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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/05/2015 in Articles

  1. 2 points
    The information here is provided as-is and is not a comprehensive guide. We strongly suggest you do your own research to satisfy yourself that you are aware of the risks that Asbestos poses when Exploring. What is Asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous substance that was once commonly used in buildings in the UK and elsewhere. Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment and as such everyone gets a certain amount of exposure to it over their lifetime. However exposure to Asbestos in high concentrations has been proven to be very detrimental to health, and precautions should be taken to avoid exposure to asbestos wherever possible. Asbestos is definitely one substance that is pays to be aware of and know at least something about as it is very likely something you will come into contact with when exploring. What are the dangers? Asbestos does not present an immediate threat. The harm from asbestos comes from its fibres which are very very fine and are easily inhaled deep inside your lungs where they remain. They are so fine that they cannot be expelled from the lungs in the normal way, and they remain where they are indefinitely. The cumulative effect of inhaling a large amount of asbestos fibres during your lifetime is thought to be a primary trigger in certain types of lung cancer. Where will I find asbestos? Relating to exploring, the most common places you will find asbestos is in electrical appliances/switch rooms, as insulation on pipes and boilers and as concrete-asbestos roofing material. It is safe to assume that most large buildings like hospitals, schools etc. built before the 1970's will contain asbestos in them somewhere, it was a very common building substance. However a lot of asbestos has been removed from such places since the 1980's when it's use was for the most part banned in the UK. There are different types of asbestos and you'll quite often hear people say that one type is more dangerous than another. It is safer however to assume that all asbestos is harmful and to leave it well alone if you come across it. There are many articles on the internet if you want to do more detailed reading. What can I do to protect myself? The best advice is not to go anywhere that is likely to contain asbestos if you can absolutely avoid it. However, if you are going somewhere that you expect to come into contact with Asbestos, the very minimum you can do to protect yourself is to buy a P3 rated mask. A P3 rated mask has filters that are good enough to trap the asbestos fibres and prevent you breathing them in. It is unlikely you will come across anywhere with a high concentration of asbestos, but if you did the advice would be to leave well alone. Asbestos Removal You may from time to time come across asbestos removal being carried out in a building. This is recogniseable as the rooms/areas that asbestos is being removed from will have been sealed up thoroughly with polythene and tape to create an air tight environment which is normally negatively pressured as well to prevent fibres escaping. If you come across asbestos removal in progress in a building it is best to leave this well alone and steer clear of those areas.
  2. 1 point
    The Aim of Our forum Oblivion State exists as an online community to allow people to share their experiences of Urban Exploration. It is our aim to keep these message boards fun and friendly; Banter is allowed, but insults are not. We want all our members to feel valued here, whether you're just starting out in the hobby or you've been doing it for ten years, everyone is welcome. While we appreciate the time and effort some people put into their photography, we are primarily an exploring forum and not a photography forum. This means that artistic photographs showing models in derelict places and those that are too heavily edited from the original so you can't really see what the place is properly are not the sort of content that we aim to have on here. Oblivion State is run by a group of enthusiasts voluntarily, we are not a club or organisation, we have no physical presence or registered offices and we do not organise events or allow events to be organised in our name. This website is supported purely by voluntary donations and personally by its founders, admins and moderators. We specifically do not condone breaking and entering or any other illegal activities and will not allow such material to be promoted on the forum in any way, shape or form. Forum membership Forum membership to Oblivion State is free, there are no paid for sections on this forum. There are two stages to membership on Oblivion State. 1. Member 2. Full Member Promotion from one group to the other is at the discretion of the admin/moderator team and is based purely on contributions to the forum, not necessarily post count or length of membership. There is a non public section for more sensitive sites that is not publicly viewable.
  3. 1 point
    Here's a few useful resources that can help when researching places to go and explore and when planning your explore. Google Maps / Google Earth The most common resource used by a lot of Urban Explorers is Google Maps / Google Earth. Google maps can simply be used in any web browser or is available as an app for android/iOS and gives you fairly good quality detailed aerial imagery of most of the UK. If you have a Google account you can also save 'Map Pins' to a map marking places of interest and share these with other people. A lot of explorers have shared Google maps marking out places they want to explore. Google Earth does a similar thing, but you get more features with Google Earth. Google Earth is a program for the PC/Mac or an App for your phone. It uses the same imagery as Google maps, but gives you more options of what you can do with it. It needs more resources than Google maps however. One of the main things this distinguishes Google Earth from Google maps os the ability to view historical aerial imagery with Google Earth. Google Maps Google Earth Planning information Finding out information on the plans for a building can sometimes be a time consuming process, especially if you don't really know how to go about it. Every councils planning site works a bit differently and sometimes it can be tricky to know which council or authority you even need to be looking at. However, some time spent looking through the planning information can yield a lot of information including detailed building and site plans and even written descriptions of the features on a site. The best place to start is the Planning Portal where you can find out which planning authority you need to be searching. To get the correct details, you will require a post code or full address for the site you are interested in. Planning Portal - Find your local planning authority From there, you should find a link to that authorities planning page where you can then search for detailed information on the site you are interested in. The planning information is best searched on a PC or mac as a lot of the information that is useful is held in PDF format which can be difficult to read on a phone or tablet. The section to pay attention to is the attached documents, as this is where you are likely to find information which could be useful. Searching the planning databases is a bit of an art as sometimes the useful information is tucked away in the most obscure planning applications. My advice is to look through all applications that have ever been made for a particular site, and sometimes you will turn up some absolutely brilliant information. Other times however there is nothing of any use at all, it all depends on a particular sites history. Building at risk registers Historic England maintain a number of registers of heritage and buildings at risk which can prove useful sources of information for those looking for places to explore. You may have to plough through lots of information here, but sometimes you can turn up real gems by spending a bit of time browsing the register. Historic England building at risk register Old OS Maps Old OS maps is a great resource allowing you to look at historical OS maps for a particular area in the UK (if one exists.) This can be useful for locating places that may have existed in the past, but are no longer visibly there and things like old mine shafts etc. There's also a handy overlay between old OS maps and Google maps on the second link. This can be dead useful when used with the satellite view to locate features on the map on the actual landscape. Old OS Maps Old OS Maps Google overlay Ordnance Survey Mapping You can browse ordnance survey maps for free on your PC or tablet on the OS website. Various levels of detail are available depending on what level you zoom into. Very useful tool. Ordnance Survey Mapping Where's that path? A handy side-by-side view of OS maps and Google maps imagery. Again can be dead handy to match up features on a map with where you actually are in the landscape. Where's that path If you have anything to contribute to this article, please comment below.
  4. 1 point
    How to post a report using Flickr Flickr seems to change every time the wind changes direction so here's a quick guide on how to use it to post a report... Step 1 - Explore and take pictures Step 2 - Upload your chosen pictures to Flickr like this.. Step 3 - Once your images are successfully uploaded to flickr choose a category for the location that you have visited... Step 4 - Then "Start New Topic".. You will then see this screen... Step 5 - Now you are ready to add the image "links", known as "BBcodes", which allow your images to display correctly on forums.. Step 6 - Then click "select" followed by "view on photo page".. Now select "Share" shown below.. Step 7-13 - You will then see this screen... Just repeat those steps for each image until you're happy with your report and click "submit topic"! You can edit your report for 24 hours after posting to correct errors. If you notice a mistake outside of this window contact a moderator and they will happily rectify the problem for you
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    Based on an original post on the forums by @Obscurity Firstly, if you are reading this as a new member to Oblivion State, a very warm welcome to the forum. So you've signed up to the forum, what now? So you're new to Urban Exploring, you've just discovered this website and you've got a million places you want to visit, Great! Before you go running out the door to your first explore, have a read of the following. Urban Exploring can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. Explorers have been injured, sometimes seriously, when visiting places so exploring anywhere should not be taken lightly. Remember quite often you will be entering places which have been empty for a long time, and may not have seen human habitation for a number of years. Floors, ceilings and even walls can and do give way when they are badly decayed and there are many other hazards to be aware of. You should: Always be aware of your surroundings Do your research on a place before you go Be aware of hazards such as asbestos, chemicals or even pigeon excrement. All these can affect your health either short term or long term and could have serious effects. Always go with someone or make sure someone else knows where you are Make sure you don't have an incriminating items such as tools with you, even accidentally Exercise extreme caution in abandoned buildings that have advanced levels of decay. That floor which looks fine may be deceiving. Urban Exploring and the law (in the UK) The advice below is general advice and is not authoritative. We strongly suggest you read up on trespass law where you live prior to entering any site. Trespass in the UK is a civil wrong. That means it is generally not a criminal offence and you cannot normally be arrested for straightforward trespass. There are exceptions to this including sites covered by bylaws (like railways) sites covered by specific criminal laws such as nuclear sites and other specifically named sites within the UK. There also exists an offence of aggravated trespass which may be invoked on a trespasser who has been asked to leave a location but refuses to do so. The trespass laws in Scotland are different, we suggest you read up on these if you are planning to visit places in Scotland. If you are caught as a trespasser by a security guard or the Police they will normally ask you to leave the site and may walk you to the nearest exit. The police may also perform a stop and search on you if they suspect you may have stolen goods or items on you that could be used for committing a crime. It is best to co-operate with the Police in these matters which is why you should never carry anything that may incriminate you. Even if you don't intend to use it for anything, you may have a hard time persuading the police of this. It is important to realise that a security guard has no more rights than any other civilian to detain you, but they may do so if they suspect a crime has been committed. Security guards have no right to search you or take your property from you. Things to bear in mind to stay within the law Do not damage anything! Even if that bit of wire can be un-picked on a fence, be aware that the law may see this as burglary or criminal damage. Do not carry on your person any tools of any description. Even that alan key set you use on your bike, leave it at home! If you are asked to leave a site then do so at once. You can even be cheeky and ask to be let out the front gate, it's often easier. Be nice to the Police, generally speaking they are pleasant to deal with and most Police forces are quite aware of Urban Explorers. If they believe you have done nothing wrong, you will get away with just a stop and search and maybe not even that. Sometimes you will get the "delete your photos and we'll let you go" line from security or even the police. While they have no absolute right to ask you to do this, sometimes is it better to co-operate and delete the photos, then recover them later with recovery software that is readily available online. What kit do I need to explore with? This varies depending on the site(s) you are visiting, but generally speaking most explorers kit consists of (at the bare minimum) Camera and Tripod Food and Water A torch and spare batteries Good pair of boots Suitable clothing (normally old as it get damaged often) Quite often it is sensible to carry a mobile phone and basic first aid kit with you. How do I get information on places I've seen on the forum? What we don't recommend you do is sign up to the forum and straight away ask for information on everything you see posted up. People won't hand out their sometimes extensively researched access details to people that they don't know, so if you ask questions such as "how do I get in" on the public forum you won't get anywhere. You have to establish yourself into the community before that sort of information is forthcoming. The best way of gaining peoples confidence is to post up some reports of your own from the places that are closest to you or easiest for you to go and do. We don't mind if it's somewhere already featured on the forum, it's nice to see places from someone else's point of view. Your first reports don't have to be epic or even amazingly long or detailed, but we do appreciate if the photos are of interest and are at least in focus. Once you start talking to people on the forums there's a pretty good chance you'll start meeting other explorers who are local to you and you'll start gaining peoples trust. It's at that point when people will start sharing information with you and you'll probably start to really enjoy being part of this community. You should: Join the Facebook group and get to know people Chat to people in the chat box Participate in the general discussion threads Comment on other peoples reports Read all the FAQ's and other advice posted here Message a Moderator or Admin if you have any questions How to have a good time exploring The whole point of Urban Exploring is to get some enjoyment out of it (we hope) so with that in mind try doing the following Allow plenty of time for your visit, then you can take your time and really enjoy the place you are in Research the place you are going so you know what to expect Have a backup location (or two) in case your original location is not possible, or has been demolished (it happens!) Take food and drink with you, there's nothing worse than being hungry or thirsty halfway round an explore If you're somewhere where noise doesn't matter, some music on a speaker or phone can be good Don't worry too much about your photos, sometimes it's nice to just have a good look around you and take in your surroundings. Remember we are not a photography forum, we are an exploring forum. Most importantly of all, stay safe and make sure you are staying within your own limits of what you feel comfortable and safe doing. It is very likely if you take to Urban Exploring regularly, that your boundaries will shift as you get more experience and before you know it you'll be doing things you never even dreamed of! If you have any questions, please feel free to start a new thread in the discussion forums.
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