Easy Safety Tips That Might Come In Handy

Oct 17, 2021Osh Ratnam

As the world has gotten more complex, so has the notion of safety. Back in the old days, safety might have just meant protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your property. Now, safety is something we have to think about in a lot of different ways. This article has you covered with some handy travel, home safety, online safety, kitchen safety, and a few general safety tips.

Image Credits: Pixabay

Hide Money in Unexpected Objects

It’s smart to keep multiple money options while traveling. Apart from carrying cash and a couple of cards, make sure to hide some extra bills away for an emergency situation. You never know when you might need it!

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Some great hiding places include under the soles of an extra pair of shoes and inside the lining of clothes, but don’t be afraid to get creative! Hollowed out lipstick or chapstick containers make a great secret spot. Drill a hole in a bar of soap to tuck away a tightly rolled banknote. Find a way of tucking a tightly folded bill into a common travel object that no would-be thief would be interested in.

Phone a Friend (or Pretend)

Have you ever had that uneasy feeling when you’re walking alone at night in a place you don't know, and you think people are watching or following you? An easy way to both feel more comfortable, as well as make any potential attackers more cautious, is to pull out your phone and give a friend or family member a call. Make sure you don’t flash that fancy, expensive, new phone too much, though!

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Talking to a loved one will immediately make you feel better, and if anything unfortunate happens, you have someone on the line who can quickly call for help. If you’re traveling and can’t call anyone, pretending to be on a phone call will still make anyone around think twice before messing with you.

Wear a Wedding Ring

A wedding ring is a nearly universal sign that a woman isn't interested in any new romantic partners. It’s also generally an indicator that a potentially muscular husband or fiance is somewhere close by. For women traveling alone, a simple, inexpensive, wedding band is a worthy investment to not get harassed.

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In several countries around the world, married women are given a lot of automatic respect, so even if you aren’t married, wearing a wedding ring when solo traveling can have surprising advantages.

Don't Flash the Cash

This should seem fairly obvious, but it’s normal to get overly excited when traveling. No matter what, resist the temptation to show off your wad of cash at a bar to impress the locals.

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Keep small bills in your wallet and keep larger notes inside an inner pocket, or better yet, split up your money and store them in various places. You never know who you might run into, so don't become a target for scam artists and pickpockets.

The Diaper and Chocolate

Nobody, absolutely nobody, enjoys the smell of dirty diapers. That adorable little babies can create such an overpoweringly smell is miraculous. That’s why they make such great hiding places! Going to the beach should be fun, and stressing about whether your belongings are safe while you frolic in the ocean isn't fun.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

Wrap up your belongings in a diaper, leave a piece of chocolate on top of it, and within minutes the chocolate will melt into something that most people will assume is not pleasant. You can now safely enjoy the beach, confident in the knowledge that no one is going to take your stuff.

Cover Unused Electrical Outlets With Tape

There are a few reasons for covering unused electrical outlets with tape that can protect you from harm. The biggest one is protecting children. If you live in a home with children or might have children visit, covering unused electrical outlets with tape (especially low outlets), can prevent serious accidents.

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Old unused electrical sockets, especially in older houses, can develop dangerous wiring issues over time. Not to mention, many insects, (most commonly ants), find an entryway into your home through long-unused electrical outlets.

Someone’s Home

There’s nothing more enticing to burglars than a house or apartment that shows signs of being empty. An overgrown yard, piles of letters, or just generally never having lights on are a giveaway to robbers that no one is home, which makes that place an easy target.

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Even if it’s just for a few days, try and leave a light or two on before you go somewhere, ask a neighbor to pick up the mail, or ask a friend to house sit. The trick is to make it seem like someone or the other is present in the house every day. 

Install a Dummy Security Camera 

CCTV and security cameras are everywhere now, and they’ve definitely made nefarious activities more difficult. Taking advantage of this, large companies and some governments have started deploying dummy cameras as a low-cost deterrent to crime.

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A low-level criminal has no way of knowing whether a camera is actually recording or not. Something cheap that looks like a camera and has a red or green light on it is often enough to ward off amateur burglars.

Beware of Dog

Doggo’s are amazing companions. Warm, loving, fluffy, loyal, and importantly, territorial and protective. A dog that barks at strangers can be a good warning, but having a sign up that says “Beware of Dog” implies that the dog that stays there is dangerous.

Photo Credits: Instagram/hermaninthehood

No thief wants to deal with a huge angry beast, so even if your puppy is a soft ball of fur who would never hurt a thing, put up a big “Beware of Dog” sign. Even if you don’t have a dog, put up a sign just to be safe.

Buy a Shower Mat

Bathrooms are the most dangerous rooms in a house. According to the Home Safety Council, 6,000 lives per year are lost because of a slip in the bathroom. Bathroom slips are also the leading cause of death and injury in people aged 65 and over.

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Wet, slippery, surfaces can be dangerous in any situation, but in a bathroom with hard surfaces, sharp edges, and corners, they become especially threatening. Adhesive bathroom mats cost just a few dollars and are easy to install. Most importantly, they can not only save you trips to the hospital but save lives.

Up Your Password Game

We live in an increasingly digital world. Most people have several different online accounts, from food delivery apps, to secure work-related websites. Less important websites are usually less secure and, therefore, easier for hackers to get information from. Reusing passwords from less secure websites for more important ones can leave you open to getting hacked, getting your information stolen, or losing money.

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It's best to have a variety of different strong passwords and to keep them written down and hidden somewhere secure. Another (more high-tech) option is to use one of the many online password managing services.

Use a VPN

VPN or Virtual Private Networks are becoming more and more important in today’s increasingly monitored world. Very simply put, a VPN allows your computer to connect to another computer, called a server, and browse the internet using that computer's internet connection.

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There are several advantages to using a VPN. Most importantly, when using public networks (like coffee shops), it makes it difficult for would-be hackers to track and steal your information. A VPN also allows you to browse the internet more anonymously and give less information to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) who might be selling that data.

Always Check Site Security

Online shoppers can be the target of a lot of different kinds of scams like phishing or fraudulent websites, Man-in-the-Middle attacks, spam/phishing emails, pop-ups, and fake charities. If you give away your information to one of these scams, you could be in a lot of trouble. This is why it’s important to know how to check if a site is secure.

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If a website is secured with an SSL certificate, then the URL will begin with https instead of HTTP (the extra S stands for secure). You may have noticed that some websites have a green address bar with a lock icon; these are the most secure websites. Also, always make sure to check that the domain name is exactly correct, many scammers will build a website that looks exactly like a legitimate site in the hope that someone will be tricked and enter their credit card or personal information.

Don't Save Financial Information

We live in a world of online temptations. Shopping has never been so easy; a few clicks of a button and everything you need comes straight to your doorstep. There are some drawbacks to this convenience, though. Entering your financial information into a lot of different websites can be dangerous. Only save your credit card information for websites and retailers that you know well and trust.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

Make sure you check that the website is secure and that you are using a private internet connection. Even if you’re careful, companies' databases can be hacked, in which case your information can get stolen. It’s safest to take that extra minute to fill in your payment details rather than save your information for a website or company you don't know.

Keep Your Software Updated

It’s easy to keep ignoring and delaying system and software update notifications, after all, whether you're busy working or watching Netflix, the few minutes an update takes can seem like forever. Don't ignore them, though, the main purpose of these updates is to combat new security threats. Hackers and developers are constantly at battle, new vulnerabilities are found, and new updates to counter those issues are released.

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Overall system updates are released to fix known issues in an Operating System along with other maintenance-related bugs. Third-party application updates are critical to safeguarding against new security risks. Keeping your antivirus program updated is possibly the most important thing you can do to make sure that no one is spying on you or stealing your information.

Use Baking Soda to Fight a Grease Fire

A grease fire is basically overheated oil that has caught on fire. They can be especially dangerous because, unlike regular fires, using water makes it worse. Oil and water don't mix, so splashing water on a grease fire will cause the oil to spread and increase the size of the fire.

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The most effective way to extinguish a grease fire is by starving the flame by removing oxygen. The best way of doing this (using ingredients around the house) is by pouring either salt or baking soda on the fire. Salt, because it is a fantastic absorber of heat for its volume, and baking soda because it releases carbon dioxide.

Don't Open an Oven Door if There is a Fire Inside

There are lots of ways a fire can start in an oven, and seeing a fire in your home can send anybody into a panic. Counterintuitively though, the worst thing to do is to open the oven door. Opening the door floods the inside with fresh air and oxygen, which can cause the fire to spread and cause even more damage.

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Keep the door closed and turn the oven off. Let the fire die itself (the lack of oxygen should do this) and only when the fire has completely stopped, open the oven and remove whatever is inside.

Don't Mix Hot and Cold 

There’s a little bit of science behind this one. Basically, hot things expand, and cold things contract. If you’ve ever poured hot coffee in a chilled glass, you know what happens. It can explode!

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Though most pots, pans, and lids are treated to control thermal expansion, some aren't, and some treated materials can weaken over time. It's best to put hot pans and lids on a wooden surface or a cloth.

Treat Mild Burns With Honey

Burns are unavoidable in the kitchen; things spill accidentally, oil sputters, a moment of distraction and a hand holds something that’s way too hot to touch. The absolute first thing to do is get away from whatever is burning you, quickly followed by running cool water over the affected area for at least 20 minutes. Remember, very cold water and ice can actually do more damage rather than help.

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If the burn looks serious, then seek the help of a medical professional, but mild burns can easily be treated at home. Apart from over the counter creams and ointments, aloe vera is a well-known burn cure. In a pinch, though, honey’s natural antibacterial properties can help keep the burn uninfected and can have a soothing effect.  

Keep Those Knives Sharp

It’s important to use the right tools for the right job, especially when talking about knives. Most people think that as long as a knife isn’t chipped or broken and still cuts, the knife is okay. This isn’t true at all. A dull knife is in fact much more dangerous than a sharp blade in the kitchen.

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A dull knife catches on food and requires the user to exert more force. A sharp knife will easily slice through your meats and vegetables and allow for a lot more control. It’s recommended to sharpen your knives every six months or so, but don’t worry, it’s easy and cheap to do at home.

The Bystander Effect

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed help, and even though there were people around you, nobody stepped forward? More likely, you may have been in a position where you were part of the crowd, and someone else was in need of aid. Psychologists who studied this phenomenon call it the bystander effect. The bigger the crowd of people, the less individual responsibility each person feels.

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If you’re ever in a position where you need help, the best way of getting it is by making specific calls to individual people. Something like, “Hey! You in the blue shirt and glasses, please call an ambulance”, is effective at making individuals feel more responsible and therefore help.

No Hands in Pockets Walking Down Stairs

There’s a reason why tightrope walkers walk with their hands spread far apart; it helps with balance. That’s reason number one why you shouldn’t have your hands in your pockets when walking downstairs. Reason number two is that stairs can be dangerous, a human’s natural reaction to falling is to either try and regain balance using their hands or by shooting their hands out in front of them to brace the fall.

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Stairs are dangerous for a few reasons. They have sharp edges and corners that can be lethal and falling and being unable to catch yourself going downstairs means a long bumpy trip to the bottom.

Barnes and Noble Into Your GPS 

We’ve all accidentally ended up in places we’re unfamiliar with. Whether it's because you’re in a new city, or you just ended up in a bad part of town chasing that elusive Pokemon. If you’re ever stuck in a sketchy part of town, enter any high-end establishment into your phone’s map to find the quickest route out.

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Barnes and Noble are almost always in ‘nicer’ parts of a town so that’s a safe bet. Depending on the city or country, Starbucks, Samsung stores, Apple stores, fancy grocery stores, all could work.

Use Suction to Remove a Splinter

Splinters are evil. That’s the only explanation for how such tiny pieces of wood can cause such incredible pain. A larger splinter can usually be removed with tweezers, but smaller ones that are deeply embedded in the skin can be both painful in general and excruciating to remove. Thankfully, a century-old remedy still works, and a modern twist on it makes it even better.

Photo Credits: Facebook/Claire Bullen

Fill a wide mouth bottle with hot water almost to the top and then cover the top with the affected area, making sure to create an airtight seal. The hot water will expand your pores, and the cooling water will create a vacuum that should suck that splinter straight out. You can do the same thing with a syringe, cover the splinter with the syringe hole and quickly pull the plunger, the suction should pull the splinter out.

Hold a Nail in Place With a Fork

Whether it’s a lack of experience, general discoordination, or a moment of distraction, whacking your fingers with a hammer is never pleasant. Sometimes, nails have to go into places where the angles make it tough to hold them properly.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

The humble household fork can come to your rescue. Insert the nail in between the tines of the fork till it’s tight enough to hold its place, then hold the fork and hammer away in safety.

Don't Hold Keys in Between Your Fingers 

Though it may make you look and feel like a marvel character, holding your keys in between your fingers can be very dangerous to yourself. The sharp edges of the keys can cut you, causing sharp pain, and the base of the keys in your fist can hurt your palm.

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That doesn’t mean that keys can't be an effective self-defense tool, though. Wrapping your fist around the keys with a sharp end pointing out can be a jabbing device and can scare away assailants.  

In a Dangerous Situation - Fight Dirty 

Everyone should know some self-defense basics. Life isn't like the movies, and neither is a situation where you have to fight or you get attacked. In a dangerous situation, do whatever you can to get an advantage and escape.

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An unexpected bite can force an attacker to let go of you, as can scratches, heel stomps, and surprise head butts. Go for the eyes, the mouth, the groin, and the shins, then run away yelling for help.

Duct Tape Magic - First Aid

Duct tape is an essential tool for any survivalist. Many minor cuts, bruises, and blisters can be kept free from infection by tightly sealing them with duct tape. More serious cuts that might require stitches should be first cleaned and then wrapped in duct tape till a hospital can be found.

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If available, a piece of cotton or gauze can also be held in place with duct tape to create a makeshift bandage. No matter what, though, always try and make your way to a medical professional as soon as possible. 

Duct Tape Magic - Tape Up Glass

Duct tape is an amazing material. It was invented in World War 2, but has evolved over the years and can be used for a lot of things. Holes in a window can be patched up with duct tape, keeping out pesky insects. Taping up a broken window allows for the removal of the glass without it shattering into many pieces.

Photo Credit: Winson Wong

Though it's been floating around the internet for a while, don't fall for the myth that taping your windows with a big duct tape X will protect against hurricanes, that’s been thoroughly disproven.

Talk to Your Family and Loved Ones

The best way to stay safe is to create an environment where safety is considered important. Have a plan for different emergencies and make sure that everyone in the house is aware of them.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

Panicking is the enemy in tense situations, and when everyone knows the plan, the most difficult situations can be handled. Communication is critical, both before an emergency and during. Stay calm and don't panic!

It might seem like a lot, but you never know when some of these tips might come in handy! Travelling is fun, the internet is all around us, every home has a kitchen, and we should all know some useful safety tips. Congratulations! Now you know a few!

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