Archive for January, 2011
Have you ever wondered why some people have such large house numbers displayed on their residence while others have smaller more decorative numbers? There are several good reasons to make sure that your house numbers are large enough to be easily read from the street.
- Parties: When you invite friends and acquaintances to your home for a party, you want them to be able to arrive on time. If they are unable to read your house number from the street they may drive past your house without realizing it.
- Trash pickup: Waste disposal companies generally have several items that may create extra charges on your bill if you leave them for pickup along with your normal household waste. If house numbers in your neighborhood are not clearly visible, it is quite possible for trash collectors to mistakenly charge the wrong account for these types of additional charges.
- Ambulance: When you have a medical emergency at your home, you will want the ambulance driver to be able to easily locate your home. In this kind of situation every second counts. Having a house number that is visible from the street could make the difference between life and death.
- Police Department: This is another emergency service that you will want to be able to find your home quickly and easily if you should need to call them. You wouldn’t want to slow down their response time due to their inability to see your house number.
- Driveway turn-arounds: When house numbers aren’t visible from the street, it is likely that you will have cars pulling into your driveway by mistake. This again is a reason that you don’t simply want them displayed but displayed large enough that they can be read from the street and not just your driveway.
- Lost pets: If you own pets, it is important that you provide contact information on their tags. Having a house number that is easily visible from the street will assist good samaritans in returning a lost pet.
- Visitors from out of town: When visitors are arriving from out of town they may have difficulty finding your home due to being unfamiliar with your city and neighborhood. You can help alleviate some last minute frustration if your house number is easy to see as they drive up your street.
- Meter readers: Your utility company sends employees to read your meter every month. The individuals providing this service may not always be the same person each month. When your bill arrives, you won’t want there to be any mistakes due to confusion on which address applies to your meter.
- Newspaper delivery: Not everyone on a city block receives the has the same newspapers delivered. Newspapers are often delivered by contractors hired by the newspaper. If receiving your newspaper daily and on time is important to you, then you will want your house number clearly visible as they drive by, especially if your delivery occurs during hours before sunrise.
- Publisher’s Clearing House: Ok. I understand that the chances of your winning the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes is slim. But if you do happen to be that lucky winner, you wouldn’t want them to have any trouble finding your house, now would you?
In addition to having your house number large enough to read from the street, you should also consider whether or not it is visible at night. If emergency services are trying to find your address in the dark of night you will want those house numbers illuminated as well.
I was not born with a sense of fear as some count fear. However it does not make me thoughtless concerning the safety of my family and belongings. Essential means, vital, indispensible, important and crucial to name a few anonyms to better explain the word.
What we consider as important and indispensible may vary from one family to another however I’m going to try to stick to the basics that should be a common denominator for all of us.
With the condition of society and as depraved as some people can be, it is very important to have an (1) alarm system placed in our homes. I can’t see a sign in my yard as being a deterrent but the alarm company has one on each side of the house. And even though I live in a great neighborhood outside city limits, it is part of our late evening routine to set the alarm for the night.
We have a pet who is a light sleeper. And even with the alarm set, he will still arouse the whole household if he senses danger or an intruder anywhere on the premises. I don’t think he could protect us from an intruder, other than alarming us in time to call 911 and hopefully his barking would keep them from coming any further. So number (2) would be to have a dog.
My son would quickly add a (3) gun/pistol in the house makes him feel better about protecting his family. Personally I’d probably shoot my own foot if I had a gun, but for those who are good with a weapon – I say go for it. They have been known to keep an intruder until the authorities can get there.
We have (4) locks on all our windows. The days of my childhood are long gone when we went to bed with windows open and doors unlocked. Sad but true, we are almost like prisoners in our own home, just to feel safe.
Barriers from the outside world can only go so far. One of my concerns is that knowing where our children are as much as possible. Being alert to the kind of neighborhood we are in, and knowing our neighbors helps in having other parents of like passion who keep a watch out for each other. So for number (5) we will say stay alert to new neighbors who move in, or strange cars that don’t belong to anyone you know.
(6) I’ve said before, but will repeat myself, once a tragedy happens to one of our children, it cannot be reversed. And even though there are things that happen despite our every precaution, we still must know we have done everything we could do to prevent tragedies. Eventually we can learn to live with our loss, knowing we did everything we could.
(7) Our home must be a safe place to come home to. Adults and children/adolescents alike need a place to be themselves. Where the world is left outside the door and the fear of danger stays beyond those locked doors. We must as parents make extra effort if need be to see that our loved ones feel safe inside our four walls.
(8) It should go without saying we should have a seat belt law for our family. However, let me urge you to not move an inch from the driveway until each one is securely belted in. AND that means grandma or grandpa who “never has had to use a seat belt in my life and I ain’t been in no accident yet!”
(9) Prevent falling by keeping the passage way clear in all rooms in the house. As children will, they explore and climb; and many a broken limb is the results. Then there are the elderly who forget they aren’t as young as they once were and it doesn’t take much to get off balance. Keep an eye out for the elderly who want to stay independent and will invariably want to change their own light bulbs, or decorate the house using a ladder.
(10) Be prepared for fires. Fires never give us a warning before they happen. My house was designed that all the exit doors are in one end of the house. Should a fire happen in that area of the house at night, we would be trapped unless we were able to jump out a bedroom window which is off the ground. Not a great thought anyway we look at it. Cannot imagine why anyone would build a house without an escape route on both ends of the ranch style home.
There are many things to take inconsideration when it comes to keeping our home and belongings safe. My minister asked a question once, with the hopes of making us think of the importance we place on things/people. “If you found yourself in a fire, what would you most likely pick up to take with you if you had time to pick up 5 things?” There were varying answers, some comical others thought provoking. What about you? What have you done to make your home safe?
Guest post by Doris
Dogs truly are man’s best friend, but when you want to protect your home and family from people who are not your friends, they can also be incredibly useful as guard dogs. With some breeds dating back 4,000 years or more, man has been enlisting the help of dogs to guard property and livestock for centuries and has developed some breeds specifically for the job. Here are the top 10 breeds of guard dogs.
- Rottweiler: Rottweilers are massive and intelligent dogs originally bred in Germany to guard livestock. The breed is ancient, stretching all the way back to the Roman Empire where they were first converted from shepherding to guarding prisoners of the Roman Legion. During World Wars I and II, the breed saw a resurgence on both sides as guard dogs and solidified their reputation as tough, loyal dogs that can intimidate unwanted guests.
- German Shepherd: The German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent breeds of canine on the planet. In fact, not training a German shepherd can lead to behavior problems because the breed is so intelligent that it needs tasks to occupy its curious mind. This intelligence, when coupled with the loyalty and physical strength the breed is famous for, could be a reason why German Shepherds are one of the most registered breeds.
- Doberman Pinscher: These dogs are well known for their size and distinct appearance. Dobermans have received media scrutiny for their temperament, but there is a great deal of misinformation circulated regarding the breed. Dobermans are considered by experts to be aggressive towards strangers when compared to other breeds, but they are rarely aggressive towards family members. This makes the breed perfectly suited for guard dog duty.
- Bullmastiff: Bullmastiffs are massive animals. They were bred in the 19th century to protect vast rural estates and guard against poaching. Their massive build and muscular stature make them an imposing threat to intruders, and although they are very strong and can certainly be dangerous, they are well renowned for their gentle demeanor and loving personality. With proper training, these dogs make wonderful guard dogs for families in any situation.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback: This breed was developed in South Africa primarily for lion hunting. They are very easy dogs to recognize; just look for the streak of fur on their backs which runs with the opposite grain to the rest of the fur on their bodies, creating a “ridge” on the animal’s back. These dogs are very powerful, but they are naturally aloof to strangers and capable of mischief. Careful training is needed to turn these dogs into effective guard dogs, and only experienced dog owners should attempt to tame such a powerful and strong willed breed as the Rhodesian.
- American Bulldog: American Bulldogs were derived from the English bulldog and are known for their stocky build and strong jaws. These dogs make wonderful pets and are great with children, but they are also excellent guard dogs when trained properly. Although their sheer mass may appear intimidating to some, these dogs are often incredibly loving and good natured. The breed has become very popular domestically and they are a great breed for protecting a family with small children.
- Boxer: Boxers were named for their tendency to play on their hind legs while using their front paws to playfully “punch.” They were originally derived from English bulldogs, and they retain the same impressive bite as their relatives. They are larger, however, and are also very athletic dogs. The Boxer is legendary for its kind temperament at play, but bravery and devotion when aroused. They make excellent guard dogs because they are not trustful of strangers in general, and their behavior outside of the family must be monitored closely with training and socialization. With a strong upbringing, Boxers can be both an alert guard dog and a fun family friend.
- Giant Schnauzer: True to their name, giant schnauzers are very big dogs. They have a naturally playful temperament, but they are known to be very protective of their masters. Giant Schnauzers are very athletic dogs that require a great deal of exercise. They are natural guard dogs and require little training when it comes to protection, but their high energy level makes them difficult for some owners to handle. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before taking on a Giant Schnauzer, but if you are looking for a competent guard dog there are few better breed choices.
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows originated in Mongolia some 4,000 years ago and have been kept as pets in the far East for thousands of years. They are naturally protective of their territory and family, so they make excellent guard dogs with little training. Their distinct appearance and blue/black tongue make them easily recognizable, and their uniquely aloof temperament also sets them apart from other breeds. If you’re looking for a loyal, dedicated guard dog with a little flare, a Chow Chow is a great choice.
- Kuvasz: The Kuvasz is a large, powerful dog with a thick white coat and black nose. The breed is Hungarian in origin and was bred to be independent and to think on its own to protect large herds of livestock spread over vast distances. As a result of their independence, their temperament can be somewhat aloof, especially around strangers. Their protective instincts, however, are second to none. When properly socialized, they also exhibit a clown like sense of humor that makes them very entertaining pets. But when it comes to protection, the Kuvasz is a highly specialized breed that will instinctively guard any home or property.