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!

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 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!

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!

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!

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