The Latest

You may be considering skimping on air conditioning or central air this summer, hoping to avoid the high costs. But keeping cool in the hot summer months isn’t just about your comfort; it’s also about your health and safety. Here are surprising reasons it’s important to control the temperature in your home this summer. Insects Dust mites are attracted to warm and humid areas, so letting your house overheat could attract a lot of dust mites. Dust mites can be serious allergens for some people, and at the very least will cause obnoxious itching that keeps you up at night. Even if you don’t feel the dust mites, do you want these little flesh eaters in your home? Heat also attracts mosquitos, which don’t only cause itchy bites, but can also carry dangerous viruses. Another insect that loves a warm house is a grasshopper. But grasshoppers hop from the outside to the inside, bringing all sorts of germs onto your floors, and any surface in your home that they touch—possibly even your food. Mold Mold grows in humid climates, and… Read more

You might take plenty of pains not to keep valuable items in your front room or by the windows. You don’t allow delivery people to look in your home, and you don’t tell strangers about the new big screen TV you bought. But you may leave some things in your front yard, or decorate the front of your house in a way that tells burglars you have valuables inside. Leaving your cars outside If you have nice cars, park those in a closed garage. Burglars assume that if you have nice cars, you have expensive items inside of your house. But even if you have medium-priced cars, you might have things in your cars like receipts from high price item stores, or a designer backpack or luggage. Tiny items like these can tell burglars that you have expensive items in your home, so park your car in an enclosed area. Having employees park in your driveway If you have different cars coming and going, this tells burglars who have been casing your property that you have several employees. You likely… Read more

In recent years, there has been an average of 10,000 emergency visits related to firework injuries a year. In 2014, there 11 non-occupational deaths related to fireworks. If these statistics don’t scare you away from putting on your own light show on the 4th of July, or if you simply won’t be the one actually lighting the fireworks, there are still some relevant reasons you shouldn’t light fireworks, and be very cautious when your neighbors are doing so. Here are reasons you didn’t know fireworks were extremely dangerous. They sound like gun shots A tremendous amount of crimes—specifically gang activity—take place on the fourth of July because people who hope to hear guns know that the police or passerbyers cannot differentiate the sound of a gunshot or a firework going off. That makes holidays on which people set off fireworks especially dangerous. Fireworks can also cover up the sound of breaking glass, so they create an opportunity for somebody to break into your home without you hearing it. If you have a security system that sends notifications to your smartphone,… Read more

Right around this time of year you see a lot more Smokey the Bear signs popping up, but camping-related forest fires aren’t the only hazard during the summer. A lot of the summer activities you enjoy right inside of your home could put you at risk for a fire. Here are the top fire hazards in the summer months that may surprise you. Barbecues left on You might think that your barbecue is safe to leave unattended because the coals are all black, and the flame appears to be out. But sometimes the tiniest spark can still come out of what looks like a dead pile of coals. Since shrubbery is extra dry during the summer months, if that spark lands in the wrong place it could cause a fire. Observe your BBQ for a long time after using it to make sure it’s truly out. Using the oven and barbecue at the same time You love to barbecue during the summer, but that doesn’t mean the oven is off limits. If you have a party you probably go between… Read more

You don’t need to shout from the rooftop, “I’m going on vacation!” in order for people targeting your house to know you’re leaving town. Even people who conscientiously try to be discreet about an upcoming trip can slip up and let it be known that they’re going out of town, and leaving their house empty. Here are ways you make it obvious you’re going out of town. Making travel calls outside You probably have to wait on hold with customer service at your airline, or the concierge at your hotel for a long time. You probably start to wander around your house while you’re on hold, cleaning the kitchen, putting clothes away, or tending to your garden. But that could mean that by the time you speak to somebody, you’re outside. And that means you’re talking about travel dates and hotel stays outdoors, where your voice can carry and anybody can hear. Leaving the luggage in the living room If you’re going on a long trip, you might need several days to pack. You don’t want your suitcases open on your bedroom… Read more