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How to Make Sure Your Security System Will Work in a Real Emergency

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How to Make Sure Your Security System Will Work in a Real Emergency

Having a security system can ward off burglars, but you should test this system at least once a month to ensure the safety of your cherished possessions and your loved ones in the event of a true emergency.

So, how do you test your alarm without freaking out your family and annoying your neighbors? Read on for step-by-step instructions for making sure your alarm system is ready for an emergency.

1. Read the Manual

For the most part, the testing process will be the same regardless of your home security system. Many manuals will include something called a “walk through” test for testing your alarm. Double-check the testing instructions in the manual in case there are any steps not covered in this tutorial.

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2. Call Your Service Provider

Your alarm service provider will be able to take your system offline during a test. This way, the test will not cause any accidental dispatch.

3. Alert Your Family and Neighbors

The sound of the alarm can incite panic in any unknowing family members or neighbors, so make sure everyone in the house and in the surrounding homes knows you will be running a test.

4. Make Your Pets Comfortable

Don’t forget about Fido! Since animals have very sensitive hearing, make them as comfortable as possible during the alarm test. Secure pets in an enclosed room with familiar items to help keep them calm.

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5. Prepare for the Test

Run the test as if you were actually leaving the house. Lock all protected windows and doors.

6. Arm Your System

Now is when the fun begins. Once everything is in place, activate the test mode on your system and allow the delay time to expire so it is active.

7. Test the Sensors

Your system may tell you which sensor areas to check, especially if any are not working properly. Test each sensor to make sure the signal is strong and the alarm sounds each time. All it takes is one unchecked area to allow an intruder to enter your home.

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8. Test Other Detection Methods

If your system includes other forms of detection, read the following sections as they apply to your security system:

  • Smoke detectors: Test the smoke detectors by pressing the test button or by using a can of smoke, but whatever you do, do not test it by burning something.
  • Heat detectors: Rub your hands together for 30 seconds and place your hands on the heat sensors to see if they respond.
  • Motion detectors: Walk back and forth in front of the motion detector. Motion detectors will usually respond when they sense heat and motion, so make sure that you create motion in the area where the detector is aimed.
  • Flood sensors: Create the same response as a rising water level by completing the circuit with a piece of metal to join the two prongs on the end of the sensor.
  • Low temperature sensors: Put an ice cube or tray of ice water in front of the sensor to mimic freezing conditions.

9. End Test Mode and Review Results

Once you have completed the test, end the test mode and rearm the alarm. If you experienced any errors, contact your service provider.

Consider testing your alarm system monthly. However, this is no substitute for professional maintenance; also arrange for periodic inspections and servicing from your alarm service provider.

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False alarms cost consumers thousands of dollars in fines every year, so make sure you understand how to operate your alarm system and test it properly.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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