Is CCTV Required For The Home?

We live in a technological world now and everything is monitored by Big Brother. You cannot walk down the high street without seeing cameras perched on top of buildings or lampposts and every shop and mode of public transport is covered in cameras ‘for our protection’. The thing is, it’s hard to know whether they actually work as a deterrent to violence or burglars. CCTV is cited whenever there is an assault, robbery, altercation that results in the police coming to the site of the crime. It’s there but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to stabbings in the night, shootings during the Notting Hill Carnival or simple break ins to people’s homes during the night.9

For this reason, many households put off installing cameras because they are of the opinion that they just don’t work. What’s the point if you’re woken in the night by an alarm ringing in your street and apparently no one is taking any notice? The thing is, the burglars DO take notice and it’s for this reason that contacting a company such as is in your own best interests. Take a look at your street and see how many people have installed alarms or cameras. The obvious point here is that those who have an alarm will have an alarm box and maybe even an outside automatic light. The light will probably be triggered by motion. Both of these things can be deterrents, the noise the alarm makes is usually not. Of course, there are those who decide that a deterrent is enough and instead of having a complete alarm system installed, will simply pop a false box on the wall.

There are a number of problems with this approach, but the most obvious is that thieves have access to the internet too and they can see which alarms are fakes very easily. If an alarm does go off, it could be connected privately to the police as well as the homeowner, making the burglary not so attractive after all. Of course, the benefit of a professional alarm with multiple zones and protection comes into play when the thief has planned his deed. Although rare, some thieves have a particular reason for entering a house. Often they are found to have been ‘stealing to order’ and their goal will be to find and retrieve a certain item of value. Statistically, burglaries are shown to be mostly opportunistic, that is a burglar will see an open window or door, or a lack of basic security and decide to have a go. The chances of them having a go at robbing your house are increased when they see something of value like a television through the window. The chances are greatly reduced when they can see that by trying to gain access, an alarm is likely to go screaming at them.

A good alarm system won’t just act as a visible deterrent, but it will also provide protection for such items and give intelligence as to where the perpetrator is, and even stream video footage of the crime in progress. Should the burglar get away before the authorities turn up, you then have valuable evidence that can be used to prosecute.

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Cleaning Your Paving

Maintaining brand new block paving is a tedious but necessary job to ensure that the new paving stones have settled correctly. For the first few weeks after laying new paving, the joints between the block pavings will be very porous. Water from rain or other sources will flush out jointing sand and can this is especially an issue on sloping sites. It is important that you keep your joints topped up with sand to prevent damage to your driveway. A general clean of your block paving at the start of the spring months with a stiff broom and good detergent, followed by the appropriate weed preventions restricts the ingress of unwanted plants. This can affect the long term durability of your purchase.

If you use power washers to clean your driveway or patio, the directed water should be at a thirty degree angle and no more to the paved surface and sprayed diagonally across the joints. This prevents the dislodging of all the joints and not following this advice may mark the surface of paving materials and break up the materials in between. If you use any detergents and don’t use a company like then you need to ensure you wash away any leftover cleaning products. Ensure it is channelled to suitable drainage points and when this has been done, inspect the joints and re-sand and re-point any damage as necessary.

Removing stains and spills is simple as well, but before you apply any treatments to block paving, ensure you test out a small area first so that you don’t end up damaging the entire patio or driveway. When you treat the stains it’s advisable to identify the source of the staining.  Companies like do what they can to ensure that all stains are identified on block paving and can advise on the removal of rust stains.

Rust stains are important to get rid of and you need to identify and treat the source of rust staining to prevent any further staining or a reoccurrence of staining. To remove the stains made by rust from paving, first you need to wet the affected area and then apply with 10% hydrochloric acis solution, or a similar product you can get from a builders merchants or company like Cleaning leaf and beverage stains from block paving is also easy as all you need is hot soapy water. If it doesn’t work, a patio cleaner from the local hardware shops can also do the trick.

Tyre marks are an issue with most driveways as people can sometimes scuff as they reverse in or out. General weathering and wearing of the surface of the block paving should remove tyre marks over time but they can be removed faster by a big scrubbing session. Power washes should also do the job and you should always make sure that you use the correct solutions or detergents to help the scuff marks.

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How To Clean Metals Correctly

There’s a huge range of effective commercial metal cleaning products out there. Because it’s so important to have the right tools to hand when cleaning metal, we’d recommend the professional option over DIY solutions – although home remedies can yield reasonable results too.

Remember: Not all metals are quite as hard as you might expect, so it’s important to choose a cleaning method that does the job without scratching or corroding the finish. Test all new products and homemade cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area before application, always consult the manufacturer’s instructions first, and take all of the required safety precautions. There are some great solutions for cleaning metal using common household products as well as cleaning products.20780035240_2216dda01f_k

Stainless Steel & Chrome

  • For a proper clean of stainless steel, removing soap scum, food residue, grease and water marks, you’ll need a specialised stainless steel cleaning product. Something like Cif Stainless Steel is ideal. Most multipurpose bathroom cleaners will be able to give chrome a brilliant clean, although you can purchase specialised cleaners if you like.
  • Take a wet cloth and wipe down the entirety of the surface.
  • Apply your stainless steel or multipurpose cleaning product, following instructions on the label. Always apply cleaner to stainless steel by rubbing it in with the grain – follow the pattern along to avoid scratches or dullness.
  • Rinse off with water, and gently buff dry with a fresh cloth. Once again, go with the grain if you are cleaning steel.


  • Because baking soda is likely to spoil aluminium, it’s best avoided here. In fact, it is far safer in all cases to opt for simple soapy water, or a special aluminium cleaner. If you’d really prefer to try a homemade solution, mix and apply a solution containing white vinegar and cream of tartar for sparkling results.

Copper & Brass

  • There are commercial copper cleaners around, but other options may also yield results. Try applying ketchup gently with a cloth! Another trick is to halve a lemon and sprinkle it with coarse ground salt. Gently scrub the copper to restore its natural sheen. Rinse, and then rub gently with a soft cotton cloth.

Metal Cleaning Made Simple

  • Sometimes, just a good washing up detergent is all that’s needed to work wonders when cleaning metals – most notably stainless steel, which is used in appliances, pots, pans, grills, and utensils on account of its super tough construction. This routine clean is a simple way to keep metal clean and tarnish-free. Just use Persil Washing Up Liquid and hot water to wash metal pots and pans. Scrub them with a sponge, or soak them to help dislodge residue.

You won’t need to be calling in an industrial surface treatment solutions or a cleaning solvents online but you must always make sure you clean the metal in the right way for its properties. It’s important to remember that your equipment needs to be sterile too!

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Cleaning Medical Equipment

No one wants to go to a hospital or dentist but if you have to go, it’s helpful to know that they have clean, sterile equipment. The dangers of using equipment that have already been used for other patients doesn’t bear thinking about and thankfully, as time has gone one, we don’t share scalpels anymore! The advancement of medicine has meant that medical establishments are more and more stepping up their cleaning game! Until recently, the most advanced sterilization technology was found only in large hospital sterilizers. There is now a growing demand for more sophisticated sterilization technologies in a variety of professions. For the larger medical equipment items, solvents bought from a precision vapour degreasing can do the job and do it well. By following a few simple steps, you can have clean, sterilized instruments that can be used in any medical situation.6

  • Instruments that have been used need to be collected and removed from the area where they were used. Take them to the area where you decontaminate things in your environment, such as a Decontamination Area in a Processing Department. This will help cut down on the chance of the contamination of the personal areas or other surfaces within the work space.
  • The instruments should be covered when they are being moved in covered carts, containers, or plastic bags
  • Before you handle any contaminated instruments, you need to be dressed for the part. Workers in areas that decontaminate instruments should wear protective clothing, such as a scrubs or other moisture-resistant clothing. You should also have on show covers. plastic or rubber gloves, and a hair net or other covering.
  • You might also need to wear protective goggles in certain situation if the substance you are using the decontaminate the instruments splatters
  • Before starting to clean your instruments, you must be sterile so you won’t transfer any bacteria or germs to the instruments. You should wear a sterile gown while washing the instruments. You then need to put on a sterile cap for your hair and cover your face with a mask. You need to wear protective eye covers, which will keep any potentially hazardous liquid from splashing into your eyes. Finish by putting on a pair of sterile gloves.
  • Instruments must be cleaned immediately after use and before you attempt to sterilize them — cleaning the instruments is not the same as sterilizing them. Remove inorganic and organic debris from the instruments with a soft plastic scrub brush and medically approved detergent. Scrub each instrument well to remove all residual matter, such as blood or organic tissue. If the instrument is hinged or opens, make sure you clean the inside and outside surfaces. You don’t want any residual matter to get stuck in the gears. After you scrub them, you need to run the instruments under pressured water to make sure any extra matter is cleared off. This also helps clean areas that are unable to be reached by brushes.
  • If you don’t wash the instruments beforehand, the process may not sterilize the materials and compromise the whole endeavour. There are solutions available to soak the instruments in. Look for a neutral pH detergents solution. Added enzymes will also make it easier to clean the surface of the instruments. If not cleaned properly, it may affect the health of the patient.
  • There are automatic washers that you can use for this stage, but their use depends on the facility and location of the cleaning process
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How Our Kitchens Have Changed

The kitchen has not only evolved but it has also moved. No longer a place for one person at the back of the house or, in some cases, in the basement of the house, it has gradually moved forward to occupy the centre of the home.

The range of things we cook in the kitchen has changed: sometimes we just want to heat up some leftovers or takeaways; other times we want to create gastronomic feasts to impress others. This range of cooking – from fast food to slow food and back again – affects the way in which we must design kitchens and the appliances that go in them. There is also a trend towards more fresh-food cooking but often this is paradoxical – as the interest in locally grown, organically grown foods increases, so does the interest in international foods. Our palates are much more global; we eat foods from around the world, cooked in authentic utensils with authentic ingredients.

This paradoxical situation provides designers with opportunities to innovate and develop multiple right answers – after all, there is not one size that fits all. We are also eating more healthily – or at least trying to do so. This will have an impact on how we design spaces for different foodstuffs to take into account their requirements for storage, handling and preparation. Design trends have brought elements of the professional kitchen into the domestic kitchen but some of the design parameters can be quite different. The professional kitchen is often simple, built around reliability and efficiency of use, whereas the domestic kitchen has to be quite flexible, doing many things well. In the professional kitchen, it is the chef that is the master, whereas in the home kitchen, the technology sometimes has to work harder to make us look good. The amateur at home can have little knowledge and, with more children engaging with food, health and diet, the technology needs to be simple, obvious and suitable for small, large and elderly hands. It’s not just about physical ergonomics but also about cognitive ergonomics – it’s about how appliances make us feel.

Domestic appliances are required to be multidisciplinary, not only performing multiple functions but also working with different people with differing skills. But we still want the same levels of control and precision. The appliances don’t have the rigour or scale of working of the professional items, but they must be intuitive to use and have the capacity to flex and improvise. Companies like are there to help us make those changes

The kitchen is now our metaphorical ‘shed’ where we tinker, perhaps making it up as we go along, perhaps following a recipe. We have heard that in some countries there are even personal trainers who will come in and work with the cooks. People are also coming into the kitchen – “you will always find me in the kitchen at parties”. And now, rather than just sitting there and watching the theatre unfold, the visitor is picking up the knife and joining in. They are picking up the wooden spoon and giving the pot a stir. It is now a team effort. Cooking is a collaborative act. This means not only that kitchens are growing bigger but also that we have to rethink the concept of the working triangle. As appliance manufacturers, we have had a look at what we can do to respond to these trends.

The kitchen has come out of the closet and its role in everyday life has increased dramatically over the decades. Children are being encouraged to take a greater interest in what they eat. We are all living longer. The users of the kitchen are now multiple and of considerably different abilities, both cognitively and physically. The usability of the kitchen has become a major challenge – design for everyone is not as simple as it sounds. We carry out a great deal of ethnographic research working with real people, observing how they work and how they live with the various design aspects of the kitchen, the appliances, the cupboards. This is not only ergonomic work – i.e. looking at body dimensions – but also looking at the psychological and sociological aspects of how the different components work together. We use this information to help us design better appliances and also to share design trends with kitchen designers.

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Top Tips for Bathroom Reinvention

When it comes to buying a new house it’s going to depend on what you’re looking for as to the interior design of the home. If you’re buying brand new you can guarantee that your interiors may not need much work but if you are buying a fixer upper then you need to consider the extra budgetary strains of renovations. The two most popular rooms in a house that get renovated quickly are the bathroom and the kitchen and companies such as understand this and offer certain services to designers and architects when it comes to changing the interiors of your home.bathroom-809820_640

When you’re choosing a new bathroom, glass is the newest in up and coming aesthetic design. Glass can stand a test of time that wood certainly doesn’t. For one, mould and mildew is just not a factor when it comes to glass. It’s not just a case of using glass to enhance the design, but there are different ways glass can improve things. Being the hard wearing material that it is, glass can be anti-slip and anti-scratch and it is perfect for surfaces that come into contact daily with hard objects like razors and hair brushes that are seemingly designed to destroy surfaces. Vanity tops, glass trays or shower glass walls and floors and anti- scratch means stylish and unique.

Requiring anti-slip flooring in a bathroom is pretty important given the moisture around on a daily basis so being safe from accidents as well as being wipe clean is just a total advantage for your bathroom. Textured glass is an excellent choice as it can transform your bathroom and has an extremely modern feel to it. Frosted glass is a particular favourite in bathrooms for privacy sake and you can find this easily online well as a range of other toughened glass versions.

For a simple bathroom look glass mosaic tiles and coloured glass tiles offer something different. Making your bathroom stand out and look beautiful all at once and shower doors that are curved, patterned and shaped in a way that are individual. Stone and block glass are strong and dependable and attractive but it’s expensive and for cash conscious home owners, it’s a little out of reach. If you’re looking for a little elegance, then etched glass is always an option and it adds total sophistication to glass doors. Frosted glass is opaque in nature and offers privacy and a huge feeling of space. Glass has clean lines and when you decide to renovate your bathroom you should consider all the possibilities in what you want from your home. Whether you use clear or coloured glass your bathroom can reflect space and beauty and talking to an interior designer for your bathroom is so important if you’re looking to reflect your budget economically.

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How To Tell You Need A New Roof

There’s no better time than now to make the most of the summer sun and give your roof a thorough inspection, keeping a close eye out for any problems to check whether you need a replacement roof fitted. Similarly, if you have noticed that your roof is suffering from a leak or cracking, it’s important to carry out detailed checks as soon as possible in case an entirely new roof is required.

This article will serve to explain the five main tell-tale warning signs that you must look out for during your inspections which will help determine whether you need a new roof installed in time for the upcoming autumn/winter months. Companies like can help you with anything you need in regard to your roofing requirements. You don’t need to look at the sky because of a hole in the roof – you just need to know how to recognise a problem early enough.

1. Worn or missing roof tiles/slates

Generally speaking, damp areas or leaks may indicate a cracked, slipped or worn roof tile which will require the expertise of a professional to replace. If you notice any leaking or signs of water 6damage, it’s more than likely that your roof tiles are worn or missing and need replacing as quickly as possible. It is worth noting that if worn or missing tiles become an extensive problem on your roof, the entire thing will need replacing.

2. Sagging flat roofs

Exposure to extreme weather conditions can impact the functionality of your roof as the boards can start to buckle and break under the weight of the water, causing the roof to sag. In turn, this can affect the interior of your home by creating a rather dangerous, unsafe structure, meaning the roof will need replacing immediately by

3. Daylight is filtering through the roof boards

When examining the roof from inside your home, if you notice any gaps where the summer sun is filtering through the roof boards then you must seek help from a professional roofing company straight away. Excessive damage to the roof boards will require urgent attention and will most likely result in the roof needing to be replaced.

4. Life expectancy of the roof

According to most roofing experts, a standard roof should last between 20-25 years, depending on the initial installation and upkeep. If your roof is reaching the end of its life expectancy or is in a bad state of repair, you must arrange to have it replaced to avoid any damage to the interior of your home.

5. Cracks, puncture holes or splits on a flat roof

Felt flat roofs often fall victim to cracks, puncture holes or splits round the edges of the roof caused by extreme weather. In turn, this can lead to water leaking through the gaps and can escalate to excessive water damage inside your home. Therefore, you must address this problem as quickly as possible and have your existing roof replaced.

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