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

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 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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