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By: Tia Dickinson

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Tuesday, 24-Jul-2012 01:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Peer pressure can kill: why fire wardens are essential

Although most people know what to do when the fire alarm goes off, a surprising number of us wouldn’t do it. Fire wardens are essential in providing extra impetus to get people to leave the building in the event of a fire. Contact a health and safety training company to make sure your staff have the knowledge they need.
Human behaviour is unpredictable. You might think people would take action if they saw smoke or heard a fire alarm, but this often isn’t the case. Peer pressure and embarrassment are enough to stop people saving themselves. Thankfully, though, fire wardens can make a huge difference.
A recent study by the Interactive Health and Safety Company makes the point very well. They invited two groups of people to an office building for what they thought was a market research event. Both groups were sat down and given questionnaires to fill in before the lady in charge excused herself and left the room. A fire alarm began to ring, but neither of the groups moved; they made jokes and looked uncomfortable, but were unwilling to take action. With the first group, it was over 5 minutes before someone left to see what was going on, and even then they didn’t use the fire exit. With the second group, though, a fire warden came in and the people left immediately via the quickest route.
Fire wardens or marshals are essential because they provide the second piece of information our brains need before we are willing to act. After all, a fire alarm could be a drill or a technical fault. If we are somewhere unfamiliar, we naturally expect someone in authority to come and tell us what to do. Fire marshals fulfil this role, directing people to the best escape routes and making sure the building is clear.
Other studies support the findings. On one of Derren Brown’s TV shows, people were put in waiting rooms that slowly filled with smoke. Actors in the room were told to just sit there calmly, and of course the subjects of the experiment did the same. People simply don’t want to be the odd one out for fear of looking silly. Unfortunately, this mentality can have devastating consequences; some people may have died unnecessarily during 9/11 for this very reason.
Fire wardens are trained to be the voice of authority if there’s a fire, but have a variety of other roles in keeping people safe. They help test fire alarms and extinguishers, make sure fire doors close properly and check escape routes, lighting and emergency exits. They ensure that their colleagues are given fire awareness training. They have good knowledge of fire prevention, how fires start and spread, as well as basic first aid.

Every company should have a risk assessment detailing how many marshals are needed to make sure everyone is safe during a fire, and online courses are available. You could train to be a fire warden without ever leaving the office. Health and safety companies often offer free trials of their software, so you can be sure you are getting the best training available.
Don’t wait till there’s a fire to decide what to do; invest in some fire wardens today.
iHasco offer a range of online health and safety courses, including fire awareness and fire warden training. Their interactive, computer based courses are easy to use and save time and money when compared to hiring a speaker or attending classes. Click the link below for information on their fire warden training course.

Friday, 20-Jul-2012 01:27 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Acrylic artwork by Jiri Borsky, a perfect feature to any home

Want to brighten up your walls with fantastic pieces of original art? When selecting paintings for your home, it can be hard to know where to start. However, Staffordshire based artist Jiri Borsky has produced some beautiful pieces of art that can brighten up any household.
Finding the right artwork
When it comes to selecting artwork, most people haven’t got a clue where to start. Of course, the painting you choose will largely depend on your budget and colour preference, but other than that many people simply don’t know where to begin.
Finding an artist you like is often a good place to start. Many fans of modern and traditional art like to support an artist from their home town. Those who live in the Midlands region will love Staffordshire based artist Jiri Borksy.
Jiri was born in Dobrany, Czech Republic in 1945. During his mid teens, he moved with his parents to Prague, where he lived and studied for eight years. In 1968, Jiri moved to England,where he settled in the Potteries. He soon began studying art at Staffordshire University and north Staffordshire Polytechnic, and had studios in the Burslem School of Art. Since his graduation in 1979, Jiri has been a full-time artist.
Over the years, artwork by Jiri Borsky has been widely exhibited. Over 1,650 of his works are featured in a variety of collections all over the world.
Jiri Borsky Artwork
Jiri has a wide range of unique, original pieces. Many Staffordshire art studios take pride in exhibiting and selling his selection of paintings.
‘Harbour in rain’ is an acrylic painting which features many different shades of blue. The image is hand finished and comes with a beautiful frame. As the ‘harbour in rain’ piece is a relatively small painting, it can be hung in most households, without taking up too much wall space.
Jiri has based a large amount of his work on the area and people of the Potteries. ‘Potteries lovers’ also known as ‘canal walk’ is an extremely popular painting. The acrylic pieces come with a modern frame and triple mount. The image itself features a large painting of a couple walking along the canal in Potteries. A canal boat in the background signifies the bright, beautiful area of Staffordshire.
‘Man in shed’ is one of the most popular Jiri Borsky pieces. The oil painting features a large old man sitting inside a tiny garden shed. Like most of his artwork the ‘man in shed’ piece is unique and quirky, with a range of bright colours.
Aspiring photographers will love the ‘photographer – revisiting potteries’ painting. Like the ‘man in shed’ piece, a large image of a photographer is somewhat out of proportion with the rest of the painting. This seems to be a theme for many of Jiri’s paintings. The large, oil canvas image is popular with many locals as it represents their mystical town.
Many art shops in and around Staffordshire stock most of Jiri Borsky’s artwork. They also have football prints of local teams and artwork by many other artists.
Barewall is a Midlands based original art shop and gallery based in Stoke-on-Trent. They stock and exhibit and wide range of artwork by dozens of artists. Pop in for a browse today and brighten up your walls.

Thursday, 19-Jul-2012 02:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Handmade fitted kitchens: ways to give your home a new heart

Lots of our kitchens could do with a new look, but people are often daunted by the number of options available. You needn’t replace the whole thing, though, or if you do, you can get a joinery company to do the design work for you. Whether you want a shaker effect or contemporary chic, a fitted kitchen or a new worktop, handmade kitchens are affordable for everyone.
A kitchen can be an inspiring place. It can make you feel good, evoking feelings of domesticity and comfort. It can be a dynamic, modern space for entertaining. It can be an alchemical pressure cooker where professional chefs work miracles. But all too often, kitchens become tired and old fashioned. They need an update.
Shaker style
Shaker style kitchens give a traditional feel that offers both timeless elegance and rustic charm. The shakers were a religious sect that travelled to America from Manchester in the late 18th century and were famed for their furniture design and joinery. The Shakers favoured simple geometry, quality craftsmanship and symmetry. These principles can be brought into the 21st century using modern materials, but the general principles are the same. Handmade kitchen units in the Shaker style ooze quality without being too elaborate.
Modern gloss
A handmade kitchen doesn’t have to be wood. Bespoke units can be made from more modern materials, creating a minimal kitchen with a high gloss finish. Bright metal handles and hardware provide contrast and there are a wide range of colours available, from red, white and black, to wood grain effects and subtler tones. A slick, contemporary design looks clean and inviting, for the perfect party space.
If a complete redesign sounds like a step too far, bear in mind that a kitchen can be updated without having to tear the whole thing out and start again. Replacing cupboard doors and worktops is often enough to give the illusion of an entirely new fitted kitchen and the parts can be made to order.
Bespoke cupboard doors don’t just change the look of a kitchen, they make it more functional. Soft close hinges and new drawer runners mean everything works, while the doors themselves are clean and fresh. You’d be surprised how much difference new doors can make. Flat designs rely on the quality of the finish and accessories to make an impact, while moulded doors create more of a farmhouse look.

New worktops create an even more dramatic change. Granite provides a touch of luxury, giving a cool, hard, non-porous surface that’s great for cooking on. It also comes in a wide range of colours, from green, brown and red, to grey and almost black. Quartz is another useful material, which is reconstituted to create extremely durable worktops with anti-bacterial protection built in. As the surfaces are essentially man made, the colour range can suit a more modern kitchen, with bright reds, mustards and purples, as well as more natural looking tones. Hardwood counters create a warmer effect, while acrylic can be useful for the environmentally conscious; it uses recycled materials and is easily renewed.
3D design
If you want to make your kitchen special again, don’t leave anything to chance. Companies offering bespoke fitted kitchens will often provide free design surfaces, including 3D digital models and colour impressions. You can’t beat a handmade kitchen, so make sure you get the very best.
Martin Thompson Joinery design, make and install bespoke kitchens and bedrooms in Cambridge, Peterborough and Huntingdon. They can give your kitchen a new lease of life with cupboard doors and worktops, or install an entirely new shaker or contemporary design. Visit the website to view examples of their work.

Tuesday, 17-Jul-2012 00:59 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Keep Your Hens and their Eggs Comfortable with Houses and Incuba

The healthiest chickens are the happiest chickens. Snug, warm houses will keep them comfortable and laying, whilst egg incubators help their chicks develop and hatch.

Keeping chickens is a wonderful thing. Having them pecking about the yard, caring for them and in return you get farm fresh eggy bread every morning, yay! But to make sure your hens lay the very best eggs, you need to make sure you take the very best care of them. And if you want to nurture the next generation of chickens, then you need to ensure their eggs are properly cared for as well.

Chicken houses provide a warm, protected and comfortable environment in which your hens can sleep and lay their eggs. Sizes vary from the bijoux (6-10 average sized hens) to the decidedly grandiose (40-50 hens). Battery farming has now been outlawed in the EU and the UK has led the way in clearing out such old-fashioned, cruel methods. We know you want to make sure your chickens are cared for in the best possible manner. The above estimates of capacity allow each hen plenty of room to move around and sit, whilst offering a snug enough environment that they stay warm.

Some huts come with runs; covered areas attached to the house which offer the hens an area of grass to move about in whilst ensuring they do not escape. Runs are also handy for those of you who keep chickens in your back garden or yard. Space is precious in so many modern homes, and a chicken house with run attached gives your chickens enough room about in without you having to sacrifice your whole lawn to them.

Once your chickens are lovely and snug in their new house, they’re going to start laying eggs. Most of these are going to be going straight onto your plate (try them with pepper or smothered on toast. Yumsk), but some will grow up to big little hens of their own. Egg incubators help keep eggs warm and safe until they are ready to hatch. As with the houses in which they will one day live, the incubators come in a variety of sizes, styles and grades. Some will hold just a few eggs – perfect if you’re planning on setting up your own domestic coop in the garden – whilst others can hold almost 50 at a time (dependant on the size of your eggs, of course).

Just like the incubators used for human babies, egg incubators keep the little marvels fed with a flow of fresh air. They also need to be kept warm. In some incubators this is done through warming the air that is fed to them. In others, it delivered via an artificial skin. Though more expensive, the latter option does allow for greater accuracy in the regulation of temperature, as well as some small benefits to the efficiency with which heat is conducted. The incubators also keep the eggs in constant rotation. This prevents the embryo “settling” and ensures the oxygenated fluid is distributed equally throughout the inside of the egg.

Keeping chickens is fun, relaxing and rewarding. But a healthy hen is a happy hen, so it’s important to make sure they are comfortable both before hatching and after.

Ilikechickens well, they like chickens. And to prove it, they stock all those thinks you need to keep your hens happy and comfortable – as well as a few other goodies just for you. Check out their selection of chicken houses and egg incubators, with sizes and prices and specks for all budgets and people.

Saturday, 14-Jul-2012 04:12 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Terahertz medical imaging – a major impact on healthcare

Terahertz medical imaging has the potential to make a huge impact on a wide range of medical markets. The unique technology is used to image cancer cells which are invisible to the naked eye. Read this handy article to find out more about terahertz medical applications.
Terahertz Medical Imaging
New methods have been developed for a wide range of medical markets. The new technology makes use of electromagnetic radiation at terahertz frequencies.
Terahertz pulsed imaging, also referred to as TPI TM, can recognise spectral fingerprints, meaning it has the potential to provide good contrast between different types of soft tissue. It can detect the degree of water content as well as other makers of cancer.
The system was developed to image basal cell cancer, a common form of skin cancer which is invisible to the naked eye.
Terahertz Imaging Modules
Modules such as the TPI imaga 2000 have 3D – 360° volumetric imaging of intact tablet coatings and cores. It has the ability to determine the thickness, uniformity, distribution and coverage of simple and complex coatings. TPI imaga and many other modules have been used to study a wide variety of biological materials.
TPI imaging is a non-ionizing, non-destructive technique. It has recently been used in reflection geometry to uncover and categorise the terahertz properties of several organ samples freshly harvested from laboratory rats. In a short time frame, scientists were able to discover a range of differences between tissue types. The results concluded that TPI imaging modules can effectively differentiate between tissue types, non-invasively.
Reflectance imaging modules have the ability to convert other modules, such as the TPS Spectra 3000, into flat bed imaging systems. Samples are placed on the unit and raster scanned using a unique, software controlled, motorised scanning table. Using other specialist imaging and data analysis software, thickness maps can be generated through collected data. This allows medical experts to detect physical features, including buried cracks, defects and air pockets.
Terahertz Cancer Imaging
The primary purpose of Terahertz medical applications is cancer imaging. The modules can reveal a contrast between regions of healthy skin cells and basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.
Recent results have shown that TPI technology can reliably distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells in excised tissue.
Terahertz medical applications have also been used for breast cancer imaging. Using light waves in a newly explored region of the electromagnetic spectrum, terahertz modules can examine breast tissue and determine whether or not removed margins are clear of cancer.
As well as being reliable and effective, terahertz medical imaging is much quicker compared to current examinations. Histopathologic examinations can take several days, leaving the surgeon unaware whether or not the tumour has been removed until well after the surgery is completed. With terahertz applications, the surgeon can analyse the tissue samples during the initial procedure.
Terahertz Imaging of Teeth
Dentists can also use terahertz imaging. Terahertz rays offer a safer alternative to X-rays for testing teeth. Unlike X-rays, terahertz analysis reveals three-dimensional shapes by measuring how the waves are affected by the structure of the target. As they are non-ionising, terahertz rays are also thought to be safer than X-rays.
Teraview are the world’s first innovator of terahertz medical imaging and spectroscopy systems. Developed by Sir Michael Pepper and Don Arnone, terahertz equipment has the potential to solve real world problems.

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