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Families who live in four-season weather know what a blessing and a curse that can be. Their backyard can become a wonderland their children want to play in. And what parent doesn’t want to encourage their child to play outdoors and put video games aside for a while? But the fall and winter months can also add a few hazards to a backyard. Here are yard safety tips for fall and winter. Purchase sturdy garden gloves You may need to clear large piles of fallen branches by hand. But remember that all sorts of critters could be hiding inside of those branches, from insect-ridden bugs to poisonous spiders. Keep arms and hands completely covered when gathering items in the back yard. Don’t let kids play in leaves On the subject of leaves, do not let children play in them. They will be tempted, but as stated before, these can be filled with bugs. They can also sit on top of sharp rocks, so you do not want your children jumping on them either. Don’t use ladders alone You may need… Read more

Those who live in true four-season weather know how magical the winter months can be. They have also, however, experienced the unique frustrations and hazards that come alone with harsh weather. Whether you have just moved to your first snowy city, or need to refresh your emergency preparedness, here are some items to add to your winter emergency kit. LED flashlights Strong winds and hail storms can quickly take down a power line, and leave your home pitch black. A house filled with lit candles is a fire waiting to happen. Many traditional flashlights, however, cannot give you light until the power comes back on. Some energy efficient LED flashlights can stay on for several days. Having light during a power outage isn’t just convenient; it’s important for navigating your way around your home and property. Sharp objects may have fallen or shifted during the storm, and you don’t want to step on those. Batteries You will need batteries for your LED flashlight, as well as any other battery-operated devices that get you through a storm. This includes radios, heart… Read more

There is safety in numbers, and that extends to the security of your neighborhood. In addition to looking out for your own property through the use of alarms, automatic locks, and motion-sensor lights, think about how you and your neighbors can work together to make the entire neighborhood less appealing to burglars. If you do an effective job, you’ll ideally never need to use the security tools on your own property. Encouraging outdoor activities Petition to have a small park or walking path created in your neighborhood. Give the residents a place to play, have barbecues, throw parties, or just go for jogs. The more burglars see that residents of a neighborhood spend a lot of time out of their homes, the timider they’ll be about wandering those streets because somebody will see them. Installing visible surveillance cameras You may get your neighbors to contribute to the cost of several surveillance cameras. If you put these up around the neighborhood, it will be very hard for a burglar to roam your streets without being caught on camera. Even paying for… Read more

For many people, moving into a gated community is a monumental change; it signifies moving up in life, being a part of a new income bracket, and succeeding. And there is some truth to that since many gated communities vet new residents thoroughly, and even require that they have a certain income level. In many ways, living in a gated community provides an element of safety that non-gated ones do not. But some of the same characteristics of a gated community that make it safer can also be a danger. Private parks and recreation areas Gated communities usually have private parks and recreation areas. These are a huge relief for parents because they feel safe allowing their children to play here without much supervision. It also means they don’t need to travel far to take their children somewhere to play. But the microcosmic nature created by these private parks can make children feel too at ease. If your child mostly plays in the park in a gated community, he may not have the same awareness and caution that other children… Read more

If you live in a major city, then you know how quickly the landscape can change from one block to the next. One moment you might be passing by five-star hotels, and the next, you could be going down a dark street where a homeless community has set up tents. Micro communities pop up everywhere, based on everything from the industry that has shops there to the cultures that build their religious buildings there. It’s very important to be able to tell from a quick glance what streets are safe to walk down, and which are not. This even extends to suburban areas. So here are some things to look for. Bars on the windows Take a cue from the residents; if they have bars on their windows, they probably don’t live on the safest street. Try to walk down streets where the homes look welcoming, and the residents haven’t put up several barriers to protect themselves against crime. Beware of dog signs There are plenty of ways that people who live in unsafe neighborhoods try to fend off criminals.… Read more