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Living in a climate that gets the real four seasons can be magical. Not many people get to wake up to their trees covered in snow and dramatic icicles on their windows. But, as anyone who lives in a colder climate knows, sometimes the stormy season can be frightening. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind during snow and ice season. Have Your Thermostat Checked Your thermostat will likely get a lot of use during the snowy season. Have a professional inspect your heating system before you put it into overdrive. You want to make sure there are no loose wires or any issues that could cause a fire. Set Fireplace Safety Rules If you plan on building a lot of fires, go over some ground rules for the home. Parents should never leave their children unattended by the fireplace. There shouldn’t be anything within at least ten feet of the flame. Be aware of extra-long curtains that can fly towards the fire if a window is open. Never let a fire burn out on its own: put… Read more

The mere fact that your apartment or condo is hundreds of feet above the ground can give you the feeling of being secluded, out-of-sight and safe. The reality is that ground-floor units are easier to break into than above-ground ones. However, burglars know that in most buildings, the higher the level, the pricier the apartments, and the pricier the apartments, the more valuables there may be. Don’t be too certain that burglars won’t take the time to get into your high-rise; it may require more work, but for them, it may also be worth it. Not convinced? Here are some reasons you may still be at risk of burglary in a high-rise. Unreliable Lobby Security First and foremost, if your high-rise building does not have a security guard on the lobby floor, speak to the other residents about convincing the landlord to hire one. If you all sign a petition stating you require one to continue your leases (a necessary step for stingier landlords,) it will be difficult for the building owner to put off that expense any longer. If that… Read more

Most people know that they should be aware of suspicious activity in their neighborhood, but they don’t exactly know what constitutes suspicious activity. It won’t always be as obvious as a van with tinted windows circling your block, or a group of strangers wearing face masks. Knowing what to look for, though, can help you actively prevent a crime or even serial crime. Here are just some of the suspicious activities you should keep an eye out for in your neighborhood. If you see any of what's listed below, call your local police department as soon as you can. Rapid Exit If you notice someone loitering around your street, pay attention to how they behave if someone approaches them. If they seem to dart off the moment someone approaches, or quickly change the direction they’re walking to avoid the person, that is considered suspicious. They may not want someone to see them close up or ask them any questions. Out-of-Place Clothing There is really no reason for someone to wear a giant coat on a hot summer day, or for someone to… Read more

Kids shouldn’t have to worry about home invasions or burglaries—part of the magic of being a child is thinking positively about the world. But if you leave your children entirely in the dark about home security, some of their innocent habits could put your home at risk. Luckily, teaching your kids about proper home safety habits can help empower them as contributing household members - just be sure to phrase these conversations in a bright, positive light - and keep them in mind when you and your little ones are spending some quality time at home. 1. Reducing Noise Pollution If you’ve been looking for a way to get your children to stop playing the soundtrack to “Shrek” so loudly, or simply want them to stop screaming at each other, you could talk to them about the risks of noise pollution in the home. If they’re too loud, you may not hear your car alarm go off, an alarm notifying you that a back door has been opened, or an important text message alerting you to an incoming storm. Explain to your… Read more

You might take a certain set of security precautions before leaving the house, but realistically, those are only set when you aren’t in a panic or a hurry. Think of the times you’ve forgotten to lock doors or close windows — you were likely running late, running just a "quick" errand, or rushing to an emergency. Burglars know that and they often work hard to recreate these scenarios to get you away from your home. There may even be some who play more of a long con, creating fake elaborate events to get you out of the house. Don't fall for it! Being prepared and knowing what to do when approached with one of these ruses can make all the difference in protecting your home and your loved ones. Common Tricks To Lure You From Your Home 1. Pretending to Lose a Pet If you are an animal lover and someone shows up at your door saying they’ve lost their pet in your neighborhood, you’ll likely have a lot of sympathy for that person. You may have so much sympathy for the pet owner… Read more