Keeping Yourself Safe at Night

As much as we preach to avoid walking around at night, alone, in a dimly lit areas, sometimes you just happen to be in that situation. Maybe your phone died and everywhere nearby is closed. So what do you do?

1.) Admit you’re in a crappy situation. There’s no getting around it. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that you could be in a better spot right at the moment. Here, I’ll give you an example.

A few weeks ago I visited San Francisco. I was going to do a photoshoot for a couple in a town about an hour south of San Fran, so I took a train to their town. The station closes at 10:30, so when I rode the train back I figured even though the trains were no longer running, at least I’d be able to sit at the station and wait for my ride.

However, being unfamiliar with the town, I got off at the wrong stop.  Bad move. There was no station, only the exit platform, in the middle of nowhere. There weren’t even streetlights. So here I am, completely lost walking through downtown San Francisco, in the dark while carrying a backpack full of expensive gear and a huge camera hung around my next. This, folks, is what one might call a “mugger’s dream”.

So I looked around and decided to act, quick.

2.) Think it through. Just waiting there for my ride wouldn’t have done me much good, so instead I walked to the nearest traffic light. By being in a more public and lit area you decrease your chances of being accosted. Plus, traffic lights are easy to find for someone coming to pick you up. It doesn’t matter what direction they come from, they just need to find that light.

3.) Have a way to defend yourself. Nowadays, there’s no excuse for not carrying some form of protection. At www.secureoncampus.com, we carry a variety of pepper sprays, including ones that even look like lipstick or perfume. We also carry personal alarms that give off a loud screeching sound as soon as you press the button. And no one likes breaking into a car when the alarm is going off…

4.) Learn from the situation. My lesson? Ask someone where you are before just getting off the train! Same goes for you if you ended up stranded after a midnight study session. Maybe everyone left the library and you thought the buses were still running but it turns out they stopped hours ago. When a friend offers you a ride, take it!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

 

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Keep Your Stuff From Getting Stolen Over Summer Break

One thing about college that we can all agree is a major downer, is the lack of privacy: privacy from our friends, our roommates and even authority figures, like our RAs. The truth is, hardly anything is private for a college student. In addition, anything remotely embarrassing or incriminating isn’t simply found and then laughed off, but most likely but online for all to see. You aren’t just protecting you and your stuff from your two roommates down the hall, but also from millions of people in the online community. So yes, you need some serious security measures. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

Keep your valuables safe. We’ve got plenty of dorm safes, dorm trunks and laptop safes at www.secureoncampus.com. However, just having a safe doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected. You’ll want to place it somewhere that isn’t going to tempt everyone that walks by your room. Nothing says “I dare you to try and steal me” quite like a safe sitting in plain few in an open room. Use your head. At least put it somewhere that won’t tempt the drunk idiot that got lost between the 2nd and 3rd floor and is just looking for something stupid to do.

Set an alarm. Trust us, at some point or another, no matter how much you trust your roomie, someone will try to get into your room. It’s not the first time you should be worried about though. The first time they usually just need to borrow a pencil, or take back that calculator you borrowed from the night before. It’s later that they start borrowing clothes (or stealing clothes, depending on how well you both get along) and using your computer. In the course of three very short, stress inducing months, everything you own could literally be fair game.

An alarm lets people know when they’ve reached a limit. Honestly, not everyone means to snoop; it’s just slippery slope of confusing which side of the room is your own; a “what’s mine is yours” kind of syndrome. They don’t have to know the alarm is yours; let them believe it’s the school’s alarm that goes off when you try to force a locked door. That’ll show em’.

Stay updated. Ever heard of the Law of Entropy? It’s the theory that things left unattended will eventually move in the direction of chaos. Stacks of books will eventually fall over and photos will eventually fall off of your walls and onto the floor. You can’t just leave everything and expect it to be in the same condition as when you return. So have someone you trust check in from time to time. An RA perhaps, that already has your room key anyway. This will also deter people from thinking your place is completely deserted.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

How Well Do You Know Your Campus?

Every college campus in the United States has one very sad fact in common; there is at least one area that all students know to stay away from. Maybe it’s the one spot next to the gym building that the lights don’t quite hit. Maybe it’s the block that happens to share an alleyway with the local liquor store. Either way, these unsafe places aren’t usually something that’s advertised in your college’s orientation brochure. So how the heck do you find out the right and wrong route to take before you end up learning the hard way? By following these simple tips:

1.) Ask the right questions. You might be interested in a great place to go for a run or sit and clear your head, and the person you’re asking is going to tell you just that: where an amazing place is. However, they can’t guess where you will or won’t go from there. So ask about places you shouldn’t go as well. “Is there anywhere I should avoid? Why?” Then you’ll probably get an earful about that amazing running path just south of the library…and why you should only use it before 6:00 pm.

2.) Ask the right people. Let’s go back to the subject of the running path, shall we? If your friends have only ever seen pictures of the path, that’s not a very good source. Talk to someone that goes there regularly. Talk to campus police to see if they’ve had any reports or issues there.

And speaking of campus security, be sure to ask them the same questions as in the previous point; is there anywhere you shouldn’t be going? And don’t let them give you the classic cop-out of “well, just try not to walk around alone at night in dimly lit areas.” That’s common sense, everyone knows that. You want to know where the hot spots are around campus for unfavorable conditions. Where have most of the rapes or muggings occurred. If they don’t know, have them look it up. You can wait.

3.) Do your own research. In the end, word of mouth can only get you so far. So turn to your trusted friend Google to answer a few more of your questions. Look for newspaper articles or events/clubs. Sticking with our same example of the running path, look to see if there were any reported crimes in that area in the last few years. Then look to see if there is a running group that uses that path. Go to a safe place, at a safe time, with a group of other people and there you have it; you’ve now dramatically decreased your chances of ending up in a horrible situation.  

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Pet Proof Your Home

Our pets are our family, so we decided to do a little article highlighting their safety as well. Of course we want our homes to be a safe place for them, but that can be a bit easier said than done. It’s hard to know what’s dangerous for our animals when we aren’t even sure what they’re capable of getting into. We might think we have everything in a safe location only to be surprised by a poisoned pet and a shocking vet bill. Here are a few ways to keep your home safe for all your family members, even the ones with four legs.

1.) Choose the right plants. While many plants are beautiful, not all of them belong in a home with pets. Your cats may love your lilies, but they shouldn’t be eating them, and almost all lilies are toxic to cats. Make sure you are either very aware of what plants are in your home, or at least have them moved to a safer location to avoid any issues.

2.) Secure your toiletries. Your lotions and soaps might be safe for skin contact, but they could be incredibly harmful when ingested. Plus, it’s not likely that your pet would only eat a portion. Many pets eat these things because they have a sweet, sugary taste, meaning they might eat an entire bottle if they get ahold of it. Make sure to keep them off accessible countertops and keep cabinets closed and secure.

3.) Set boundaries. Sometimes there’s just no way for you to make a room completely pet proof. Maybe you have a woodshop with an abundant supply of electric tools, or maybe you’ve got an art room with countless paints and glues. In either case, it might be a great idea to put up a gate to keep your pets out of these rooms completely. Just be sure to install the right kind of gate; a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs will keep it from toppling over should your pet decide to lean up against it.

4.) Beware of wires. Pets are notorious for chewing on anything they can find, and wires make perfect chewtoys. Your pets, however, have no idea just how dangerous they can be. Besides the threat of electrocution, your furry family members might panic in a pile of cords and could even result in strangling themselves. So when you hook up your new big screen television, make sure to tuck away all the wires first. Your pets will thank you for it.

5.) Size matters. Any knick-knacks or toys that would dangerous to a baby are also dangerous to your pets for the same reason: they’re a choking hazard. Keep your floors clear of anything small enough for your pet to swallow on accident. Especially puppies, since they don’t have the jaw strength to chew up larger items.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Safety Tips When Moving

Moving is hard work, and for most of us hiring a moving crew is probably out of the question. Sure we could get a few of our friends together and hope they’ll be happy to heavy furniture in various shapes and sizes up and down six flights of stairs, but the truth is they’d probably rather not. Plus, then what happens when your couch gets stuck and you have no real equipment or know-how to get it down to the moving van? Exactly. Not good.

So before you start loading everything you own into random boxes, let’s go over a few things that will keep you from injuring yourself in the process.

1.) Don’t overpack. Not because your boxes might explode later (that’s just annoying), but because you need to keep your boxes from weighing a million pounds. You should aim for each box weighing under 50 pounds. You should be able to lift each box without much strain. Think about it; when you’re moving upwards of 30 boxes in a day, the less weight you have to pick up each time you bend over is going to be very beneficial in the long run.

2.) Use the right equipment. Got something that is just too heavy to move? Use a dolly! Or straps! These things do not cost much money to rent and can save you invaluable time and stress in the moving process. This also helps move lighter items in multiples, saving even more time. Wouldn’t you rather make the process easier and move faster? Of course you would.

3.) Plan ahead. The route you take to the truck is more important than you think. Instead of walking all the way through your place, out the front door and down to the truck, what if you could just hand stuff out your back window to your friend in the alley? By planning ahead, you might be surprised how much work you can save yourself.

4.) Wear the right clothing and footwear. Not only will you be bending over a lot, you’ll also be climbing into truck beds and squishing yourself into tiny spaces. Your clothes should be comfortable, but it’s also important that they’re relatively form fitting. You don’t want your shirt getting snagged going through a doorway with your hands full. Plus, having a 40 lb box fall on your toes when you’re wearing nothing but sandals certainly isn’t going to feel very good.

5.) Know when you’re outmatched. There are some things you just aren’t going to be able to move on your own (or things that you really, really shouldn’t attempt to move on your own). If you’ve got a piano sitting in your living room, you need to call a professional. Not only could you risk injuring yourself, but you also risk damaging your property, and what’s the point in moving a bunch of damaged property to a new location?

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

3 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away

There are countless times during the year when you might have to leave your home for an extended period of time. Perhaps you’re heading home to help out with a family issue, you need to head out of town for a job interview or maybe you just got lucky and happen to be going on an epic (and probably very well deserved) vacation. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t have roommates (or your roommates are also taking a leave of absence at the same time), there are a few home maintenance tasks you need to take care of before you walk out the door.

1.) Take care of perishable foods. There aren’t many worse things than arriving home after a couple weeks only to walk into a kitchen filled with rotting, diseased food. Not only will your house reek, but you’ll also be attracting various pests, such as mice, cockroaches and fruit flies. So before you take off, make sure your perishable foods are kept to a minimum. Clean out everything in the refrigerator and make sure no fresh fruit or vegetables are left out on the counter. No need to throw it all out; you can have a house-sitter take whatever they would like or have a dinner party the night before you go. On the menu: anything that won’t make it until you return home.

2.) Minimize your energy use. If you’re not going to be home there’s no point in running energy to half the things you own. Unplug everything that isn’t necessary for your home’s maintenance while you’re away. Alarm clocks, lamps, blow dryers, exercise equipment, and make sure all the lights are off in rooms you won’t be using. Even if something is switched off, there is still energy running to it until it’s unplugged. Along with cutting down on your energy bill, unplugging everything will also help prevent electrical fires in your absence.

Keep any safety lights on, however. You’ll want any motion activated lights to be up and running. If you have any alarms or security cameras of course you should keep them plugged in.

3.) Set your heat to the right temp. If you’ve taken care of the perishable food and have no plants or animals to worry about, you won’t necessarily need to worry about keeping it cool. However, if you let it cool down too much, you could be in a world of hurt. Even though the summer months are known for warmer weather, you’ll want to make sure your thermostat is set to at least 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes of any kind.  

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

3 Electrical Safety Tips

Ah, home electricity. It’s not the most interesting subject, but your home electrical system is part of your day to day living and if you don’t know how to safely interact with it, the results could be deadly.

Under no circumstances are we suggesting that you tackle some of your home’s electrical problems. This is the reason it takes years and years of schooling and certifications for electricians to become qualified to make adjustments to your electrical system. Of course things come up though, so we’ve gathered a few quick tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with some of the common electrical issues.

1.) Listen to your breaker. If your breaker trips and then doesn’t reset. It’s telling you there’s an electrical problem. Don’t keep trying to reset the breaker. Forcing it won’t solve the electrical problem, and it may even lead to more dangerous results. Continually trying to reset the breaker will most likely result in a house fire. If you’re luck (the term “lucky” is being used extremely loose her) you’ll at least be able to see the source of the fire, like sparks behind the sofa. Most likely though, the electrical overload will occur somewhere inside your walls and your house will begin burn from the inside out.

2.) Know when to fight and when to flee. If sparks are flying and a fire is started, you need to know what you are capable of and when you are in over your head. In any case, even if you think you have a good handle on the fire don’t let it get between you and the exit. Firefighters recommend leaving as soon as any shred of doubt enters your mind. That fear is your mind telling you you’re in a dangerous situation. Call the fire department as soon as you are safely outside.

3.) Never throw water on an electrical fire. Just as you never throw water on a grease fire, the same rule applies here. Water conducts electricity, so throwing it on the fire could either make it worse or cause injury to yourself. You’ll want to use a chemical fire extinguisher instead.

And as a side note: know how to use your fire extinguisher effectively. Use the PASS method: Pull the fire extinguisher’s safety pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle and Sweep the nozzle in a side-to-side motion until the flames are out.  This is also the reason you’ll also want to make sure your fire extinguisher is always kept in a location you have quick access to. Your fire extinguisher does you no good if it’s buried under boxes in your storage unit.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!