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.


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, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!


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.



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, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!

Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before You Move In

Your landlord can be quite an intimidating presence, and they can either provide a pleasant living experience or make your life a living hell. However, they are still human (most of the time), so there are plenty of things that could probably be smoothed over will a little good communication. In fact, here is a list of questions you should never be afraid of asking:

1.) Can I pay less rent? Rents are not typically negotiable, but other things often are. If your landlord isn’t willing to lower your monthly rent, ask about other things. Many times they legally can’t lower your rent (that’s set by different housing laws) but they are able to waive additional expenses. If you have a pet ask about forgoing the pet charges, or if you have an upfront parking space but ride the bus, offer to give up your parking space to have one of your utilities covered.

2.) Are there any health concerns? This should cover everything from lead-based paint to asbestos to mold. In a perfect world your apartment would have none of these concerns, but old apartments have old apartment problems, so you’ll want to cover your bases. And even if they say everything is golden, you’ll want to get an inspection notice confirming everything is, in fact, golden.

3.) Why did the last tenants move out? If they were arrested and evicted for drug issues, you’re going to have countless strangers stopping by in the first few months unaware that their dealer is in the slammer. Plus, not only will it give you a general idea of what condition the apartment might really be in, but it will give you an idea of what your landlord is like. If they were evicted for one noise complaint, you might want to move on to the next place.

4.) Can I make improvements? Landlords are extremely busy, with many of them often managing a number of residences. If you want to make some improvements, like repaint the god awful bathroom or start a garden in the backyard, ask! Many landlords will cover the cost of the supplies and might even give you a discount on your rent that month if you are improving the place.

5.) Do all the appliances work? And by work, we mean properly functions in the highest possible way. There are little things more frustrating than an appliance that just barely works, and you don’t want to find out sometime next week that your refrigerator only really works part of the time or that the heater works but only up to 62 degrees. Ask your landlord about all the cooking appliances, the dishwasher and garbage disposal (if there is one), the heating and cooling systems and the water pressure.

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

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