Articles on Home Matters:

Effective Home Security When You Are Away

If you put yourself in the mind of a burglar, when is the most opportune time to break into a home with little chance of being interrupted? Of course, it's when the homeowner is away from home for an extended stay. It could be when you are on a vacation, or just out of town on business for a few days, but your absense is a welcome sign for an intruder.

So how do you protect your home while you are away? It is imperative that you don't give the impression to the casual observer that noone has been home in a few days. When burglars investigate a neighborhood that looks promising they are specifically looking for such an easy target. So, if you are away, you must make arrangements to make it look like you are still at home. There are lots of things that you can do to help make your home and property safe when noone is there, but let's discuss just a few here:

1. Talk to your neighbors, friends or relatives and ask them to pick up the newspaper and mail for you while you are gone. This is usually not a problem as they will likely ask that you do the same for them when they are away. If for some reason, that is not possible though, at least stop delivery of both your mail and newspaper while you are away.

2. Ask your neighbors to park their car in your driveway in plain sight while you are gone. Again, you want to make it look to the casual observer that someone is around the house and it is therefore too risky to to try to break in.

3. Ask someone to stop by your home in the evenings and turn on some lights for you. If your neighbors are very cooperative, maybe they could turn them on and off for you at random times. If you feel hesitant about this for any reason, there is another alternative that works well too. You can purchase inexpensive timers that connect to lights in your home and will automatically turn them on and off at preselected times. The best automated solution though is to use a system that selects random times for turning on and off lights and the TV and perhaps other appliances as well, so the inside activities appear more natural if someone is keeping a close watch on the home.

4. If you live in a cold weather area, make sure that someone will shovel snow away from your driveway and walkway while you are away in the wintertime. Nothing screams that a home is vacant more than snow that has sat for a few days with no marks or footrpints in it.

The best solutions for home security is actually prevention of the crime itself, so taking a few measures like the ones mentioned above can be very important steps in keeping your home secure.

Jim Johnson
30 Dec 2006

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5 Steps to Better Home Security and Personal Safety

After a crime has been committed, many people wish that they had taken better steps to protect themselves and their belongings. But the best time to think about home security is before the crime happens, not afterward. By planning ahead you can take steps that reduce your chances of being a victin of crime in the first place. Here are 5 steps that you may wish to consider to improve your home security and personal safety:

1. Many accidents occur at home and lives are often lost due to fire, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide poisoning. It's amazing how many people have been victims of these kind of dangers, and yet much can be done to protect yourself in advance. Most fire and smoke detectors are very inexpensive but effective ways to help warn of dangers before they get out of control, or at least so that the homeowner can get out quickly and save their life. The same can be said of natural gas and carbon monoxide detectors too. A few of these placed throughout the home will keep silent guard for you and help increase your personal safety from these dangers. Just remember that the best detectors cannot be effective if you don't keep the batteries for each unit fresh so that it stays in good working order.

2. Install a home security system that will monitor all the doors and windows in your home and sound a loud alarm when someone is breaking in. You may even want to subscribe to an outside monitoring service that will call local law enforcement after making sure that any alarm that is triggered is not a false alarm. There are several quality wireless home security systems available that you can even install yourself quickly and easily.

3. Consider using wireless security cameras to help keep a watch on the goings outside your home at all times. For instance, you could install one above your door that lets you clearly identify the person who rings your doorbell, or knocks on your door. You could also install infrared cameras at strategic locations around the home that allows you to keep a watch on your home's perimiter at night. The more information you have about what is happening around your home, the more prepared you can be to defend yourself.

4. Joining a neighborhood watch group can help increase your personal and home security considerably. If your neighborhood does not have such a program, why not visit a few neighbors and see if they would be interested in starting one? If crimes have been committed in the area recently, you often will not have much difficulty getting everyone to cooperate and set up a neighborhood watch program right away.

5. Keeping doors and windows closed and locked at all times is another step to take to make home intrusion more difficult. If you must open the windows for any reason, it is wise to have locks installed that do not allow the window to be opened far enough for someone to be able to climb through and get inside the home. These are the most vulnerable places in your home to burglarization, so guard them well.

There are other steps you can take to increase personal safety and home security, but if you employ the suggestions mentioned above they can a great start, and can help increase your preparedness and peace of mind.

Jim Johnson
30 Dec 2006

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Modern Kitchens

Modern kitchens can range from anything under the sun that the person considers to encompass all that is new in this world, to something which looks like it should ideally belong in a space shuttle. What you choose to put in your kitchen depends entirely on your discretion and your tastes.

Whether you prefer the gleaming silver and white of the ultra modern kitchens, or the monochromatic black and white of the sophisticated modern kitchens, or even if you prefer something like the cross-over modern kitchens where old meets new, what you'll ultimately get is a modern kitchen to your own standards.

There's much to be said for modern kitchens and much to be avoided if your first love of interior design is more along the lines of wood and brass, with old-fashioned fittings and applicable furnishings. Then again we can't live in the past forever and a little bit of the modern mixed in with the old is good and can yield surprising results.

To that end modern kitchens can be very nice if only you give them a try. There are quite a few aspects of the modern kitchens design which is handy and something that looks like it will last the time and effort of the modern interior design revolution. Modern kitchens are just a part of the whole thing and something to be embraced.

It shouldn't necessarily have to be off with old and on with the new. Maybe we can extend the hand to modern kitchens at the same time as we keep it extended to the old style kitchens as well. So what can we do to get that great looking modern kitchen without breaking the bank balance? The first thing that you will need to see is what you want to keep and want you just want to throw out of the window. Once you have decided on that the very first thing that you should do is to give your kitchen a slick new coating of paint. This can help turn your kitchen straight off into the new modern look. The next step is that of your stove top cooker. Are you happy with the old fashioned look or do you really want a state of the art cooker oven. You will need to see that various prices for the many new cooker stoves.

You will need to see about the fridge. If it is working fine then you will just need to find some paint that you can apply without damaging the coat on the fridge. This will give your fridge the look that is found in modern kitchens. Now beyond that you should look to see the various items that you can buy that will give your kitchen the great modern look that you want.

These items can be new plates set, stylish bowls and a butcher's block with gleaming knives set next your new microwave convection cooker. These are just a few things that you'll find in modern kitchens.

Bowe Packer
24 Jan 2007

Bowe is the author of "Interior Design Made Easy" and is webmaster of many informational websites. You can visit his interior design e-book site at: