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15 DIY things to do to increase home safety

15 DIY things to do to increase home safety

Each year, we make resolutions to improve our health, increase our savings and spend more quality time enjoying family and friends. But what about maintaining and improving our home safety? With a burglary occurring every 20 seconds, home security, safety and maintenance should be a top priority for everyone. Set some time aside over the coming weeks to conduct a home safety assessment.

The first thing to do when beginning a DIY home safety and security effort is to identify which areas of your home need to be inspected and where you have weak points. Follow this checklist and you’ll increase the safety and security of your home. By preventing future disasters, you’ll save yourself time and money.

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  1. Prevent water from freezing in your pipes so they don’t burst. Make sure pipes that are turned on stay above 32 degrees Fahrenheit by adding extra insulation or keeping cabinet doors open for better airflow.
  2. Get a 72-hour kit for your home and car in case of an emergency.
  3. Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors monthly by holding the “test” button until you hear the loud siren. If it’s silent, replace the batteries or purchase a new detector.
  4. Add fire escape ladders in all second-story and higher rooms. In case of a fire, make sure everyone knows the safest and quickest escape route.
  5. Inspect your fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge to see if the needle is in the green, and replace or service it if it’s outside this zone. Also, examine the hose and nozzle for cracks, because you’ll need to replace your fire extinguisher if the locking pin on the handle is missing or the handle is broken.
  6. Ensure electrical outlets are covered and not overloaded. Add protective coverage if children are in the home.
  7. Install a water alarm in your basement to prevent flooding.
  8. Know where your gas and water are measured and where the shut off valves are in case of a leak.
  9. Inspect your outdoor lighting to see if any lights need to be added or replaced. Well-lit homes deter burglars and prevent injuries from falling on black ice or from other accidents. You may consider adding smart lights to your home so you can control when they are on and off using your smart phone.
  10. Clean out your medicine cabinet and dispose of expired medications properly.
  11. Research security cameras and systems and add them to your home’s exterior before peak burglar season begins in the summer. Burglars are 10 percent more likely to rob homes in the summer months. Indoor and outdoor cameras are a great way to deter porch theft, and they’ll allow you to check in on your pets, children and home when you’re away.
  12. Check your roof for ice dams and icicles so that snow and ice don’t strain your roof, cause leaks, break gutters, or damage shingles.
  13. Post a safety resource contact sheet on your refrigerator. The sheet should include phone numbers for your doctors, the local police and fire departments, poison control, and emergency contacts. Being able to access this information quickly in an emergency is vital to your safety.
  14. Update and replace your home locks. Avoid placing the spare key under the front mat or in flower pots, as this is an obvious place for burglars to check. Instead, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.
  15. Maintain your yard regularly. Trim shrubs and cut back large branches. An overgrown and unruly yard gives burglars lots of hiding places.

These 15 simple steps can significantly increase your safety and can protect your family and property from break-ins and disasters. Each step requires minimal time, and most are free. Your home should be a safe haven, and this DIY checklist is a great way to ensure your home is safeguarded and adequately prepared for an emergency.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Sage Singleton

Outreach Strategist

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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