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Start your summer right with Memorial Day safety

As we happily head into this Memorial Day weekend, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our troops, and honor the passing of the members of the military who died in active duty.    Memorial Day weekend is here, and with it comes outdoor fun in the sun. Whether you’re road-tripping or celebrating at home, be aware and take a few safety precautions to ensure a happy and safe holiday weekend. No matter which way you slice the numbers, according to AAA this long holiday weekend is poised to be one of the busiest on record.  

Travel

- Make sure your car is ready for the trip. Pack a first-aid kit, bottled water and some energy bars in case you get stranded. Bring a car adapter for charging your cellphone. - Schedule your road trip at times to help avoid the holiday travel congestion. Leaving before rush hour Friday or early Saturday and driving back Monday before 3 p.m. or after 10 p.m. should make for less traffic hassles. - Never leave people or pets inside a parked car. Temperatures inside a vehicle can climb to dangerous levels quickly, even on a cloudy day. - If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.  

Being outside

With the temperatures rising, it’s important to know how to stay safe during times of excessive heat. - Eat small meals and eat more often. - Stay hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol. - Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. - Take frequent breaks if you are working outdoors, avoid strenuous outdoor activity.  

Grilling

Seven out of every 10 adults in the United States have a grill or smoker, and this weekend marks the symbolic start to summer and grilling season. - Never leave your grill unattended, and have a fire extinguisher available. - Propane and charcoal BBQ grills are for outdoor use only. - The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. - Keep children and pets away from the grill area. - Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Heavy food build-ups can cause nasty flare-ups.  

Water safety

BOATING - Have one life jacket that is US Coastal Guard approved for everyone on board. - If a child is under the age of 13, they must have a life jacket on whenever the boat is in motion. - The rules for driving a boat are similar to those of a vehicle - people cannot drink and drive a boat. SWIMMING - Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards. Always remember the penguin credo, never swim alone!  #skipper    - Adults, actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. - Understand what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.  

Always remember

Have a first aid kit nearby and emergency contacts programmed into your phone. You never know when an accident can happen, and better to be prepared just in case.  

SOURCES https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-to-avoid-grilling-mishaps-this-memorial-day-weekend/70005010 http://www.redcross.org/news/press-release/Red-Cross-Offers-Summer-Safety-Tips-for-All-Season-Long
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Spring clean your tech.

Spring cleaning around the home is common. If you have a high-tech household, It's also a great time to perform a spring cleaning on your devices, hard-drive(s), phones and tablets. While most of us manage to limit what we share with the world online, you may have exposed a lot more information than you realize.   Along with spring cleaning those devices, your privacy may need a 'clean-up' too.  Have you ever wondered why you see online ads that are eerily similar to your recent online searches? One reason for that is that Google's keeping track of you and tailors its ads to your interests. Sometimes your searches for certain topics may no longer be of interest to you. In that case, visit Google's Ad Settings page https://adssettings.google.com   You may also want to:
  • Turn off location history in Google
  • Clear your search
  • Manage your privacy
  Google is pretty good about telling you what data it collects about you. It's also pretty good about telling you how to manage your privacy. Most of these functions, like the Privacy Checkup, start on Google's Privacy Control page (click here to open it). Click on Take the Privacy Checkup >> select the features that you don't want Google tracking. A few suggested things to avoid sharing on Facebook: Credit card or financials, your full home address, when you're away from home (on vacation), Excessive photos with geotags (i.e. your location added). When in doubt, think to yourself, would I share this information on a billboard for all to see? If not, or if you're hesitant, don't do it.  

Tidy up your smartphone.

If you are an Android user and prefer to use an app, check out 1Tap Cleaner. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.a0soft.gphone.acc.free To clean your iOS gadget, there is no all-in-one app so it's a more intensive process.

To clear your Web browser like Safari, click the Settings app. Then, select the browser from the drop-down menu and you'll see buttons to delete the cache and history.

For other apps, click the Settings app and select General. From there, you can select the usage option. The top of the area will show you how much space is available on your gadget and how much you've used so far.

This area will contain a list of every app on you have and show you how much space each one is taking up. To clear out an app, just click it. If the app has a clear cache option, you'll see it here.

You can also clear out your messages and call logs to save space.

To delete old texts, click the iMessage app. Then, click the Edit button in the upper left-hand corner.

Use the red circles to delete conversations. You can also go into conversations to delete specific messages. You can clear the call log in the same way by clicking the phone icon.

Clean up and Remove duplicate photos. Use a program like Duplicate photo fixer. Available for Android and iOS.

 

Complete a digital home inventory.

With the use of an app, this comes in super handy and you'll be glad that you did so, if and when you ever need to compile a report for insurance companies. Check out a list of our favorite inventory apps,  A Handy List of 8 Home Inventory Apps. Start from the outside of your house and work your way in by taking pictures of the outside of your house and the inside of every room. Once you have the basics established, simply take pictures of the valuables in your house like your oven, refrigerator, major appliances, antiques and, obviously, your tech gadgets.  
We hope you found this post helpful, please share it with someone you love. What are your favorite tech cleaning shortcuts, if any? Do you loathe the idea of cleaning your tech? Talk to us on social media!
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How to keep your home safe while on vacation

The kids are out of school, you’ve got time of work and it’s time to pack for your summer family getaway. You’re all set to go, but is your house ready for you to be away on vacation?

A house or apartment left empty while you’re traveling is a tempting target for criminals. It’s imperative that before you go, take a few key steps to keep your home safe and sound while vacationing. These basic preventative measures, which take just minutes of preparation, can work wonders to help you keep your home safe from power surges, broken pipes, home invasions and more.

— Unplug anything that doesn’t need to stay plugged in, including televisions and computers, to protect them against power surges. This will help you save money as well; many appliances draw energy even when they’re turned off.

— Ask a friend or neighbor to stop by the house randomly (to avoid a pattern or anticipated time) to remove boxes from the doorstep, check the mail, pick up any delivered newspapers and take notices and fliers from the door. Ask them to park in your driveway if they live close by, and  make sure they have all your correct contact information.

You can also place a hold on your mail online at USPS.

house key chain

— Don’t tip off criminals on the web by announcing on social media that you will be leaving your house unattended for two weeks. If the temptation to post is unavoidable, ensure that all possible security measures are in place on all social sites.

— Consider shutting off the water to your washing machine, dishwasher, and toilets if you’re going to be away from the house for longer than a week. This can help prevent nasty, and potentially expensive, shocks when you return.

Another option is to install wireless leak sensors in flood-prone areas like your basement, laundry room, or bathroom, to notify you of leaks before significant damage is done.

— Keep expensive and irreplaceable items such as old family photos, artwork, electronics, and stamp collections off the ground in case of water damage. Store them up on shelves and/or in waterproof containers.

— If you have outdoor furniture, bring glass tables, chairs, and umbrellas inside to avoid wind/storm damage to yard items or the exterior of your home.

— Schedule random light timers throughout your home. This will give the appearance that someone is there and will help to deter burglars and vandals.

— Remove your spare key, that plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that he or she will check your porch for a spare key.

Most importantly, make sure you look all doors and windows before heading off to paradise. Once you've taken these few precautions, travel safe and enjoy your time away, knowing that you're home is fully prepared for you to be gone for a while.

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Sources:

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/20160724_Vacationing__Tips_for_keeping_the_house_safe_while_you_re_gone.html

Keep Your Home Safe on Vacation: 9 Essential Tips

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