitching. This is a primitive art form.

There is evidence to prove that embroidery was prevalent during Stone Age, they used strips of leather and bone needles. Today the range is vast from fabrics and threads to design patterns to select from.

Embroidery can be a leisurely hobby. Embroidery allows us to make animal prints, make scenaries and small but wonderful craft items. That's not all we can make prints on hand towels that we use daily or create some cartoon like pictures on the tablemats we use. I can go on and on about the use of embroidery.

To get started with you're willing Celtic pattern you would require certain supplies or celtic cross stitch samplers. First make a choice of that intriguing Celtic cross stitch sewing design, some material for cross stitch, needles, sewing specific threads and an sewing frame. Fabrics like Aida, Jobelan,

Even weave linen and others can be put to use for creating your own masterpiece. You can choose threads like Standard cotton threads, Silk threads, DMC flexible cotton threads, wool yarns, Metallic and also Perle / Perl fabric threads.

You are not limited to a single thread color, use as many as you like to give the pattern a colorful face. Nickel-plated as well as gold plated needles could be used. Frequently a round edged needle between the size of 24 or 26 is needed to make custom cross stitch design.

This Celtic cross stitch sewing is revered all around the globe for the artist of the knots and for the unique interlacing patterns. Today Celtic cross stitch embroidery is known all over the globe as the patterns are easily available but the Spanish, Italians, Germans and English are thought to be the place of its origin.

Women in United Kingdom are known to be highly doting of cross stitch sewing, their taste for these embroideries let them create patterns that are exclusive. People from Celts were strongly prominent for their hand made patterns. They were so engrossed in these patterns that they had one for each day.

To begin Celtic cross stitch sewing it is not mandatory that one should acquire in-depth facts about the art form. Not much propaganda is needed to spread or create interest in Celtic cross stitch sewing; simply show some of your creations to you friends and family members.

Most of them shall just queue around you to learn. Patterns are now available on the net and pattern books. This art form is an addiction, the instance to get introduced you will never stop practicing it. Bet you would like to try you're hand at it !!!

Making Gold Coins' True Value Count

There are many, many people out there who have some type of gold on their possession and out of some of these people; some of them have coins that they are holding on to. Now although it is well known that coins are a valuable commodity and increase in value over time, many people could benefit from selling these unused gold coins in the online cash for gold market. If you have coins it would be a good idea for you to read on further and learn how selling you gold coins online are really making them more valuable to you.

You may be asking just how this could happen when some may say that it would be better for you to hold on to your gold coins and let them increase in value.? The natural and more obvious choice in the matter is that the gold coins only have true value if someone is able to give you a fair payout for them and luckily for the people out there; there are legitimate cash for gold online brokers who will pay you a fair dollar amount for the unused gold coins. Just think about it for a moment: imagine paying off those over-due bills, the car payment, the credit card payment, simply by sending in your unused coins. We are living in an age now where you can have results much faster and faster than in previous times with speed of smart phones with computers, wireless signals everywhere and the ability to sell your gold items through almost any of these methods only makes sense to sell this way.

There are some key steps that you should take in your mission to sell your gold coins:

1) Verify with a reputable online pawnbroker that they do indeed buy your gold coins. Most of them do, however it is always good to play it safe when it comes to this to ensure that you would receive a payout that you are happy with.

2) Make sure that the broker that you use is familiar with coin history and the nature of their payouts so you know what to expect.

3) Make sure that whatever gold pack that they send you, it is insured for up to $ 1,000. This is important because both parties are protected in case of theft or loss of the gold coins.

So now that you know that selling coins can be just as lucrative as selling gold necklaces, chains and rings, it only makes sense to go ahead and sell those gold rings as soon as you can and give them the true value that they deserve; the value of cash in your pocket!

Product Review – Babyliss Pro Gold Titanium Curling Iron

Babyliss Pro Gold Titanium – Put a Little Rhythm in It

Why Should I buy it?

In today's society, hair care has become an important issue. This issue itself is a pressing one, and often makes it important to keep up to date on your hair care products and styling products. Every woman in today's world should have three things, a blow dryer, curling iron, and flat iron, unless they have extremely short hair. Depending on your time constraints, hair type, and occasion one of those products should be able to work for you in at least some way. For instance, every occasion you attend should be a different look and it's best to experiment beforehand as well.

What Makes Babyliss Pro Different?

Babyliss pro gold titanium iron is coated with gold which prevents decomposition of your curling iron, keeping it longing long and just like new with little to no effort at all. This curling iron also comes with a two year warranty to prevent any issues you may come across when trying to decide if this is the curling iron for you. The gold and titanium combo provide a positive heating technique that keeps this iron staying hot enough to give you the style you want in your time frame and also comes with various heat settings for different hair types. With thirty heat settings, you will not have a problem finding one that is right right for you and the swivel chord keeps it from tangling up and tripping you up too!

Key Points

* Gold coating provides excellent heat production and less ware and tare to your curling iron
* Ceramic warmer gives instant heat, no more waiting!
* Thirty different heat settings to fit any hair type
* Two Year warranty so you are not wasting money!

Booting Your Arnova 10 G2 Into Recovery Mode

Are you an owner of an Arnova 10 G2? If so, then you know that these 10 inch tablets are perfect for surfing the web but, with their stock Android OS they don’t have too much more to offer. Thankfully, some very talented people found ways to root the 10 G2 allowing us to make administrative modifications or permitting the replacement of the stock Android operating system. There are even methods to installing Google Play, previously known as Google Market, and this alone has made the 10 G2 worth owning. Adding Google Play has leveled the practicality playing field for this device. Although, it can’t quite compete with quad-core power monster tablets with their high definition screens, it’s still a great tablet for $130, if you are willing to root it.

Rooting has become an almost effortless task for most devices with the advent of 1 click style rooting software. For the users out there that stumble upon this article and don’t know what “rooting an Android device” means; let me tell you. Rooting is a process that gives you, the user, administrative privileges on an Android operating system powered device. This allows you to circumvent restricted features, in the 10 G2’s case, removing bloat ware (unwanted applications that typically cannot be removed) or changing your ROM (a data file that is a version of the whole Android operating system.)

The Process

Here are the steps to gaining recovery mode access to your Arnova 10 G2:

  1. Plug the power cable and USB cable into your Arnova 10 G2. You should plug the other end of the USB cable into the computer and the power into the wall socket.
  2. Stick a paperclip into the reset slot and hold the reset button down.
  3. Push and hold the Volume + key. So now you are depressing the reset button and the Volume + button.
  4. Wait 15 seconds and release the reset button, but still hold the Volume + key.
  5. Give the device a few moments to cycle on. The screen will remain black. This black screen is the only visual proof that the Arnova is in recovery mode. You can release the Volume + button.

That’s it! You can now add your drivers and run your recovery software so that you can install a custom ROM or even the stock ROM which is located at Arnova’s support page.

There are lots of places to find information on the rest of the process. I implore you to search for different ROM’s and test them out. Some are great and some are even greater. Find what works for you and most of all, best of luck!

The Era of 'Finger in the Air' Publication Strategies is Almost Over

Somewhere in most organizations is a cupboard. Inside that cupboard is stack after stack of boxes. Inside those boxes are publications – brochures, annual reports, textbooks, manuals or the like – which only purpose seems to be gathering dust. Sound familiar? It does not have to be that way, says Iain Plunkett of on-demand specialist, The Garret.

I once stood with a company director in front of his own particular cupboard. He wanted to show me his current annual report. 'We have a few copies in here,' he said. His feeling of dread before opening the cupboard was palpable.

Sure enough, we were faced by a wall of cardboard. A few had miraculously become a few hundred or even a few thousand. You could say it was a product of poor planning. But, more accurately, it was a product of an organization trying to get the best possible price for producing their publication while not being able to predict demand.

He, and his company, are certainly not alone.

The price of prediction

As with every other sphere of life, communication is the key to business. The more effectively you communicate, the more successful you're likely to be. Stop communicating and you're likely to disappear. But, there's a cost associated with getting your information to the right people.

When it comes to printed material that has always been an upfront cost. You have had to tie up a significant amount of capital in the publications you produced. Moreover, unless you had an incredibly well-defined target audience, you'd have to make an 'educated guess' about how many people would actually want the piece.

When you have experience of the area – via the demand for similar publications in the past, for instance – you could get close to the correct amount to produce. However, I'm afraid 100% accuracy is incredible luck rather than planning. Even member-based organizations, such as trade associations where the size of the target readership is clearly understood, can not be sure that every member will require a copy or estimate the number of non-members that will request it.

If that's the best case scenario, what about marketing communications or supporting technical material created for a new product launch? Even with the very best market research, demand is not guaranteed. You are going to have to rely on a degree of prediction – accept a degree of risk. Put your money where your mouth is and accept the fact that there will be some level of waste.

Turning the tables

Here's an idea: only print a publication as it's required. Print as few as one copy at a time. Like many other parts of business, make your communications on-demand.

For the first time, you can make prediction a thing of the past. If you know there are 10,000 people waiting for the piece then print 10,000. If you're not sure there's anyone then do not print any. In both cases as demand grows, you can easily react. Advances in technology means that the item resides on a server until needed, goes straight to press and out to the recipient; be that a customer, student, employee or partner.

Moving from prediction to demand-based publication strategies also takes the pressure off your cupboards. There is simply no need to be stockpiling those boxes. No need for the publications to spend a life of forlorn darkness. Fulfilment can be handled at the point of print. All you need to know is that there is acceptable turnaround between an item being requested to it being delivered.

Doing the maths

Of course, to state that the ability to print on-demand is a new thing is slightly misleading. You have always had the ability to print one copy at a time. It's just that the cost would have been so astronomical, no sensible person would have considered it. What's changed is simply that short run and single copy printing has become cost-effective. Not for everything but for enough of your communications to make it worth doing the maths prior to any project.

Printing 20,000 copies will always mean that the unit cost is less than printing a single copy. But what if you end up with 6000 unwanted copies? What does that do to your figures?

And, it's not just straight print costs. There is that horrible phrase 'Total Cost of Ownership' to consider. What are your storage costs? How do you handle a request for information? Who despatched the information when it's requested? How do they do it? How long does that take? Is that job or is it a distraction from their proper business role?

More importantly, are you putting a financial cost against this time and effort?

Coming out of the closet

Back in the cupboard, the director rips open a box and proudly hands me a copy of his annual report. Glossy, well designed, very professional. I start to flick through the pages. "Do not pay too much attention to that, 'he says.' Most of it is out of date. '

10 reasons to go on-demand:

1. Print as few as one copy: Using advances in digital technology, it is possible and economic to print in single copies. This reduces the need to produce publications in bulk.

2. Print only when required: There is no need to try to estimate demand prior to printing. The publication can be printed only as it is required. This automatically eliminates inventory and stock control issues.

3. Release limited budget: By reducing upfront investment, organizations can free up capital for other projects. In fact, if the publication is for sale, the customer covers all costs prior to printing.

4. Keep publications up-to-date: Many publications begin to lose value as soon as they are printed. By creating publications on-demand, they can be updated as required so that the publication is always correct when printed.

5. Keep publications in print: Rather than retiring publications when the stock is depleted or order a reprint knowing demand will be small, an organization can keep the publication on the system indefinitely – creating a virtual warehouse.

6. Reduce production timescales: Developments in publishing systems allows the creation of unique templates that speed page lay-out. Once ready, the digital file goes straight to press reducing the time taken to produce the publication.

7. Explore new publishing opportunities: By reducing the cost and eliminating the need for a large inventory, organizations can develop publications where there is only a small target audience – even a readership of one.

8. Relieve the despatch headache: Many organizations end up fulfilling requests for publications internationally. This is time-consuming and can easily become a hidden cost of providing information. An on-demand service can take care of this without the expense of employing a mailing house.

9. Work closely with partners: Using an on-demand approach makes it more efficient and cost-effective to provide materials to partners and suppliers. An organization can make a publication available for partners to amend and print while maintaining control.

10. Superior customer service: Some organizations have canceled publications or offered PDF-only versions in order to control costs. However, many people still prefer printed material. On-demand can allow organizations to continue offering a choice to their customers, members employees or other audiences.

Copyright 2006 Iain Plunkett

Ace in the Hole: New Fantasy Baseball Number One Starting Pitchers

Most baseball teams have one. You know him. He's that starting pitcher that is labeled as the "staff ace", they guy who dominates the opposition, snuffs out losing streaks and is without a doubt the best pitcher in a team's starting rotation. In fantasy baseball, these pitchers are gold and their names carry a lot of weight at the draft table and in trade talks. However, the big names do not always hold up and often find themselves relegated to the role of 'second banana' in a team's rotation. The key in fantasy baseball is to identify who has dropped a spot and who has taken over the role as 'ace'. A big name that has landed a notch may help land you something in a trade and nabbing the new-found ace will help you toward winning your league. Here are some teams going through a shift at the top of their starting rotations currently:

San Francisco-

For the past several seasons, there has been no doubt about the fact that Tim Lincecum has been the ace of the Giants rotation. His numbers have been among the upper echelon of starters in either league and his value in fantasy has been without question. However, in 2012, Lincecum has wrestled mightily and has been forced from the ace role by not one but two other starting pitchers. Madison Bumgarner is a pitcher on the rise. The lefty has continued to improve and is making a name for himself among the very best young left-handed pitchers in the game. Matt Cain's recent perfect game, combined with his very impressive numbers make him a threat to dethrone Lincecum as well.

Toronto –

Although there were reports about his status as a true 'number 1', it was broadly held that Ricky Romero was the de facto ace of the Blue Jays staff. Inconsistency and poor peripheral stats have been masked somewhat by a decent win total. Although Romero did put up a decent second half last year, Brandon Morrow is looking more and more like the best pitcher on this staff.

Oakland –

The Athletics traded away most of their serviceable arms in the off season leaving Brandon McCarthy to be tabbed by many as the ace of the Oakland rotation. Pre-season hype by a number of publications trumpeted the fact that McCarthy was ready to take the next step as a number one starter. Although he has pitched well, injuries and a lack of strikeouts have preceded McCarthy from taking the next step forward. Jarrod Parker, on the other hand has begun to make a name for himself with some great outings and comes at a much cheaper price to fantasy owners. Although the tag of 'ace' for a team such as the Athletics strongly evokes thoughts of domination, there is fantasy value here.

Miami –

So long as he has been healthy (which has not been often nearly enough slowly), Josh Johnson has been the ace of the Marlins staff. This year he has stayed healthy but has severely pitched like himself. Opponents are batting over 100 points higher against him and his ERA is about 3 times as high as it was in 2011. The pitcher that has emerged as one of the best on the staff is newcomer Mark Buerhle. His stuff is nowhere near the level of Johnson's but you can not argue with the results. His ERA and WHIP are markedly better than those of Johnson and he has allowed half the number of free passes.

Arizona –

After a 21 win season in 2011, it could be argued that Ian Kennedy is the staff ace but Daniel Hudson is the young arm that the Diamondbacks are looking at to lead this squad. Rather than improve, his numbers have steadily declined since a mid-season trade claimed him to the desert in 2010. Fantasy owners know that Wade Miley is the young arm (he's only 25 years old) that is putting up the stats in Arizona so far this year. He may have already come out of nowhere but Miley is making his mark in the D-Backs rotation and has been the better fantasy pick so far in 2012.

Try not to be fooled by the big names. The pitchers that are provided to be the 'aces' of their staff do not always deliver in spades.

Sizzling Trends to Consider for Novelty Lighting

When your kids always consider an enjoyable time of playing this spring season, it's time to transform his or her room with novel lighting options which would certainly be the talk of the town. So, stop here and get those creative ideas through the bag of trends specifically thought for novelty lighting. For sure, your little ones would always come back to you for playing in the environment which would be set.

Lamp Shades

Whether it's a lamp shade at the bedside or next to the study table, you could run your imagination wild while selecting the shade, the bulb, and the stand. For the shade, it could have a light colored translucent thick fabric backed by motifs. It's totally up to you which motifs you should select. This can be preferred to book lights. These could be stars, weird shapes or anything else that your little ones like the most. Let the light filter out and contribute towards a dazzling look of the room. The lamp stand should be kept somber but coated with gold or silver paint matching the color of the shade.

Chandeliers

A Chandelier is a perfect add-on when you are thinking of something different when novelty lighting comes into the picture. Depending on your taste, you could either select one made of glass or metal. While a glass chandelier takes you back to the times of kings and queens, a metallic one helps to deck up rooms with a somber idea. Alternately, you could consider fittings festooned with colorful beads.

Wall Lighting

If you want others to distinguish you totally, then there's a lot that you can do with wall lights. You could go ahead in installing LED lit intricate shapes which your kid often daydreams. In order to keep it simple but appealing to the eyes, you can opt for a crescent or Saturn. But, if the budget is restricting you from purchasing, then illuminated photo frames can also work. Snaps not only remind you of those special moments but also instill a feeling for your child that he is never alone.

Floor Lighting

As a parent, you would not prefer to go for floor lighting. It is better to take precautions before something serious happens when little ones run Helter skelter. But just in case if you think about floor lighting, then you consider placing a slender floor lamp next to the window or at a place which would be out of reach.

Night Lights

Why keep your little one bereft of enjoyment late in the night when spring is the best season? A light masked with a molded shape of an animal, or a flower like a lotus will always usher the right environment to play a bit more but at the same time help him to catch up on sleep.

The Car Rental Industry

Market Overview

The car rental industry is a multi-billion dollar sector of the US economy. The US segment of the industry averages about $18.5 billion in revenue a year. Today, there are approximately 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the US segment of the market. In addition, there are many rental agencies besides the industry leaders that subdivide the total revenue, namely Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental car industry is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since they face high input costs with reduced possibility of economies of scale. Moreover, most of the profit is generated by a few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.4 billion in total revenue. Hertz came in second position with about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in revenue.

Level of Integration

The rental car industry faces a completely different environment than it did five years ago. According to Business Travel News, vehicles are being rented until they have accumulated 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they are relegated to the used car industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles five years ago. Because of slow industry growth and narrow profit margin, there is no imminent threat to backward integration within the industry. In fact, among the industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.

Scope of Competition

There are many factors that shape the competitive landscape of the car rental industry. Competition comes from two main sources throughout the chain. On the vacation consumer’s end of the spectrum, competition is fierce not only because the market is saturated and well guarded by industry leader Enterprise, but competitors operate at a cost disadvantage along with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a network of dealers over 90 percent the leisure segment. On the corporate segment, on the other hand, competition is very strong at the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Because the industry underwent a massive economic downfall in recent years, it has upgraded the scale of competition within most of the companies that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental car industry is a war-zone as most rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the major players engage in a battle of the fittest.

Growth

Over the past five years, most firms have been working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and increasing the level of profitability. Enterprise currently the company with the largest fleet in the US has added 75,000 vehicles to its fleet since 2002 which help increase its number of facilities to 170 at the airports. Hertz, on the other hand, has added 25,000 vehicles and broadened its international presence in 150 counties as opposed to 140 in 2002. In addition, Avis has increased its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Over the years following the economic downturn, although most companies throughout the industry were struggling, Enterprise among the industry leaders had been growing steadily. For example, annual sales reached $6.3 in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.4 billion in 2004 which translated into a growth rate of 7.2 percent a year for the past four years. Since 2002, the industry has started to regain its footing in the sector as overall sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. According to industry analysts, the better days of the rental car industry have yet to come. Over the course of the next several years, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth valued at $20.89 billion each year following 2008 “which equates to a CAGR of 2.7 % [increase] in the 2003-2008 period.”

Distribution

Over the past few years the rental car industry has made a great deal of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, there are approximately 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million rental cars in the US. Because of the increasingly abundant number of car rental locations in the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into account in order to insure proper distribution throughout the industry. Distribution takes place within two interrelated segments. On the corporate market, the cars are distributed to airports and hotel surroundings. On the leisure segment, on the other hand, cars are distributed to agency owned facilities that are conveniently located within most major roads and metropolitan areas.

In the past, managers of rental car companies used to rely on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make decisions about how many cars to have in a particular fleet or the utilization level and performance standards of keeping certain cars in one fleet. With that methodology, it was very difficult to maintain a level of balance that would satisfy consumer demand and the desired level of profitability. The distribution process is fairly simple throughout the industry. To begin with, managers must determine the number of cars that must be on inventory on a daily basis. Because a very noticeable problem arises when too many or not enough cars are available, most car rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a “pool” which is a group of independent rental facilities that share a fleet of vehicles. Basically, with the pools in place, rental locations operate more efficiently since they reduce the risk of low inventory if not eliminate rental car shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most companies throughout the chain make a profit based of the type of cars that are rented. The rental cars are categorized into economy, compact, intermediate, premium and luxury. Among the five categories, the economy sector yields the most profit. For instance, the economy segment by itself is responsible for 37.7 percent of the total market revenue in 2004. In addition, the compact segment accounted for 32.3 percent of overall revenue. The rest of the other categories covers the remaining 30 percent for the US segment.

Historical Levels of Profitability

The overall profitability of the car rental industry has been shrinking in recent years. Over the past five years, the industry has been struggling just like the rest of the travel industry. In fact, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has experienced a moderate reduction in the level of profitability. Specifically, revenue fell from $19.4 billion in 2000 to $18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the overall industry revenue eroded further to $17.9 billion in 2002; an amount that is minimally higher than $17.7 billion which is the overall revenue for the year 1999. In 2003, the industry experienced a barely noticeable increase which brought profit to $18.2 billion. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, some of the smaller players that were highly dependent on the airline industry have done a great deal of strategy realignments as a way of preparing their companies to cope with eventual economic adversities that may surround the industry. For the year 2004, on the other hand, the economic situation of most firms have gradually improved throughout the industry since most rental agencies have returned far greater profits relative to the anterior years. For instance, Enterprise realized revenues of $7.4 billion; Hertz returned revenues of $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.9 billion in revenue for the fiscal year of 2004. According to industry analysts, the rental car industry is expected to experience steady growth of 2.6 percent in revenue over the next several years which translates into an increase in profit.

Competitive Rivalry Among Sellers

There are many factors that drive competition within the car rental industry. Over the past few years, broadening fleet sizes and increasing profitability has been the focus of most companies within the car rental industry. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the leaders have been growing both in sales and fleet sizes. In addition, competition intensifies as firms are constantly trying to improve their current conditions and offer more to consumers. Enterprise has nearly doubled its fleet size since 1993 to approximately 600,000 cars today. Because the industry operates on such narrow profit margins, price competition is not a factor; however, most companies are actively involved in creating values and providing a range of amenities from technological gadgets to even free rental to satisfy customers. Hertz, for example, integrates its Never-Lost GPS system within its cars. Enterprise, on the other hand, uses sophisticated yield management software to manage its fleets.

Finally, Avis uses its OnStar and Skynet system to better serve the consumer base and offers free weekend rental if a customer rents a car for five consecutive days Moreover, the consumer base of the rental car industry has relatively low to no switching cost. Conversely, rental agencies face high fixed operating costs including property rental, insurance and maintenance. Consequently, rental agencies are sensitively pricing there rental cars just to recover operating costs and adequately meet their customers demands. Furthermore, because the industry experienced slow growth in recent years due to economic stagnation that resulted in a massive decline in both corporate travel and the leisure sector, most companies including the industry leaders are aggressively trying to reposition their firms by gradually lessening the dependency level on the airline industry and regaining their footing in the leisure competitive arena.

The Potential Entry of new Competitors

Entering the car rental industry puts new comers at a serious disadvantage. Over the past few years following the economic downturn of 2001, most major rental companies have started increasing their market shares in the vacation sector of the industry as a way of insuring stability and lowering the level of dependency between the airline and the car rental industry. While this trend has engendered long term success for the existing firms, it has heightened the competitive landscape for new comers. Because of the severity of competition, existing firms such as Enterprise, Hertz and Avis carefully monitor their competitive radars to anticipate Sharpe retaliatory strikes against new entrants. Another barrier to entry is created because of the saturation level of the industry.

For example, Enterprise has taken the first mover advantage with its 6000 facilities by saturating the leisure segment thereby placing not only high restrictions on the most common distribution channels, but also high resource requirements for new firms. Today, Enterprise has a rental location within 15 miles of 90 percent of the US population. Because of the network of dealers Enterprise has established around the nation, it has become relatively stable, more recession proof and most importantly, less reliant on the airline industry compared to its competitors. Hertz, on the other hand, is utilizing the full spectrum of its 7200 stores to secure its position in the marketplace. Basically, the emergence of most of the industry leaders into the leisure market not only drives rivalry, but also it varies directly with the level of complexity of entering the car rental industry.

The Threat of Substitute

There are many substitutes available for the car rental industry. From a technological standpoint, renting a car to go the distance for a meeting is a less attractive alternative as opposed to video conferencing, virtual teams and collaboration software with which a company can immediately setup a meeting with its employees from anywhere around the world at a cheaper cost. In addition, there are other alternatives including taking a cab which is a satisfactory substitute relative to quality and switching cost, but it may not be as attractively priced as a rental car for the course of a day or more. While public transportation is the most cost efficient of the alternatives, it is more costly in terms of the process and time it takes to reach one’s destination. Finally, because flying offers convenience, speed and performance, it is a very enticing substitute; however, it is an unattractive alternative in terms of price relative to renting a car. On the business segment, car rental agencies have more protection against substitutes since many companies have implemented travel policies that establish the parameters of when renting a car or using a substitute is the best course of action.

According to Tracy Esch, an Advantage director of marketing operations, her company rents cars up to a 200-mile trip before considering an alternative. Basically, the threat of substitute is reasonably low in the car rental industry since the effects the substitute products have do not pose a significant threat of profit erosion throughout the industry.

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Supplier power is low in the car rental industry. Because of the availability of substitutes and the level of competition, suppliers do not have a great deal of influence in the terms and conditions of supplying the rental cars. Because the rental cars are usually purchased in bulk, rental car agents have significant influence over the terms of the sale since they possess the ability to play one supplier against another to lower the sales price. Another factor that reduces supplier power is the absence of switching cost. That is, buyers are not affected from purchasing from one supplier over another and most importantly, changing to different supplier’s products is barely noticeable and does not affect consumer’s rental choices.

The Bargaining Power of Buyers

While the leisure sector has little or no power, the business segment possesses a significant amount of influence in the car rental industry. An interesting trend that is currently underway throughout the industry is forcing car rental companies to adapt to the needs of corporate travelers. This trend significantly reduces supplier power or the rental firms’ power and increases corporate buyer power since the business segment is excruciatingly price sensitive, well informed about the industry’s price structure, purchase in larger quantities and they use the internet to force lower prices. Vacation buyers, on the other hand, have less influence over the rental terms. Because vacationers are usually less price sensitive, purchase in lesser amounts or purchase more infrequently, they have weak bargaining power.

Five Forces

Today the car rental industry is facing a completely different environment than it did five years ago. Competitively speaking, the revolution of the five forces around the car rental industry exerts some strong economic pressure that has significantly tarnished the competitive attractiveness of the industry. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, many companies went under namely Budget and the Vanguard Group because their business infrastructure succumbed to the untenability of the competitive environment. Today, very few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a slightly above-average revenue compared to the rest of the industry. Realistically speaking, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry because of the level of competition, the barriers to entry and the competitive pressure from the substitute firms.

Strategic Group Mapping

As a moderately concentrated sector, there is a clear hierarchy in the car rental industry. From an economic standpoint, disparities exist from a number of dimensions including revenue, fleet size and the market size each firm holds in the market place. For instance, Enterprise dominates the industry with a fleet size of approximately 600,000 vehicles along with its market size and its level of profitability. Hertz comes in second position with its number of market shares and fleet volume. In addition, Avis ranks third on the map. Avis is among one of the companies that is having issues recovering its revenue margins from prior to the economic downturn. For instance, in 2000 Avis returned revenues of approximately $4.23 billion. Over the course of the next several years following 2000, the revenue of Avis has been significantly lower than that of 2000. As a way of reducing uncertainty most companies are gradually lessening the level of dependency on the airline industry and emerging the leisure market. This trend may not be in the best interest of Hertz since its business strategy is intricately linked to the airports.

Key Success Factors

There are many key success factors that drive profitability throughout the car rental industry. Capacity utilization is one of the factors that determines success in the industry. Because rental firms experience loss of revenue when there are either too few or too many cars sitting in their lots, it is of paramount importance to efficiently manage the fleets. This success factor represents a big strength for the industry since it lowers if not completely eliminates the possibly of running short on rental cars. Efficient distribution is another factor that keeps the industry profitable. Despite the positive relationship between fleet sizes and the level of profitability, firms are constantly growing their fleet sizes because of the competitive forces that surround the industry. In addition, convenience is one of the crucial attributes by which consumers select rental firms. That is, car rental consumers are more prone to renting cars from firms that have convenient rental and drop off locations. Another key success factor that is common among competing firms is the integration of technology in their business processes. Through technology, for instance, the car rental companies create ways to meet consumer demand by making renting a car a very agreeable ordeal by adding the convenience of online rental among other alternatives. Furthermore, firms have integrated navigation systems along with roadside assistance to offer customers the piece of mind when renting cars.

Industry Attractiveness

There are many factors that impact the attractiveness of the car rental industry. Because the industry is moderately concentrated, it puts new market entrants at a disadvantage. That is, its low concentration represents a natural barrier to entering the industry as it allows existing firm to anticipate sharp retaliations against new entrants. Because of the risks associated with entering the industry among other factors, it is not a very attractive sector of the marketplace. From a competitive standpoint, the leisure market is 90 percent saturated because of the active efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector of the market. On the other hand, the airport terminals are heavily guarded by Hertz. Realistically speaking, entry in the industry offers low profitability relative to the costs and risks associated. For most consumers, the main determining factors of choosing one company over another are price and convenience. Because of this reason, rental firms are very circumspect about setting their rates and that generally force even the industry major players in the position of offering more to the consumers for less just to remain competitive. Hertz, for example, offers wireless internet to its customers just to add more convenience to their travel plans. Avis on the other hand, offers free weekend specials if a customer rents a car for five consecutive weekdays. Based on the impact of the five forces, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry to potential new market entrants.

Conclusion

The rental car industry is in a state of recovery. Although it may seem like the industry is performing well financially, it is nonetheless gradually regaining its footing relative to its actual economic position within the last five years. As a way of insuring profitability, besides seeking market shares and stability, most companies throughout the chain have a common goal that deals with lowering the level of dependency on the airline industry and moving toward the leisure segment. This state of motion has engendered some fierce competition among industry competitors as they attempt to defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the better days of the car rental industry have yet to come. As the level of profitability increases, I believe that most of the industry leaders including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis will be bounded by the economic and competitive barriers of mobility of their strategic groups and new comers will have a better chance of infiltrating and realizing success in the car rental industry.

Sources

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Using Fire Doors For Passive Fire Protection

Fire doors are critical components of a building's interior plan because they will prevent the spread of fire as well as give the building occupants the safety they need. As a passive protection installation, it can control the spread of smoke, heat and flames for a definite number of hours such as half an hour, a quarter of an hour, one hour or 2 hours of protection.

There is always an annoying danger when fire can spread freely around the location. When there are no other fire protective gadgets installed or stored in a building, like fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire-resistant passageways or fire hoses, then everything and everyone is at risk of being damaged by fire in little time.

Building owners must accept the fact that any time, their structure is unacceptable when there is no passive protection applied to it. in addition, the installation of doors that burn slow even in direct heat will also need fire door maintenance. Make it a priority to have these doors checked on a regular basis. Once these doors are used by people as passageway, no matter how sturdy they seem to be, would also succumb to normal wear and tear. They can be used in heavy traffic areas such as laboratories, so it is expected that they will be worn out in parts or experience wrong installation procedures. Some of these doors may also carry low-quality components so it is imperative that a certified inspector for these doors be contacted so that the issues can be determined early.

There are also other problems with regards to these doors, namely:

  • Defective doors
  • No certificates
  • Lacks intumescent strips or smoke seals
  • Inappropriate fire rating of installed door
  • Painting the fire-protective door
  • No self-closing device

It would be of great help when these issues are addressed by licensed inspectors and the replacement parts should be sourced out from sellers of fire-proof doors and not just from any hardware.

Door sets that are capable of withstanding fire can be bought from stores that specialize in these products. The fire door assembly should be composed of approved door leaf and frame, casing as well as components that are compliant to the standards of fire-proof materials.

How does the rated door protect? In case there is fire, the door will protect areas that are still intact, as long as the smoke seal and fire seal are properly installed around the door leaf. It would defeat the purpose of the fire door when the installation of these seals leaves a big gap between the floor and the edge of the door.

A smoke seal will disallow the passage of cold smoke, the term used for smoke that still builds up the fire. It can spread to other rooms and may cause suffocation and asphyxiation, although it does not carry the kind of temperature that will cause burns. This seal will seal off any smoke and when fire has reached the door, the intumescent seal expanss, totally sealing off the passage of hot smoke and flames that may cause injury or death to occupants of the building.

Importance Of Having A Lean Post In Your Boat

Significance Of Having Leaning Posts

It is hard to find a best boat owner who does not understand the importance of a leaving post structure. Their primary use is to allow the captain of the boat to stand steady even under harsh sailing conditions. It serves other functional benefits apart from the safety aspects by providing more room for storage, and create space for other useful equipment. Such as marine products are also guaranteed to increase your boat's resale value, while making it more enjoyable to be on.

Now manufacturers of marine products are looking at creating more and more creative designs of these lean posts to appeal to different groups of customers. The color choices of frames and upholstery also vary a great deal so that you could choose a structure which blends well with your overall boat design. The most common type of upholstery material used would be marine grade vinyl. You could even opt to get a custom designed option which would be able to fit perfectly in the available space as well as take into account any specific needs you wish to incorporate in the design.

Your boat will be provided with additional seating once you attach the boat leaving posts. It is always best to fix a higher number if you would be expecting many passengers on board. This will provide additional safety for them as well. Most of these products are made of advanced forms of aluminum which is lighter and much stronger, which are desirable features of any structure you would have been adding to a boat.

How To Install A Lean Post

You should always thoroughly read the manufacturer's specifications and follow instructions during the process. First decide the position of where you intend to fix the structure. Ideally you would need to keep about 12 inches distance from the console. Inspect the installation by using a flashlight and pay careful attention if any electrical wiring work and gas connection work would be involved. Before drilling the boat, mark the mounting holes from the structure. In some instances you could even mount a leasing post to an existing seat post. Another important tip is to use bolts instead of screws as screws tend to back out and are affected more by tension forces.

Some tools required for the project include:

  • Power drill
  • Socket-wrench set
  • Jigsaw
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring tape
  • Marine lumber
  • Wax pencil

Say Goodbye to Bridges With Dental Implants

Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced using bridges, or fixed partial dentures. Today, advances in dentistry have made improved dental implants available to patients seeking to replace missing or extracted teeth.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 69% of all adults "have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay." As a result, the majority of people will at some point be faced with the question: dental implants or fixed bridges?

Bridges vs. Implants

To obtain a bridge, a patient must first have existing teeth on either side of a missing tooth. (These existing teeth will serve as anchors for the bridge.) The teeth are reduced in size, and a false (prosthetic) bridge is created that fills the gap with a false tooth. Each end of the bridge is bonded to the existing, reduced teeth. Patients must exercise care when cleaning the bridge site, and bridges generally need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years to prevent decay and to repair any damage to the bridgework.

In contrast, dental implants (or single-tooth implants) do not rely on surrounding teeth. To create a standard implant implant, titanium metal is fused with the patient's jawbone using a process known as osseointegration. Once osseointegration is complete, a custom-made dental crown is attached to the implant post. Typically, patients experience a 90-95% success rate 10 years after first undergoing an implant procedure.

Advantages of Implants Over Bridges

Dental implants offer many advantages over bridges or fixed partial dentistry, including the following:

o More natural look
o Greater alignment with you natural jaw line
o No damage to surrounding teeth
o Easier to care for and clean, leading to better periodontal health
o More cost effective in the long term, as replacements are not needed as frequently (or, sometimes, at all)
o Placement is more flexible, as the missing tooth area does not need to be surrounded by existing teeth

In the end, dental implants offer significant advantages over bridges in nearly every area, from look to health to cost. Aside from the cosmetic benefits, dental implants can help patients maintain the same speech patterns and chewing abilities that they had before losing the affected tooth. Considering all the benefits dental implants can offer, patients have many reasons to say good-bye to bridges forever.