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Water Pressure- What should my water pressure be?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the August 16th, 2010

For a pressure regulator to work accurately the pressure setting on it must be at least 15 PSI lower than the inlet pressure. So if your static pressure is 70 PSI, the highest pressure you should set on the pressure regulator would be 55 PSI. 55 PSI is a good pressure for both the needs of a house and a sprinkler system.

Believe it or not, some people have too much pressure. If your home is in a low lying area, water pressure may be higher than average. And if it’s higher than 70 psi, you should have a plumber install a pressure-reducing valve.

Was your home built in or before 1978?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the August 11th, 2010

If so, you need to know the following important information:

As of April 22, 2010, contractors remodeling or demolishing more than six square feet indoors or 20 square feet outdoors must be trained and certified for lead safety by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to work in homes, childcare facilities or schools built in or before 1978.

Buildings constructed in or before 1978 are likely to contain lead-based paint that can be disturbed during remodeling or demolition, creating dust and exposing workers and occupants to the potential health hazards associated with lead.

Scientific studies show children with high levels of lead in their bodies can potentially suffer from:

Damage to brain and nervous system
Behavior and learning problems
Slowed growth
Hearing problems
US EPA Renovate Right booklet: (Your contractor should provide you with a copy)

Database of CSLB-licensed contractors who are lead-certified:

Note: Homes constructed in or before 1978 may also contain asbestos!!

Any project 100 square feet or more that involves asbestos-containing construction materials must be performed by a contractor registered with the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

Asbestos Registrants Database:

Tips for Contractors

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the August 10th, 2010

Avoid Legal Hazards
Require written contracts for all work you perform. Retain copies of contracts for at least three years.
Have contracts and warranties reviewed by your attorney. Do not accept/assume responsibilities you are not familiar with.
If you hire subcontractors:
Have written contracts with subcontractors, with requirements for them to hold you harmless, indemnify, and defend you against any claim or liability arising from the performance of the contract.
Require each subcontractor to submit certificates of insurance for liability and workers’ compensation coverage, prior to beginning a job. Certificates should show limits of liability (if applicable) at least equal to the limits of your policies, indicate a policy period covering the period(s) of time work will be conducted, and be kept on file for premium auditors.
If you are working as a subcontractor, specifically limit contractual agreements for you to hold the owner or general contractor harmless, indemnify, and defend them against any claim or liability arising from the performance of the contract, to the work you perform.
Have licensed professional engineers or architects design and/or approve project plans and specifications.

Prevent Losses on the Job Site

Use employment applications and check references of prospective employees. (Applications available at most office supply stores).
Provide written safety rules and enforce them! Safety rules should be based on OSHA, or other government agency safety requirements and accepted industry practices. Areas of particular concern are:
Full Protection (Work at heights)
Lock-Out / Tag-Out of Energy Sources
Confined Space Entry Program
Hazard Communication Program
Personal Protective Equipment
Employees should have similar job experience, or be provided training in any job they may be assigned.
Assign responsibility for safety to a supervisor or foreman.
Hold regular safety meetings.
Conduct periodic safety inspections.
Review the safety practices of all subcontractors you have hired. Be sure they meet the same standards you have established.
Have a first aid kit available.
Post emergency phone numbers and have a phone available to summon help in the event of an emergency.
Have fully charged, easily accessible, portable fire extinguishers.
Provide protective equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection and hard hats. Enforce their proper use!
Secure the job site! Fence the site to prevent vandalism and public access to hazardous areas. Control access to customers and their vendors. Provide lighting when possible.
Barricade work areas and provide warning signs near excavations and other hazards.
Secure equipment and materials left on the job site. Lock tools in boxes and secure large equipment with chains. Limit tools and materials left on the site as much as practical.
Store/handle hazardous materials properly. Protect containers from damage and secure tanks in an upright position. Use safety cans for gasoline and other flammable liquids.
Practice good housekeeping! Remove scrap and debris daily. Limit the accumulation of sawdust.
Store waste materials and dumpsters well detached from buildings.
Follow precautions for welding and other hot work. Shield or wet combustible surfaces. End such operations at least 30 minutes before leaving the site unoccupied.
Temporary heating units should be UL/AGA approved. Follow manufacturer’s suggested precautions and provide adequate clearance from combustible material.
Have procedures for reporting and investigating incidents and accidents. Lessons learned even from “near misses” may help to identify ways to avoid future accidents.
Require proper use of ladders and scaffolds.
Limit the exposure of adjacent properties to damage and comply with all building and environmental codes.

Prevent Losses on the Road
If employees drive your vehicles, or drive their own in the course of work, have your agent check their driving record.
If your employees drive their own vehicles in the course of work, verify their insurance coverage and make sure their limits are equal to your insurance.
Provide written driving safety rules to anyone who operates a vehicle.
Have procedures for reporting and investigating accidents.
Develop written preventative maintenance procedures for all vehicles and equipment.

Vehicle Safety
The following are common safety rules that many companies use to ensure safe operation of their vehicles. Their implementation and enforcement may help you avoid accidents and lower your insurance costs.

Only designated employees should operate company vehicles.
Driver’s license numbers must be provided and are subject to periodic record checks.
A revoked or suspended license must be reported to a supervisor.
Drivers must adhere to all laws and regulations pertaining to the use of the specific type of vehicle they are operating, including requirements for special licenses or permits.
Accidents of any nature or severity must be reported immediately to a supervisor.
Tickets for any violation must be reported to a supervisor. The driver is personally responsible for any fines or penalties resulting from the manner in which they operate the vehicle.
Drivers are responsible for inspecting and verifying the safe operating condition of their vehicle at the beginning and end of each workday.
Unsafe vehicle conditions must be reported to a supervisor.
All speed limits and traffic laws must be obeyed. Speed should be reduced as road conditions warrant (rain, snow, construction, etc.).
All lane changes must be signalled. Flashers should be used when stopped on a roadway or when traveling well below the posted speed limit.
Operation of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescribed medication that impairs ability to drive, is strictly prohibited.
Courteous behavior should be maintained at all times.

Business Networking for Entrepreneurs

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the August 9th, 2010

Social Networking

1. Be distinctive.

A brightly-colored, hand-painted tie, an unusual necklace or other jewelry, a good (but not overpowering) cologne, even just impeccable grooming can all help you stand out in a good way. It’s not that you want to be remembered and identified for that, but anything that helps people separate you from the crowd helps them remember the rest of you. You don’t have to be outlandish — although some people work that quite well — just don’t blend in completely with the crowd.

2. Be fully present.

Be fully engaged and fully aware of the people you interact with. You can break this down into smaller, somewhat mechanical pieces — listen well, respond promptly, maintain eye contact, etc. — but if you are truly present in the moment, those things will happen naturally. Many people only seem to be “half there”, so being fully engaged helps you stand out.

3. Ask thought-provoking questions.

Networking expert Bob Burg has some good suggested questions in his book Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales, such as “How did you get started?” or “What do you enjoy most about what you do?” But the very best questions can’t be communicated in a book because they’re specific to the person you’re interacting with and will arise in response to your initial conversation. Do #2 and this will flow naturally. As Dale Carnegie suggested, you must “take a genuine interest in other people”.

4. Reinforce your keywords.

People aren’t going to remember long descriptions of what you do, or likely even that 15-second intro that many experts teach you to make. People will at best remember a few key things about you:

•Your name
•Your company name
•Your business/industry (in three words or less)
•Your product
•Your location
What you want to do is find ways to unobtrusively increase the occurrence of these things in your conversation. For example, is there some kind of story behind your name? Have it ready to use if there’s an opportunity. Does your business have an unusual name? What’s the story behind it – what does it mean? Refer to your place of business when telling an incident that occurred (“I was driving down 17th Street leaving my store, when…”).
Anything you say that reinforces one of the five items above helps make you more memorable. And if they can remember just three of them — “Joe the barber from Soho” or “Maria the translator who wrote ‘Spanish in Six Weeks’” — you’re doing great.

5. Contribute to the group conversation.

Don’t hog it, and don’t say just anything in order to say something publicly, but saying one really smart thing at your table or in front of the whole group will make you much more memorable than half an hour of semi-conscious small talk. Create value for others and you create value for yourself.

When we look at brand strategy in marketing, one of the most important concepts is that a brand is not just a memorable name or logo — it’s an experience. A great brand communicates values and emotions that get called to mind whenever someone thinks of the name or logo.

Here we’re talking about your personal brand. Remember that you are your business. The impression that you make on people is the impression they will have of your business, so make it good and make it memorable.