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!

 

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!

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!

Common Sense Home Safety Rules You’re Breaking

There are so many safety tips that may seem like common sense, but for some reason people (myself included) break these rules all the time. Between our hectic work and home schedules, it can often be easier to trust the outside world not to harm us, but in reality this is never a safe way to live; especially in a busy, high population city like New York or Los Angeles.

But no matter where you live, here are some common sense tips you’re probably ignoring:

1.) Lock your door. This has to be one of the easiest things to do and yet so many people fail to do it! Sure, you’re probably in a hurry, and sure, you’re probably only going to be gone for a second, but just take the extra moment to lock your door! Most home burglars look for the easiest possible home to break into, and an unlocked house is certainly very appetizing. It takes hardly any time at all, and doing it every time you leave the house will ingrain the habit into your mind.

2.) Leave a light on. We’ve been trained over the years to turn all the lights off when leaving a room, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with doing our part to save the earth on a daily basis. However, leaving a light on in the window at night will go a long way towards saving yourself from a dangerous situation. Burglars want to be as unseen as possible, so even if they know you aren’t home, a light is still going to deter them for fear that someone else will see them. Use a compact fluorescent bulb to save on your utility bill spiking through the roof and even pair it with low-playing music to better protect yourself.

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3.) Be careful when answering the door. This is home safety 101. Even as young children we were all taught to be careful of strangers, yet as soon as we grow up we throw all of that well-intentioned advice out the door…literally. Don’t let your trusting nature get the best of you in this situation. Unless you’re expecting an electrician, don’t automatically open the door just because someone is dressed like one. Put that peephole to good use!!

4.) Get to know your neighbors. The quickest way to find out if anything suspicious was going on while you were out is to ask the people that were there. Your neighbors are you best alarm and surveillance system, not to mention they probably have the same goals that you do: to keep everyone in your building/complex out of harm’s way. Plus, knowing your neighbors will help you both help each other. You can pick up their mail for them when they’re out of town and they can do the same for you. Everyone wins!

5.) Get a pet. It doesn’t have to be a dog, really any pet makes a thief uncomfortable. Even birds will make a loud ruckus if someone unfamiliar comes barging in, not to mention starts rummaging through stuff. Remember, thieves want to choose the easiest target possible, and a locked, well-lit apartment with a loud pet is definitely not the easiest target.

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!

Spring Cleaning the Green Way

Spring is officially here, and we all know what that means: spring cleaning. And while there’s nothing wrong with really digging into that storage closet and getting ready for summer, many people avoid spring cleaning for one very good reason: allergies. All those dust, fumes and other particles can make for some difficult breathing environments. However, if you go about your spring cleaning in a green kind of way, you’d be surprised how much easier-to-live your environment can become.

1.) Forget the chemical air fresheners. We all want our place smelling its freshest, and that often means going out and purchasing whatever “fresh cotton” or “clean linen” air freshener you can get your hands on. Not a good idea. These chemical air fresheners are used in about 75% of homes and have been linked to sex-hormone and other developmental abnormalities, as well as cancer (of course). Your best bet is really to either open the windows and let some actual fresh air come wafting in, or to use natural fresheners, like baking soda or essential oils.

2.) Reuse what you can. You know what else people don’t like about spring cleaning: the expenses. Purchasing all these cleaning supplies costs money, and the costs tend to add up fairly quickly. So instead, use what you already have laying around. Use old socks or old T-shirts instead of disposable wipes. You can also use newspapers as paper towels and replace all furnace and air conditioning filters with washable ones.

3.) Make your own cleaning products. Cleaning products contain a vast array of chemicals linked to just about every health problem you could think of. Respiratory problems, birth defects, headaches, eye irritation and even cancer and infertility are just a few of the problems that can arise. So instead of using your traditional cleaning products, make your own. A mixture of salt, vinegar and water can be used on a variety of surfaces (especially kitchen counters), and plain soap, baking soda and lemon juice have also been found to be just as effective, and much safer, when used on other surfaces.

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Of course if you don’t have the time or energy to make your own cleaning products, you could always switch to the green versions when you go to the store. You’d probably surprise yourself to see just how effective eco-friendly products really are. Plus you’ll no doubt sleep better at night after you’ve used them.

4.) De-clutter your home. Dust and allergens tend to settle where they won’t be found, and that means in all the little nooks and crannies that you can’t see. Of course on one wants to clear off all their picture frames and replace them all every time they need to clean the mantle, so make life easier on yourself and keep it less cluttered in the first place. It’s much easier to move and clean under four photos than it is to move and clean under 26 little knick-knacks.

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!

Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

For some reason, people tend to completely underestimate the air quality in their home, but believe it or not, allergens and irritants can stay in your home for years, creating not only a stuffy and uncomfortable environment, but a downright unsafe one as well. Think about it; if you suffer from asthma or allergies, the air quality inside your home can ultimately determine your happiness in life! So how do you keep things cleared up?

1.) Suck it up. Just sweeping isn’t going to help. If anything, it tends to kick up anything that has settled on the floor back into the air again. Instead, vacuum your home as often as possible, even if you have hardwood floors. Dust, danger and other things tend to settle in the cracks and corners, so go around the edges of your floors with a vacuum before breaking out the broom. And don’t forget about drapes, furniture, and even ledges around your walls.

2.) Invest in a purifier. An air purifier can be your saving grace during the allergy months. All that coughing can be alleviated by keeping your air circulated and purified on a regular basis. Just make sure to purchase an air purifier that is relatively quiet; otherwise, you’ll be trading itchy eyes for a serious lack of sleep.

3.) Keep it out in the first place. One of the easiest ways to keep your place free of chemicals is to put down a floormat and take your shoes off at the door. We can’t even describe the cocktail of pesticides, dirt and other pollutants that are sticking to the bottom of your shoes, so why would you even bring them into your house in the first place? Putting a welcome mat outside your door will help you eliminate some of the damaging pollutants; avoiding wearing your shoes inside the house will go even further.

4.) Use common sense. That means no smoking in your home, putting away food as soon as possible and avoiding spraying things like hairspray in such closed spaces. Not everything that hurts your air quality comes from outside; a lot of it comes from inside your home. Be one step ahead of the game by making sure you aren’t polluting your home from the inside.

5.) Invest in a dehumidifier. Especially if you live in a high humidity area (we’re looking at you, anyone in the southern part of the country) high humidity can be a major contributing factor to decreased air quality. To avoid mold and that musty smell, you’ll want to keep your humidity below 50%.

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!