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As a parent, it can be very difficult to decide when your teen is ready to stay at home alone. But it’s important that your teen’s first time on his own isn’t when he leaves for college. Never leaving your teen home alone before that could make him fairly incompetent and unready to handle real life when he goes off to school. Nonetheless, leaving a teen at home alone for the first time is nerve-wracking. It can feel like you’re cutting the rope on the lifeboat. There are ways to feel more prepared—and to feel that your teen is prepared—before taking this big step. First, wait until it’s not big deal to him If your teen seems very excited about being left home alone, then it’s probably too early to leave him alone. His excitement is just an indicator that he wants to do things while you’re away that he doesn’t think you’d approve of when you’re at home. Start with short trips and then get longer Start by taking a short weekend trip, and don’t go too far away.… Read more

If you’re fortunate enough, you rarely need to go out of the house to employ certain professionals and businesses. Many businesses offer in-home services today for a premium charge. The truly professional ones only send out their most respectful and trained employees, since clients want to feel at ease when allowing a stranger into their home. But the boom in in-home services has also lead to a boom in in-home scams. Criminals are taking advantage of the fact that many people are comfortable with allowing anyone from a pet sitter to a stylist into their home, and they’re posing as those kinds of professionals. That’s why it’s very important to thoroughly research any of these in-home services before inviting them to your home. Pet sitters There are apps similar to Uber that allow a person to push a button, and get a dog sitter or dog walker at a moment’s notice. These apps claim to put their users through extensive application processes, but ultimately, they do not interview the dog walkers in person. And, if we’ve learned anything about the… Read more

When you move to a new neighborhood, you meet all kinds of new people. You get acquainted with your neighbors, the owner of the local convenience store, the mail delivery person and the teenager who walks dogs for $10. But you may also meet some individuals who don’t have the best intentions. New residents to a neighborhood can be prime targets for burglars. Here’s what to look out for. You haven’t put things away yet You have piles of unpacked boxes, containing every kind of valuable imaginable. You usually keep your grandmother’s jewelry in a safe, but your new safe hasn’t arrived yet. You usually chain down your wide screen television, but you’ve been too busy unpacking the essentials like cutlery and towels. Burglars know that new residents haven’t had time to secure valuables yet. So one of the first things you should do in a new home is set up your security system so you can protect your belongings before you can unpack them. You’re receiving packages New residents usually order a lot of packages. Once you get settled,… Read more

Video blogging can be a legitimate way of making money today. Beauty specialists can make money by promoting makeup in their videos; auto mechanics can make money by slapping car ads in front of their videos. The possibilities are endless, so it’s no surprise that a lot of people make videos from home that they put on the Internet for the public to see. But, if you do this, you’re letting thousands if not millions of strangers get a close look at your home, your belongings, and your life. Here are things to put away before making a video blog. Your address Your address should not be visible in your video at all. If you make videos outside, make sure your house number isn’t written on the curb behind you, that your mailbox isn’t visible, and that your street sign isn’t cropping up in the background. Even leaving out pieces of mail can tell people your address because today, people have software that allows them to zoom in on a video, and see tiny details like words printed on an… Read more

Living in an apartment building means that there is always someone nearby if you are caught in an emergency situation. That’s quite different from the suburbs, where sometimes there is nobody for miles in the times when you need help. But, having more people around also poses safety risks. Here are the top apartment security hazards. Community mail bins Apartment building mailboxes are usually quite small, and if the mail person cannot fit a parcel inside of them, he leaves it in the community mail bin. But sometimes sensitive documents come in large envelopes, and you don’t want these sitting where anybody can grab them. Try to be home anytime you’re expecting a private document, in case the mail person cannot put it in your locked box. Gates that don’t shut automatically If your building has a locked gate surrounding it, that’s a wonderful safety precaution. Unfortunately, some gates need to be manually shut to lock, and a lot of residents forget to close the gate behind them. Ask your landlord to change the gate so that it closes by… Read more