A How-to Guide to Recover Lost (or Stolen) Things

Losing valuable items can create great anxiety. Having the items stolen can be even more distressing. However, you should not panic when your valuables are lost or stolen. Instead, you should remain calm and take action to try to recover your things.

Here, we will inform about the steps that you can take when something goes missing or gets stolen. The tips mentioned here will increase the odds of getting back the items, or catching the culprit.

1. Lost Keys

Keys are one of the most common items that get lost. Whenever you discover that you have lost your keys, you should first look at the obvious places — at least for you. This can be anywhere such as inside the purse, under the mailbox, in the freezer, inside the coat pockets, or in the desk drawer. Also, you may have left the keys inside the car, or on the counter in the grocery or barber shop.

Consider retracing your steps back to when you had the keys. Simulate the scene in your mind. After you have retraced the steps, you should visit the places where you may have lost the keys. Also, it’s a good habit to give spare keys to reliable people like your family member or a friend. If all else fails, you should calmly call the locksmith to use their ‘magic’ in opening the locked car or door. Don’t forget to replace the locks as a security measure to deter any potential break-in.

In addition, you can turn to technology to avoid losing your keys. Consider upgrading to keyless locks so that you don’t have to worry about lost keys anymore. You can also buy a Bluetooth or GPS tracker online for your keys. The tracker can be attached to the keychain. In case you lost the keys, you can quickly retrieve them using an online application.

2. Stolen Mobile Devices

Have you lost your tablet, laptop, or smart phone? If the answer is yes, you should not panic. Keeping your cool is important to recover the lost items, or at least minimize the damage. You should immediately report the lost item to the authorities and get a police report. If possible, provide photographs or a serial number of the stolen mobile device.

Wipe the mobile device remotely if you had anti-theft or tracking software installed on the device. In case such software is not installed, you should change password and pin of all your online accounts. If you had lost your smart phone, you should immediately let your carrier know so that the SIM card can be blocked. This is important otherwise the thief can carry on identity theft using your mobile device.

3. Missing Mail Package

Mail packages can get lost along the way, or stolen from the mail box or the front porch. In case you have a video camera installed, consider replaying the cam to find the culprit. You may be surprised that sometimes, the culprit is the sneaky little thief living under the roof i.e. your pet cat or dog.

In case the mail package isn’t found, you should contact the delivery company to know their policy in case the package is not delivered. If the package has been missing due to their mistake, they should help you recover some of the damage.

Lastly, you should file a police report for the missing package. Also, you should report about the missing package to the Postal Inspection Service. Tell them everything about the missing package including the value, function, retailer, shipping company, color, and other details about the package. The more information you give regarding the package, the better.

4. Stolen Car

Before calling the authorities to let them know about your missing car, you should first make sure that you have not parked it elsewhere. Sometimes, it’s a case of simple forgetfulness. Search the parking lot carefully to find your car. In addition, you should use the panic button in your key lock, and follow the beeping sound. Also, you should call the towing company used by the lot. Ask whether they might have accidentally towed your car.

In case the car is still not found, you should call the police. Request them to prepare a report of the incident. You should also inform the parking lot company about the missing car. Lastly, you should contact your insurance company and inform them of the incident. The insurance company will want to know everything regarding the event. Try to report every detail about the incident as the less information you give, the less credible your report will seem to them.

5. Missing Child or Pet

Sometimes the child or pet gets missing. This can be a devastating prospect that can create a lot of anxiety and stress. However, you should not panic at any cost as it can do more harm than good. Instead, you should consider looking everywhere to find the lost child or pet.

If you have lost the child in a shopping mall, you should contact the mall security guard. Other places to look include video game arcade, playground, or other children nearby. Call the name when searching to increase the probability of finding them. In case you are not able to find your child or pet, you should contact the police. The sooner you inform the police, the better are the chances of finding the child.

Prevention is the best strategy to avoid the prospect of losing your kid or pet. GPS trackers can be used to keep track of your kid or pet. Some trackers allow you to create virtual boundaries. In case, the child or the pet moves away from the boundary, you will be alerted. Also, some of them have a panic button that can be activated by the child when he or she feels scared or lost.

Important Information about Smoke Alarms You Should Know

 

Statistics show that almost two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes without a smoke alarm. Moreover, home fires cause extensive damage to the property. A small fire can easily turn into a tragedy resulting in extensive losses.

If you want to ensure the safety of your family and your home, you should install a smoke alarm. The device can warn the residents when a fire starts. This way, they can quickly vacate the home and do not remain at the mercy of the fire.

Here you will learn about different types of smoke alarms. Also, you will know about some important safety tips when using smoke alarms that can keep your family safe from fires.

Smoke Alarms: An Overview

Smoke alarms are not the same as fire alarms.  Unlike fire alarms, smoke alarms don’t have sprinklers. They also don’t have the ability to inform the fire department and other emergency personnel about a fire. What smoke alarms do is alert you in case a smoke from a fire is detected. This will ensure that all the residents leave the house quickly before the home becomes engulfed in fire.

Here are the common types of smoke alarms you can install in your home.

1. Standard Smoke Alarms

Standard smoke alarms do not come with any fancy features. Their sole function is to detect fire smokes. Once a smoke is detected, the alarm goes off. They can be either battery operated or hard wired.

2. Smart Smoke Alarms

As the name implies, smart smoke alarms alert the homeowner through the smartphone. This is in addition to the alarm that sounds inside the house when the smoke is detected. The alarms can connect to the smartphone through Wi-Fi or the internet. They provide maximum value for the buck resulting in increased safety. Similar to standard smoke alarms, smart smoke alarms can be either battery operated or wired to the home’s electrical system.

3. Battery Operated Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms that are battery-operated are not wired to the electrical system of the house. They run solely on batteries and don’t require professional installation. The only downside to these types is that they require regular battery replacement. The smoke alarms don’t work if the batteries die. This is a risk that you should consider before buying a battery-operated smoke alarm.

4. Hardwired Smoke Alarms

Hardwired smoke alarms are a more reliable option as compared to battery-operated smoke alarms. They can be hooked up to your home’s electrical system. Since there are no batteries, there is no risk of the smoke alarm not functioning during a fire. The only con of the wired smoke alarms is that they can only be installed by a professional. Also, you should note that some of the wired smoke alarms feature a battery backup.

5. Multifunctional Smoke Alarms

The multifunctional smoke alarms provide double protection. They not only have sensors for detecting smoke, but they can also detect a carbon-monoxide leak. Price of the product varies depending on whether they are hardwired, smart, or battery-operated.

6. Ionization Sensors

Smoke alarms with ionization sensors can detect fires through the small smoke that is produced. These smoke alarms consist of two metal plates as well as a radioactive material. Once a smoke passes through the plates, the radioactive material ionizes the air that triggers an alarm.

7. Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors are able to detect smoke by using a light source. They can easily detect smoke from smoldering fires that generally tend to make a lot of smoke.

8. Dual Sensors

Dual sensor smoke alarms contain both ionization and photoelectric sensors. The smoke alarms are considered to be safe in detecting flaming and smoldering fires. Generally, they are more costly as compared to other smoke alarms.

 

Safety Tips when Using Smoke Alarms

Installing smoke alarms is not enough. You also need to take actions to ensure that the smoke alarm remains functional at all times. Here are some safety tips that you should follow after installing a smoke alarm.

1. Test the Batteries Every Month

If you have a battery-only or battery backup smoke alarm, you should test the battery every month. You should replace the battery immediately if you hear a chirping sound. Some people simply forget to test the battery. To avoid this, you should add a reminder to your smartphone. In this way, you will never forget about the important action of checking the battery.

2. Install the Smoke Detector at Proper Place

You should never install the smoke detector near wood stoves or fireplaces. In addition, you should never install the smoke detector near the cooking fumes in the kitchen or smoking areas inside the house. Placing the smoke alarm near these areas can result in false alarms.

You should also avoid placing the smoke detector within three feet of a device that can re-circulate the smoke such as the air registers. The smoke detector near windows and doors is not recommended as well since the draft could impair smoke detection.

The best place for the smoke detector is at the end of each long hallway. Also, the top of the stairwells is another great location for the smoke detector. Make sure that the smoke alarm is kept about 18-inches away from any dead air space near corners and walls if you are installing on the ceilings. If you are installing the smoke detector on the walls, you should place it about 12-inches below the ceiling.

3. Proper Mounting of Wired Smoke Alarm

Wired smoke alarms should be installed by a professional electrician. A professional electrician will know how to correctly install the alarm system without damaging the device and the house wiring. In addition, the professional will ensure that the device is installed on a separate circuit. So, this is a job that you should better leave to an expert.

Lastly, you should replace the smoke alarms in case they have been installed for more than 10 years. If you have no idea about the life of your house alarm, you should consider replacing the device immediately.

Quick Home Security Improvement Projects

Maintaining the sanctity of our homes is the top priority for all of us. We want to make sure that our homes are safe places where we can live in peace. We want our families to be safe. We also want to protect our assets. When there is a burglary, people talk about the things you lose. People talk about the jewelry, the cash, and the electronics that get taken. The reality is that these aren’t the biggest things you lose if someone burgles your home.

No, the biggest thing you lose is the sense of security. Home is one place where you feel safe, where you can go and just relax and let all your stress melt away. Knowing that someone broke into it is a violation of this safe feeling. Home doesn’t feel like home once it has been broken into. It keeps making you think that it might happen again and keeps you on edge.

The good news is that it isn’t too hard to make your home more secure. If you want full security, you can always get a home security system. These systems are the best way to make your house safer. However, there are many other ways to increase the security of your home. You can do little things that will pay off in a big way. We aren’t talking about complicated or expensive projects – we are talking about small things you can get done in a day. Let’s look at ways you can make your home safer for you, your family, and your belongings.

Light up your home

Having a well-lit home is a great way of keeping it safe. It may sound strange – how does having more lights make you safer? But it definitely works. Here’s the simple reason why it works: thieves prefer places they can go in and out without anyone noticing. That is why so many burglaries happen during the night. Thieves and other criminals know that the dark provides them with a great cover. It is surprisingly easy to completely disappear in the dark.

On the other hand, a well-lit home is notoriously difficult to break into without anyone noticing you. Unless you live in a place where the roads are always empty, anyone will be able to see that someone is trying to break into a house if there is proper lighting. That is why you need to make sure your house is well-lit.

The first thing you need to check is your front door and the way to your front door. This is the main area you need light in. We would recommend installing some motion activated lights. Motion sensing lights are very cheap and can be easily bought online or from any home improvement around your home.

Motion sensing lights are such a great idea because they offer multiple benefits. One is that you save energy. No one wants to waste electricity by keeping the lights in the front all the time. Motion sensing lights ensure that whenever anyone is in your doorway, it will be lit up. When no one is there energy isn’t being used to keep the lights on needlessly.

The bigger advantage though is that motion activated lighting deters thieves. The last thing that thieves want is to be the center of attention. Them stepping on your porch and immediately being washed in bright lights is the exact opposite of what they want – they don’t want to be under a spotlight.

The door isn’t the only thing you need to look at. You should also look at how much lighting there is around your house. Sure, you may not be able to install more streetlights if the road in front of your house is dark, but you can definitely make up for it by increasing the lights on your home. Make sure no obvious entry ways to your home are dark – and that includes windows too!

Test your locks

Once you have looked at the lighting you need to take care of the locks. You need to make sure that you have good quality locks on all the doorways to your home. By good quality, we don’t mean expensive locks – we mean locks you can depend on. You should have two types of locks on your door. One lock which you use all the time, even while you are in the home, and a bigger, more serious lock for when you’re not at home.

One more thing – NEVER leave a key around your home. You may think you are being smart leaving a key below a pot or a rock. Someone may see you putting the key in there and then they won’t even have to break into your home – they will be able to simply unlock the door and walk in! If you are worried about locking yourself out of your house we recommend keeping a set of keys with your neighbors. You can also leave an extra set of keys in your car, so if you are locked outside you can simply get the keys in the car.

Check for entryways

People obsess so much over their doors that they completely forget about the windows. If you have any windows on the ground floor they are a much more convenient entry way for thieves than the front door. Test the security of your windows. How easy are they to open from the outside? Are all the windows even locked? Make sure you check the locks of windows before you go to sleep. Also make sure that they are made from sturdy materials. Try to get windows that are designed so that a person cannot enter through them just by breaking the glass. Anything with a grill or any design will be able to accomplish this.

If you do these small things your home will be much safer. If you want full security you should invest in a home security system. Make sure you test your locks, check for entryways, and light up your home.

9 Important Home Safety Measures to Safeguard your Family   

The most important responsibility of the head of a household is ensuring the safety of the family. As far as home security goes, there are a lot of steps that you can take to safeguard your family. Here are seven important home safety measures that can keep your family safe.

1. Install Motion Sensing Outdoor Lights

Nothing instills fear in the heart of thieves than sudden bright light that can blow up their cover in darkness. Installing motion sensor lights outside the house will serve as the first line of defense against would-be intruders. These are not as expensive as they seem. You can buy a basic LED solar powered motion sensor flood light for less than $20 a piece.

2. Buy a Home Security System

A home security system provides all-round protection against potential break-ins. Some of the security systems quickly alert the authorities in case of a break-in. They can also alert the relevant authorities in case of power outages, flooding, and fires.

Consider buying a home security system that includes HD quality surveillance cameras and alarms. The alarms can make a commotion that will alert the nearby police and scare away any intruder.

Make sure that you compare different types of home security systems before buying one for your home. Also, you should buy a home security system that features a backup battery power or runs on solar power. In this way, your house will remain protected in case of a power outage during a flood or fire.

3. Keep Plants and Protruding Branches Away from Windows

You should landscape properly to avoid inadvertently giving a helping hand to a would-be thief. Make sure that there are no protruding branches near the windows from which the thieves can enter the house. Also, you should weed out thick and tall plants to ensure that there is a clear line of sight to all doors and windows. A thief may hide amidst the natural cover making it difficult for you to detect the intruder.

4. Install Smart Locks

Installing smart locks is another effective deterrent against a would-be thief.  You can buy a smart lock that offers solid protection. Smart locks have features such as biometric access, keypad access, or RFID access. Also, they can connect with your smart device, allowing you to unlock the house from anywhere. This is particularly helpful in cases when you forget where you kept the key. However, smart locks are generally not cheap. Prices start at about $200 a piece. Still, they can give you the peace of mind in knowing that your home is kept safe and protected.

5. Buy Fake Security Signs or Cameras

Most often, the thieves target homes that appear as easy target. They look for houses that don’t have any security system, and allow easy entry and escape. If you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars in a home security system, you can just fake it.

Fake yard signs can help in warding off potential intruders. They can cost as low as $5 per sign. Consider writing fake warning messages such as:

  • “Protected by Home Security system”,
  • “Monitored 24 hours”,
  • “Protected by Electronic Alarm System”,
  • “Warning: The Area is Under 24 hours Video Surveillance”, etc.

Apart from fake yard signs, you can also buy fake security cameras to deter would-be thieves. The fake security cameras can be bought from Amazon for less than $10. The fake cameras generally look similar to real ones, and complete the charade with red blinking lights. You should install the fake cameras near the garage, front doors , and other visible areas. The fake yard signs and security camera will help in warding off would-be intruders.

6. Put Up Motion Sensing Alarms

Another cost-effective option to secure your home is to buy a motion sensing home alarm. You can buy a motion sensing home alarm on Amazon for less than $10 a piece. The security alarms should be put near the front door and the windows.

When a burglar tries to break open the window or door, a loud alarm will go off, loud enough to wake you up so that you can call the cops. Also, the noise itself will surprise the thief and cause the intruders to flee.

7. Keep the Lights On

Most thieves don’t target a house in case the family members are inside. So, you should keep the lights on — both inside and outside the house — whenever you leave home.

However, keeping the lights on during the day can result in energy wastage. Fortunately, you can purchase smart lights that can be turned on during certain times of the day such as after the sunset. This is a smart way to keep your house safe and protected.

8. Secure the Windows and Sliding Doors

You must burglar-proof the windows and sliding doors. Consider inserting a metal bar into the bottom track of the sliding doors. For windows, you can install a PVC bar that is nearly impossible to knock off the track. Just make sure that the bar is the same size as the track.

9. Avoid Leaving the Spare Keys Under Potted Plants or Doormats

Lastly, you should not leave the spare keys in obvious places. Never place the keys under the potted plants, doormats, or other obvious locations where the intruders can easily find them. Consider placing the spare keys in inconspicuous locations that can’t be easily detected by a would-be burglar.

End Note

Keeping the house safe and secure requires taking preventive measures. While this may require a little investment in the form of motion sensors, alarm, smart locks, and security cameras, the increased security and peace of mind will make any investment in home security worth it in the end.  Before buying any home security system, make sure to compare different brands and go for quality rather than price.