How to Find a Water Leak in Your HDB Flat (And What You Can Do About It)

Ceiling leaks happen when water starts to drip through the ceiling or floor. This is usually because the waterproof membrane does eventually wear and tear over time, and many older buildings in Singapore are prone to this problem.

Often, these problems happen in areas that handle a lot of water on a regular basis, such as bathrooms, toilets, and kitchen sinks.

So, when you’re suspecting a water leak in your home’s plumbing works that would require the assistance of a 24 hours plumbing service, contact a super fast pipe technician from Singapore and take the following advices:

1. Look for out-of-place water damage

Signs of water stains in your ceilings or water trails on your walls are obvious signs that there is a leak in the pipes in your ceiling. While these are easy to spot, you won’t always see them for what danger they could pose, and can be easily dismissed.

Other signs that aren’t immediately obvious include moisture in the areas near your pipes, as well as rust or signs of wear and tear on the pipes themselves if they happen to be made of metal.

2. Take a close look at your home’s water bill

A sudden increase in your water bill despite the regular use of your water is a serious indication that something is wrong with your water pipes. If left unchecked, you might eventually see signs of water damage and mold growth in your home.

To know this, especially if you don’t seem to see an obvious leak inside your own home, you will need to compare your most recent water bill with the one before.

If you notice a sudden increase compared to your previous bill, it might be time to call a plumbing services to assess the problem.

3. Have it checked by the pros

You won’t always know how accurately how bad the leaks are, so it’s best to call for a plumber services as soon as possible.

Leaks are best fixed by a PUB licensed plumber, since they are the ones that can best diagnose and assess the damage in your home accurately using different techniques and make the repairs needed in order to stop the leak.

How to Handle a Ceiling Water Leak

No homeowners wants to have to deal with a leak for a long time, but when it’s not immediately obvious, it’s easily ignored and could cause a lot of water waste and property damage.

It’s easy to spot any signs that your home is suffering from a ceiling leak, and much easier to respond by switching off your main water supply and calling for an emergency repair as soon as possible.

But if the problem isn’t with your pipes but with your neighbor’s, the first thing you need to do is inform them of this problem.

The best way to handle a suspected water leak from your ceiling is to call a professional plumber in order to assess the suspected damage. If there is indeed a water leak, you will then be given an estimated quote to fix it.

Why a Plumber Service?

When you are just clueless on how to remove choke on kitchen sink, call the help of a licensed plumber in Singapore. You want to make sure that only a certified plumbing contractor will handle your choked sink to ensure it gets fixed properly.

Here are more reasons why you should hire a certified and experienced HDB plumbing contractor for any emergency plumbing issue you may encounter at home:

• Quick, lasting fixes – When you need a reliable plumber to help you fix broken pipes or even assess and fix toilet bowl hairline cracks, you want to make sure that your problem is fixed quickly and the repair lasts a long time

• 24/7 service – Need to hire an emergency plumber to take care of a toilet bowl choke in the middle of the night? Because many plumbers now offer their services any time, you’ll be glad to know that you can call a 24 hours plumber service to help you out

• Affordable service – No need to break the bank for the best plumbing workmen to take care for emergency when many contractors now have cheap plumbers that won’t break your bank

How to Register Your Trademark in Singapore

There are three options for trademark registration in Singapore depending on the origin of the products and/or services, the location of regional offices/branches of the company, and the designated territories or nations where the products and/or services are sold.

To better understand how to protect your brand in Singapore and overseas, let’s break down the three different trademark registration processes.

Registering a Trademark in Singapore

Before your company in Singapore can apply to register trademark or list your company name on IPOS, it must satisfy the following conditions: the trademark should be represented graphically; the trademark must be distinct or unique; the trademark should be able to distinguish your goods and/or services from others;and the trademark must not be confused with or look similar to another existing or registered mark to acquire proper brand protection.

Trademark registration applications are submitted at the Intellectual property Office of Singapore (IPOS). For the mark to be covered by intellectual property rights it must be registered as early as possible to avoid objections by similar marks. The owner should also try to search for similar marks before applying to register trademark. Finally, the owner should study the classification of trademarks based on the goods and/or services that will be covered. Look for the guidelines in the Nice Classification, because you will need this when filing the documents.

First, the applicant must provide the following details: name and address of the trademark owner; graphical representation of the trademark; complete list of the goods and/or services covered by the trademark registration; declaration of the intent to use the trademark; and the application fee. The fees are per class of goods and/or services. The fees will vary depending on where the application was submitted (online or manual filing).

Next, the trademark is examined to determine if it can be registered. In case there are amendments to your trademark registration application, you will have to complete the following: amendments form, pay the amendment fee, and pay the bureau charges of the application was filed manually.

Once approved, the trademark is published in the Trade Marks Journal to allow the public to examine it for two months and file an objection. If there are oppositions, a hearing may be necessary, and the application process suspended.

Finally, if there are no objections, the owner will be issued the Registration Certificate. The intellectual property laws are applicable for the next ten years and is renewable.

The trademark application process in Singaporetakes up to 9 months before the certificate is granted.

Registering Trademark Outside Singapore

If the applicant has filed a trademark registration outside of Singapore within the last 6 months, he/she may apply for priority claim when submitting the documents at IPOS before proceeding to submit chinese product name as a protected mark. It is important for your brand to trademark chinese words in order to avoid objections by other existing marks if there are logos or designs that looks similar, especially from applicants who have not yet completed their registration yet. As an owner, you may also ask assistance from professionals on how to register chinese brands, seek for a similar registered mark, and to study the Nice Classification of the goods and/or services that will be covered by the trademark application.

When applying for trademark registration outside Singapore, the applicants should submit the documents either at IPOS or in the respective countries. Filing is done via the Madrid Protocol or Madrid System.

Those who wish to register trademark at IPOS will need to submit the following: Form MM2(E), administrative fee, WIPO fees. IPOS will then review the application before submitting it to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The owner will be notified and provided a deadline in case there are missing documents.

The IPOS will then certify the application and send it to IB or International Bureau for examination. If approved, the trademark is published in the WIPO Gazette and recorded in the International Register. The owner is given a corresponding IR number.

Finally, the IB will send the trademark registration to the countries designated in your application for further examination before you can receive the protection of your trademark.

Designating Singapore (Madrid Protocol)

Businesses outside Singapore that wish to protect their trademark in the country can apply for trademark registration using the same process detailed above. Singapore should be a designated country in your application either as a subsequent designation or an international designation. The same process will take 9 months as well once IPOS receives the certification from WIPO.

Only trademarks that have been registered in the origin country can designate Singapore. This means that you will need to file in the home Intellectual Property office, the same agency that will forward your application to WIPO.

WIPO will then examine the trademark registration application, record the trademark in the International Register, and publish it in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks. This will allow the public to file objections if there are similar marks. If there are no objections, WIPO will send the owner a certificate for international trademark registration.

Once IPOS receives the notification from IB/WIPO, examination of the trademark will begin. This will give time for other applicants and existing registered mark owners to file objections. If there is an objection, the applicant will be given Provisional Refusal of Protection for four months. The owner must respond, or the application will be withdrawn.

If there are no objections, the trademark will be published in the Trade Marks Journal for public examination. Objections will be entertained for the next two months.

If there are no objections within two months of publication, the IPOS will give the owner the Statement of Grant of Protection.

Social CRM: What It Is and Why You Need It

In this current day and age, the internet plays an integral and important role in our communication. It touches upon almost all aspects of our lives, so much so that it only makes sense for entrepreneurs to leverage it for their businesses. However, there are still many business owners who are skeptical about the power that social media can bring and are adamant about the necessary changes that they would have to do in order to benefit from it. However, adding a social media aspect to your CRM system doesn’t mean reinventing your business, or rethinking about your entire model; social CRM simply means adding another route of communication for your customers and partners.

Social CRM gives you access to a whole new way to communicate with your customers. By adding social media to an already existing CRM system or CRM software, you can track, measure, and assess their social media engagement regarding your business. Paired with the information that you already have on hand about them, you can glean new and more accurate data about your customer, giving an entirely new dimension to your sales reports. Additionally, when they choose to contact you through social media channels, you can track and organize all data that comes to you as easily as any other data. This means that you can solve their problems more efficiently and tend to their needs faster and more accurately.

The Gap Between Businesses and Customers
Even those who understand the marketing power of social media sometimes miss the fact that the internet can be a whole new form of communication for businesses. Here in Singapore, we often see businesses keep publishing posts about their business and products—videos, tweets, and text posts, all of which were thoroughly studied and discussed to produce the most engagement. On the other hand, consumers spend time on the same social media channels, but in an entirely different circle. They discuss you and your products, creating recommendations, reviews, and sometimes, complaints, but your marketing doesn’t reach them.

This gap illustrates a common mistake that businesses do. In sales management, the most effective type of marketing is one that is direct and personalized, targeting the needs of the individual. Consumers want to benefit from your products, but you can’t do so if you don’t know what they want.

CRM software, especially social CRM allows you to bridge this gap by providing you a trackable method of responding to your customer base through social media. This means that you get to your customers where they are, through the medium of communication that they prefer, instead of them adjusting to the limited sales management tools that you offer. Aside from providing sales automation for small business that are based in Singapore, Social CRM also helps you track their concerns across many platforms should they choose to use multiple channels.

This also means that you get access to information (including reviews, complaints, and recommendations) on a wide scale, all while still being able to keep track of the details of each interaction with every customer. You can then cross reference this data with your sales reports and sales management tactics to figure out how to keep your business growing.

Gain an Entirely New Ways of Interaction
Because of the internet, our methods of communications have changed drastically. We can now connect with people on different platforms, through different methods, almost instantaneously. These features open up entirely new ways of relating to and interacting with your team and customers, ways that could not have been available to us even in the previous decade. When it comes to promoting sales coaching tips for example, you can use a good read on coaching your team in Singapore as a guide in facilitating healthy interaction at work. This encourages improved customer support. Other forms of interaction on customer relationship management include:

1. Delivering customer support through social media
While many interactions concerning customer support still happen through traditional means at present (like emails and phone calls), using social media can have many more benefits over these traditional means. First, communication over social media is almost instantaneous and happens in real time. This means that information can be gathered much more efficiently, and problems are solved before they could potentially get worse. Second, you are able to put your customer’s comfort first, by letting them use the channel that they want to use. With social CRM, you could put your customer first in every interaction. Paired with cloud CRM, which can allow you to connect with your audience whether they’re in Singapore or abroad, you can grow your business with the power of the internet.

2. Knowing complaints as soon as they arrive
While it’s the ideal, customers don’t always voice their complaints directly to you. Instead, most post about it online to inform their friends about your products in services. Social CRM, with the help of cloud CRM features, can help you monitor what people are saying about your company, giving you the ability to resolve these issues as soon as they are posted. This also sends a message to your consumers telling them that their concerns are heard and that you are promptly working on a solution. This can make sure that their complaints don’t get blown out of proportion (as things on the internet can sometimes be), even if you still have to spend time consulting with your sales management team on what action should best be taken.

3. Rewarding customers who help out your business
While complaints aren’t always voiced directly to you, this also holds true for positive reviews. If your customers believe in your services and products, they become more than just customers; they can end up representing your business, advocating for it to their friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the most reliable sources of new customer engagement, and encouraging more of it could only benefit you and your business. Most of these interactions happen online, as people talk about a positive experience with a certain business or product. Being able to acknowledge these customers, even by doing something as simple as thanking them publicly, can help them feel appreciated and valued. Plus, it may even guarantee continued patronage.

8 Alternatives to Traditional Diamond Engagement Ring

Every woman is unique, and her style and personality should reflect in the proposal ring you bought for her. While a non-traditional ring is more challenging to look for, a well-thought out option can mean a more thoughtful gift and a tearfully blissful fiancé.

Searching for the perfect alternative for a diamond ring is going to be a challenge, but that’s okay because she is worth every effort and we are here to help. Here, we’ll provide you with several options to help narrow down your choices and find a unique ring—or gift—that will be perfect for the one-of-a-kind person in your life.

1. Lab-Made Diamonds

Diamonds grown in laboratories usually cost 15 to 20 percent less than natural diamonds, though discounts could be lower or higher depending on the size and the vendor. While natural-diamond vendors advertise that ‘real’ diamond come from the earth, lab-made diamonds possess the same chemical and physical elements of mined diamonds. The higher price tags on these stones have more to do with the sentimental value and marketing strategy than their intrinsic value.

If you opt for cultured diamonds, not only will you save huge amount of cash, but also cause lesser negative impact on the environment. Replacing an annual production of a diamond mine with lab-made stones would get rid of the toxic effect of 480-million miles’ worth of car emission.

2. Other Gemstones

Here’s a proof that there is little reasoning to the pricing of diamonds: Although tanzanite is much rarer than diamonds—almost a thousand times rarer—tanzanite cost nearly 10 times lesser than diamond.

Other rarer gemstones, including emeralds, sapphires and rubies, are still less expensive than diamonds. If you see in most jewelers here in Singapore, even a well-cut one-carat blue sapphire is more than ten times cheaper than a low-grade natural diamond, yet still makes a beautiful ring for the bride. If you want a colourless stone for a more traditional look, a white sapphire is a more affordable choice, despite being much rarer.

3. Romantic Travel

Investing on experiences is said to generate more happiness than investing on material things. In other words, why not consider purchasing an inexpensive wedding ring, so you can spend most of your savings on a one-year Asian travel? Schedule it right after the wedding and make this an unforgettable pre-wedding vacation for the both of you.
If you think an expensive engagement ring is romantic, how about a luxurious Asian cruise for two?

4. A House

A more practical alternative is to swap a ring for a house. What’s more romantic than securing a good future together by spending your hard-earned money as down payment for a house?

Before commenting negatively, know that the purpose of engagement rings in the ancient times is to serve as ‘tags,’ so men can label women as their property. So, instead of spending a fortune on a, somewhat, sexist symbol, let your engagement be a good start for making smart and practical commitments toward your marital life.

5. Something Old

Family is part of the foundation of your relationship, and if there’s an heirloom piece from any of your families, incorporate that into the marriage bands as an alternative to diamond.

Whatever the piece is, you can have the materials of the jewellery re-used and handcrafted into a new piece for your soon-to-be-bride. This makes sure that the tradition and memories of the family remains; and the engagement ring would be much more special and meaningful not just for the both of you, but for your families as well.

6. Non-Gold Ring

Gold is a traditional choice by bridal couples in Singapore for engagement and wedding rings. It is expensive and will surely give an impression that you spent a good amount of money on it.

However, if you’re buying a 14k to 24k gold ring, you are buying a ring that’s surprisingly soft. Pure gold bends and scratches easily, making it not necessarily the best option for wedding rings. Instead, consider other metals, like platinum and tungsten which are denser and more durable than gold.

7. Claddagh Ring

If you want a ring with real history and cultural value, swap the diamond ring with a Claddagh ring, an Irish betrothal symbol in the 17th century. The ring features two hands holding a heart with a crown on it, symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty.

In tradition, the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart pointing away from the body if the wearer is single and toward the body when the wearer already has a love interest. If already engaged, the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart pointing away and toward the body once the wearer is married.

8. Gem-Less Engagement Ring

If your fiance is a no-frills kind of person, a gemstone may not be necessary to impress her. Check out various jewellery stores in Singapore for a wide variety of ring options that do not have gemstones on them. Whether it’s a simple band or a two-toned ring that’s twisted to form a beautiful shape, each one is unique and possesses a different beauty that’s simply hard to resist.

To make the proposal ring extra special, engrave the inside of the band with your names or a special passage for the both of you.

Diamonds may have always been the first choice for engagement rings, but it isn’t the only gift you can propose with. Explore your options and find the right one that’s as unique as your sweetheart. No matter what you choose, she will appreciate and cherish the thought and effort you have put into it.

Avoid Being Ripped Off! Points to Check to Spot Locksmith Scam

In the modern days, corrupt businessmen are taking advantage of people during their most vulnerable times. A locksmith scam that charges desperate auto owners and homeowners with overpriced emergency services has been one of the fastest growing crimes in Singapore. Unlicensed, bogus locksmiths charge more than five times the actual rate of a locksmith service for rescuing locked-out victims.

However, their modus is easy to spot. By keeping a strong presence of mind when faced with a locked out situation, you can avoid being ripped off and protect your properties from the risk of any malicious act.

1. Absence of Physical Office Address

If a locksmith company doesn’t provide a physical address in their advertisement, make sure to ask where their office is located when you call. Make sure that they supply invoices with the company’s name, contact number, and license number printed out on them.

2. Unclear Company Name

Fraud individuals often hide in many aliases or business names. Thus, they tend to answer calls with generic phrases like “locksmith service.” If they answer you this way, insist on asking the name of the business and their office address.

3. Copied Business Name

Apart from not having a clear company name, make sure that the locksmith company you’re talking to isn’t using the name of a reputable Singapore company. Many fraud individuals copy the names of legit businesses, making just enough changes so they’re technically not using the same business name. You definitely don’t want to deal with any of these companies.

4. Lowest Prices

Unwary costumers are easily attracted to these advertisements. If you really want to know how much the rightful lowest price is, call several 24 hour locksmith operator around Singapore and ask what the quoted price entails. Call the nearest locksmith and find out whether the quoted price is just the service fee and if further charges will be incurred on site.

5. Unmarked Vehicle

When a locksmith arrives, pay attention to the vehicle. Legitimate locksmiths arrive in a service vehicle clearly marked with the name of the company. While there may be some legit companies that use their personal car when on-call, this should situation is still a sign of fraud and thus should be treated with extra caution.

6. Destroying of Locks

As your locksmith checks the problem, ask how they are supposed to solve the situation. If they recommend drilling or getting rid of the lock entirely, that’s a warning sign of a fraud service. Legitimate locksmith Singapore should know how to get through any entry without damaging the lock. In most cases, a lock will only be removed if it’s defective.

7. Refusal for Cost Estimate

When calling a locksmith company, the first thing you want to ask is cost estimation. If they refuse to provide you an estimate, that’s a warning that they may charge you an exorbitant price. If they have given you an estimate, ask if it includes the service call, their mileage, and the emergency hours. Insist on getting a clear estimation that includes all costs.

8. Bad Reviews

The easiest way to check for a locksmith’s legitimacy is to look for reviews. Take time to check the company’s website. Have they had excellent reviews from previous clients? If there are good reviews, pay attention to how the reviews are written as some fraud companies can easily make them up with dummy accounts and users.

While most locksmith Singapore companies are excellent and legitimate service providers, there are still a few scam artists out there who take advantage on desperate consumers who are badly in need of help. If inevitably you happen to fall into such situation, make sure to avoid these unscrupulous people by keeping in mind these important points.

How Does a Fire Alarm System Work?

There are various options for setting up a modern and sophisticated fire protection system for buildings in Singapore, but do you know the basic ideas behind such systems?

Let’s break down the basics of the fire alarm systems used in buildings.

Smoke or Heat Detection
A fire protection system has sensors that detect smoke or heat levels, because these are the first indicators of a fire. Most detectors used in fire alarm systems in Singapore are either ionization detectors or optical detectors. The ionization detectors look for signs of smoke before it triggers the alarm. The smoke is detected through the chamber of the ionization. An optical detector on the other hand looks for signs of smoke using infrared LED sensors to trigger the alarm.

Bell or Siren
The bell or siren system alerts the people in the building that smoke has been detected and a possible fire may be ongoing. The detectors will send the signal to trigger the alarm. The type of alarm used in a fire protection system may vary, but most buildings in Singapore use bells, sirens, and flashing or blinking lights.

Other Monitors
Modern fire protection system in Singapore also consists of other monitors or detectors besides those already mentioned, because sometimes looking for signs of smoke may not be adequate in large buildings. For example, some fire alarm systems also include carbon monoxide detectors.

Sprinkler and Suppression Systems
A fire protection system for large buildings in Singapore may also include a dry pipe sprinkler system that discharges water when smoke is detected, and the alarms are triggered. In other fire alarm systems, a clean agent is used in rooms that house electronic equipment, because water will not work in such cases. This is an advanced fire prevention method to minimize losses as much as possible while waiting for response from the fire department.

Danger Notification
Not only are sophisticated fire alarm systems used to notify people of fires, but it can also be a means to alert people of other dangers and emergencies. The fire protection system can be connected to a notification system with speakers and other alarm systems to alert people of security threats, weather disturbances, and evacuation procedures.

Control Panel
A fire protection system’s primary purpose is to alert the people in the building and the authorities of a possible fire. The control panel serves as the brain of the entire fire protection system and is housed in a specific are in the building. In some cases, fire alarm systems may be set of manually if there are threats that were not detected by the system. Triggering this will cause the notification system to send signals to alert the occupants and authorities to take action.

Your fire alarm system provider might also recommend zoning and fire alarm categories depending on the size and complexity of the building and the number of occupants or residents.


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