Tag Archives: home safety

Securing Your Home While On Holiday (Guest Post)

 Note: With spring break coming up, these are excellent safety tips that we all should follow. pb

The last thing you want when relaxing on holiday is to be worried about the security of your home. As professional locksmiths, one of the most common questions we are asked is how best to secure a house when you are away. Here are our Top Seven Tips. 

1. Get a trusted person to house sit 

This is the ideal option as it ensures your house is not empty. Do you have a family member or friend who might like somewhere to stay for a few weeks? This is often a great option for young adults who still live at home or in share houses. They are responsible enough to care for a home and might appreciate a break from where they are living.

 For longer trips you can also consider professional house sitters. Agencies screen their candidates very carefully. You will pay a small fee and have the peace of mind knowing your house, garden, mail and pets are being cared for. 

If you do get someone to stay in your house, remember to tell the neighbours or your own family – anyone who might come past and get suspicious if they see a stranger entering or leaving your home! 

Tip: Keep close track of who you give keys to and write down some guidelines if you are using a friend / family member or house sitter for the first time. 

2. Don’t advertise the fact you are away 

The internet has become a place to share a lot of personal information. Please be mindful about how much you give away online. We would recommend never advertising on social media sites or public forums that you are going away. Of course you may email family or friends who need to know this information. But if you are posting the news anywhere that strangers can access the information, think twice. 

Tip: If you do want to share your holiday photos or news, do something simple such as implying you have someone staying in your house. This will minimise the chances of a stranger who might come across the information online ‘trying their luck’. 

3. Inform neighbours or close family / friends 

If you are lucky enough to have good neighbours, you probably already have asked or given favours in the past. Even neighbours you don’t know that well are usually happy to do basic tasks such as: 

  • take bins out and put them back
  • collect your mail
  • keep an eye on the house for any unusual occurrences 

They may even be happy to water the garden or feed a cat. If you don’t have neighbours you can ask to do this, consider asking a family member to stop by once every few days. And if this is not an option, you should put a stop to your mail – including any regular deliveries – so it doesn’t pile up. 

Tip: Put a No Junk Mail sign on your mail box so this doesn’t pile up while you are away. 

4. Inform Security Company or local authorities 

If you have an alarm system, let your security company know you will be away and contact details for a person close to home in case of an incident.  You may also like to inform local police (only for trips longer than a few weeks) especially if you live in a small town where you know they will keep an eye out.   Some neighbourhoods have a Neighbourhood Watch or similar community program. Find out if there is one in your area and contact them. 

Tip: You can place a sticker on your front window saying the house is protected by a security system even if it is not. Every small deterrent helps. 

5. Invest in a light switch timer 

One small and worthwhile investment is a light switch timer. You don’t want to leave all lights off the whole time, nor do you want lights running all through the night. 

Install a light switch timer in a few key rooms, as well as on a few outdoor lights. Set them to emulate normal living hours. Again, the aim is to provide a deterrent. Anything that will give a potential intruder enough reason to doubt their actions and move on. 

Tip: A sensor light is so simple and yet amazingly effective. Nobody wants to get caught in an unexpected flood of light. 

6. Check all locks, bolts and keys 

You can do this yourself or get your local locksmith to come and do a safety check and audit. This can include: 

  • ensuring deadbolts on all external access doors
  • checking window locks
  • reconciling your keys – if in doubt, it can be wise to get locks re-keyed to a master key system. This way you can be 100% certain nobody else has keys to your home and you control all keys that are cut. 

Tip: Make sure a family member, neighbour or friend has a key in case of any unusual event or emergency, but don’t leave one anywhere on your premises. 

7. Secure windows, sliding doors and other unusual entry points 

Not all entry points can be secured with deadlocks. But make sure there are no easy access points. Things to check and install include: 

  • place rods in the bottom of sliding doors so they can’t be forced open
  • place nails or bolts in window frames so windows only open a small amount
  • check padlocks to places such as sheds, garages etc to ensure they are secure
  • lock or seal any unusual entry points such as attics or cellars 

Tip: Screen doors and screens on windows are a way to provide an extra level of security and protection for your home. 

Author Bio: 

Jeremy works with Five Star Locksmiths (Melbourne). Five Star Locksmiths provide 24 hour locksmith services in Melbourne’s CBD and its suburbs. Jeremy writes content that provides value to the readers.

 

 

 

 

 

TOP TWENTY-FIVE SAFETY ARTICLES FOR WEEK MARCH 22 (GUEST POST)

Erin Raub, of Safe Sound Family’s Weekly Roundup, notified us that we had made the top twenty-five list of safety articles for the weeks of March 15, and 22nd.  We appreciate having our articles chosen, and want to give our guest authors a big pat on the back!  Below is the latest list:

Home Safety

  1. If you have little ones at home, Alison at KidSafe has an excellent home safety cheat sheet (overview), complete with babyproofing advice that even seasoned parents can overlook.
  2. Raise your hand if you love Q&A sessions. Rachel from the Culture of Safety blog answers six reader questions this week. Pop Quiz: Can you get burned by tap water?
  3. We do a lot to protect our families and homes, but here’s something that’s easily overlooked: Have you made an inventory of your possessions? That list can be indispensable in the case of theft.

Family & Child Safety

  1. What’s one surefire way to boost your immune system? Get enough sleep. Most adults need 6-8 hours, and kids need more.
  2. If you know someone who just doesn’t “get” the effects (and dangers) of cyberbullying, send them over to iKeepSafe to read Katie’s post on bullying in the digital age.
  3. And, yes! Here’s an uplifting story: Lenore of Free Range Kids recounts a tale of two kids (ages 9 and 10) who saved a baby’s life. This is what heroes look like, readers.
  4. The news is full of the “fear factor,” but Kenny’s post at Blog4Safety debunks some common safety myths. Click on over to discover 20 things that are statistically safer than you think.
  5. This is almost the flip-side of the above list, but the Compliance and Safety blog shares a great infographic of 20 surprising dangers. If they weren’t dangerous, some would be almost funny. (e.g. You’re more likely to die by collapsing sandcastle than get eaten by a shark!)
  6. Caroline of Common Sense Media has some practical (read: realistic, finally!) advice about children and screen time. Because you know you let your kid watch TV.
  7. Back in my day, we plastered Mr. Yuck! stickers everywhere, but parents today can count on Jacque’s excellent post on poison prevention at Baby Product Experts.
  8. And finally, since your pets are definitely an important part of the family, PetSafe gets real about how to introduce a new cat to your household.

Food Safety

Food safety topics kept popping up this week, so they’re getting their own category! 

  1. Casey at Moms Rising summarizes a recent study linking sugar to diabetes, and encourages parents to play whack-a-mole with our kids sugary snacks.
  2. Also from Moms Rising, Debbie wrote a powerful and heartfelt post this week on junk food, school, and how hard it is today to watch what our kids eat. Read the whole post for a happy ending!
  3. Monifa, again of Moms Rising (I just can’t help it, they’re on fire this week!), explains that black children are at greater risk of childhood obesity. And she encourages all parents to sign the petition to support Junk Free Schools.
  4. Speaking of sugar and health, Consumer Reports has a scary statistic for you: soda and sugary drinks have been linked to 180,000 deaths per year.
  5. And here’s one that will strike close to home for anyone with a picky eater: evidence suggests a link between the Standard American Diet and behavior problems, like hyperactivity and sleep issues.

Mobile & Cyber Safety

  1. Hackers are getting sneakier, and meaner and more detailed. And, increasingly, hackers are targeting small businesses. WeLiveSecurity talks about keeping your customer information safe.
  2. Michael Levine and Christopher Ferguson cross-post to SafeKids and discuss whether video games influence youth violence. You might be surprised at their answer.
  3. Nikki posts to the iKeepSafe blog about passwords, specifically on how to create hacker-resistant passwords.
  4. Tim of uKnowKids is one of my favorite safety bloggers, and for good reason: his posts are always excellent – rich and meaty. This week, he gives us some great tips on how to talk to teens about sexting. Way to tackle a sensitive topic!
  5. Just one more from Tim, because it’s also important: read up on his recommended digital safety rules for every household. I love that he differentiates trust in your child from trust in everything available online. That’s an important distinction.
  6. Heads up, there’s another email scam on the loose. WeLiveSecurity clues us in to a link scam that masquerades as current events (in this case, Cyprus and its financial crisis).
  7. And here’s another timely warning; Robert Siciliano of McAfee warns about tax-time scams. Think about it: millions of Americans filing taxes + private banking and financial data + a prevalence of online tax software/advice/filing = a dream cocktail for hackers and scammers.

Senior Safety

  1. Susan of Help! Aging Parents reminds us that aging bathrooms are not the best choice for aging parents. Even small changes can make a big difference in your parents’ quality of life.

Work Safety

  1. As I sit here in my brand new desk chair, I can’t help but nod in agreement: Joe guest posts on Blog4Safety about why ergonomics matter so much, especially for office furniture.

BLOG4SAFETY THIRD WEEK IN A ROW! TOP 25 SAFETY ARTICLES, WEEK OF MARCH 8TH (GUEST POST)

 Top 25 Safety Articles of the Week: March 8

Posted by Erin Raub in Weekly Roundups

fire rope ladderSomething this simple can save your family’s lives.

It’s the little things in life, right? And while the phrase usually refers to life’s simple pleasures, “little things” can really be a lot of things. Like an inexpensive, compact fire ladder that saves a man’s life as he flees from a burning building.

Yes, it is the little things in life – little things that allow us to continue enjoying life. Safety measures are so important, not as a way to incite paranoia or fear but as prevention. We’ve all heard the maxim, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So this week, we’re focusing on not just the latest safety news but also on the latest ways to prevent data fraud, childhood illness, and more. Be safe!

Home Safety

  1. Lauren of Safety Source, the blog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), shares with us a new tip sheet on outdoor electrical safety.
  2. If I haven’t yet convinced you of the importance of a fire safety plan, then you have to read this week’s story from John of the Culture of Safety on how a fire ladder saved a man’s life.

Family & Child Safety

  1. The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation shares evidence that certain airborne chemicals have been linked to immunoglobulin E (IgE) and asthma.
  2. The Huff Post and Moms Rising question the presence of questionably effective, possibly dangerous chemical flame retardants in kids’ products, like nap mats and pajamas.
  3. If you worry about your young driver acting irresponsibly in the car, KidSafe this week featured a new invention that stops teens from texting while driving. (I wish I could install in on every adult I ever pass while driving!)
  4. Tim from uKnowKids does it again, this time offering up some valuable info that is also heartwarming: check out his roundup of current anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying movements around the U.S. 
  5. Alison the SafetyMom hits the nail on the head with this week’s post, titled with the self-explanatory With Parenting Styles, One Size Does Not Fit All. You got that right!
  6. Free Range Mom Lenore always brings us the latest on all things preventing kids from being kids, and this week she has some uplifting news: a public call to ditch the “misguided security blanket” afforded by helicopter parenting policies, and focus on the real problem: red tape and lawsuits.
  7. Pets are important members of the family, but we don’t always apply the same precautions to our furry friends as we do to our kids. Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances, gives us all the details on pet-proofing to prevent poisoning.
  8. And speaking of your four-legged family members, Natalie Lester, a PetSafe Brand Communications Specialist, shows us how one door + one containment system can = independence for your pup.

Mobile & Cyber Safety

  1. Last Watchdog Byron reminds us that being on a smartphone or tablet does not make us invulnerable to data stealing, especially with the latest scams that have you clicking on links you never intended.
  2. Brian of Krebs on Security warns that suspicious activity this week prompted a password reset for all Evernote users, while Oracle’s Java also issued its third critical security update in a month.
  3. If you’ve ever been interested in the online dating scene, don’t miss this article from Safe Kids (they care about parents’ safety, too!) on online dating safety tips.
  4. Tim, of uKnowKids, clues us in to the latest sex trafficking scheme – using Facebook to find victims – and how you can protect your kids.
  5. If you’ve ever lost or had your smartphone stolen, Scott from A Silver Lining reminds us that these little touch-screens are actually mini-computers – and need to be treated as serious security risks.
  6. David of We Live Security has some excellent points on how hundreds of thousands of Facebook likes can be deceptive (and completely wrong). The article reminds me of what my mom always asked: If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?
  7. Lisa, of Sophos Naked Security, peels apart the onion layers (it’ll certainly make you cry) of the latest debit-card fraud – scammers pretending to protect your from scammers.

Senior Safety

  1. Ryan of Inside Elder Care reminds us to really dig into the policies of our parents’ or other loved ones’ assisted living or nursing care communities. What will happen in an emergency? Will community staff perform CPR?
  2. Susan at Help! Aging Parents gives us some pointers on helping our parents make the best decisions for their health, like whether they should get life-changing surgeries.
  3. The Aging Wisely blog develops a debate about the work-family balance, and how it applies to work-at-homers and eldercare.
  4. Safety Mom Alison features a really cool infographic on the “communication lifeline” – the relationship between caregiver and seniors. Alison is also hosting a Twitter party on March 13 to discuss signs your aging parents need help.

Work Safety

  1. In the U.S., construction mishaps account for 17 percent of all work-related accidents. Carl at Blog4Safety provides 5 tips for a safer construction workplace.
  2. Blog4Safety gives us another good one on how to identify the dangers of asbestos.
  3. And speaking of creating a safer workplace, Kevin from the Safety at Work Blog discusses the lack of a “safety culture” for employers and employees.
  4. If you’re in the U.S., your time is going to change this weekend. Roy at The Society for Human Resource Management reminds us all to be careful that sleep deprivation doesn’t lead to workplace accidents next week.

Thanks, Erin, for including us in your top twenty-five list of safety articles.  You offer a whole range of reading for our supporters, and we are honored to be part of it.  Pat

TOP TWENTY-FIVE SAFETY ARTICLES OF THE WEEK: MARCH 1 (GUEST POST)

Posted by Erin Raub in Weekly Roundups of SafeSoundFamily.com

I am happy to announce that Blog4Safety made the list of top twenty-five safety articles again!  Our thanks to Sam Banai, who submitted the article: “How To Outfit Your Business for Winter.” pb

seatbelt for pregnant womenThis pregnancy seatbelt is not only safe, but allows for (more) comfortable third-trimester driving. Finally!

Welcome to another week of the blogosphere’s best safety & security news! There were a lot of important tip posts this week, so I tried to round out the seriousness with upbeat safety news, too. For example, did you know that a U.K.-based company has developed a harness seatbelt for safer driving (or car riding) while pregnant? Ladies, the third trimester just got a little bit less uncomfortable.

I hope you enjoy my favorites. As always, if there’s something I missed, please let me know in the comments.

Home Safety

  1. Martine at Dainty Mom shares her top tips for keeping your home and family safe. I really appreciate her emphasis on simple, clean things we can all do, like choosing healthy foods and chemical-free cleaners.
  2. Fire safety crosses international borders. Seasoned home inspector Brent from Homes Extra asks important questions in his fire safety test. Is your family safe?

Family & Child Safety

  1. If you’ve ever worried about what to do in the case of anaphylactic shock, you can’t miss Caroline’s post over at The Grateful Foodie on four missed anaphylaxis emergency care opportunities.
  2. When Inhabitots mentioned the world’s first seatbelt designed for pregnant women, it was all I could do not to shout YES! It looks more like a race car harness than your standard belt, and is designed to keep mother and baby safe in the event of an accident.
  3. Did you know that heart disease kills more women than breast cancer? Read all about heart health – for men and women – over at Safety Mom.
  4. Admittedly, growing pains are not so much a safety concern as a question of your little one’s comfort and happiness. But we all want to minimize our children’s pain, so The Parent Report has some easy tips on what to do if your child is experiencing growing pains.
  5. File this one under obvious-but-forgotten: if your child has special needs, is in public school, and has and IEP, Judy Safety Source reminds us that he or she should have a personalized emergency evacuation program.
  6. If anyone has ever taken care of your child, you probably know how awkward/hard/uncomfortable/stressful (take your pick!) it can be to relay your wishes in a way that doesn’t make you seem… well, kind of nuts. Sierra from Common Sense Media has some really great, really sane tips on how to communicate screen time rules for every occasion.
  7. Have you checked your credit report lately? Dennis from iKeepSafe tells you why you need to run regular reports, and how you can do it with minimal headache.
  8. Doreen from SAF Baby has some really solid tips this week on healthy, easy habits your family can adopt to prevent obesity.
  9. What to expect when you’re expecting – and you already have a dog? The Parent Report collaborated with doggie guru Dr. Stanley Coren to give us some good tips on introducing your new baby to your furry baby.

Senior Safety

  1. Change is constant, but it’s also hard. And change is particularly difficult for seniors, who are experiencing major transitions, like the death of a spouse or loss of independence. Aging Wisely gives some good advice on how not to handle transitions for the seniors you love.
  2. This week, Susan from Help! Aging Parents also reminded us that it’s never too soon (or too late) for a refresher on the signs of stroke and learning proper emergency response to a stroke.

Online & Data Security

  1. Robert from McAfee reviews one of the sneakiest – and most rampant – Craigslist scams out there today. Seller beware!
  2. Aleksandr of We Live Security clues us in on a major hacking scheme against European banks – that’s been going on for a year!
  3. Consumer Reports reminds us that we should never ignore a data breach letter. Take the (free) steps to avoid identity fraud, and save yourself a bundle of stress and money down the road.
  4. Patricia Vance, President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), hops over to the Get Game Smart blog to school parents on how to read game ratings – and why they matter.
  5. It’s easy to demonize cyberbullies, even the pint-sized ones, but Tim from uKnowKids has a great point: is your child a cyberbully without knowing it? Remember, even well-intentioned kids can get swept up into peer pressure. Sometimes all it takes to turn bullying around is a bit of parental guidance on netiquette and The Golden Rule.
  6. And while we’re on the topic of kids and their roles in cyberbullying, Sameer from the Cyberbullying Research Center reports on a very encouraging trend: young students are now using plays to combat cyberbullying.
  7. Graham from Naked Security (hmm… wonder what that office looks like!) gives it to you straight about Adobe’s record three Flash Player security updates in February.
  8. Good news doesn’t always make headlines, but Last Watchdog Byron has the details on some new, cutting-edge technology to beat the bad guys.
  9. WebProNews summarizes some of the findings from HP’s newly released 2012 Cyber Security Risk Report.

Work Safety

  1. Blog4Safety brings us a timely guest post from Saam Banai on how to outfit your business for winter safety. Keep your employees and customers safe during this final month of winter!
  2. Steve from The Safe Workplace posts summaries of OSHA and state OSHA significant citations that have proposed fines over $100,000 every week. Check out some of the citations from the week ending February 23rd – and make sure your workplace isn’t on the list.
  3. Pamela at Income Therapy has some 10 rock-solid tips on best safety practices for the workplace.

Thanks, Erin, for including us in this list of very interesting and helpful articles! Pat

STAYING SAFE ON A BUDGET (GUEST POST)

Staying Safe on a Budget

Do you know your family is precious and want to protect them but simply can’t afford putting in a top-of-the-line home security system? Don’t ever let a limited budget stop you from keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of elbow grease, anyone can put into action effective home security measures without breaking the bank.

Fake it Till You Make It – For just a few dollars it’s possible to purchase the yard signs and window stickers of various reputable home security companies. While posting the fake security signs and stickers doesn’t give you actual protection by a security company, they will scare away possible intruders and lessen the chances that your house will be broken into.

Give Your House a Facelift – And by this I don’t mean plant some azaleas and cut the grass. Make your house look dangerous and uninviting by placing a large, used dog bowl on your front porch. Cut into the plastic with a screwdriver or knife to simulate bite marks in the bowl and consider putting a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign in plain view on your property.  Aside from the dog bowl, putting a muddy pair of size 15 men’s work boots outside can also act as a deterrent.

Shape Up – Low hanging branches, hedges or bushes in front of windows and doors, even hanging planters can create pockets of shadow for an intruder to hide in. Keep your trees and landscape well trimmed and keep any hedges that are near doors and windows cut low to increase visibility. Additionally, make sure your windows have shades that can be drawn to prevent prying eyes from casing your house while you’re away.

Know Your Neighbors – Never hide your spare key outside, under a flowerpot, under the welcome mat, hanging behind a wall thermometer or anywhere else for that matter. A smart thief will know where to look and find your spare in no time. Additionally, be very careful to whom you give your spare keys because you never know where and when your key will be exposed to duplication.

Stop the Slide – Sliding patio doors can sometimes seem like an easy entryway to an unsuspecting house. To stop yours from being breached install a patio bar that will stop the inside door from sliding open or being pried off the lock. If a patio bar is still too costly a sturdy piece of strategically placed wood will do the trick.

Jennifer Harrinson is a freelance writer and independent researcher forhttp://www.tophomealarms.com.com. Her fortes include personal security and mobile technologies and she shares her insights on various mobile technology and home security blogs.

TOP TWENTY-FIVE SAFETY ARTICLES OF THE WEEK: FEB. 22, 2013 (GUEST POST)

Posted by Erin Raub in Weekly Roundups

increasing online security with biometricsAre fingerprints and heartbeat scanners the cybersecurity of the future?

This week, I’m eager to share with you some great blogging on cyberbullying, online account hacking, and the dangers of BYOD – and essential tips to prevent these problems. I’m also excited to share some really cool articles about the future of online security: biometrics! Real life just got a little bit closer to science fiction.

I’m still waiting on those flying cars, though.

Home Safety

  1. Score one for the good guys: Nick Smith from a San Francisco ABC affiliate has the recent story of a how a local homeowner (and the police) used his home security cameras to catch a thief.
  2. The U.S. government’s Food Safety blog wants you to know that the nutrition label is growing up: it just turned 20! The FDA also notes that nutrition label changes/updates are on the horizon.

Family & Child Safety

  1. We talk a lot about cyberbullying here at Safe Sound Family, but here’s some great information we’ve never talked about: Tim of uKnowKids gives us an overview of the laws that govern online bullying.
  2. While he’s on the subject, Tim also talks about the short- and long-term repercussions of cyberbulling – both for the victim and the aggressor. If your kids have been involved in online bullying, get them the help they need!
  3. Finally, Tim winds down with some great info and suggestions on how teachers can help address and prevent cyberbullying.
  4. Free Range mom Lenore Skenazy is one of my perennial favorite bloggers for level-headed parenting. This week, she talked about a study – yes, another study – that shows helicopter parenting might cause depression when kids reach adulthood. Something to chew on.
  5. Does the cold of winter make you want to bake? (Or, at least, spend time snuggled in front of a warm stove?) Bryan of the Child Safety Blog gives us eight good tips on teaching your older kids to use knives safely.
  6. It’s a difficult topic to discuss – or even to think about – but Blog4Safety brings us essential tips on how to protect yourself against predators in your home, on the street, and in your car.
  7. KidSafe reminds us that social media use is on the rise, even for our very youngest population: most kids under 2 (!) have a social footprint.
  8. If you spend any time traveling with elderly friends or family, you’ll be thankful for Blog4Safety’s review of the 7 most essential travel safety tips for seniors.
  9. Heads up: new federal regulations are going into place for play yards (playpens).

Online Safety

  1. If you have a Mac – and especially if you bought one so you’d be “invulnerable” to cybercrime – Gary from McAffee has news for you: Apple devices can be hacked
  2. … And they were, this week. Agam Shah from CSO News has the skinny on Apple’s malware attack.
  3. uKnowKids hops into the mix again with a great post on how to keep digital parenting fun with five kid-friendly websites that teach online safety.
  4. Taylor Armerding from the CSO blog  has a very interesting article on Google Play and one app developer who says Google shares too much of its customers’ personal information.
  5. If you’re interested in President Obama’s new cyber security initiatives, you can’t miss this PBS interview with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
  6. Hemanshu Nigam of the Huffington Post has a suggestion for Sesame Street that will grab the attention of any parent with young children: Elmo should teach online safety for kids.
  7. We’re way past Halloween and the closest holiday is St. Patty’s Day (right?), but if you’re hankering for some real-life horror, check out Lianne Caetano’s insight into how cybercriminals can access your texting history, rob your bank account, and steal your identity.
  8. Call me a geek, but this is cool: The Toronto Star reports that the next frontier in online security is our bodies. That’s right, we’re talking about using biometrics, like your unique heartbeat, as a sort of human barcode.
  9. And speaking of, GMA News says that Google is looking into password-less online security. Still on the topic of biometrics, Google might consider using fingerprints or iris (eye) scans to log you on.
  10. Did you read about the epic Twitter hack that went down this week? Funny – unless it’s you or your brand getting hacked. The Cyber Safety Lady has everything you need to know about stopping your Twitter account from being hacked.
  11. Brian Krebs, of KrebsonSecurity, brings to light a Christmas Eve 2012 cyberattack on a California financial institution that netted $900,000 in stolen funds.

Work Safety

  1. This week, the Work Safety Blog4Safety had two great posts: five rights you have (but may not know) when working near the water, and all about asbestos awareness training.
  2. Yikes. Numaan Huq and Richard Wang of SophosLabs bring us the latest and sneakiest point-of-sale malware designed to steal your customers’ money. Don’t ever trust that your business is too small to be targeted.
  3. I mentioned BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and work safety last week, but here we go again. We Live Security has some pros and cons of BYOD, and how to keep your workplace safe(r).
Our thanks to Erin Raub, Senior Editor of SafeSoundFamily, for including some of our posts in their list for outstanding blogs of the week!

HOW TO PROMOTE ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN YOUR HOME (GUEST POST)

Written by Paul Dickinson

Electricity has become a very important part of society in recent years, especially when it comes to the home and most houses in the UK are now very heavily reliant upon electricity to perform a range of tasks and to ensure that our appliances are working efficiently. Although electricity is something that we have come to acknowledge as second nature, it still has the potential to be dangerous so it’s important that we take the appropriate steps to ensure electrical safety around the home. 

Ensuring that your items are well tested, purchasing quality assured products and looking carefully before making any second-hand selections are all good ways that you can help to ensure your safety and if you do happen to have young members of the family then it’s very important that you take the appropriate measures to ensure their protection. 

What steps can you take to make your house safe? 

There are a number of steps that you can take to help improve safety around your home and in general this means looking at your electrical equipment and ensuring that it’s kept up to date and well-maintained at all times. Electrical equipment has the ability to degrade over time so you need to take particular care with items which might be slightly older and might therefore require a little extra care.

The main problem with electrical testing is that most people don’t do it – some can’t be bothered and others doing realise that your appliances actually need it – the reality is that electrical appliances don’t last forever and that’s why it’s crucial that you take the appropriate steps to ensure that you are able to extend their lifespan as much as you possibly can. This means testing your equipment at regular intervals and if necessary, getting an expert to help you out.   

What equipment can you use? 

Electrical testing equipment might seem completely unnecessary in your home, but this is simply not the case and there is a range of equipment that you can use to help ensure the safety of both yourself and your family around the home. Items include:

  • Plug covers – these can be easily inserted into open electrical sockets to prevent young children from putting their fingers into the sockets
  • PAT testers – can be used to quickly and easily test portable electrical appliances
  • Solar panel testers – if you are looking to incorporate solar power into your home then these are often invaluable devices
  • Energy monitoring equipment – can help to test how your electrical appliances are working and hopefully identify any potential problems before they happen, helping to save you both time and money as well as to promote your safety.

Article provided by http://www.isswww.co.uk/ISSWWW, a leading retailer of electrical safety and testing equipment.  Written by Paul Dickinson.

Another tip is to never overload extension cords.  pb

 

 

 

 

 

SAFE AT HOME!

No, we’re not talking baseball, even though the season is getting pretty interesting, if you’re a fan.   August 24 – 30th is National Safe at Home Week.  We all consider our home our castle; we are tucked away securely there when we get home from work, school, or other activities.  Did you know that more than 1.1 million Americans are injured yearly just from tripping while walking across their floors?  Other information from the U.S. Census Bureau states that nearly that many more are hurt on stairs or stairways at home.  Approximately 490,000 Americans are hurt annually riding bikes, as well.  Adding to the statistics from Safe at Home™, an organization that focuses on home safety, more people are hurt in their own home than at work.

So, what are we going to do about these troubling numbers?  There are many areas to focus on to ensure that our home is safe.  You may want to take a room-by-room survey to see what “home remedies” you can find.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • Childproof all cabinets.
  • Don’t leave medicines or cleaning products where children or pets can get into them.
  • Be sure to have smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors in the home, and change batteries as necessary.
  • Keep the house free of clutter, which poses a danger of tripping.
  • Use a stepladder rather than chair to reach something.
  • Be sure rails on stairways are secure.
  • If there’s someone who needs a little help, install handrails in the bathroom or elsewhere that can help them get up or down.
  • Check for loose carpet, which is a tripping hazard.
  • Keeping nightlights in the bathroom or bedroom help prevent falls.
  • A flashlight by the bedside comes in handy if there’s a power failure.
  • Wipe up spills on tile floors, another fall hazard.
  • Fire extinguishers in the kitchen can be extremely helpful when needed.
  • Outside lights ensure you won’t stumble in the dark.
  • And, bike riders, wear helmets!

In case some of these tips haven’t crossed your mind, this may be of help to you.  Keep your Home Sweet Home, Home Safe Home!

HOME SAFETY FOR TODDLERS – WINDOW BLINDS

One of the many things we do when we buy a new home or move into an apartment is choose window treatments.  Whether we have children, grandchildren, or an occasional toddler visit our home, we must be aware of certain hazards that are present.  If you select blinds to cover your windows, be sure they are the new type of cordless ones.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that on the average, once every two weeks, a toddler or infant dies from strangulation from window blind cords.  Blinds made prior to 2001 do not meet child safety regulations.

Toddlers love to climb up to look out of the window, and if they slip and fall, they could become entangled in the cords.  Infants in cribs that are placed too near a window may grab a cord, place it in their mouth, and get it wrapped around their neck.

Here are some actions you may take to ensure safety regarding this hazard:

  • Never have furniture near dangling cords in windows.
  • Buy new cordless window blinds.
  • Consider other window treatments, such as shutters or curtains.
  • If you have older blinds, get retrofit kits to make them safe.
  • Never place cribs near windows.
  • Keep the child away from blind cords.

If you want to adjust the existing blind cords that you now own, the USCPSC recommends eliminating loops on 2-corded horizontal blinds by cutting the cord above the end tassel (looks like a small wood or plastic thimble).

Remove equalizer buckle and add new tassels for each cord, or replace it with a safety break-away tassel.  Do not retie the cords in a knot, as that only recreates a new loop.  Or, you can lower blind all the way, cut cords as close to top of blind as possible and then re-install tassels.  Parents can reach, but the tots cannot!  Otherwise, use old-fashioned cord cleats, which are available at most window covering stores.

The Window Covering Safety Council provides free retrofit kits: cord stops, tassels, and tie-down devices.  Their toll-free number is 800-506-4636.  You can contact them at their website or give them a call for more information.

We just learned of a tragic accident involving some type of cord hanging from a treadmill. It’s unknown at this time just exactly how it happened, but a 4 year-old girl is in critical condition from getting strangled by this cord.  So, parents, look out for anything in your home that could be harmful!

YOU’VE GOT THE POWER! (FOR THOSE SUMMERTIME JOBS)

Tool manufacturers just keep coming up with more powerful tools for doing those outdoor jobs, whether at home, doing landscape work, or in the field. Lawn Rangers, listen up!

Power grass/weed trimmers have enough power to sling sticks, rocks, and other debris, which can get in the operator’s eyes, or injure someone standing by.  Goggles should be worn when operating trimmers.

A newer type of tool is the brush cutter, which use rigid cutting blades, rather than plastic string lines that are used on trimmers.  In addition to cutting through heavier brush, etc. they can also cut arms, hands, and legs.  Persons operating this tool should wear protective clothing in addition to eye goggles, and others need to stay away while the brush cutter is being operated.

Riding mowers are the remedy for cutting grass in larger yards.  Persons purchasing their first riding mower should become familiar with all its features before taking off.  Only responsible persons should use riding mowers.  The area to be mowed should be cleared of limbs and things that could possibly be thrown by the blades of the mower.  Riding mowers are capable of amputating hands and feet, so extreme caution should be used.  It’s not a good idea to carry passengers on the mower. Again, goggles protect your eyes.

Power mowers are another type of tool that the operator needs to understand before starting it. Be sure there are no young children in the area, and remove objects such as big sticks, etc.
Make certain it is full of fuel before starting; never refuel while it is running or the engine is hot.  Wear good shoes, not flip-flops.  Also, don’t cut grass while it is wet, as it can bunch up and damage the mower. (Remember, the goggles!)

It’s great to have these great tools, but please don’t be a part of the thousands in the “power parade” that march, (or limp) in to the emergency room!  Play it safe!