Tag Archives: spring

Getting Fit This Spring? 5 Tips to Keep You Safe While Running

The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and it’s time to get out there and get in shape for summer! If you’re one of the millions of Americans who run, either competitively or for fitness, make sure you’re staying safe while getting fit with these five tips:

1. Run with a buddy
If you can avoid it, try not to run alone, because being alone makes you an easy target. If you don’t have a neighbor or friend to run with, see if you can join a local running group and run with them.

2. Run out in the open
If you are running alone, avoid trail running or any other kind of running that’s not in the open. Running on a busy road sucks, but at least you have a lot of people around who provide a deterrent to anyone with bad intentions! Also, running in a neighborhood or business district means you have homes or businesses to turn to should something bad happen.

3. Run in the daylight
Many people have to run after dark because of their work schedules, but avoid that if you can. The more daylight, the more safety! If you do run after dark, try to partner with a running buddy to prevent being attacked. Also wear reflective clothing and some kind of light or lamp to help cars see you.

4. Run with your ears wide open
Music makes running better! But when your ears are plugged up with your playlist, you can’t hear cars—or a potential attacker. Now, if you’re running with a buddy, you’ll probably be talking and you have the safety of numbers. But if you’re running alone, keep at least one ear bud-free so you can hear what’s going on around you.

5. Run with your eyes wide open
Also pay attention with your eyes. Don’t assume the passing cars see you. Try to make eye contact with drivers if you’re not sure, and still assume the worst. Only cross the street in designated areas. Be careful driving past parked cars when a door might suddenly swing open. Watch the sidewalk for cracks and the height of the curbs to prevent falls. Yes, you want to go into a zone, but you still must stay aware of what’s going on around you and under your feet.

You want to be fit, but you also want to be safe. These five tips should help. Happy running!

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

4 Tips for Home Security, Safety and Sanity When Planning Your Spring Landscaping

Spring starts next week, although if you live in an area like mine, that sounds too good to be true. Still, the calendar states that it will in fact be spring as of March 20th, and that means people are looking out at their yards and thinking about ways to spruce it up or improve it this year.

As home security is top of mind for us, as a home security systems provider, we encourage you to consider the security and safety of your home when making landscaping choices or when doing maintenance. Keep these tips in mind as the weather warms up and you head outside to add to your home’s curb appeal:

Tip 1: Forget the privacy screen
If you think you want the front of your house screened from the road and sidewalk, think again. Only refer back to our post in which a former burglar gives the scoop on which houses are most appealing to and you’ll see that burglars prefer a house with a privacy screen, whether that screen is made from a tall fence or a thick hedge.

Sure, you might gain some privacy for your front yard and porch, but so does the burglar, who can now go about breaking into your home without anyone seeing him or her.

Tip 2: Trim those bushes
Any bushes, shrubs, trees or tall plants that provide a hiding place near a door or window should be cut back—way back. Otherwise you’ve only created a cozy place for a burglar to find cover while breaking in. This applies to any shrubbery around outbuildings too, such as your garage or a toolshed that might have valuable tools or equipment.

Tip 3: Eliminate the trip hazards
Landscaping isn’t only about what you choose to plant, but also how and where. Carefully plan what you’re planting where so you’re not dragging hoses around and leaving them where people can trip over them later. Steer clear of planting anything that drops a lot of leaves or petals near a sidewalk where that can make for a slippery surface. Also be aware of the downsides of plants. I once had a very pretty barberry bush that a previous owner had planted in a flowerbed next to the driveway. When I moved in, it was an issue because it had thorns, and my kids played near it when little.

Tip 4: Also consider the allergens
To maintain your sanity, carefully plan your yard so you don’t plant anything that’s going to cause an allergic reaction. As with the tips we covered recently on reducing allergens in the home, we suggest minimizing allergens outside the home too, by making smart landscaping choices. Avoid planting anything that leads to lightweight pollen blowing in the wind. Trees to avoid include male maples and ash trees, as well as birch trees. Instead choose trees like dogwood and magnolia trees. For flowers, consider low-allergen blooms such as astible, columbine and impatiens. Find a reputable nursery, and ask the staff to help you make choices that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction later.

Spring is coming and summer will soon follow, so yes, you want to start getting your yard ready for that outdoor living now. Just make good choices as you do so, choices that take into account your home security, your family’s safety, and your exposure to the pollens and dust that can have you sneezing rather than enjoying a lovely spring day.

“Achoo!” 3 Allergens in Your Home–and How to Beat Them Back

After some very cold weather followed by some very wet weather, our neck of the woods enjoyed a couple of glorious warm and sunny days that promise spring will come again. Yes, yes it will!

Spring means we’re transitioning out of the yuck of winter weather and into the joys of summer. But it also means we are headed into a peak allergy season. To help you get a jump on keeping allergic reactions to a minimum, we offer some tips for preparing your home before the spring season starts–because being safe includes being healthy.

Decreasing allergens in the home
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are on the rise. They already affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children, and allergies make up the fifth leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S.

Allergies can be triggered by substances both outside of your home such as pollen, as well as by substances inside of your home such as mold, dust mites, and pet dander. We call the triggers allergens. While you can’t control what is outside of your home, you can be proactive about decreasing the allergens that are inside of your home by paying attention to these three allergen bad guys.

Allergen Bad Guy #1: Mold spores
Mold spores trigger allergic reactions and need to be kept to a minimum. You can’t always see where mold has developed, so be extra diligent about tracking down sources and dealing with them.

Mold likes wet, and mold like humidity. Try to keep the humidity in your home at about 50%. Keep your bathroom and kitchen extra clean, since those are the rooms with the most moisture. Use your bathroom fan after bathing. And inspect all your plumbing to make sure you don’t have any leaks or mold buildup.

Allergen Bad Guy #2: Dust mites
To help decrease mold spores and dust mites both, keep your air filters clean, both those on your furnace and your air conditioning unit, if you have one. Also keep any other filters clean, as well as vents and fans like the one over your stove and the one in your bathroom, as well as any wall heaters. If your bathroom and/or kitchen fans don’t vent to the exterior, you might want to consider redoing those.

Also be willing to get rid of what’s causing the dust in the first place. De-clutter your home. Consider pulling up carpet and using washable area rugs instead. Rethink the frou frou curtains and pillows and the knickknacks. The less surface area for dust to cling to, the less dust you’ll have.

Pay close attention to your bedroom and how you can reduce dust there, because you spend a lot of time there compared to other rooms, and the bedding alone can be a dust magnet. You might even consider investing in hyperallergenic bedding.

When cleaning, damp mop your floors in addition to vacuuming, because vacumming alone won’t get at the dust.

Allergen Bad Guy #3: Pet dander
Notice we didn’t say the pets are the bad guys? Because they most definitely are not to blame. Pets add much value to our lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t also shed hair and skin (and the skin is the dander that triggers the allergies).

Reducing the pet dander in your home requires the same steps as reducing the mold spores and dust mites: cleaning, de-cluttering, and keeping air filters clean. In addition, your pets will need some attention too. The Humane Society recommends weekly baths for dogs and cats (yes, cats) to get rid of the dander our pets naturally shed.

Spring will come and reward us for making it through yet another winter, but it will also hit many of us hard with sneezing, runny noses and even asthma. Be proactive against the pollens by doing what you can to decrease the allergens inside your home, and maybe the allergens outside won’t hit you so hard.

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