Today’s guest blog comes from Live-In Nanny
The leading cause of injuries among children five years of age and younger is falling, with approximately fifteen thousand kids under the age of eleven falling from windows each year in the United States. On average, fifteen to twenty of those falls are fatal. According to emergency medicine specialists at Cincinnati Children’s, kids that live in urban areas are at an especially high risk for window falls. These injuries are so common that an entire week in April is dedicated to window safety each year in the United States of America. Keeping kids safe is a year-round job, however, and requires constant vigilance. These tips can help you prevent window falls in your home, so you can keep the little ones in your life safe from harm.
Keep Furniture Away from Windows
Placing cribs, beds and dressers near a window provides curious little explorers with access to sills that might ordinarily be out of reach. While your design scheme might depend upon a specific placement of furniture, it’s still essential that you keep anything kids can climb on or around away from the windows in their rooms. Even the most docile kids will find a reason to scale the furniture the moment an adult’s back is turned, and the last thing you want is for them to end up near a window when they do.
Install Window Safety Guards
Windows that can’t be utilized as an escape route in the event of a fire or emergency that would require evacuation should be fitted with child safety window guards that keep kids from opening far enough to slip through and fall. The state of Massachusetts actually recommends that all homes with kids under the age of six be equipped with some form of window guard. There are models commercially available that can be removed quickly by an adult in the event of an emergency, and these options should be installed over windows along your evacuation or escape route. Before you spring for safety guards and window stops, make sure that you check with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for important safety and recall information.
Don’t Rely on Screens
Window screens allow breezes to flow through your home through an open window and keep flying insects from coming in with them. They’re not, however, at all effective in terms of window safety. Even the strongest screens can be easily pushed out of a window, leading to a potentially dangerous fall if a child is leaning on that screen. Make sure that you’re not relying on the screens installed within your window to act as a barrier against accidental falls.
Know the Difference Between Window Guards and Security Bars
While security bars and window guards are not the same thing nor do they serve the same purpose, they’re commonly confused. The placement of security bars designed to protect your home against intruders is wide enough to allow a small child to slip through, and the design of window guards is not intended to protect against intruders. It’s important to understand the difference between the two, both to keep your children safe from falls and to guard your home.
Supervise Kids Carefully
While it’s important to always keep a close eye on the kids under your care, it’s especially important when they’re in rooms above the ground floor and are capable of opening a window. Make sure that you never leave a child in a room unattended when a window is open, and that all windows are locked and carefully secured to prevent little fingers from opening them.
While the number of home burglaries has been decreasing steadily over the last decade, it is still one of the crimes that we are most likely to be victims of. We all dread the thought of coming home one day and finding the door ajar, and our most valued belongings missing (or worse still, someone breaking in while you are at home asleep). Here are some tips to minimise the possibility of your home being burgled.
1. Door locks
The front door is by far the most common method of entry for burglars, with 73% of UK burglaries starting this way.
Fortunately, there is much you can do to help ensure your front door is not an easy target for intruders. Locksmiths generally consider a five-lever mortice lock or nightlatch an essential security measure for any external door.
As well as a quality lock, you can further improve your door security (and give yourself peace of mind) by adding security bolts, a chain or a spyhole. The latter two are useful as they let you see who is at the door and open it a little way for strangers without the danger of having someone force their way in.
2. Open Windows
Of course, one of the biggest vulnerabilities for a home is the windows. Each year there are hundreds of thousands of burglaries that involve no forced entry whatsoever, and these cases often involve open windows.
The best way to minimise this danger is to ensure you don’t leave windows open when you are not in the room. If this isn’t practical, then you can have limiters fitted to your window, which allow them to open enough to let air in, but not enough to allow someone to climb in.
Remember, in most cases your home insurance provider will not pay out for a burglary if there was no forced entry. Worth bearing in mind!
3. Burglar Alarms
A typical motion sensor burglar alarm designed to be fitted above the front extrance to a property will cost you somewhere around £120, and in many cases they do not require professional fitting. It works by the sensor picking up motion in the vicinity of your property, and then sending a signal to the control panel, which triggers a light to come on and expose the approaching intruder.
As well as obviously helping to detect burglars as they approach your house, burglar alarms also have an extremely valuable deterrent effect – many thieves looking for a target will make life easy for themselves by picking a house without a visible burglar alarm.
4. Spare Keys
Leaving spare keys in your home could give a burglar an easy way to return at a later date and burgle you again. If a set of keys is missing following a burglary, or if your door has been forced, it pays to get a locksmith round as fast as possible to change your locks immediately.
5. Staying Vigilant When You are at Home
Finally, it’s important to stress that home security isn’t just for when you’re out, and it’s a mistake assume that your home won’t be broken into while you are there – in fact, 58% of recorded burglaries take place when someone at home.
This is a dangerous situation to find yourself in, because it is not just your valuables at risk, but you as well. 86% of burglaries are committed by men, and there is no guarantee they will flee after encountering a lone occupant in a house. Remember your valuables are replaceable, whereas your personal safety is far more important.
Guest post by Chris Redhead. Chris writes for Keytek, a nationwide locksmith network which provides the highest standards of locksmith training and services http://www.locksmiths-training.co.uk/
Have you ever felt afraid while walking back to your car, or walking home from a pub or club? I know I have. Just knowing that I have my DUSK personal alarm, hanging on my bag, and my PEBBLE personal alarm ready in my hand, on my keyring, gives me so much more peace of mind.
Recently, I was on my way back to my car and some young men, who had obviously been drinking, were close behind me. I was nervous, as I always would have been, but just knowing that if anything did happen, I could yank that chain, made me feel so much better. Please have a quick look through our top safety tips, just so you know how to keep yourself safe and for that added reassurance.
1. Awareness: Your first line of defence. Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defence.” However, true self-defence begins long before any actual physical contact. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defence is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.
The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.
2. Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense.” “Gut instinct.” Whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
3. Self-defence training. Consider attending a self-defence class.
4. Escape: Always your best option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him–be it in a car, or into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must never leave the primary crime scene. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window–do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.
5. Your right to fight. Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defence training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.
6. Carry your keys in your hand while walking.
7. Carry a personal alarm.
Government statistics released in January 2013 showed that 85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year, that over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted annually, and that 1 in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. The same study reported that 28% of women who are victims of the most serious sexual offences never tell anyone about it, and we know from our experience within the Rape Crisis movement that only around 15% of women and girls who experience sexual violence ever report to the police.
One reason women and girls tell us they are reluctant to talk about their experiences is a fear of not being believed, or of being blamed for what has happened to them, as well as feelings of shame or self-blame.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence are understandably topics that many people find difficult or uncomfortable to talk about. Because of this reluctance to discuss or acknowledge them, however, myths and misinformation about sexual violence are common. Myths are also often unfortunately fuelled by ill-informed or unbalanced media reporting of sexual violence stories.
One of the “more positive things” that has evolved from the high profile Jimmy Saville scandal is that more victims of rape or serious sexual assaults have found the courage to contact authorities or ‘most likely’ charitable organisations such as Rape Crisis to seek advice and help on the probablity of pressing charges against their attackers.
The Rape Crisis UK network stated that the organisation received and responded to over 63,000 calls in 2012. That’s over 1,200 calls every week – a staggering amount of individuals affected!
The age groups of those most likely to be attacked was broken down as follows: 20 to 29 (25%), 30 to 39 (20%); 16 years and under (18%) and 50 to 59 (12%).
It is also disturbing to learn that three-quarters of the callers had failed to report the attacks to the police. A common factor being that as victims received support they remained uncertain that their attackers would be brought to justice in the future.
Source: http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/index.php, http://www.c-p-p.co.uk
Here at Safe-Girl, we realise the importance of feeling safe and of being safe. 97% of potential attacks are warded off simply by carrying a personal alarm, and yet less than 3% of women currently do so. WIth personal alarms now available in many stylish, fun and fashionable styles, and costing less than a round of drinks in a pub, there really is no excuse. Be Safe!
5 Security Tips When Living In Student Accommodation
With students these days having increasingly more disposable income in their pockets (or the pockets of their parents), they are seemingly bigger consumers of expensive products than the rest of us. iPods, flatscreen TVs and laptops are all very common in today’s student digs. Coupled with the fact that statistically, students are one of the more likely groups to fall victim to a crime, there comes a need for increased security. With such a range of student accommodation on offer; from purpose-built gated secure flats, to a shared room in a house with 5 previously unknowns, security needs can differ greatly for individuals. These tips are designed to improve your security generally – minimising the risk that you do lose prized possessions while at university.
- Don’t Be On The Ground Floor
Obviously you don’t always have a choice in the matter, but ground floor flats do get more break-ins than those living upstairs. This is due to ease of access, as well as it being easier to remain out of site from passers-by. If you do find yourself in the ground floor rooms, be careful about what you leave on display and consider investing in locks where appropriate for your more valuable items (computer equipment, for example).
- Be aware of ‘Tailgaters’.
Tailgating (or ‘piggybacking’) is when someone follows closely behind you in order to gain entry to a communal area that they may not have a key for. When you enter the main entrance of your student accommodation, you’re through the first line of defence when it comes to security. Once a potential thief has made their way in there, they have access to almost any room of their choice. You should avoid holding the door for people you don’t know – this can be difficult to do while avoiding rudeness; but if it’s your student flat, you should know all the occupants and any regular visitors well. Asking in a ‘just-making-conversation’ way about who they are visiting may be enough to put off many intruders – just the fact you have noticed them.
- Take out insurance
It may seem like an extra unnecessary cost, but insuring your possessions can be something that saves you a large amount of money further down the line. You don’t need to take out full contents insurance – if your laptop is your only real valuable possession, you could just cover that on a gadget insurance policy, for example. These can end up being just a few pounds a month – worth forgoing a couple of pints for.
- Look At Security When Choosing Accommodation
When your housemates are looking at how comfy the couch is, or the size of the TV, you should also consider security when looking for your accommodation. Does the house come with window locks? Does the door look like you could force it with a swift kick? Is there a concealed outdoor area of the property where an intruder could break in, away from the prying eyes of your neighbours? You should try and choose a house in a well-lit area, with decent security locked windows and doors. Your doors should have deadbolts too.
- Make sure you actually lock the door!
It may seem obvious, but if you’ve gone to the trouble of ensuring your student accommodation does have decent security features, you need to ensure that everyone uses them. Coming back drunk from a night out and forgetting to lock the door is exactly the kind of opportunity burglars are looking to exploit. Same goes for leaving windows open while out (again obvious – but it happens!). If one of your housemates is ignoring security advice and leaving items on display, this can attract the attention which could cause your possessions to be stolen – make sure everyone realises the importance of security.
Guest Post by Neil Aston. Neil works for student accommodation providers in London, Assam Place. They provide student fancy student accommodation, including a full management team and 24 hour security.
What is National Stalking Awareness Day?
National Stalking Awareness Day exists to raise awareness about the crime of stalking. Each year there is a different ‘theme’ and because of the recent stalking law changes, this year’s focus will be ‘Know the Law, Use the Law’. Currently the law is slightly different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but more importantly stalking behaviour is against the law across the UK. We want everyone affected by stalking to know that there is help available and that they are not alone.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person. People characterised as stalkers may be accused of having a mistaken belief that another person loves them, or that they need rescuing. It can be a revengeful act, malicious, or even in the stalker’s eyes, as doing good to somebody. Stalking can sometimes consist of an accumulation of a series of actions which in themselves can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, or sending emails. Stalking can come in the more sinister form of harassment such as leaving dead flowers all over one’s garden, or sitting outside your house in the car, without fear of being seen. Stalkers may use threats and violence to frighten their victims. They may also engage in property damage or vandalism. In the UK, for example, most stalkers are former partners. One of the most disturbing cases of stalking recently was that of Katie Piper, whose former partner, unable to take the rejection, took the ultimate revenge by throwing acid in her face. This is extreme behaviour, but all stalking, even on a lesser level, is wrong.
Types Of Stalkers
Psychologists often group individuals who stalk into two categories: psychotic and nonpsychotic. Stalkers may have pre-existing psychotic disorders such as delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia. Most stalkers are nonpsychotic and may exhibit disorders or neuroses such as major depression, adjustment disorder, or substance dependence, as well as a variety of Axis II personality disorders (such as antisocial, borderline, dependent, narcissistic, or paranoid). Some of the symptoms of “obsessing” over a person is part of obsessive compulsive personality disorder. The nonpsychotic stalkers’ pursuit of victims can be influenced by various psychological factors, including anger, hostility, projection of blame, obsession, dependency, minimization, denial, and jealousy. Conversely, as is more commonly the case, the stalker has no antipathic feelings towards the victim, but simply a longing that cannot be fulfilled due to deficiencies either in their personality or their society’s norms.
We at Safe-Girl aim to raise awareness of the different types of stalking and the impact it has on victims. If you fear you are being stalked, carry a personal alarm at all times, and phone the National Stalking Helpline for more help and advice.
I just went for my first run of this year!!
I have always been an all or nothing type of girl. As soon as the first rays of Spring sun hit me through the window, I am running like Forrest Gump. I usually end up a couple of stone lighter by the time I hit V! festival at the end of August. But come the first signs that Autumn is on its way, and the nights draw in, I retreat back to my cosy sofa, blankets and hot casseroles with dumplings. I can never reach a happy medium. All or nothing.
So anyway – I went. And am rusty, to say the least. But I know I will keep at it now. Next week is the London Marathon, which inspires thousands every year to drag out their old running shoes, and start pounding the streets.
If you think the same way we all do, make sure you stay safe, while out there. Try and run with a partner. Keep to well-lit streets you know. Avoid using an i-pod if you can. And carry a personal alarm. I love our SPORT alarm, which is a fab pedometer with a built in alarm.
And for all you couch potatoes – If I can do it, anyone can!!!!
Safe-Girl‘s innovative fashionable and stylish personal security alarm is designed to be kept on display as a fashion accessory – right where you need it to hand. Clip to your handbag, or use as a key-ring but don’t be misled by its shiny good looks. In a threatening situation, just pull the chain. You’ll activate an ear-piercing 130 decibel female scream that research has shown others are more likely to respond to than a traditional alarm, as well as disorientating an attacker.97% of potential attacks are warded off by carrying a personal alarm. The Dusk alarm makes a fabulous girly gift for any age, and you could potentially be saving a life!
Available in Pink Floral, Blue Floral, Black Leopard Print, Chinese Flowers, New Animal Print or Pink Polka Dot.