Did you know that most alarm systems are only installed after a break-in? Because we tend to underestimate the likelihood of bad things happening, many of us fail to be proactive when it comes to preventing burglaries. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
Summer is a popular time for break-ins and research suggests that most of them happen Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Intruders often gain entry through a door.
To avoid being targeted by burglars, make sure valuables aren’t visible through a window and don’t leave them on your porch or in your backyard. It’s also a good idea to put away your tools, especially things like ladders and crowbars.
Garages are easy to force open, so make sure to lock any interior doors connecting your home to your garage.
Finally, never hide spare keys outside your home.
When you’re on vacation
If you’re going on a trip, fight the temptation to announce it on social media. While you’re away, take steps to make your home look occupied. Suspend your newspaper subscription, have someone mow your lawn and put your mail delivery on hold. Don’t leave your lights on unless you can put them on a timer to simulate human activity.
Remember, you can always ask a neighbor or friend to come around regularly to make sure everything is in order. You can also get someone you trust to housesit while you’re away.
If you install a security system, call your insurance company as soon as possible so they can lower your premiums.
5 benefits of using cork in your home
Cork is a stylish and sustainable material that can be used for a variety of home renovation projects. Here are five benefits that come from using it around your house.
1. It’s renewable. Made from the bark of cork oaks, this material is harvested without harming trees in any way. The trees, which can live up to 250 years, are continually growing new bark, which can be harvested once every nine years.
2. It’s sanitary. Cork is a great option for people who suffer from allergies. It’s naturally mold and mildew resistant and has anti-microbial properties.
3. It’s easy to maintain. The material is extremely water resistant, making it ideal for kitchen and bathroom applications. When used as flooring, it’s easy to clean. Wear isn’t an issue, as it can be sanded and refinished.
4. It’s supple. Cork is full of microscopic air pockets that allow it to easily compress and expand without causing damage, making it a comfortable surface to stand or sit on.
5. It’s safe. Cork is fire-resistant. If it does catch fire, it generates less smoke and releases fewer toxins than other materials commonly found in homes.
The best part about cork is its versatility. It can be used in many different ways, from providing insulation and wall coverings to making furniture and flooring. If you’re ready to bring cork into your home, the options for doing so are almost endless.
Is your pet at risk for diabetes?
Did you know that dogs and cats can get diabetes too? Here’s what pet owners should know about this disease.
Just like people, dogs and cats can be affected by two different types of diabetes. Dogs are more likely to have type 1, which occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce the hormone insulin. Cats usually suffer from type 2, which is characterized by the body’s inability to properly metabolize insulin.
Diabetes generally affects middle aged or older pets but can occur in young animals as well. Dogs and cats that are overweight, inactive or have inflammation of the pancreas may be predisposed to the disease. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Increased water consumption and urination
• Weight loss combined with an increase in appetite
• Decreased appetite
• Cloudy eyes (more common in dogs)
• Chronic or recurring infections
• Decrease in energy
• Dull or dry coat
Type 1 diabetes is incurable, but it can be treated with regular insulin injections and a high-fiber diet.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated with insulin treatments, daily exercise and a diet that’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
In all cases of diabetes, early detection is paramount. If you notice the signs of diabetes in your pets, bring them to their veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to choose plants for your aquarium
Selecting plants for your aquarium may seem simple, but if you want your fish and plants to thrive, you should put some thought into your choice.
For starters, choose plants that are well suited to your aquarium’s environment. The type of substrate that covers the bottom of the tank, the temperature of the water and the lighting will all inform what types of plants will do well.
Also, consider what types of fish you keep. Some species will eat the vegetation in their environment. If you keep rainbow fish, tetras or others that are known to nibble on plants, pick vegetation that’s resilient and has sturdy leaves.
Finally, it’s important to consider the size of your aquatic plants when arranging them in your tank. Short, slow-growing plants need to be placed in the front and along the bottom of your tank so as not to obstruct the view. Mid-sized plants should be planted along the sides and in the middle of the aquarium. The tallest plants should go in the back of the tank where it can hide the tank equipment and provide your fish space to play and hide.
4 ways to help snow removers get the job done right
Thanks in part to the size of their tractors, snow removal service employees need your help to ensure that they’re able to do their job. Here are four things you can do to make certain you get the service you deserve.
1. Keep your driveway clear
Make sure your driveway is free of clutter. Shovels, sleds, hockey equipment and other winter accessories can prevent snow removers from clearing your driveway and may even damage their equipment.
2. Be careful where you leave your bins
Trash, recycling and compost bins should be removed from your driveway as soon as they’ve been emptied. Avoid leaving them in areas where snowbanks are likely to form. If you can’t keep them out of the way entirely, try to position them so they won’t be an encumbrance.
3. Move your vehicle
If possible, park your vehicle at least 10 feet away from your driveway so the plow can remove snow from it without having to maneuver around your car.
4. Remove ice
If your driveway is icy, you should use ice melting products or abrasives. Doing so will reduce the risk that you or someone else will slip and fall. It’ll also prevent the snowplow from sliding on the ice and potentially losing control. This is especially important if your driveway is sloped.
Snow removal service employees do their best to ensure your driveway is kept free of snow. This winter, help them help you by doing your part.
4 kinds of people who should have a walk-in shower
Are you renovating your bathroom and planning to install a new shower? If so, a walk-in shower may turn out to be your best bet. Here are four types of people who should have one.
1. Design enthusiasts. Imagine a walk-in shower with a mosaic tile floor and contrasting walls, or one with a sleek modern look perfectly suited to a contemporary esthetic. Design enthusiasts will relish the ability to create a space that’s functional and stylish.
2. Those with reduced mobility. Children and people with reduced mobility sometimes find it hard to climb in and out of a tub. Additionally, those who rely on wheelchairs can’t easily cross a shower threshold. A walk-in shower eliminates these issues.
3. Neat freaks. Because the walls and floors are simple expanses of tile, a walk-in shower is a cinch to clean. Including a handheld showerhead will make tidying up even easier, and designing niches into the wall for your shampoos and soaps will help you keep things organized.
4. Those with ample space. Walk-in showers feel more spacious than other types because they lack an enclosed shower base. To make it feel even bigger, opt for glass walls or do away with them altogether. Just make sure the floor slopes slightly towards the drain.
If you’re interested in installing a walk-in shower, be sure to hire a qualified plumber for the job.
Gifts teachers will love
Christmas is the perfect time of year to extend your thanks to your children’s teachers. Instead of giving them another “world’s best teacher” mug, choose one of the following gifts that’s sure to please.
• Personalized pencils with their name printed right on them
• A tote bag that’s roomy enough to carry all their work to and from school
• A gift card to a local coffee shop to keep them caffeinated while they’re marking homework
• A membership to a local museum to inspire their lesson plans
• A scarf to keep them warm
• A gift basket filled with supplies like dry-erase markers, red correcting pencils, glue sticks, grade-appropriate books and even classroom decor
• A nice bottle of wine to help them relax over the vacation
• A box of artisanal chocolates, because everyone deserves a treat
In addition, few teachers can resist handmade gifts, so anything your kids make is sure to be appreciated. No matter what you choose, don’t forget to have your child make a card that expresses thanks to the teacher for everything they do.