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    Spill Kits – how to make your environment safe for yourself

    What Are Chemical Spill Kits?

    In most cases, laboratories and similar facilities will both store and use a variety of chemicals (both hazardous and non-hazardous) – and for this reason, it can often be important to have a spill kit to hand that’s suitable for the needs of the testing area. Despite this, many facilities aren’t actually equipped with chemical spill kits that can solve all of the different types of issues that could potentially occur.

    To ensure the safety of yourself and others who enter the workspace, finding the ideal spill kit can be essential.

    What’s needed for a basic spill kit?

    Personal protective equipment (PPE)

    From safety eyewear (like spare safety goggles), to lab coats; there are a number of things that you should keep in a spill kit to ensure that you’re protected from a chemical spill. Be sure to include gloves (latex gloves aren’t usually a good idea – instead, consider nitrile or butyl rubber gloves), shoe covers and aprons. Usually, reading the MSDSs is a good way to make sure that you have everything you need.

    Chemical resistant bags and hazardous waste tags

    Be sure to have high density polyethylene or polypropylene bags (with attached hazardous waste tags) to contain any spill clean-up materials and residue that needs to be disposed of.

    Polypropylene container with a lid

    Having a polypropylene container and chemical resistant bin liners handy to store components when cleaning up a spill can often be important. Alternatively, high density polyethylene containers can be a good choice, too. A 5 gallon (or larger) bucket with a lid is often the best way to go.

    Clean-up tools

    In most cases, you’ll also need chemical resistant cleaning tools, like dustpans and brushes. Fortunately, there are a range of polypropylene variants available.

    Inert absorbents

    There are a number of absorbents to choose from (from Vermiculite, to ordinary pillows), that can be used to help absorb a liquid chemical spill. Other types you may want to consider can come under the term of ”loose bulk” absorbents, like clay or cat litter. Often, when used properly, these can be used to prevent a liquid spill from spreading any further.

    Neutralizing and treatment materials

    There are a number of materials that you can use for different types of spills, so be sure to do your research on what can cater to specific chemicals. In most cases, the type and quantity can rely on what you have in your workspace.

    How to find the spill kit requirements of your lab

    In some instances, there may be a chemical spill that a basic kit can’t clean – and this is why it can often be important to take a close look at what you could need before an accident happens. In general, monitoring the types and quantities of chemicals and learning more about their MSDSs can be crucial to determining the specific needs of your Stratex spill kit.

  • air conditioning unit in the home

    Aircon Repairs and Maintenance – the coolest project for your home

    How to Choose the Best Kind of Aircon System

    Whether you want to cool down your house during those unbearable summer months, or relax in the warmth of your home all winter long; your air conditioning system is there to help keep you comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.

    But how do you know which brand/unit will be the right one for your needs? Every home and user is certain to be different, so it may be worthwhile to do a bit of research before making a purchase.

    What to consider when shopping for an aircon system

    Quality can be essential to almost anyone shopping for a new AC system. Most will offer 3 levels of distinction, with each one offering a different balance between durability and price. Basic models are likely to last 12 to 16 years, while premium ones usually give you around 18 to 25 years of functionality. For something in the middle, you may want to go for a standard unit instead.

    Another factor to take into consideration is the size of your home, as this will often determine what unit is likely to be ideal. Choosing a system that’s too small can cause it to wear out faster and increase utility bills, whereas larger ones will often overheat or overcool your property and will also affect your outgoings.

    To find out how much cool air a system can produce for how much electricity, you’ll often need to pay attention to the BTU number – and the different ratings can often vary depending on where you live. Wattage can give you a clearer idea of the general costs too; the lower the wattage, the cheaper the unit is likely to be to run.

    Are you replacing an existing aircon unit?

    Before you decide to say goodbye to your current AC unit and replace it with a new one, there are a few things that you may want to take into account first, such as:

    Is your air con costing you more than it should?

    Not all faults in machines are visible or obvious and if your energy bills seem to be rising while your rates are staying the same, there’s a chance that your HVAC unit actually isn’t functioning quite as it should. While this can sometimes be fixed, you may find that it’s time for a replacement.

    How old is your air con system?

    Most air conditioning systems will last for 15 years – and if you’re experiencing some major issues with a unit that’s only 8 or 9 years old, you may want to look into getting a replacement rather than a repair. For systems that have seen less than 8 years of usage, it may be worthwhile to call out a technician and investigate a repair. After all, the issue could only be a minor one and replacing too soon could see you out of pocket and reneging on a perfectly good unit.

    Find out more about what you can do with your Aircon system at VitalAircon

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    How To Choose the Right Suburb For Your Property Investment

    Choosing the Right Suburb to Buy In – Guest Writer Denis Mackenzie

    If you’re planning to buy a property with the intent of selling it on in the future after renovations, one of the first things you may want to consider is where the best place to buy is. There are plenty of different suburbs all across Australia – each one with their own pros, cons and potential.

    Picking a residential area will often provide you with somewhere to start searching, which is why it can often be a wise idea to begin choosing the right suburb before anything else. Some of the things you should consider when looking to buy include:

    Affordability of the houses in the region

    If you’re considering buying in a particular location, be sure to look at the price range of properties both in and just outside of the area. If you don’t choose carefully, you could end up paying more than you need to; just because you bought a house that was deemed more expensive due to positioning and little else. By the same token, buying in a less desirable locality to save money could see you losing out on profit in the future.

    As a result, take the time to find out which locations are the most popular for homebuyers, whilst also keeping an eye on the typical selling prices of properties in the region to ensure that you pay competitively.

    Create a budget

    Buying an investment property can often be a huge financial decision, which is why it can often be so crucial to have a budget in mind when searching. Knowing your limits can often help a great deal when looking at the different options available to you. 

    What facilities are in the suburb?

    Most people will look at the facilities nearby when buying a home, so in most cases keeping this in mind when buying with the intent of selling the property can be a worthwhile idea. A few of the things you may want to look out for include:

    • Childcare, nurseries and schools
    • Coffee shops
    • Shopping malls
    • Transportation

    Facilities and infrastructure are often as important to you as they are to the individuals that you’ll be selling the house to.

    You may also want to consider other factors, too. For example, those in Melbourne tend to give more importance to areas that have schools – so when buying in this city, make sure that you find a locality that has easy access to educational facilities of all types.

    General things for an investor to consider

    For most investors, the ideal region is the one that will drive the value of their property higher in the future. For this reason, you may want to look for a location with:

    • Security and scarcity
    • Plans to develop facilities in the future
    • The size of the region
    • Crime rates

    These can all have an impact on house sale prices, both in the present and down the line.