Are You Using a Fire Extinguisher Properly?

Why Your Home Fire Extinguisher Might Be Adding Fuel to the Fire

Fire extinguishers are certainly not a new technology.  The first recorded use of a fire extinguisher is said to have been in 1723, created by a popular chemist in England.  We’re going on 300 years of having fire extinguishers handy.  Yet, many people don’t understand the technologies used in the modern-day fire extinguisher.

Our friends at Gateway Fire Supplies are here to help.  In this post, I’m going to cover the various classes of fire extinguishers.  Bear in mind that these classes are not to be taken lightly.  Using the wrong fire extinguisher can potentially add fuel to the fire.

Keep in mind these Fire Extinguisher Classes when a fire erupts
Keep in mind these Fire Extinguisher Classes when a fire erupts
A Class Fire Extinguisher Logo
A Class Fire Extinguisher Logo

Class A: Fire Involving General Materials; Wood, Cloth, Plastics, Rubber, Trash

Class A fire extinguishers are the most popular fire extinguishers on the market.  They’re the cheapest and widely available.  From a grocery store to a chain pharmacy, if you go to buy a fire extinguisher at either place, it’s more than likely going to be type A.  It makes sense.  Class A covers the widest range of fires.  Class A fire extinguishers also fight the most common fires.  Maybe an ember from a candle wick ignites a trash can or you drop a match on the carpet, these accidents are the most common.  Therefore, most homeowners and small businesses have a Class A fire extinguisher.

Class A fire extinguishers work via the use of dry chemicals or water.  Technically, a garden hose is a Class A fire extinguisher.  Most of the chemicals or liquids found in a Class A fire extinguisher will only fuel grease or kitchen fires.  Additionally, the might not work for electrical fires.

B Class Fire Extinguisher Logo
B Class Fire Extinguisher Logo

Class B: Fire Involving Combustible Liquids (Minus Grease and Cooking Oils)

Chemical fires are surprisingly common.  Cars, boats, and even grills are the main culprits of Class B fires.  Most Class A fire extinguishers are also Class B extinguishers.  ABC fire extinguishers are very common.

Class B fires are extinguished by inhibiting chemical reactions. Often times, water works, however, this is one fire that fire extinguishers work best.

C Class Fire Extinguisher Logo
C Class Fire Extinguisher Logo

Class C: Fire Involving Electrical Circuits or Outlets

Far less common than a Class A or B fire, they still pose a threat to homeowners and small business owners.  Luckily, Class C fires are usually extinguished by the same fire extinguishers the fight Class A and B fires.

Class C fires are typically the result of a faulty circuit, overheating computer or electronic device, or short circuit.  They often happen in hard to reach and dry areas.  It’s important that you waste no time in responding to a Class C fire and avoid the use of water or any other conductive substance.

Class D Fire Extinguisher Logo
Class D Fire Extinguisher Logo

Class D: Fire Involving Combustible Metals

Class D fires include fires that result from combustible metals like magnesium, potassium, and sodium alloys.  Likely the least common fire for homeowners and small business owners, they require special fire extinguishers.  Class D fire extinguishers are often hard to find.  Here’s one from Gateway Fire Supplies.

Class K Fire Extinguisher Logo
Class K Fire Extinguisher Logo

Class K: Fires Involving Cooking Oils, Grease, or Animal Fats

A very common and very dangerous fire, Class K fires are often referred to as kitchen or grease fires.  When a fire is the result of grease, cooking oils, or animal fats (like bacon grease), that’s a Class K fire.  They cannot be extinguished using water as water will sink to the bottom of the oil.  The water will heat up and evaporate.  The evaporation of the water forces the oil up.  The hot oil will often spread the fire or burn those around it.

Class K fire extinguishers are required in restaurants and some businesses.  Additionally, most homeowners do not have Class K fire extinguishers.  Conventional ABC fire extinguishers rarely work for Class K fires.  Consider purchasing a Class K fire extinguisher if you cook often.  Consider this Class K fire extinguisher from Gateway Fire Supplies.

I’d like to thank our friends at Gateway Fire Supplies.  I honestly wasn’t aware of these fire extinguisher classes.  We’re all aware of what social media sites to use for a certain purpose.  We use Twitter for quick information while Facebook for longer and more detailed posts.  Yet, most people have no idea that their home fire extinguisher might intensify a kitchen fire.

Adulting: What’s a Mortgage Broker?

Adulting: What’s a Mortgage Broker

So you’re looking for a home?  It’s not as fun as you thought it would be, is it?  There’s a lot more to it.  Not only do you actually have to find a house that fits your needs but you also need to get a mortgage.  Unless you’re in real estate or you’re a mortgage broker, you’re probably not very confident about your ability to make the right decision when it comes to a mortgage.  But don’t worry!  The average adult is so terrible at looking for a mortgage that there’s a whole profession based around it.  Meet the Mortgage Broker.

Getting a mortgage is just as important as finding the right house.  It certainly isn’t as enjoyable as finding your first home and it’s probably more stressful, however, it’s unavoidable.  Like all major, unavoidable, and stressful decisions in life, there’s an insane amount of stuff to consider when getting a mortgage.

Working with a Mortgage Broker, Explained
Working with a Mortgage Broker, Explained

At first, your instincts will probably tell you to go straight to your bank.  You trust your bank to hold your money, a mortgage should be no different.  You believe that until you sit down and read the fine print.  Maybe you’re not ready to negotiate a mortgage one-on-one with your bank.  That’s okay because there’s a group of professionals that are.

The Mortgage Broker

As I’ve said a few times, mortgages are super important.  They’re also unique to each person.  That’s why it’s essential to have someone who understands your needs and situation when looking for the right mortgage.  You’re going to want personalized service.  You want someone who understands you or your family.  That’s where a mortgage broker comes into to play.

Essentially, a Mortgage Broker is a middleman between you (the borrower) and the bank or loaner.

St. Louis-based Liberty Lending provided a great step-by-step overview of what to expect when working with your mortgage broker.

Tips from Mortgage Brokers and Consultants at Liberty Lending
Tips from Mortgage Brokers and Consultants at Liberty Lending

Step 1: Knowing How Much You Can Afford

It all starts with a simple conversation with your broker.  You’ll need to know how much you can borrow.  Your mortgage broker will sit down with you and find out just how much you can or should borrow.  Your broker will ask a series of personalized questions to find out your financial situation.  Once they determine just how much you should borrow, they’ll work with you to parse through the various mortgage options.  Banks love to give you a hefty packet or dense brochure.  Qualified mortgage brokers like the ones at Liberty Lending work with you to get individual options.

Step 2: Getting Pre-Qualified

Getting pre-qualified may very well be the most important step in the mortgage process.  Brokers will work with you to ensure pre-qualification.  Being pre-qualified is essential as it gives you buying clout.  When a seller knows you’re pre-qualified, they’re more likely to go with your offer.  Mortgage brokers ensure pre-qualification.

Step 3: Reading the Fine Print

Though you’ve technically received your loan, the work of your broker isn’t over just yet.  Mortgage brokers like the ones at Liberty Lending will comb through every detail of your contract or application once approved.  They make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Finally, Moving In

The final thing you’re mortgage broker will do is making sure you’re successfully moved into your new home.  Mortgage brokers will work with title companies and escrow to ensure everything is in your best interest.

Good luck out there!

Liberty Lending is a fantastic mortgage broker and offers a variety of resources on how to work with mortgage brokers.

9 Must Have Apps for Physicians

9 Apps for Physicians to Make 14-Hour Shifts Less Awful

Appointments, procedures, phone calls, emails, and emergencies are all in a day’s work for the average physician.  With daunting workloads and never ending tasks, physicians are constantly prioritizing their appointments and meetings.  Obviously, in medicine, some things are a little more important than others.  Tedious tasks and busy work that a physician might find distracting from their top priorities and patient care are often assigned to assistants.  For those tasks, I’ve come across 9 must have apps for physicians and their assistants.

9 Apps for Physicians and Assistants including physician search tools and more.
9 Apps for Physicians and Assistants

#1 MedScape

Created by WebMD, one of the most trusted sources for medical information, MedScape is somewhat of an extension from the standard WebMD designed for physicians and healthcare professionals.  MedScape provides information ranging from procedural tutorials, medical calculator, prescription information, continuing medical education (CME) through the apps education tool.

#2 Isabel

Isabel is a diagnostics and reference app.  The app allows physicians to select and enter parameters for their patients.  Physicians will then receive diagnostic suggestions based on age, gender, travel history, and symptoms.  Backed by peer-reviewed medical journals, Isabel’s information provides physicians with thousands of possible combinations.  The app is an ideal way to double-check uncertain diagnostics or to come up with solutions when they have none.

#3 Epocrates Plus

Providing peer-reviewed disease information, listings for alternative medicine, infectious disease treatments, ICD-10/CPT codes, and diagnostic graphs.  Upgrading to the plus version allows users to access all the features of the regular application as well as: pill identification, clinical practice guidelines, a formulary, drug interaction checker, and athenaText built in.  Epocrates is the most trusted medical reference database among physicians in the United States.

#4 PracticeMatch Physician Job Search

PracticeMatch is a job search app designed specifically for physicians and advanced practitioners (likes Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants) in mind. It’s an ad-free way to search for new job opportunities and syncs between phone app and your online profile so you can easily keep track of positions you want to apply to.

#5 Read

An application by QxMD, Read provides research and topic reviews in an interface similar to an RSS reader for doctors that want to stay updated on industry news and topics of interest. It also grants access to PubMed, a compilation of medical journals, e-books, and diverse literature with millions of citations backed by Medline, one of the largest manufacturers of medical supplies in the world.

#6 Calculate

Calculate is another app from QxMD.  Calculate is geared toward physicians who must make decisions about doses and treatments based on numerical values.  Calculate is particularly helpful for medical practitioners like cardiologists and oncologists.

Physicians apps including physician search tools
The Top Apps for Physicians

#7 UpToDate

Much like Epocrates Plus, UpToDate is another medical reference tool.  However, UpToDate features a more expansive reference database.  Information is constantly updated by healthcare professionals and patient education systems and includes medical calculators, drug interaction data, and medical articles.

#8 Doximity

Like a Facebook Messenger app suite for physicians, Doximity is a tool that enables physicians to send text messages, pass faxes, and emails in a secure and confidential environment.  More than just a means to keep patient information private, Doximity is HIPAA compliant, meaning you can pass along confidential transmissions without concerns over future audits.

#9 Virtual Practice for Doctors

Virtual Practice for Doctors is a unique communications app that allows physicians to engage and manage patients in various ways through a secure web portal. It includes remote monitoring, access to patient records, appointment management, patient notifications, and teleconferencing/videoconferencing capabilities.

Like all walks of modern life, mobile applications are reshaping the way we function, allowing professionals to perform tasks more efficiently and with greater accuracy. This is especially important for those responsible for taking care of our sick and wounded.

New Tech: Coffee Sleeves Just Got Personal

St. Louis Company Printing Custom Coffee Sleeves

From juice presses to coffee machines, it seems that pretty much every aspect of our daily lives are becoming more and more high tech.  Coffee sleeves are no different.  A St. Louis-based company wants everyone, from local cafes to consumers, to have the ability to get their own custom-designed sleeves.

The Coffee Sleeve

Ah, the coffee sleeve.  Coffee drinkers everywhere have come to love that little cardboard sleeve.  Designed to keep the contents of the beverage from burning your hands, new and improved cups have pretty much negated the coffee sleeves original intentions.  Today, coffee sleeves serve more as an opportunity for branding and customization.  From Starbuck to your local cafe, pretty much every coffee shop has their own coffee sleeves pushing their brand.  However, until recently, these coffee sleeves have been uniform in nature.  Enticed by bulk order discounts, coffee shops rarely diversify the designs on their coffee sleeves.

Coffee Sleeves
Coffee Sleeves just got personal!

Enter Sleeve A Message

Sleeve A Message is based in St. Louis, Missouri.  The company’s roots go back to decades to when founder Dave Dresner was 10 years old.  That’s when Dresner first had the idea to put custom designs and personal messages on coffee sleeves.  Today, the company has multiple corporate clients as well as major universities including Washington University in St. Louis.  However, it’s not just big companies and prestigious universities that can have their own custom coffee sleeves printed up.  Thanks to advances in the tech world, anyone can have their own custom coffee sleeves printed up.

Sleeve A Message is not only affordable but also uses sustainable technology.  Sleeve A Message, as well as their coaster division–Coast A Message, uses water-based inks and recycled materials in all sleeves and coasters.  Not only are their coffee sleeves and coasters sustainable but they also plant trees.  Through a partnership with a local organization in St. Louis, Sleeve A Message plants a tree in urban areas per 7,000 sleeves printed.

Sure, it’s sustainable and sustainable products typically come with a hefty price tag.  Not, Sleeve A Message’s coffee sleeves.  Thanks to high tech printing solutions, anyone can purchase 1800 custom designed coffee sleeves for under $85.

Sleeve A Message allows customers to submit a wide variety of designs.  Sleeve A Messages team of designers will then work with customers to ensure that each design comes out perfectly.  Additionally, because printing is so affordable, customers now have the ability to print more designs.  Say, for example, a local cafe is having a fundraiser, that cafe can print limited edition sleeves for that event.  Maybe you’re hosting a convention.  Why not bring some coffee and donuts and put a coupon on the side of your custom designed coffee sleeves allowing attendees to take advantage of exclusive offers?

The possibilities are endless with this brand new custom coffee sleeve printing technology!

Learn more about Sleeve A Message and Coast A Message here.


Cold Weather Running, It Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable

How to Go for a Run Even When it’s Freezing

It’s cold again and that means your morning and even afternoon runs are in jeopardy.  Even though it maybe 25-degrees out, that doesn’ mean you have to sacrifice your exercise.  There are more than a few ways to get some miles in even when it’s cold outside.

For hot weather runners, it’s always about staying hydrated and to keep your body cool by any means possible.  Running in the summer means wearing fewer clothes, drinking tons of fluids, and letting sweat keep you cool.

For obvious reasons, cold weather running is completely different.  Rather than sweating it out, you actually want to keep fluids from accumulating while also making sure your core temp doesn’t drop off too much.  It’s also super important to note that when you work out in the cold, your immune system works harder than it normally would.  A stressed immune system makes you more vulnerable to frostbite and airborne diseases.  Here are a few tips to stay safe and warm when running in cold weather.

Cold Weather Running
Getting Ready for Cold Weather Running
  • Layers Upon Layers. I’m pretty sure you already know this but layering in the winter is kinda important.  Too many people still make the mistake of thinking physical activity negates having to layer up.  Sure, if it’s brisk or cool, layering might not be the best idea.  When it’s cold, layers are essential.  When bundling up, it’s important that you cover up your entire body.  This means wearing a hat, a vest, gloves, a scarf, a heavy coat, and a thick pair of socks.
  • Stay Warm! Duh.  Well, I’m not just talking about your core temp or body temp.  Taking the time to do proper warm-ups is essential when running in cold weather.  Warming up before a run or a job keeps your joints from stiffening and helps your body acclimate to the freezing temps.
  • Fluids Are Still Important But so is Your Diet. Of, course it’s important that you stay hydrated.  However, when it’s especially chilly, you might want to start taking a look at your diet.  During the winter months, you might want to consider increasing your caloric intake.
  • Be Social. Running with friends is a great way to mitigate the affects of cold weather running.  Friends are great motivators and keep you from getting too bored on long runs.  However, they can also help you notice the symptoms associated with hypothermia.
  • Sweating in the Extreme Cold.  Fabrics that keep you dry are essential to any cold weather running routine.  These fabrics whisk away moisture and provide additional protection from the cold.  Moisture-wicking fabrics are available in shirts, gloves, hats, and bottoms.
  • Maybe It Really is Too Cold. Maybe it’s below freezing or maybe there are five inches of snow on the ground or maybe there’s both.  There is such thing as it being too cold.  Always keep an eye on the weather and know when it’s too cold.  There’s no shame in skipping a run to wait for the snow to melt.

That’s about it.  As you head out this winter to begin your cold weather running routine, keep these tips handing.  Also, make sure to check out the latest deals on cold weather active gear.  Urban Boundaries is one of my favorite sites for cold weather running gear.