What Are Common Electrical Hazards and How Do I

What Are Common Electrical Hazards and How Do I

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The National Fire Prevention Association reports that defective wiring is the leading cause of house fires. To minimize these risks, have an authorized electrician check the house wiring every few years so you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

If the wiring in your home is 30 years or older, inspect it annually.

Call an electrician immediately if the light in your home dims or flickers without explanation, switches trip repeatedly, or electrical outlets feel hot or sparkle. This is a sign that you may need to repair the wiring in your house.

Leave appliances connected near water sources

If a connected appliance gets wet, do not remove it from the wall socket. Go to the electrical panel box in your home and turn off the power source to the electrical outlet to which the appliance is connected. You can then unplug the appliance and have a qualified repairman assess its safety.

First, always unplug the appliance when not in use to reduce the risk of shock. Installing GFCI-protected Ground Fault Circuit Interrupts is an effective way to minimize the risk of electric shock or electric shock. GFCIs will immediately turn off the power if it detects that someone is receiving a shock, which helps prevent serious injury. If the electrical outlets near water sources in your home are not GFCIs, consider hiring an electrician to install them or have GFCI power outlets added to your home’s main power panel.

Wrong wattage bulbs

Using a bulb with a higher wattage than the lamp can safely accommodate can overload the lamp wires, which can cause a fire. Take steps to avoid this danger by using a bulb with a watt less than or equal to the maximum wattage printed on the lamp socket. If you need a stronger light, buy a lamp that uses a higher wattage bulb.

Overloaded power outlets and electrical outlets

Power strips and sockets are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. Connecting multiple high voltage devices to a power outlet can overload the strip or electrical outlet and possibly cause an electrical fire. Another dangerous practice is to connect adapters to the power supply to increase the number of devices it can accommodate. Connecting two or more sockets can also result in congestion.

If you use power supplies in your home, choose models that include a power switch. If the power plug becomes too hot or overloaded, the circuit breaker will drop, minimizing the risk of fire. Use only power supplies with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal and check the power outlet regularly for breakage or damage.

Unprotected sockets

Young children tend to be curious about sockets, which can pose a serious danger. If they put their finger or an object in the socket, they may be burned, shocked or electrically shocked. Protect young children from these risks by using plastic closures to cover any electrical outlet they may reach. For a more permanent solution, install child safety wall panels. These plates have built-in outlet covers that automatically click into place when the socket is not in use.

Improper use of extension cords

Extension cords can be useful, but they are often used incorrectly, which can result in a dangerous situation. To prevent this situation, buy UL-grade extension cords and match the cord for its use. For example, if you Using the extension cord outside, buy one that is designed to withstand the elements.

Do not overload the cord by connecting several heavy appliances and avoid running the extension cord under a rug or other surface. Make sure the cord is in good condition before using it, as these cords do not last forever. If you find that you are constantly using an extension cord to supply power to a specific area of ​​your home, install additional electrical outlets instead.

Operation of an unsafe device

Whether it is a toaster that smokes or a dryer that constantly triggers a switch, malfunctioning appliances are unsafe. Do not use defective appliances to avoid electric fire, shock, burns or other injuries.

If an appliance starts to malfunction while it is in use, go to the electrical main panel of your home and disconnect the power to the place where the appliance is connected. Unplug the appliance and reuse it or have it professionally repaired. Be careful when buying used appliances, as you can not be sure of their safety, and never use a appliance that was recalled. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a searchable database of all recalled devices.

10 Surprising Things NOT Covered by Your Home

10 Surprising Things NOT Covered by Your Home

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A home guarantee can be a great way to help cover unexpected costs and protect your new investment as a homeowner. But it is important to understand the function of a home warranty and what it typically covers. Make sure you have the best protection for your new home, especially if this is your first home purchase. Use this guide to help you understand the scope of a home warranty and ten surprising things that may not be covered.

A home guarantee is different from homeowners insurance and it can help pay for the unexpected things that may come up after buying a home. Homes, like most things, are subject to regular wear and tear over time. Unfortunately, household problems can quickly make up for large expenses that cannot be depreciated.

This is where a home warranty can make a big difference. Contrary to what home insurance covers, home guarantees cover the systems and appliances in your home – e.g. Plumbing or air conditioning – rather than the structure or your personal belongings. You can think of a home warranty as system and appliance insurance that helps give new homeowners extra peace of mind, especially if you are buying a home that is several years old.

Which items are not covered by a home warranty?

Home warranties usually do not cover problems that are discovered during a home inspection or that are due to improper maintenance. In addition to these factors, there are several uncovered items that may surprise you. Before taking out a home warranty, be aware of these ten things that may not be included.

1. Washer, dryer and refrigerator

Although home warranties provide some coverage for household appliances, washers, dryers, and refrigerators are often excluded from standard home warranty contracts. Read it in small print and make sure these appliances are part of your warranty if you are concerned that they are leaking. In most cases, you can add enhanced coverage to include these appliances if they are not part of your standard home warranty.

2. Garage doors and tracks

Garage door openers may be covered by a typical home warranty, but the garage door and rail are usually not included. As you would with washers and dryers, you should double check your home warranty to make sure the garage door opener is included. However, if you are concerned about the garage door or just want to replace it for aesthetic reasons, contact your homeowners insurance or plan to pay for it yourself.

Although home guarantees are a form of system insurance, central air conditioners and heating units are not always part of standard guarantees. It is becoming more common to include these systems, but make sure you are on the safe side. Also pay attention to secondary AC or heating units. Although your home warranty covers the most important HVAC system, secondary devices are almost always excluded.

4. Windows, walls and doors

Because home warranties apply to systems and appliances, structural problems are not usually covered. Some contracts may repair windows that threaten the integrity of the rest of your home, but window and door problems usually fall under homeowners insurance.

When unwanted water enters your home, it seems like something that should be covered by the plumbing part of your home warranty. However, leaks from roof problems are usually not related to plumbing and are therefore considered structural – not systemic – issues. The good news is that while this may not be covered by your home warranty, it should be included in your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Outdoor plumbing – including sprinklers, faucets and valves – is most likely excluded from a home warranty. Although these systems help to contain your home, they are not part of its internal systems. A problem with sprinklers rarely threatens the integrity of your home, which may be why home warranties almost always omit outdoor plumbing.

Like outdoor sprinkler systems, hot tubs, spas and pools are usually not included in home warranties. However, you may be able to find a provider that allows you to add extra coverage to solve typical wear and tear problems that occur at these fun home facilities.

This can be a big shock, especially because toilets and plumbing are usually standard for a home warranty. Again, we are dealing with systems that are technically outside the home, making septic tanks and systems common exceptions to home warranties. If your home uses a septic system, make sure it is included as part of any home warranty you accept or purchase.

9. Existing conditions

This was alluded to above, but deserves another mention. Any problem identified during a home inspection is considered existing and is not covered by a home warranty. If a problem is found to be caused by improper maintenance, your home warranty will not cover it either. Most businesses will request a copy of your home inspection before paying out a home warranty claim, so be sure to negotiate repairs or replacements of pre-existing problems as part of your offer before closing your home.

10. Your preferred service provider

A home warranty can help you cover the cost of plumbing repairs or stove replacement, but not all policies allow you to choose your preferred contractor or plumber. If you want control over who works in your home, make sure you can choose your own service provider under the terms of your home warranty.

Buying a new home is exciting and you will not have to worry about potential problems while dealing with a move. A home warranty can be a great way to provide security and assistance for unexpected system and device problems. Just make sure you know what you are getting into before you buy a home warranty – and do not be stingy with your new knowledge. Share this guide with friends and family who are also considering a home warranty for the next place they call home.

How to Treat These 5 Commonly Ingested Poisons

How to Treat These 5 Commonly Ingested Poisons

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Poisoning is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.2 Nearly half of all deaths from drug poisoning are due to an overdose of prescription drugs, with opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone often being the culprit. Over-the-counter pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be toxic. Ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin are some of the most common NSAIDs.

Prevention: Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and others who may accidentally ingest them. Install high-quality baby guard locks on any cabinet that contains medication. Store medicine in the original container, always take medicine according to the instructions and never use other people’s prescription medicine. Download a medicine manager app like medicafe to remind you how much to take and when to take it.

Symptoms: Symptoms of overdose with prescription pain medication range from confusion, mood swings and nausea to breathing problems that can result in death.3 There are many symptoms of NSAID overdose, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and blurred vision. Large amounts of NSAIDs can result in kidney damage, seizures or coma.4

Treatment: Call the poison control number above, or seek immediate help. If possible, inform medical staff about the victim’s age, weight and condition, as well as the name of the medicine, the time it was swallowed and the amount consumed.

It is not uncommon for cleaning products to contain a number of hazardous chemicals. For example, many toilet bowl cleaners and bath and tile cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, while sodium hydroxide (lye) can be found in drain cleaners and oven cleaners. Often these products are not handled and stored properly, leading to them being one of the main causes of accidental poisoning in children.1 Inhalation of certain cleaning agents can also result in poisoning.

Prevention: Always use household cleaners according to the instructions and put them away immediately after use. Store products where children or pets do not have access to them – e.g. On the top shelf of the pantry – and then install one KidCo door lock or similar device to help secure the pantry door. For added safety, switch to natural cleaning products that are toxic, such as Biokleen Spray and Wipe All-Purpose Cleaner.

Symptoms: Symptoms of intoxication vary depending on the type of detergent used. For example, swallowing toilet bowl cleaner can cause burns in the esophagus, severe pain in the abdomen and blood in the stool.5 Symptoms of poisoning from drain cleaners include burns in the mouth, difficulty breathing, salivation and collapse.6

Treatment: If the victim has swallowed one of these cleansers, they should drink water or milk immediately – unless they have difficulty swallowing. Then call the poison control number or seek medical attention immediately.

Topical anesthetics contain anesthetic ingredients to reduce discomfort from things like sunburn, sore muscles and insect bites. When used according to the packaging instructions, topical anesthetics are usually safe. However, using more than the recommended amount or ingesting even a small amount of local anesthetic can lead to poisoning.

Prevention: Treat topical anesthetics like prescription drugs or other over-the-counter medications. Keep your first aid kits in a safe place, follow the label instructions carefully and put them back immediately after use. Also, never apply teeth gel to children under two years of age. Instead, massage their gums or use toothpicks to relieve pain.

Symptoms: Symptoms of intoxication may include strained breathing, slow heartbeat, drowsiness and seizures. Benzocaine is an ingredient often found in tooth gels that can cause methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen in the blood becomes dangerously low.7 Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include headache, rapid pulse, and bluish color of skin or nails.

Treatment: If you suspect local anesthetic poisoning, seek medical advice immediately or contact Poison Control Hotline.

The purpose of insecticides is to kill insects such as ants, cockroaches and wasps – but the chemicals used to rid your home of these pests can also be dangerous to your family. Organophosphates and carbamates are two common types of insecticides associated with severe poisoning. Insecticidal poisoning can occur by swallowing, inhaling or absorbing through the skin.

Prevention: Store insecticides in their original containers, closed and out of the reach of children and pets. Use as little insecticide as possible and avoid using them in confined spaces. Switch to insecticides that use pyrethrin as they are made from flowers and are not as toxic to humans and pets.

Symptoms: Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms, including blurred vision, salivation and vomiting, and seizures.8 In addition, these products can overstimulate organs and result in them shutting down.

Treatment: In case of ingestion, the victim must not vomit. Seek medical attention immediately. Doctors may use the drug atropine to treat severe insecticide poisoning. If the insecticide came in contact with the victim’s clothing or skin, they should remove their clothing and wash their body immediately.

5. Dishwasher and detergent

Extinguishing liquid or granulated dishwasher or detergent can be dangerous, but washing belts pose a greater risk of severe poisoning. Over a two-year period, U.S. Poison Control Centers received more than 62,000 calls related to exposure to laundry and dishwashing liquid that affect children under the age of six — with approximately 60% of those calls triggered by detergent exposure.9

Prevention: Young children and pets can easily be mistaken for colorful and pleasantly scented detergent pillows with sweets. Then store the pods in their original container with the lid closed, and store them in a safe place. Even better, avoid pods altogether and use a liquid or granulated product.

Symptoms: Sink or granulated dishwasher or detergent can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Ingestion of a detergent pillow can result in symptoms ranging from vomiting and drowsiness to aspiration and difficulty breathing.

Treatment: Call the Poison Control hotline or seek other medical attention immediately. Do not allow the victim to vomit unless instructed to do so by a doctor.

Who is at risk of accidental poisoning?

Everyone is at risk of poisoning by accident, but some age groups experience greater poisoning events than others. Children younger than six years account for 44% of all poison exposures, with boys being poisoned more often than girls.1

Adults account for 38% of accidental poisonings and 7% of victims are teenagers. Among teens and adults, women are victims more often than men. Peak poisoning rate occurs in children under two years of age, but poisoning in adults and teens tends to be more severe.

Keep these and all other potentially toxic household products safe to help protect your home from poison. SafeWise also recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors as part of your overall home security plan to prevent poisoning.

Related pages on SafeWise

1. Clinical Toxicology, 2018 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Data Snapshot: 36th Annual Report
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCHS Data on Drug-Poisoning Deaths, 2018
3. US Addiction Centers, Symptoms of Opiate Overdose: Vicodin, OxyContin and Morphine
4. National Library of Medicine, PubMed, Toxic effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in case of overdose
5. MedlinePlus, Toilet Bowl Cleaners and Deodorizers Poisoning
6. MedlinePlus, Drain Cleaner Poisoning
Medscape, benzocaine-induced methemoglobinemia
8. Merck Manual, Organophosphate Poisoning and Carbamate Poisoning
9. AAP News and Magazines, Pediatric Exposure to Laundry and Dishwashers in the United States: 2013–2014

Home Safety Guide: Top 9 Hazards to Watch For

Home Safety Guide: Top 9 Hazards to Watch For

Accidental deaths have been rising in recent years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, many of these unintended deaths occur in the home – especially for children and the elderly. Leading causes of these deaths include poisoning; falling; suffocation; drowning; and fire – which you all have an increased risk of if you have not taken home security seriously.

The good news is that improving home security is not complicated. Once you know the most common causes of accidental injury and accidental death, it is easy to make a few changes and improvements to reduce the dangers you face and ensure you and your loved ones are safe. Here are the biggest security risks you need to take care of in your home and steps you can take to prevent them from causing harm to you and your family.


According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries to older Americans. As many as one in four adults aged 65 and over fall annually, and older adults are treated in the emergency room every 11 seconds as a result of a fall. Fall is also common among young children, and falls result in more than 2.8 million ER visits each year in the United States.

To ensure that your home is free of fall hazards:

  • Use security gates on stairs with small children. Consider a baby gate, e.g. Regalo Easy Walk Step Through Gate, which adults can easily open and close even when holding an infant.
  • Provide adequate lighting. Stairs and walkways should be well lit to reduce the risk of falls and falls at night.
  • Make your shower or bath more secure. Non-slip stickers and handles can reduce the risk of injury during bathing.
  • Choose flooring material carefully. Avoid tiles that get slippery when wet, and make sure carpets are secure and flat.
  • Maintain your home in good condition. Make sure that stair railings are solid, that your stairs are stable, and that you do not have cracked or broken tiles.
  • Keep toys contained. Stumbling on toys can be dangerous for children and adults.

Fire hazard and burns

In the United States, firefighters respond to a house fire on average every 88 seconds – and seven people die daily from home fires. How to reduce the risk:

  • Has lots of working smoke alarms. Make sure you have a smoke alarm in every bedroom or at least on every floor of the house. Check the batteries regularly. And if you have children, pets or elderly relatives who are alone at home, consider a smart smoke detector such as. Nest Protect, which alerts you in real time to problems. A monitored alarm system can also ensure that the fire department is quickly notified of a problem in your home.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher available. You should have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, near fireplaces or in other accessible areas of your home. Check the fire extinguisher regularly to make sure it is in order.
  • Have an escape plan. Only one in three American households has an escape plan in the event of a fire. Talk to your children about what to do if a fire breaks out.
  • Consider installing sprinklers if you are building a new home. Fire sprinklers reduce the risk of death in a home fire by as much as 80%.


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Poison control centers in the United States provided assistance in 2.12 million cases of potential human poisoning in 2017. Younger children under the age of six are most at risk for poisoning. To reduce the likelihood that your child or someone in your home will be poisoned, consider these tips for home safety.

  • Keep chemicals, medicines and other dangerous products out of reach. Detergents, detergents, medications, paints, antifreeze and other potentially hazardous chemicals should be stored safely out of the reach of children. If there are older adults in your home who suffer from cognitive decline, you may want to consider unlocking these dangerous items.
  • Use security locks. Security locks can prevent children and pets from accessing closets containing cleaning products, personal care items and other potentially dangerous items.

Cut and sharp objects

Research has shown that the average person gets 9,672 minor injuries during his or her lifetime, including cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, some injuries due to cuts or encounters with sharp objects are not only minor – blood loss can be severe, and scarring can be permanent and disfiguring. How to reduce the risk:

  • Keep your waste safe. Lids and cans thrown in the trash can have sharp edges, so consider a locking trash can to keep these items out of the reach of children.
  • Store sharp objects securely. From knives to kitchen utensils to razors to yard tools, there are plenty of sharp objects in your home that can lead to cuts. Store these items in hard-to-reach places or behind lockers so that they are not accessible to children or the elderly who could injure themselves.


Choking is the fourth leading cause of death due to accidental injury, and more than 5,000 people die each year from suffocation. More than half of the deaths in recent years have occurred in the elderly 74 and over. Children are also at greater risk. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk:

  • Keep small items out of reach. Dangerous toys, small objects or even small hard pieces of food can pose a choking hazard. Keep these items away from children and older adults who are experiencing cognitive decline.
  • Check out the products your kids use. Make sure that all objects used by children – including toys, clothes and furniture – are free of small parts that can be suffocated. You should also sign up for recall warnings for children’s products in your home.


Choking at home is a big risk, especially for children. In fact, the majority of children are suffocated by window wires in places where parents believe they are safe, e.g. In their crib. To reduce the risk of suffocation:

  • By being careful with all cords. Blind cords, extension cords, or other available cords are dangerous for children.
  • Baby proof appropriate. Do not assume that children cannot reach wires that you think are inaccessible. Baby protection products, including Dreambaby blind cords, can help your children stay safe.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

According to the CDC, 2,244 people died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning from 2010 to 2015. Winter was the most dangerous time. How to reduce the risk for you and your family:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide detectors can be wired or plugged into an electrical outlet in your home. Kidde Hawk Alarm, for example, connects and is easy to install. These detectors can instantly alert you to a problem so you can bring your family to safety. (Read our guide on how carbon monoxide detectors work.)
  • Maintain your home properly. By maintaining your HVAC system, water heater, oven, fireplaces and other household appliances, you can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide.


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In the United States, about 10 people die a day due to a non-sailing drowning accident. Drowning is a particularly high risk for children. Even when it is not fatal, drowning can cause permanent brain damage and disability. To reduce the risk of drowning, consider taking some important home safety precautions, including the following:

  • Make sure swimming pools and hot tubs are secured. Follow fence code requirements and consider a pool alarm if you have young children or pets. (More on pool safety here.)
  • Use touch controls when children are near water. This means you need to be close enough to touch your children when they are in the bath or pool.
  • Beware of sources of standing water. Children can drown in even small amounts of water, such as a bucket or a children’s pool.


In 2017, approximately 900 children died due to accidental suffocation in bed. To reduce the risk of suffocation:

  • Put children to sleep on their backs. The Back to Sleep campaign has saved many children from fatal suffocation, as children cannot easily lift their heads.
  • Avoid using blankets or soft material in cribs or crawl spaces. Children can be put to sleep in swaddlers or sleeping bags to keep warm, and cribs and crawl spaces must be free of any blankets, pillows, soft bedding or crib pump.
  • Do not place children on soft surfaces. This includes duvets and water beds.

Take home security seriously

There are lots of everyday dangers that exist in the home. But if you get serious about home security and take a few simple steps to minimize the dangers that exist in your home, you can reduce the chances of accidents. It only takes a little time and effort to make sure your loved ones are as safe as possible, so get started today.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. Officer Banta has been a member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years and reviews all articles before giving his stamp of approval. Click here for more information about Officer Banta and the rest of our team.

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security

SimpliSafe vs. Ring Alarm Home Security

Best guarantee: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe’s equipment warranty covers three years compared to Rings ‘one year, and SimpliSafe has a 60-day return policy (compared to Rings’ 30-day return policy). Both offer full refunds for returns, but Ring charges $ 5 shipping and SimpliSafe covers this price.

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Ring Assist Plus

Do you want to upgrade Ring’s warranty offer? For a one-time fee of $ 39.95, you can get Ring Assist Plus, which gives you an extended two-year warranty, a VIP customer service phone number, and a lifetime protection plan to replace lost or stolen equipment.

Best monitoring: SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers video alarm confirmation through its professional surveillance services. This means that surveillance agents can access your security camera or SimpliSafe video doorbell footage when your alarm goes off, reducing the odds of a false alarm. Ring does not have professional video surveillance in any of its plans.

SimpliSafe does not require you to sign up for a monthly monitoring service. (The SimpliSafe app lets you monitor your cameras for free.) But without pro-surveillance, your home security system only acts as a loud alarm to scare uninvited guests.

SimpliSafe’s surveillance may not be as cheap as Ring’s $ 10 monthly fee (plus $ 3 if you add a camera with video recording). But it’s close. For about $ 15 a month with SimpliSafe, you get standard professional surveillance so your security system can call out in the event of an alarm.

If you want remote access to your system to secure access sensors, your monthly fees go up to $ 24.99 per month for the SimpliSafe Interactive subscription.

This plan also gives the Monitoring Center access to all SimpliSafe cameras attached to your system for video confirmation of alarm events, and it gives you cloud storage for your cameras’ videos. Because there are no contracts, you can cancel the monitoring at any time.

Best customer service: SimpliSafe

Although SimpliSafe cannot beat Ring’s 24/7 customer service (SimpliSafe’s hours are 8am to midnight EST), it consistently gets better customer service ratings and reviews.

If you need help with your system, SimpliSafe has email support, online forums and a customer service bar. The biggest complaints we see about customer support involve long waits. Overall, customers have positive things to say about the company.

SimpliSafe’s customer service ratings: *

  • 4.1 / 5, Fantastic: Trustpilot rating
  • 8/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app in the Apple App Store
  • 5/5: SimpliSafe Home Security app in Google Play

Ring’s customer service line is available 24/7, as are its live online customer support agents.

While the doorbells are popular and get good reviews, Ring receives slightly lower ratings on app reviews, and its Trustpilot rating is extremely low.

Ring customer service ratings: *

  • 1.5 stars, poor: Trustpilot rating
  • 4.4 / 5: Always call home app in Apple App Store
  • 3.6 / 5: Always call home app in Google Play

* Ratings per. March 7, 2021

Best compatibility for smart homes: Call

Calling may be a better choice if you want to add an outdoor camera or other smart home appliances to your alarm system. Ring offers outdoor security cameras and home automation through Z-Wave and Zigbee functionality.

Ring alarm devices are compatible with a number of third party devices, including these:

  • Smart Assistants Google Home and Amazon Alexa
  • Door locks by Schlage, Yale and Kwikset
  • Lights, connectors and switches by GE and Leviton
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms from First Alert

SimpliSafe is better suited for smaller rooms that do not need home automation. SimpliSafe’s current options for smart homes are limited, but they have grown. The SimpliSafe system is currently compatible with Nest thermostats, August Smart Locks, Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Although SimpliSafe gets higher app ratings in the Apple App Store and Google Play, the Rings app is free and more feature rich.

Ring’s high smart home connections and consolidation of neighbors make its mobile app worthwhile. You can sync your ring with Alexa devices to control the system with your voice and get notifications

The Call app sends you push notifications to help you self-monitor your system. You can access your cameras’ live feed, use the two-way talk feature on the cameras and smart doorbell, and receive motion alerts without paying subscription fees.

Screenshot from the Ring Neighbors app

With Ring, you can also access the neighborhood community in the same smartphone app as your home security system. In the neighborhood community, you can see what your neighbors have noticed or captured on camera, and hear from the police about what is going on.

Although anyone can use the Neighbors app (including SimpliSafe users), it will have the same location as your security system, reducing app clutter.

Note: We encourage anyone using a neighborhood-style app to read all of it in small print before joining the community — especially with regard to privacy policies. Also be aware of ring-policing partnerships and the impact they can have on your community. We explain more in our frequently asked questions about Ring.

When you subscribe to the SimpliSafe Interactive plan, you will receive notifications when any of your security system sensors fall.

If your system is switched on when one of your sensors is triggered, SimpliSafe monitoring will contact you. If they cannot reach you, they will try one of your emergency contacts before sending the first responders.

A unique feature of the SimpliSafe app is that you can get “secret alerts” to alert you through the app when specific sensors sound the alarm without actually triggering an alarm in your home.

SimpliSafe App Home

SimpliSafe App Notifications

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A word about wireless security

A word about wireless security
Several ring alarm and camera users have reported breaches of their accounts that allowed a stranger to use two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when using an internet connected wireless system. The good news is that you can minimize the risk with proper internet security. Try these tips to protect your system from online threats:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts
  • Choose additional security measures such as two-factor authentication
  • Add shared users instead of sharing login information
  • Change your Wi-Fi password for your home frequently
The 9 Most Dangerous Electrical Hazards In The

The 9 Most Dangerous Electrical Hazards In The

Most of us could not live without electricity, and neither would we really. Electricity is what keeps the light on and the food in the fridge cold. But living in a house that is powered by electricity also means that there are electrical hazards around you.

As many as 51,000 electrical house structures burn each year, according to data from the non-profit Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), and they cause more than $ 1.3 billion in property damage annually.

Before you panic and run to the switch box to close it all, know that electrical hazards can be easily solved – if you know what to look for. So stay tuned and let’s look at some of the most common electrical hazards in the home so you know what to do to make sure your home is as safe as possible.

Improper use of extension cord

They are practical, but extension cords cause an estimated 3,300 structural fires a year, according to ESFI. The best ways to avert a problem:

  • Do not connect extension cords to each other.
  • Inspect the wires for damage before use.
  • Never run wires through walls or use them instead of professionally installed wires.
  • Do not let the strings rest in water.

Overloaded electrical outlets

Extension cords are not the only way homeowners try to extend the use of their businesses. If you have added power plugs or adapters that are loaded with multiple appliances, you increase the risk of fire. This is because each outlet is only rated to supply a certain amount of power. You can contact your electrician to find out more about your home’s electrical load. Do not assume that you are good at using every free space in a power socket just because they are there – check with a professional to see how much electrical load each of your sockets can handle and write the quantities down in a notepad, so that you will always have this information.

Sockets too close to water or water near appliances or cords

These are technically two separate hazards, but the general rule is the same – water and electricity do not mix and can cause electric shock. To prevent this from happening, sockets should be installed as far away from water as possible.

Look for sockets for earth leakage circuit breaker (GFCI). These are designed with “test” and “reset” buttons, and are specially made for installation in bathrooms, kitchens in areas where water is used, to prevent damage in the event of water and electricity meeting.

It is also wise to keep an eye out for water leaks, so as not to interact with your electrical appliances or your electrical wires and create a disaster. If you have leaky pipes, a leaky roof or standing water in a basement, fix it ASAP to avoid short circuits.

Outdated wires or defective wires

Two potential hazards that both revolve around the same thing – electrical wiring. Like our appliances, the wires break over time. If you have old wiring in your home, it may be time for an upgrade to prevent breakdowns from causing a fire. The signs that it is time for an update are similar to the signs that newer wires are defective and need to be repaired:

  • Problems pulling enough power to cover all your needs.
  • A burning odor that appears to come from the walls or outlets.
  • Smoke comes from your stores.
  • Warm stains on the wall.
  • Clear floss in visible wires.
  • Noisy electric, such as hum.

Devices that often trigger your circuits

A triggered fuse is usually a one-time annoyance, but if it happens again and again, it is time to get to the root of the problem. Is there an appliance you turn on just before it stumbles? You will look for damaged wires and consider calling the repairer. If you can not easily identify the problem and your circuit breaker continues to trip when you turn on a particular appliance (or combination of appliances), call your electrician.

The wrong bulbs

The numbers of the bulbs you pick up at the hardware store are not just for display. Lamps and other luminaires have specific watt ratings and you must use bulbs that are on or below this number to prevent fire.

Improperly protected outlets

As many as 5,500 people are sent each year to emergency rooms at the hospital due to injuries involving businesses, many of them children. If you have children in the home, avoid the danger of tamper-proof outlet covers to protect the curious.

Electricity makes our lives easier every day, but it is powerful and must be treated with respect. In addition to making some upgrades around the house, you may want to consider installing smart sockets that can be turned off from an app on your phone or contracting with an alarm company that can monitor for fire and smoke in the house.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. Officer Banta has been a member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years and reviews all articles before giving his stamp of approval. Click here for more information about Officer Banta and the rest of our team.

How to Change a Flat Tire: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Change a Flat Tire: A Step-by-Step Guide

car featured

How to change a car tire step by step

If you are driving when you get a flat tire, slowly lower the car’s speed, turn on the car’s hazard lights and look for a safe place to stop. If possible, pull into an open parking lot or find another low-traffic area.

If you are driving on the highway and cannot get off, pull on your shoulder on a straight stretch of road. Find a level area if you can – this helps minimize the risk of your vehicle moving while changing tires. When your car is stationary, follow these steps.

Step 1: Apply the parking brake

When you have stopped, put your car in the park and apply the parking brake. This is another safety precaution to help your car stay in place while changing tires.

Step 2: Turn off warning equipment

If you have flares or reflective warning triangles, specify them according to the product instructions. Be extremely careful and never turn your back on oncoming traffic.

Step 3: Place wheel wedges

Wheel wedges help prevent your car from moving. When changing a front wheel, place them behind the rear tires of your car. When changing a rear tire, place them in front of the car’s front wheels.

Next, remove the hub cap. This is necessary so that you can get to the nuts that secure your tire to the car. Use the pry bar (flat end of the auger) to burst the hub cap off the tire rim.

Next, remove the hub cap. This is necessary so that you can get to the nuts that secure your tire to the car. Use the pry bar (flat end of the wrench) to crack the hub cap off the tire rim.

Step 6: Place the plug under your car

The best place for a jack is under the vehicle frame, next to the flat tire. For safety and to avoid damaging your car, see the instructions for your vehicle owner for specific instructions on where and how the jack should be placed.

Step 7: Lift the vehicle using the jack

Slowly pump the jack until the flat tire is off the ground. Make sure none of your or anyone else’s body parts go under the car while you are raising it or when it is raised. If your car is moving while on the jack, do not try to stop it. Move away from your car and wait for it to fall, then try again.

Step 8: Unscrew the nuts completely

When the nuts are already loose, unscrew them by hand. Place the nuts in a safe place so that they are not placed incorrectly.

Pull the tire toward you to remove it from the hub, and then place it on its side and off the road.

Step 10: Fit spare wheels

Align the spare wheel with the bolts and push it onto the wheel hub until the bolts penetrate the rim.

Step 11: Replace the nuts

Place the nuts on the folding bolts and tighten them by hand. Do not use the wrench to secure them yet.

Step 12: Slightly lower vehicle

Use the jack to lower your car until the spare wheel touches the ground. Be careful not to lower it to the point where it carries the entire weight of your vehicle.

Step 13: Tighten the nuts with a wrench

Tighten the nuts by turning the wrench clockwise as much as you can. It is important to tighten the nuts in the correct order to ensure that they remain secure on the hub.

Step 14: Finish lowering the vehicle

Lower your car completely and remove the jack. Tighten your wheel nuts once more using the same pattern as you did in the previous step.

Step 15: Replace the hub cover

If the cover you removed fits the spare wheel, replace it.

Step 16: Check the tire pressure

If the cover you removed fits the spare wheel, replace it.

Step 17: Return all equipment and supplies to your vehicle

Collect all the items you have used and attach them to your car. Be sure to store your owner’s manual, jack and wear key in their proper places.

Step 18: Get your flat tire fixed

It is dangerous to drive on a spare wheel over long distances, so take your flat tire to a professional car repair shop and have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Road Trip Safety Tips | allbesthome

Road Trip Safety Tips | allbesthome

Give your car one more time

Is your car roadworthy? Make sure it is with a quick maintenance appointment at your local garage or by doing it yourself. You should check your tire pressure, tread levels, oil levels, wiper blades and fluid levels. If it’s time for an oil change, buy one. If you need to refill liquids, do so. If you need to repair or replace a tire, do not skimp. It’s important that if something looks funky, you get it fixed before it’s time to drive.

Here are some products you can use to prepare for travel:

It is super dangerous to drive while tired. Every year, drowsy motorists cause over 1,500 fatal car accidents. This is because when your eyelids hang down, your ability to react quickly, make healthy decisions and keep your car in the right lane.

You may not think you’re too tired to drive responsibly, but studies show that driving after being awake for 18 hours makes your brain function like a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 %. After being awake for 24 hours, it doubles to a 0.10% BAC. That equates to a 160-pound man drinking five beers in an hour and getting behind the wheel.

It is not only lack of sleep that contributes to drowsy driving. Taking medication can make you sleepy and so can boredom. If you get more and more tired of the mile, either swap with someone who is refreshed, stop stretching your legs, keep the window down, or talk to your passengers to keep you alert. The best medicine for drowsy driving is sleep, so if you can, rest and then get back on the road.

Have your GPS at hand and take a back-up guide

It is quite important to know where you are going. If you get lost, you may be in unsafe neighborhoods or stuck in a dune – you never know. By mapping your course before you go and keeping a GPS available, you will be able to keep track of the entire journey.

Another smart plan is to print or take screenshots of your directions if your phone loses the signal or the battery dies. That way, you do not lose sight of where you are going at a critical, turn, finish or braid.

Beware of drunk drivers

One person dies every 52 minutes of drink-driving across the country. That is an average of about three people per. State.

You can protect yourself and your passengers by being alert and reporting any drunk driving you see. A safe driving tip is to never stay in the left lane unless passing. If someone is driving from the other side of the road, you are the first in line for a collision. Staying on the right side of the road will give you time to avoid a drunk driver if necessary.

Do not run out of gas for your car or stomach. Keep all fuel for the entire trip by refueling with supplies, rubbing alcohol, beverages and gas. Choose a mix of salty and sweet and junky and healthy to keep a balanced diet.

Also, do not forget to pack a full gas tank in the trunk! Getting stuck on the side of the road miles from a rest station or gas station not only delays your trip, it can be dangerous.

You can buy a gas can on Amazon to prevent this.

Bring an extra … and know how to change it

Every year in the United States, about 220 million flat tires are reported. That’s about seven punctures in the tire every second.

Unless you have a roadside assistance membership and time to spare while you wait for help, you will want to familiarize yourself with how to change a flat tire yourself. Our tutorial can show you how.

Do not have a jack or a spare? You can fix it right away purchase a jack and find a spare that fits your car. If you have space, it is not a bad idea to buy two spare parts if you are blowing more than one.

If your car breaks down, blows into a tire, or if someone gets hurt in your car, you need help. Fortunately, there are a number of car situations that will give you dozens of things you can use in a pinch.

That Top Gear Premium roadside assistance kit has 66 items including jumper cables, flashlight, poncho, a basic first aid kit, reflective vest and triangle and more. You can buy it on Amazon for under $ 40. It really is a great buy for all the security it can add to your road trip.

Get your own car safety system

It may be necessary to have a car safety system. If you need to leave your car next to the road, a 2-way car alarm will notify you if someone tampers with it. It can also ensure that it is safe while parking at various hotels and places overnight. You can compare the best car alarms using our useful guide.

Keep everyone entertained

Screaming children shout, “Are we there yet?” is a major distraction for drivers. Give the road your undivided attention by keeping everyone entertained. Does your car have the ability to play movies? Do you have a smartphone with apps and games? Are you interested in going the traditional route of playing car games?

Here are a few products to keep passengers of all ages busy:

Crossing state and county boundaries can be easy-easy in your car. However, what awaits you on the other side can be dangerous.

To prepare for the weather in different regions, download an app on your smartphone to keep track of moving storms. Then plan an alternative route or wait it out in a safe place if the road looks scary.

If you do not have a smartphone or mobile phone service, you can also turn on the radio. You can look up the radio station of your National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in your state. Or just tune in to a popular FM news frequency to stay up to date with the latest news and weather forecasts.

Related articles about SafeWise

5 Ways To Deal with Nosy Neighbors

5 Ways To Deal with Nosy Neighbors

featured image make neighborhood safe

A good neighbor can enhance your experience of living in a community and can be a resource you trust to protect your home. Not only can they become friends, but a good neighbor can also help provide extra security by seeing your house when you walk out of town. They can pick up your newspaper and email for you, as well as report any suspicious activity. But it does not give them permission to sniff at your home.

Here are some tips on how to keep your curious neighbor from getting a little too invasive.

A sturdy, high fence or a row of trees can go a long way in keeping busy bodies out of your hair. Your HOA may have rules in place that dictate whether and where you can place a fence on your property. It is also important to contact local authorities to ensure that you do not violate any height restrictions. Otherwise, a fine array of pine trees or shrubs will help block unwanted voyeurs. Make sure these are pruned and maintained so that they do not become a good hiding place for potential burglars.

A number of curtains and blinds are on the market that can give you the privacy you want. To begin with, try honeycomb blinds that open from the top, rather than the bottom. They let in the same amount of light, but the lower half prevents people from looking into your house. There is also privacy and lined curtains that you can hang over your windows for protection.

The new wave of smart technology extends to window treatments. If privacy from your neighbors is what you’re looking for, consider installing an electronic movie for privacy and a smart window. By simply flipping a switch, you can have your windows tinted while still letting in plenty of light. There are also basic movies that are easy to install and do not require any electronic devices to operate. If you are comfortable inserting and removing them manually, you can still have the light from the window while blocking unwanted eyes.

Surveillance cameras are not only good at helping deter burglars, but they can also help prevent your neighbor from invading your space. no one likes to get caught up in movies sneaking around where they shouldn’t be. Try to place cameras around your house in noticeable positions not only to help your neighbors from spying, but also to keep burglars at bay. SafeWise can help you find a security system with cameras that meet your needs.

If you are concerned about aesthetics, there is an alternative to installing cameras outdoors. Any security provider can include signs that need to be placed in your home to indicate their presence. It’s good for business, as well as discouraging curious neighbors. By placing them strategically around your home, you can let neighbors know they are being monitored.

These simple, non-confrontational approaches can help let your neighbors know that while you are happy to have them nearby, you also want your privacy.

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