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!

How to Confront a Bad Roommate

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Ah, bad roommates. At some point in our lives, we will probably all have a bad roommate. It will either be our friend that we never imagined was so messy, the relative that has an unbelievable disregard for privacy or the stranger that moved in when we were completely desperate. Either way, every roommate cannot be perfect, so when things get to be too unlivable, it becomes necessary to confront the other person. Of course there is a right and a wrong way to do this, and the wrong way can make things much, much worse (if that’s even possible), so here are some tips to make this more of a friendly discussion than a confrontation:

1.) Pick the right place and time. Don’t bombard your roommate at 2:00 in the morning just as they walk in the door from an all-night study session during finals week. Instead, schedule a time in the future to talk about the issues. And don’t worry about keeping it all secretive; chances are your roommate knows you both need to talk too. A good idea is to schedule it for a time when the both of you can relax, like Friday night after you both get home from work. That’ll give you the chance to talk things through and then even go out for a beer afterward.

2.) Say what you need to say. There is no point in having this discussion if you just casually browse over your points. If you’re upset about something, you need to address it. Otherwise, they might not even know it’s a problem, will keep doing it, and this meeting will have been completely useless. If you need to make a list, do that; just so long as you find a way to say what you need to say.

3.) Listen. Every story has too sides. Maybe they never load the dishwasher because they have no idea how a dishwasher works. No matter how silly it may sound, you have no idea what their backstory may be. Allow them a chance to explain their behavior, and then don’t get defensive if they have a few problems with your behavior as well. You’re not perfect either, you know.

4.) Be ready to compromise. Living with another person means you aren’t always going to get your way. However, you both can meet in the middle, so be ready to give a little bit in one area in order to get a little in another.

5.) Plan something for after. Some talks are better ended when each person goes their separate way for a night (which is completely understandable) and some conversations are best ended when each roommate goes out for a beer and gets over the whole thing. Planning for something to do will give you a way out either way, you just have to choose whether or not to invite them after your talk.

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.

live lavish

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!

Forgotten Questions for Screening Potential Roommates

So it looks like you need a roommate. Maybe you like the idea of paying less in rent and utilities every month or maybe you’re just sick of making funny jokes every night and having no one around to laugh at them. Either way, you’ve started searching for a roommate. Luckily, you’ve probably found a few potentials.

However, even though you’ll probably ask them the basic questions (do you have pets, are you a smoker, etc.), there are a few additional questions you need to ask before you truly decide to live with this person.

1.) Do you use any drugs? Asking “Are you a smoker?” covers the basics, but it’s leaving out quite a bit of other things. Marijuana is technically a drug, and even if you’re cool with it, if your roommate admits to using it that means they’re going to be keeping some of it in your house. Marijuana is still very illegal in many states, which means if it’s in your house you are also at risk.

2.) Are you okay with my pet? You might be okay with their pet hamster, but will they be okay with your 16 pound cat that has a tendency for ripping lids off of cages? Just as they have to be forthcoming, you have to be forthcoming as well. Otherwise you could have some serious issues on move-in day.

live lavish

3.) Why did you leave your last residence? This question is essential. Of course you are going to do a background check with every applicant (you are, right?), so this question will not only let the explain themselves if something unsavory were to come up, but it will also prove whether they are honest or not in the first place. And don’t let them get away with a vague, “Oh I don’t know, I just had to leave.” You have every right to know the details. Plus, you need to be aware of badmouthing; this is just like a job interview, and badmouthing previous employers is never a good sign.

4.) What are your other expenses? This might sound nosy, but the question is absolutely necessary. Your rent may be quite low for the area, but if they’re paying thousands of dollars off in student loans and credit card debt, your measly $300 a month might be the one thing they plan on skimping on every month.

5.) How do you like to spend your free time? This should give you an idea of what kind of noise/activity level you’re going to be dealing with. If they say they love to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of tea on their days off, that’s much different than the roommate that says they like to “have a good time” on the weekends.

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!

Signs of a Damaging Relationship

No one wants to end up in a damaging relationship, but it can be difficult to recognize if we’re a part of one or not. I myself have been there, and I didn’t even realize what my life had become until I was free again. If your relationship has any of these signs, you might want to consider packing your bags:

1.) Your partner puts you down. Even slight putdowns and backhanded compliments can build up over time, and not only are they hurtful, they’re downright psychotic. Under no circumstance should you be with someone that makes you feel stupid or insignificant. No matter what you have done, your partner should be there to build you up, not tear you down.

2.) You feel the need to hide things from your partner. If you came out of the supermarket, found a scratch on your car door and instantly thought about how you can cover this up before your significant other sees it, that’s not healthy behavior. Things happen, and wallowing in constant fear of how they may react to any given situation is a horrible, horrible way to live.

3.) They try to change you. You don’t want someone that will try and change you but someone that loves you for who you are. Of course this tends to be a gray line. If you are severely overweight and smoke three packs a day and your partner is asking you to live a healthier lifestyle, that’s one thing. If your boyfriend or girlfriend asks you to “do something with your hair” every time you leave the house to avoid their own embarrassment, that’s quite another.

4.) There’s a lack of trust. Trust is one of the foundations of a healthy, caring relationship, and if your significant other is constantly second guessing your loyalty, you might have a problem. Someone that constantly calls to “check up on you”, has jealous fits or accuses you of lying is not someone who loves you; it’s someone who wants to control you.

5.) You’re not equals. It doesn’t matter who makes more money or who works more hours, if you’re feeling trapped because you aren’t able to make your own decisions, it’s a sign of trouble. No one should have power over another in a relationship; you should both be equals and have an equal say in the issues you come across.

6.) You keep their actions a secret. If you don’t tell your friends what your partner says or does behind closed doors, chances are it’s not healthy. Everyone fights, and everyone says things they don’t mean at one point or another, but we all know what we are able to share and what we aren’t. Even if you did tell someone and immediately had to defend them by saying something like, “But he’s really not a bad guy…” guess what: he really is a bad guy. Pack your bags.

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!

5 Cheap Ways to Increase Your Home’s Security

Everyone wants to live in a safe and secure environment, but let’s be honest, everyone does not have extra thousand dollars lying around in order to equip ourselves with a decent home security system. Plus, take away the fact that many of us aren’t allowed to have a dog in our current dwelling and we might literally feel a little exposed. Never fear though, we’ve put together a few ways to keep your home safe when you don’t have a fortune to spend.

1.) Have a roommate. Whether you live with a friend or a significant other, the more people you live with the less likely a criminal is willing to risk breaking into your house. When you are the only resident, all they have to do is follow one schedule. When you’re not home the whole place is up for grabs, but when you have a roommate, that’s a whole other person they have to keep track of. In addition, when you go out of town there’s a good chance your home will still be occupied.

2.) Fake a pet. Landlord won’t let you keep a dog in your house? A burglar doesn’t know that. Even a simple “Beware of Dog” sign on your front gate will be enough to deter the majority of home burglars. The best “fake it” story I ever heard was a mother that accidently broke the lock on her daughter’s front door, so while the house had to spend a few days unlocked before it could get fixed, the mother left a sign on the door that read:

Susan –

I accidently let your snakes out. I had to go to work but I’ll come by later to look for them.

Sorry,

-Mom

3.)  Ask the neighbors to help out. If you’re going to be gone for a weekend, ask a neighbor if they wouldn’t mind parking their car in your driveway for a couple nights. Have them stop by and get the mail for a few days as well. Nothing says “no one has been home in days” like a steadily growing stack of mail in your entryway.

4.) Set your timers. It’s fairly easy to set a timer to a few lights or your television within your home. They only cost roughly $15 and you can plug your television or lamps into them. Having flickering lights and sounds in your home will make it seem less obvious that it’s actually completely empty.

5.) Get a cheap alarmThe typical burglar is not some kind of professional, but actually a male teen living in your neighborhood. In addition, most burglars want to spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into your home. If it takes longer than that, they’ll move on to an easy target. So one of the best deterrents isn’t a fancy home security system, but a simple, loud alarm. You can a simple door alarm up at the store for about $20.

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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