Tips for staying safe on the UK’s motorways

It might not seem like it but the motorways in the UK are statistically the safest roads. They only account for 3% of accidents and 4% of fatalities. Because of the fast speeds involved though, when something does go wrong, it can have very serious consequences. Here are some tips for staying safe on the motorways:


Moving from the slip road onto the motorway, always indicate right to give other road users a clear signal of your intention to merge. Try to match your speed with that of the lane you’re merging with and always find a suitable gap. It’s important not to slow down too much or come to a complete stop as such actions could be dangerous and frustrating to others.

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It’s important to be in the left lane in plenty of time and be aware of the 100-yard markings approaching every exit. Aim to turn on your indicator by the 300-yard marker. Try to avoid decelerating whilst still on the motorway but reduce speed on the slip road as this is safer. Often slip roads have more than one lane, so be sure to get into the correct one for your destination.

Be Aware

Drive safely past any roadside assistance vehicles, such as those marked with Chapter 8 Chevrons. Find out more at

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Knowing the lanes

The left lane is designed for travelling in, whilst the middle and right-hand lane are for overtaking. You should avoid staying too long in either of these lanes and remaining in the middle lane is now an offence.


Why install double glazing?

If you are considering renovating or updating your home, then you should give some thought to double glazing if you haven’t already installed it. Modern glazing brings a variety of benefits and, of course, adds value to your property.

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For those who live by a noisy road or right on top of your neighbours, it can mean suffering from a significant level of noise pollution. Double glazing provides beneficial insulation from noise, lowering the noises that permeate your home. Having double glazing fitted to the living room and the bedroom can lead to a much quieter existence. For Hereford Double Glazing, Firmfix are able to provide double glazing in Hereford

Contemporary double glazing is extremely low maintenance. It is simple to clean with ordinary glass cleaner and sills can be wiped over with small amounts of soapy water. You can also enjoy easy-clean features, providing you with cleaner windows than ever before without you having to lift a finger.

Older glass with a single panel can weaken over time and if your home is decades old then it may be time for an update.

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If you want to own a home that’s more energy efficient, double glazing is the way forward. A lot of air can escape through an old window, letting the heat out and the cold in, making your heating work harder and costing you more money. Just one additional pane can make a huge improvement. Better thermal insulation can save quite a lot on your energy bills during the year.

What is rubber injection moulding?

Rubber injection moulding is a term that you may not have come across unless you are in the manufacturing industry. So we thought we would answer the question: What is rubber injection moulding? in a few short points.

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  • Using rubber in injection moulding first began in the 1960s
  • Rubber moulding allows for the surface of the mould to be placed under significantly more pressure than would be available if using plastic
  • Pre-forms are not needed when using rubber injection which helps to cut out on unnecessary tasks for staff and removes the need for a longer time period for production and extra material costs.
  • Pre-heating of the rubber allows for the free flow of into the cavity of the moulds which in turn decreases the amount of time that is needed for the item to cure.

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  • It is much more economical to use rubber for high volume items and for items that need to be of a high precision level.
  • There is also an environmental benefit in this form of injection moulding as there is a minimal amount of waste materials.

As well as being used in injection moulding rubber is used for many different items and we come into contact with many of these throughout our daily lives.

Asbestos linked deaths reach a high level

It has been known for many years that asbestos fibres breathed in as dust can lead to severe health problems and even death. Unfortunately, due to the material’s fire retardant properties, it has been used in a wide variety of buildings, and construction work that may require the use of Used Plant Machinery. It is important to be able to recognise and safely dispose of any asbestos that you come across.

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A time bomb set to explode

Cancers stemming from exposure to asbestos can take decades to present themselves, with the sufferers often dying agonizing deaths. In 2017 more than two and a half thousand deaths were recorded from mesothelioma, where the linings of various organs are affected. This cancer is generally caused by breathing in asbestos fibres and is usually fatal.

The Health and Safety Executive forecast that deaths caused by mesothelioma will continue at this rate for a number of years, with an eventual decline. The use of brown and blue asbestos for insulation or fire proofing was banned in 1985. White asbestos, thought to be less harmful, was not banned until 1999. It was known that asbestos exposure could lead to debilitating respiratory conditions by the conclusion of the 19th century.

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Children at risk

But it is not just construction workers who are at risk of health problems related to inhaling asbestos. Asbestos was also used in schools, and hundreds of schools are believed to be affected, which could have a serious impact on thousands of children’s health. To find out more, see this report in The Guardian ( agted-over-asbestos-safety-concerns).

If dealing with asbestos, vigorous safety measures must be observed. A spiral duct system can be invaluable for efficiently removing harmful dust from work areas, protecting staff and ensuring the safety of the construction area.

A great deal of asbestos was also used in buildings in Australia, which with the UK, also has a high rate of deaths from mesothelioma. Asbestos poses great risks to the health of anyone exposed to it, and removing it is of vital importance. However, dust produced when asbestos is disturbed can be fatal, and stringent preparation and safety precautions are required for anyone working in an area that has been contaminated by asbestos.

One magical castle for sale

Hello! Welcome to Fantasyland Estate Agents, I understand you’re in the market for a Castle or Schloss/Chateau if you prefer the “continental” type. Anything in particular? I’ve got a nice Ice one that’s just come on, the owner has moved out and decided to let it go. Too cold? Well I’ve a couple a couple of Towers available, they come as a Twin set, bit desolate and one is definitely a fixer upper, but I have some great contacts at a Roofers Romford way. Can I take a name? Baron Hadrada Von Darkspear? Right, I think that you might like this rather evil one that’s a steal, almost literally in your case.

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Ok, so this is the lair of the Evil Queen. You remember her? Tried to do in Snow White? Never trust a step mother in our world eh? Eh? Almost as bad as a Grand Vizier Its 4 receptions rooms, 18 bedrooms, dining room and torture chamber stroke spell room, cauldrons still in there too if you want it. Let’s have a look the front door, check out that portcullis and drawbridge, lovely stonework around the entrance, that’s a dread portal and a half am I right? Like it’s a screaming mouth or something, want to go in side? Abandon all hope and all that.

So, this is the courtyard, woah mind the spikes there. What do you think of this, Perfect for ensnaring “our hero” don’t you think? It’s got some nice space for a wild animal or vicious creature to be released. Varying degrees of size to so you can mix and match it up a bit. Depends on your budget of course. Now let’s have look inside.

Ok so you’ve got your stand ballroom here, apart from the blood red flooring and the rather colourful paints of mayhem and violence, there’s the antique crystal chandeliers, I’ve got a great contact if you’d like to see more of them by the way although I would check with a Roofers in Romford first to make sure the roof can take the weight. Well it’s downstairs for the torture chamber stroke spell room or we can look in the master bedroom and the observatory? Upstairs, yes ok good choice.

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Nice four poster, as you’d expect, shame about the gargoyles and the figures in pain on it but there’s no accounting for taste is there. Right well that’s pretty much it. Just the battlements, nice view up there, you can survey all the blasted heath that comes with the property. It’ll be impassable for any would be hero who fancies their chances. What’s that chief? What’s under that blanket? I’m not completely sure, better leave it where it is if I were you. It might be, no! Don’t take off the blanket. Oh, great that’s done it. It’ll be all “who’s the fairest of them all” etc. Bad news that mirror is. Well, it’s 50,000 groats for the lot, what do you say?

For other fairy-tale castles take a look here.

Easy to learn radiator maintenance

The simplest heating maintenance can be costly but safety is always key, so here is our guide to five of the easiest tasks you can do yourself! However before reading on we do advise that some tasks do need to be done by a specialist. For example, you do need to be trained to be able to do Boiler repairs or installations if you are using a House Extensions Birmingham company to have an addition added to your home.

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1. Bleeding a radiator

Are your radiators warm at the bottom but not at the top? If so, it is likely that there is trapped air that you need to bleed from the radiator. For this, you will need a radiator key. Switch the heating system off, put a towel down to catch any water, and ensure the thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) and lock valve at the bottom are open. Undo the bleed valve slightly – you should be able to hear the air hissing as it escapes. Once water starts to leak, close the valve. Check the pressure in the boiler is not below the recommended level; if necessary, re-pressurise using the manufacturer’s instructions.

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2. Bleeding a heated towel rail

Bleeding a heated towel rail is the same as bleeding column radiators.

3. Remove a radiator without draining

Firstly, shut the valves at both ends. Open the bleed key, catch the water, and shut the bleed key again. Lay towels under each end of the radiator and undo each nut next to the valves until open, quickly and carefully lifting the radiator and folding it down to the floor. The radiator is full of water, so be careful – it will be heavy. Undo the nuts and lift the base up to completely remove the radiator. Reverse these steps to refit.

4. Fixing a radiator that won’t get hot

If you have radiators but only one won’t heat up, undo both the lockshield and the radiator TRV valve using an adjustable spanner. If this does not fix the radiator, completely remove the TRV head. Check the TRV pin – if this is stuck down, use grips to gently move it up and down to free it.

5. Adding inhibitor to a heated towel rail

Put a towel down and turn off both valves at the bottom. Use a radiator bleed key and undo the bleed valve. Leave this open, slacken off the nut at the bottom and release the same amount of water as the amount of inhibitor you wish to add. Tighten the nut again, shut the bleed valve, undo the bung, and put the inhibitor into the hole. Finally, refit the bung.


Incredible facts about Cockroaches

Horrible and disgusting are just two words used to describe cockroaches. And yes, this may be true. But you know what else? Cockroaches are incredibly unique insects. How incredible? Well….

  1. Cockroaches are older than dinosaurs.

If you have ever had trouble with cockroaches, take comfort from the fact that you’re not the only one. The first humans may have had the same problem! Indeed, the cockroach has been around longer than we humans. Recent research shows that they even have been there longer than the dinosaurs, as early as 359 million years ago!

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  1. There are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches worldwide.

There are about 4,600 species of cockroach and they can be found all over the world, on every continent except Antarctica. Before you panic, though, only about 30 of these species are considered as pests. Most of them live in the forest, not in the basement. Most prefer to crawl on the forest floor or in trees, while others live in caves, fields, swamps and meadows. If they do become a nuisance for you though, contact Pest Control Essex at a site like Pest Control Essex through BPC

  1. Cockroaches can eat anything organic.

As well as indulging in human food, cockroaches can eat other dead bugs, paper, cloth, wood, glue, hair and dirt. This means cockroaches will never go hungry, even though they prefer to eat starch, sweets and meat. Cockroaches can survive for many weeks with no food! It has to do with the fact that they are cold-blooded, like crocodiles and snakes, which means they can keep their metabolic rate low.

  1. Cockroaches can hold their breath up to 40 minutes!

Okay, so starving cockroaches is out of the question. But how about flushing them down the toilet? Unfortunately, this might not work either. Cockroaches are brilliant at holding their breath!  Similar to other insects, cockroaches breathe in air via holes in their bodies called spiracles. A cockroach can close this hole, both to prevent the absorption of too much oxygen and to prevent the loss of water. When underwater, cockroaches are able to close their spiracles for up to forty minutes and it can give them a lot of time to crawl to safety.

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  1. Cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion.

Research has shown that a cockroach can tolerate high radiation levels, far beyond the level that we humans can live with. How do the cockroaches survive? It is unclear but scientists believe it has something to do with the fact that cockroaches have a slower cell cycle, molting only once a week at most.

  1. The cockroach is a fast runner.

Anyone who has ever tried to catch a cockroach knows this fact – cockroaches can race! They can go up to 3 miles per hour, which is fast considering how small they are. Their hind legs are specially built for speed, moving over 20 times per second when sprinting. Cockroaches can also travel up walls by running faster than they do on a flat surface and spines on their feet help them stick to the slippery surface.


Do not be left out in the cold

If you find yourself in an awkward situation after locking yourself out of the house, then stay safe and think about the following things.

It might be worth warning the neighbours before you try this one (unless it’s 3am) – looking for an open or partially open window. Most of us would have securely locked our windows before leaving but it is something we can often overlook. On this occasion, try to lift the window and squeeze through. Be wise though and do not try this if it is a small window or you could get stuck, or worse injure yourself!

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Asking for help if convenient will be high on your agenda. Does anyone else hold a key to your property? If the owner rents it, can the landlord let you in? If you live in a complex, then there may be someone you can contact in the management office.

Perhaps you keep a spare key under the doormat or hidden under a fake stone in the garden? While, this will be wonderfully helpful in a lock-out scenario, it is not recommended by security experts. You might wish to rethink your emergency back-up plan for the future.

If you cannot get anyone and you’re not sure you can get in without breaking something, then it’s always wise to call an emergency locksmith. For more information about Southend Locksmiths, visit a site like the Southend Locksmiths Brights Locksmiths

If the door is a spring bolt and not a deadbolt, you can try to use the credit card trick, as seen in the movies. Make sure you do not use your bank card at this time in case it gets damaged. Wedge the card between the door and frame. Hold the card flush against the frame at the smallest part of the lock. Push the card and bend away from the doorknob. This should open the latch and allow you access. If this works, be sure to review your security arrangements for the future as access is far too easy currently!

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If you do not mind explaining the situation to the Old Bill, destroying a ground floor window is another way to enter your property in an emergency. This would mean, however, calling a glazier and waiting for it to be repaired. It also makes a horrible mess that will need cleaning up and also presents the very real possibility that you could hurt yourself.

Dealing with period windows

Original windows that were made using traditional techniques are difficult to replicate today with modern building regulations and can often be replaced unnecessarily, eroding the character of a period home. This means it is important that every effort is made to preserve and maintain the original windows.

Even if your windows look beyond the possibility of repair – after succumbing to rot and broken glass – you’ll be surprised at what can be achieved through careful restoration or expert replacement.

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If you live in a Victorian house, you will likely have sash windows or casement windows – made of wood. The mock tudor style of homes were also popular in the Victorian period which saw construction including leaded details in between stone mullions, for example.

All windows installed during Victorian times were a single pane of glass and many were removed during renovation works in the post-war period and replaced with double glazing. Should you be lucky enough to still have the original windows, always see if repair is an option before opting for replacement and consider upgrading to double glazing to improve efficiency.

If windows do need replacing, there are many options to choose from. One highly popular option is Residence 9 – a luxurious window system available in the UK. Here are some of the benefits for the modern homeowner in considering this type of window system:

  1. Period Character

Hours and hours of design and workmanship go into making Residence 9 designs as they offer like-for-like aesthetics to the designs of the 19th Century Flush Wood Window Sash. This framework brings together the exact detailing and hardware that are key features and characteristics of the period. For Windows Stratford Upon Avon, visit a site like Centurion, a leading supplier of Windows Stratford Upon Avon.

  1. Energy Efficiency

One of the biggest drawbacks of the old wooden windows is the lack of energy efficiency they provide after the aging process has got the better of them. Residence 9 windows enjoy an energy certification rating of A plus and is suitable for coupling with a thermally efficient triple or double glazing.

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  1. Suitable for conservation

A main aim when constructing Residence 9 window systems is to produce a system that will be deemed acceptable in a conservation area. The specifications match with directions set out in Article 4 detailing the dimensions and how the windows should look. Because of how authentic they look, they are regularly approved by planners for properties in conservation areas. This makes them a great option for window replacement in protected areas or for period properties.

Some Shocking Facts About Electricity

Every day, we turned on the switch and don’t often consider where this power comes from or how it functions inside our homes. Electricity is incredibly versatile and yet we often take it for granted. It’s also bizarre to think that we’ve only been using it for a little over a century!

Electricity can do some pretty impressive things. It can occur in one location, which is called static electricity, or it can move from one place to another in the form of electric current.

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Static electricity normally occurs when certain materials are rubbed against something else. The best example of this is when you rub a balloon against your clothes. This type of electricity also produces lightning. When clouds full of rain travel across the sky, the air they move through rubs against them.

Simply put, an electric current means the flow of an electric charge. For the circuit, the charge is usually created by electrons moving inside the cable. It is involved in powering electrical appliances that you use every day, from mobile phones and laptops dishwashers, lamps and vacuum cleaners.

You can find out how much electricity you use by looking at your energy bills and giving your energy provider regular meter readings. For any electrical work in your home, consider an Essex Electrician. SM Electrical are Essex Electricians.

Here are some remarkable facts about electricity:

  1. Electricity moves at a speed of 6.696 million miles per hour.
  2. Electricity has an important part to play in how your liver is working. The cells in the heart muscle are contracted by electricity travelling through the body. An electrocardiogram machine that can be found in hospitals will calculate the electricity passing through the heart of a patient, showing a blip in a line for each heartbeat.
  3. What is the Volt? Unit electrical force, measuring the strength of the current potential.
  4. A typical lightning bolt packs 100 million volts.
  5. Tasers are commonly used by police around the world to put out a whopping 50,000 volts!

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  1. A burst of static electricity can reach up to 3,000 volts.
  2. The electric eel has been known to make strong shocks over 500 volts.
  3. The world’s biggest energy source to make electricity comes from coal but how does this happen? It is first placed in a furnace filled with boiling water. The steam that is produced spins a turbine attached to a generator or transformer.
  4. The biggest source to create electricity comes from fossil fuels, however, renewable choices can also produce large amounts of electricity, such as wind, solar and hydro power.
  5. The first electric vehicle that actually operated was constructed in early 1891 by an inventor in the US called William Morrison.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, it was not Benjamin Franklin who discovered electricity, but he did prove that lightning is a form of electricity.

Thanks to the invention of the lightning rod revolutionary in the 18th century, electricity is better understood than before.


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